I’m not a doctor or a scientist but I know what I'm talking about when it comes to SIBO. When you live with a chronic illness for three years, you pick up a thing or two.
I know how to tell when a doctor doesn’t know enough about SIBO to properly treat it.
I know which treatment protocols won’t work for me.
I know how stress and anxiety can literally take over your life when you have a chronic illness.
I know what it’s like to think you’re crazy.
But I also know what’s is like to never give up.
If you are suffering from Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), the first thing I want to share is DO NOT give up hope! It’s a complicated illness and it affects everyone differently. It has different root causes and it can take multiple rounds of treatment to resolve.
If you find yourself struggling, there are several SIBO support groups on Facebook, or do yourself a favor (like I did) and find a mental health therapist to help you through. It was the best decision I ever made and it’s just nice to have someone to talk to whose entire job is to listen and offer encouragement.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about treatment. Now, as I said, treatment plans are different for everyone depending on the type of SIBO you have. I’ve tried at least five different rounds of treatment and here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Antibiotics alone won’t cure SIBO
2. Herbals alone probably won’t cure SIBO (unless you have a really mild case)
3. Different health care providers have different treatment protocols so do your research ahead of time.
Recently I started working with functional medicine specialist Dr. Matthew Cook from BioRest Medical. The reason I chose to work with him was because during our conversation it came out that he had suffered from SIBO in the past. Anyone who has suffered from this crappy bug gets a stamp of approval from me because they are more likely to know what they are talking about. Also, he was extremely knowledgeable about the topic and everything he said lined up exactly with my research. He also was 100% on board with the anti-biotic combination my current GI doc refused to give me: Xifaxan and Neomycin. Lastly, Dr. Cook outlined a treatment protocol that was completely different from what I had done in the past and that gave me hope.
If you are curious, I’ve outlined the protocol below:
My SIBO Treatment Plan:
Candida + KKO Juice
Thymosin Alpha 1 Peptide
The protocol is a phased approach. I wasn’t able to take the GI Synergy due to a nut allergy (it has black walnut shell) so I skipped that one. The Lufeneuron made me sick so we switched that out for CandiBactin-BR from Metagenics. I slowly started to add each item in (except the antibiotics) so I could track whether or not I had a reaction.
One thing I want to highlight is the juices – Candida and KKO Juice from a company called EWEJE whose founder, Dr. Glenn Wilcox, is a parasite and Lyme disease specialist. I guess this guy knows his bugs. According to Dr. Cook, these juice shots were gold when it came to fighting off SIBO. I spent a few hours on google trying to look them up but there wasn’t much research so I had to trust Dr. Cook and go off what he said.
If you want to see my reaction to taking a shot of the juice for the first time, click the image above!
I took a shot (literally like a shot of tequila) of each juice once a day a week prior to starting the antibiotics and will take them again a week after the antibiotics. One thing I will tell you is they taste TERRIBLE. Think of the worst thing you’ve ever had and that’s probably what they will taste like. But, it’s worth it if it works.
I’m currently two and a half months into my SIBO treatment protocol and I do feel better. I can tell my SIBO isn’t gone yet, but the symptoms are resolving. I started the Neomycin/Xifaxan combination four days ago and so far have had zero side effects, other than a few stomach aches here and there which is most likely die off from the bugs. My energy levels are up and most of my COVID Long Haul symptoms are gone most likely thanks to the peptide therapy.
The real indicator (other than my symptoms resolving) will be the results of my next breath test which I’ll do a few weeks after the end of my treatment. If my methane numbers go down, I’ll at least know I’m on the right track to finally getting rid of this nasty little bug.
Stay tuned for my next blog where I’m going to step away from talking about SIBO and provide an update on my COVID long haul symptoms and share my experience getting the COVID vaccine as a long hauler.
XOXO Carri E.