I have officially completed taking both the Rifaximin + Neomycin (as of this past Sunday). And as promised from yesterday in Gut Healing is Not a Diet…or Maybe it Is? today is an update on healing SIBO for good volume 3. (You can read Volume 1 HERE and Volume 2 HERE.)
Update as of April 2017: I am thriving and my SIBO is almost gone completely. Read 2017 SIBO Status Update + Supplement and Medication Healing Tool Box + Meal Spacing for SIBO. I am currently working on the final version (3.0) of The Gutsy Girl’s Bible which will include all SIBO information. Don’t miss its release. Click HERE to join the mailing list.
Healing SIBO for Good Volume 3
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In this Moment
In this moment, I am feeling phenomenal. Just like before, I feel a new lease on life. I want to jump up and down and scream constantly with how excited I am!
My lingering “issues” involve my skin (updated in 2017 to add: those issues largely triggered by Stevia and THIS one thing, plus I also started strictly using Beautycounter to clear it all up!) and the fact that I’m still at 8 HCL pills with protein meals (although yesterday, at one meal, I had burning, so I could be getting close to reducing).
Beyond those issues, nothing! However, I know that I am not healed to the place I want to be for the long haul. I would rather keep the focus strong now and avoid another setback than to ride this high and neglect the two facts above, which ultimately are telling me my gut is still not 100%.
But the pain and misery that was my gut just a few short weeks ago has lifted. There is no upper stomach pain, and things seem to be moving through me at a normal pace (i.e. motility improving).
I have worked really hard to arrive here, and per the below, I will continue working really hard to stay here.
Current Supplements and Medication
- LDN. My only medication. I’m off antibiotics and the Thyroid medication.
- Betaine HCL. I’m still at 8 pills per meal.
- L-Glutamine. I add the powder form in sometimes, but not as much anymore, since the Perma-Clear contains it.
- Collagen. 1+ tbsp per day. I created a new bread for myself that uses Collagen, and because I’m borderline addicted to it, I probably have more than a tbsp per day. (Bread is also AIP.)
- Vitamin D. 5-7,000 IU’s per day. I take this via liquid drops.
- Perma-Clear. I take 3 of these twice per day to help with gut healing.
- Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc. I take 3 of these twice per day to help support various levels, deficiencies, and leaky gut. Additionally, to help with my breakouts, I take an extra dose of 50mg of zinc as a stand-alone.
- Cod Liver Oil. I take 1 tsp. daily, as a supplement, unless I am having liver that day. The days I eat liver, I don’t take the Cod Liver Oil.
I have scaled back even more. In volume 1, I told you I was still doing intense (but short) workouts, 2-3 days per week. I have altered this again. I now go to the gym 1-2 days per week (typically 2), and when I go, I only do 2 rounds of Tabata (vs. 6-7). For the rest of my time there, I lift in a sequence of 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps (weight increases as reps decrease) with a decent amount of time in between.
I had to scale back even more even though I didn’t (and still don’t) want to.
I began to realize that the workouts I was doing, while I crave them, were too stressful on my body for now. In case you didn’t know, almost all research says that HIIT and/or 30-60+ minutes of steady-state cardio creates too much of a stress response for the body if you have an autoimmune condition (I’d say likely SIBO, a leaky gut, and many other conditions as well). 6-7 rounds of Tabata is a total of 24-28 minutes, which nearly combines the two no-no’s from above.
So far, my body is much happier here, and so I’ll keep on this path for awhile. (I took this picture about a week ago. Our friend just opened up Cooper Sports Performance in Dublin, CA. He gave me this tank, so I snapped a picture for him!)
I walk 45-60 minutes per day, on most days of the week, via a combination of family walks + long play sessions at the park.
We went biking a couple weeks back, and that was beautiful.
Our pool will open late April/early May, and so the countdown for swimming is on.
And finally, I still have not gotten back to Bikram, but it’s on my near future radar. (I’m not making excuses, but it’s a 90-minute class, and these days, that’s a challenge to find the time for.)
