Let’s have an honest conversation today.

A woman in the United Kingdom sent me the following mesage

Hi Sarah, this is really just a simple e-mail to say thank you and that I really appreciate ur website and your honesty. Living with Colitis is not easy, but I, like you, make the most of every day. Your story empowers me and it is encouraging to know that there are other people out there that understand the daily struggle, I have been following for over 5 years now and it is just reassuring to know someone else feels the same! I am very similar to you, looks wise and also in mindset. I’m living in England, and follow your story every day. I wish you the best in life, thank you for your wisdom and I wish you he most happiness in life. Lots of love !

And on Sunday, my doctor placed the SIBO and Adrenal Fatigue testing results in my electronic files for me to review. I go to him because he is, what I believe, one of the best holistic doctors for illnesses like mine in the country. He gives the tests I need and helps me make future plans based on those tests. That said, I am fully capable of reading most of the results and understanding what they mean for the present and for the future.

An Honest Conversation on SIBO

I made it almost 9 months with no SIBO relapse. I had gotten a new lease on life, and they were, quite honestly, some of the best 9 months I’ve had in my life. Right about the time when I did the SIBO retake, I began to feel slight symptoms occasionally.

I put it out of my mind. No way could this be happening. Nothing had changed, so why would it come back? (For the record, most people who have SIBO do in fact relapse, for no apparent reason – or reasons which doctors can’t exactly pinpoint yet – but I do have a post coming soon on some of these reasons.)

Even though I didn’t get the results until yesterday, early last week I knew it was back.

Studying the gut, knowing the symptoms and living and breathing these things day in, day out is my passion. I just knew.

When I reviewed the results on Sunday, it was confirmed that an overgrowth is still present.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that it’s much, much less than before.

And yet, it doesn’t change the fact that I can feel it in my gut, see it on my skin and just want to crawl in a hole and cry.

An Honest Conversation sarahkayhoffman.com SIBO Adrenal Fatigue

An Honest Conversation on Adrenal Fatigue

Because my energy levels have been amazing, I have been eating so much more than ever before and overall stress has been greatly reduced, my gut feeling told me that the Adrenal Fatigue test would prove much healthier than before. Where once I had almost bottomed out, I would now find levels to steadily begin increasing again.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when I read the results which showed that all levels have dropped even more, which if you remember from before they were almost at rock bottom.

I felt crushed in almost a million little pieces during those moments of reading the results.

That’s the bad news.

And there is no good news.

An Honest Conversation

Shortly after reviewing the results I asked Ryan,

Why is it that in my health coaching practice I am able to help everyone else, but I can’t seem to help myself in the ways I desperately need? I practice what I preach.

He doesn’t know. And he means well, cares deeply, but these battles are hard to understand.

I reflected on my own.

Guilt and Shame

Then I thought back to an earlier message Pastor Nolen gave at church, on guilt and shame.

I carry a lot of it, both guilt and shame.

I blame my past filled with horrible health decisions for the testing results today that might never go away. Most of the women I work with (thankfully) do not have this past.

The guilt and the shame I feel might be the bottleneck in me getting better because the truth is that I do live very well and I am living with less. Most doctor’s tell me I am almost a “perfect student.” I know the things to do, and I actually do them. Well, most of them anyways (and this is a whole other topic for a different day).

I read the following analogy:

You have been whipping a horse (your adrenals) for years, but the horse just can’t keep up with the demands anymore….. regardless of how hard it gets whipped.

And this is me, every last bit of me.

I cared zero about real wellness for years and years. Instead, I listened to health and fitness “gurus” (low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie, low meat, do more, be more, give more, fast, count everything, bite it and write it, and on and on and on) which ultimately lead me to the 5 nasty stages towards destroyed hormones.

The Daily Struggle

I watch a world filled with women who are doing the same, making these same choices, and not understanding that there will be consequences.

Your story empowers me and it is encouraging to know that there are other people out there that understand the daily struggle.

Yes, dear reader in the UK, yes I do understand the daily struggle.

I am here to be honest about my past (without making excuses), the present, what real wellness looks like and I’ll never, ever, ever stop this daily grind and battle for sharing the TRUTH about it all for you.

For the sake of our future, our babies who will become little girls and then teenagers and for women’s health, wellness, hormones and beautiful guts everywhere…..


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  1. Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear that your results had gone down. My heart breaks for u, but hang in there. We all have our ups and downs. God is with us and knows and plans exactly why things happen the way they do. Love u! From a faithful reader <3

  2. Hi Sarah,

    I’m sorry to hear about both of your test results. I know firsthand how frustrating SIBO can be. I’m curious if you are still going to “treat” the adrenal fatigue? Sometimes its important to trust yourself.. if you say you have amazing energy, why not go by your symptoms and not the results. Would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Hi, Evelyn! I love this question you bring up about if I’m going to “treat” the adrenal fatigue. Once I know what I’m doing I’ll be sharing, but you’re spot on….I have MANY thoughts on Adrenal Fatigue, and I hope to be able to share them soon! xo

  3. Hi Sarah – I totally understand! I’ve had the hardest time eradicating SIBO and getting my health to a place where I feel good everyday. I’ve struggled with SIBO, digestive distress, hormonal issues, food intolerances, bloating, gas.. you name it, I’ve struggled with it. I’ve seen so many ND’s and holistic doctors and am finally treating Candida and SIBO with anti-fungals. I’m wrapping up my 3 weeks of anti-fungals but STILL feel like I can’t digest the foods that I thought were directly related to SIBO – starchy carbs, carbs, carbs and fodmaps. It’s frustrating because I truly thought that at the end of this, I would be able to eat a sweet potato, a plantain or a brown rice cake and feel great, like I used to feel 10 years ago. Nope.

    I certainly understand the struggle and believe that it’s going to be a life-long journey for people like you and I. We’re going to go through phases where we are actively healing and seeking help, and then there will be phases where we just can’t focus our time and energy (and $ for that matter) on healing. It happens and I’ve come to realize that it’s part of life. Priorities shift and healing is like a full-time job. I believe that we will both get to a place where we accept this part of our life and put it into perspective – it could be so much worse.

    Thanks for being such an inspiration and reminder that we’re all human and struggles come in various shapes and sizes. xoxoxoxo

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