When a Colorado woman was diagnosed with SIBO, she cleared it with a combination of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, antibiotics and prokinetics.
Casey experienced diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue, abdominal pain, muscle weakness and brain fog.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO); diagnosed August 2015, through a hydrogen breath test
Natural Approaches that Helped SIBO
After diagnosis, I immediately changed my diet to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and saw a major reduction in symptoms. I also began taking probiotics, at the time VSL3. After clearing SIBO and discontinuing Iberogast (more info below), I began on low-dose naltrexone (LDN) as a prokinetic (an off-label use for this prescription medication). To replace the pancreatic enzymes my body doesn’t make on its own, I use over-the-counter Dipan-9 with great success.
Convetional Approaches that Helped SIBO
While on the diet and probiotics, I took 3 weeks of the antibiotic, Rifaxamin. One course of it before had not worked, nor had two herbal courses. The difference this time was the combination of the diet and the VSL3 probiotic with Rifaximin – at the same time. Upon completion, I started taking Iberogast: 60 drops before bed the day after stopping treatment. Then every other night x 2 weeks, then every 3rd night x 2 weeks and continued until off.
Signs the Condition Improved
Now SIBO-free since August of 2016, confirmed by breath test.
Severity of symptoms prior to treatment: 8 out of 10
Severity of symptoms after treatment: 1
What Didn’t Help
Previously, I tried Candibactin AR and Candibactin BR, as well as oregano oil. I’m not sure why they did not work, but my practitioner thinks it may be because I didn’t continue long enough on them.
In February of 2015, I had a really bad bout of food poisoning that lasted about 24 hours. Then my digestive system went back to normal. However, a few months later, I began experiencing ongoing digestive issues that continued to get worse, including diarrhea, bloating and fatigue. I thought I might have food allergies so I did a skin test, which revealed about 20-25 new food sensitivities. On the recommendation of my allergist, I had a SIBO breath test – which was positive. I had SIBO-D (diarrhea), or hydrogen SIBO.
I tried several SIBO treatments before finding an approach that worked. First, I did a round of the antibiotics (Rifaximin) recommended for SIBO, but I didn’t do a special diet. After that round, I still tested positive for SIBO.
Researching treatments, I came across the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It was originally designed for people with chronic gastro issues, like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, but I started the diet for overall digestive healing. My symptoms immediately improved. The diet was essential to my body being able to absorb nutrients even while I still had SIBO, and to starve the bad bacteria. The diet was super tough at first, but it got easier over time. Fortunately, the web is full of recipes for SCD, or paleo recipes you can slightly modify for SCD.
Meanwhile, I did a couple of rounds of herbal “antibiotics” such as Candibactin-AR, Candibactin-BR and oregano oil – while remaining on the diet. Still, I tested positive for SIBO.
Finally, I consulted with a SIBO specialist, Dr. Allison Siebecker, via Skype. She suspected that I had not stuck with the herbal rounds for long enough. Because I had SIBO-D (hydrogen variety), she thought I would respond well to a course of Rifaximin, followed quickly by motility agents to keep it from coming back. It’s possible the first round of Rx had worked but came back before I re-tested.
This time, I did 3 weeks of Rifaximin, while on the SCD diet and VSL3. I followed with Iberogast as a motility agent. Finally, I got a negative SIBO test! After Ibergast, I switched to magnesium glycinate as the motility agent. Later, I started low-dose naltrexone (LDN) for the same reason. It’s an off-label use for this drug.
So far, I have remained SIBO-free. However, I continue the diet to reduce other inflammation and for overall gut healing (I do, however, still have intestinal permeability). For help keeping SIBO at bay, I continue taking LDN and a probiotic, Ultimate Flora.
If you enjoyed this story, you might also like: Colorado Woman Chooses Chinese Medicine to Treat SIBO Successfully.
The information on this site is for educational and inspirational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of qualified professionals. Keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another. Always consult your healthcare practitioners before beginning new approaches or treatments. Some links on Rebuilding My Health may be affiliate links. This means that we may receive a commission - with no additional cost to you - if you make any purchases using those affiliate links. Rebuilding My Health is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Learn more.