Symptoms settled after two weeks on SIBO diet
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
Angelina came to me suffering from terrible bloating after every meal she ate. She also had headaches nearly every second day, was constipated, uncomfortable in the belly and her sleep was affected by disturbing dreams and bouts of restless legs. She was tired most of the time and her hormones were playing up (irregular periods). She also carried about five extra kilos of weight that she couldn’t shift.
Angelina had been previously tested for parasites and all tests were clear. But she hadn’t been tested for small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). I arranged the tests and it didn’t take long to discover that she was suffering from the effects of SIBO. She was also low in iron, B12 and B6 and intolerant to most grains, dairy and cashews (her favourite food).
Her malnutrition was a result of the bad bacteria robbing her body of nutrients.
I advised her to go onto the SIBO Phase 1 diet for three weeks, along with SIBO specific herbs, and then come back. After only three days on the diet she had no symptoms (she emailed to let me know). The SIBO would have still been there, but it was great to know that with the food she was eating, she wasn’t feeding the bacteria and the food was no longer fermenting in her gut.
She wanted to go straight onto Phase 2 of the SIBO diet as she was a bit bored with the limited food choices, but I encouraged her to stay with Phase 1 for the three weeks. When she returned, she admitted that she did eat a few of the Phase 2 foods she had been missing and there were a couple of days that she felt bloated, so she backed off those foods and she was fine again.
The fact that she reacted showed us that she still had the bacterial overgrowth, otherwise she would have been fine with the added foods.
But it didn’t take too long (although Angelina was a bit impatient) until she could eat many of her favourite foods again. She omitted cashews, foods containing sugar, and decided not to eat grains or dairy products as she intuitively felt that these foods possibly triggered the SIBO in the first place.
Click for more information about SIBO and SIBO Diets