It’s been about 3 weeks since I received my SIBO diagnosis – you can read my original post on SIBO here. Since then, I was referred to a gastroenterologist, but couldn’t get an appointment for over 6 weeks In the meantime, I’ve done a ton of research, and read all of the articles I could find by specialists such as Dr. Allison Siebecker, Dr Nirala Jacobi, and Rebecca Coombes.
But despite all the reading, I’ve taken no action on a treatment plan or protocol – because there are soo many conflicting opinions on how to treat SIBO, i.e:
- Feed the bacteria vs. Starve the bacteria,
- Antibiotics vs. Antimicrobials, and
- 4 or 5 different diet protocols including: low FODMAP, the SIBO specific diet, the Special Carbohydrate Diet, Gaps and the Bi-Phasic diet.
Today I finally got some answers when I met with Dr. Natalie Cruttenden, a Naturopath who specialises in SIBO, to help me work through a protocol to get rid of my SIBO and get on with my life. Since I have methane dominant SIBO (rather than hydrogen), my SIBO is harder to treat, and doesn’t respond as well to the standard SIBO antibiotic which is Rifaximin.
Instead, I’ve been prescribed a 6 week antimicrobial protocol, using a combination of Bactrex (Metagenics), Allimed & Atrantil. This approach seeks to attack the bacterial overgrowth, and has been shown to be as effective as traditional antibiotics. In addition to the supplement protocol, I’m to follow Dr. Jacobi’s Bi-Phasic diet for SIBO. This diet protocol is similar to a low FODMAP diet but it also reduces all starchy carbohydrates (which the bacteria feed on) from both grains and vegetables like potato and sweet potato.
After the 6 week protocol I will need to retest for SIBO and ensure a relapse doesn’t occur. This will include taking a prokenetic to support the migrating motor complex (MMC). The MMC moves food and bacteria from the small intestine down into the large intestine on a daily basis, but in many SIBO patients the MMC is not working properly. Supplementing with a prokenetic can hep support recovery and hopefully prevent relapse. During this stage I’ll also work to heal the gut and reintroduce foods that have been restricted to test what can be tolerated.
So before I jump into all this – excuse me while I chow down all the non-compliant food in the fridge!