SIBO – or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

In the last weeks, I have managed to somewhat controlled my symptoms following a very restrictive diet avoiding most FODMAPs and food with high food chemicals (salicylates, amines and glutamates).

I was inspired by a post from Melissa McEwen at Hunt.Gather.Love to try white rice, which is both low in FODMAP and in food chemicals. I did and suffered…! Within an hour or two, I looked pregnant and had abdominal pain… and it lasted for a couple of days. But the good thing about it is that it got me thinking! If white rice, which should be one of the safe food I should be able to eat, causes me problem, it means that maybe I haven’t completely figured out what my problem really is yet.

I had heard of SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, before and started researching it more. Bacteria thrives on carbs and it seems that any types of carbs have triggered my symptoms in the past. One of the best resources on the subject is Dr. Siebecker at siboinfo.com. I then decided to go for a hydrogen/methane breath test and just received my results: I have a SIBO infection.

I am happy to know what is contributing to my post-infectious IBS because knowing what the problem is will help me adapt my diet accordingly. Antibiotics and elemental diet formulas can be used to kill the excess of bacteria that should not be in my small intestines, although it seems that recurrence rates can be relatively high.

Another treatment option for SIBO is following either the SCD diet (specific carbohydrate diet) or GAPS diet. Both of these diets are grain-free, sugar-free and very low-carb diets that can easily be made paleo. Following one of these diets for one to two year can work at eliminating my SIBO and allow me to heal and seal my gut (SIBO causes leaky gut), diversify my diet, get rid of my newly developed food intolerances and hopefully, some day, tolerate small amounts of carbs from fruits or tubers.

I have ordered Dr. Mark Pimentel‘s book “The New IBS Solution” which discuss the role of SIBO in IBS as well as the book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” from Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride.

More info on my new dietary approach to come soon… 🙂



Learn more about the Personal Paleo Code