I’m definitely not a beast anymore, and I am learning that even if it breaks my heart a little, this is perfectly okay because I am healing, only 33 and I have the rest of my life to enjoy harder workouts again.
Cut back, cut back and then cut back some more.
Most recently, I announced the end of my business, A Loving Spoon nut butters. This was a huge decision that I had been alluding to here for a very long time – i.e. decisions, but in addition to all the reasons the blog post stated, my personal health weighed heavily on the decision as well. Did you know that for most of the time I’ve owned the business, production began with a 3 am alarm signal, 1+ hour drive to the commercial kitchen and long hours on my feet? Most people could easily hang with that, but not me, and not in this season of healing.
In addition to the stress of workouts, a lack of sleep like this is one of the worst things for an autoimmune condition. I could not allow the lack of sleep on production days mixed with the stress of the business interfere with my healing journey. Life is too short.
I sleep a lot (8-10 hours a night, on average), and I try my best to not make excuses, “but I have child(ren).” In this season of my life, when my child(ren) go to bed, so do I. I find myself justifying it to my husband nightly, but he doesn’t need my justification. He totally understands, and some nights if I’m really tired, he handles bedtime and I lay down. And yes, YES, I fully realize and recognize that this makes him a gem. I couldn’t heal without him. I know that for sure.
I got a massage last weekend, go to reflexology when I can and I’ll continue setting up those appointments for at least one time per month.
And I breathe. I catch myself forgetting to all too often, and so I’ve been intentional about creating a habit of doing it. I practice deep breaths a lot when we’re out walking.
During the 21-days I was on antibiotics, I told you in volume 1 that my diet would consist of the following: no restrictions, more tea and less coffee, natural (food) prokinetics, nutrient dense and no alcohol.
So how did I do? No restrictions: check. More tea and less coffee: check (and these 3 were mostly on repeat). Natural (food) prokinetics: check (ginger and garlic galore! Tip – roast a whole, organic chicken 1-2 times per week and smother it with bits and pieces of garlic and ginger. Phenomenal flavor + you can eat the bits and pieces whole for an extra boost.) Nutrient dense: check (liver has fully re-entered our lives, and it’s not just me, both Ryan and Samarah love the way I prepare it). No alcohol: (almost) check (I had one glass of vodka, water and a splash of lemonade while out for dinner with friends a couple weeks back).
And now that the 21-days are over? I am diving head first into the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol). In case you missed it yesterday, HERE is why.
AIP is stringent. There is nothing easy about it, and yet yesterday felt like a breeze. For dinner, I made wild salmon and a sweet potato casserole, all AIP-approved and between Ryan, Samarah and myself, it was all gone with not a leftover in sight!
Would a post on AIP and what I eat be helpful to you?
The Bullet Journal
This goes along with lifestyle, sort of.
I am addicted to this method of journaling. I described the Gut Healing Bullet Journal in volume 2.
Essentially, it’s a method for tracking the days, finding patterns, having an outlet, but all while remaining stress-free, short and to the point.
(Updated in 2017: I did a tutorial on how to create a Gut Healing Bullet Journal.)
All of the above, a present and meaningful approach to ultimate healing + a follow up with my doctor on March 30 (I’ve waited months)!
Here’s the deal, ladies, if you have IBS and/or IBD, the days can seem long and you can feel very alone. Back when I first started blogging my journey (on April 11, 2009), I felt like I was alone. And back then, I had zero ideas about what was truly wrong with me and/or how I would get better.
I did the only thing I could do which was to study, learn, practice and watch myself grow through blogging and through sharing my story with friends like you.
I also believed. I believed I could get better, and I believed there was another answer than drugs, medications, and days filled with feeling sick and tired.
Today, I am able to prove these alternative answers true and to help you believe in the same. (Read more on this “Journey to Healing.”)
You will heal. I will help.