I’ve been sprinkling in this feeling of a SIBO relapse for a few weeks now. This morning, I’ll be 98% confident that yes, my SIBO has relapsed.

July of 2016 was the last time SIBO affected my life, and it was then that I promised no more SIBO antibiotics for quite some time.

I made it a long, long time. 

Today I feel both happy and grateful for the past (almost) two years of freedom, but I also feel a deep level of sadness.

I didn’t want to share this post today because I’ve been resisting SIBO’s presence for over a week now. And then I received the below message this past week from someone I haven’t heard from in years (I went to high school with her, and that might have been the last time I saw her).

A Message I Received

Hey Sarah! I wanted to reach out to tell you thank you. For the past 3 years I have been plagued by digestive issues with terrible bloating and discomfort. I’ve seen a few GIs over the years but none of the tests came up with anything. I happened to read a blog post of yours a few months ago that made reference to SIBO. SIBO was not something any of my doctors had mentioned so I went back to them requesting a test.

Sure enough I came back positive (and extremely high). I’ve been on an antibiotic for 2 weeks and can’t believe how amazing I feel and how flat my stomach is with all the bloating gone! I can’t believe I lived for 3 years like that. The doctors want to do a colonoscopy to check for diverticulitis and Crohn’s now (not fun) but at least I am finally getting some sort of diagnosis and relief. And it really is thanks to you and your blog! So anyway, I wanted to share how you’ve helped me and say thank you. And I hope you and the family are adjusting well to life back in MN!

I realized that instead of feeling shame for the SIBO relapse, I might as well talk about it, produce more posts on it with the chance that one more person will stumble upon all the things SIBO and be able to help themselves.

By the way, as a side note, it was rare that people were diagnosed with SIBO when I was (I first shared it on December 4, 2014 via I Have SIBO.) These days, it’s more common, but my prediction is that there will be a huge rise in SIBO diagnoses within the next 5-10 years. And thus, I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing, researching, and learning about it.

Why Does SIBO Relapse?

Click HERE to save this post for later.

SIBO Relapse www.sarahkayhoffman.com

Most people relapse, so it’s not like I’m in some rare percentage. I have been doing a ton of research on this, and SIBO can relapse for many different reasons. I used to believe I was relapsing because of low HCL and slower motility combined with stress, but now I believe that that’s just the trigger for the relapse. 100%, without a doubt, the trigger for this relapse was stress. I can’t even describe these past several months, and I have not done a good job with controlling it. 

But I don’t believe that’s why I relapsed. It was going to happen, just a matter of when, because we still haven’t found my true bottleneck. I’d link to the post if I could find it, but I once told you that I’m being tested for some mold and heavy metals stuff because one of my markers indicating it came back high. Dr. Schweig (and Dr. Amy) both told me that could be the reason I might always struggle with SIBO relapse.

There is always an underlying reason and a trigger. It’s different for everyone.

Now What?

Do you know why I’m most afraid and upset about this whole SIBO relapse thing? Because I know that I’ll have to follow a certain “diet.” I’ll have to do all the things I know to get me back feeling well, but I also know that it’s weird and that people will ask questions and not understand, “What do you mean you can’t eat an apple?” I hate the questions and the side looks. 

But listen….1,000%, SIBO is real. And, in fact, I feel livid over the fact that a doctor this past fall told me (without ever seeing medical tests or anything), “You don’t have SIBO. If you did, you would be losing a ton of weight rapidly.” WRONG. Do a little research. SIBO makes a lot of people gain weight. I usually maintain (or gain, but only slightly), even though I eat about 3 x’s the amount per day I normally would. This is because, 

Generally speaking although SIBO produces symptoms which are related to excessive eating, it does make you feel hungry. This is because the food which you are putting into your body is actually feeding your excess bacteria rather than your cells. Many people find that this problem is worse after they have eaten processed foods which contain fewer nutrients anyway and it results in feeling hungry again shortly after a meal. (source)

Starting Today

Starting today (not tomorrow, not the infamous Monday), I am going to do what I need to do to get back to where I was these past two years. It was absolutely incredible being able to eat anything and everything I wanted! If you get my weekly (or bi-weekly) newsletter, I skimmed these things yesterday:

  • reduce stress
  • lower the amount of workouts (total time + intensity is a killer)
  • enlist the help of Antrantil
  • boost with other supplements like L-glutamine and gelatin
  • bone broth
  • and……diet

SIBO Relapse www.sarahkayhoffman.com gut healing ibs ibd quote

Later, once I’m back in my focused-healing groove, I can write a follow up post detailing the above more.

I will also get a new functional MD in Minnesota so I can continue exploring the underlying cause. 

I’ve never been one to give up, and I also have never been one to sit back and say that feeling okay is okay when I know what it feels like to feel 100%. 

I’ll do whatever it takes to overcome this SIBO relapse.

Updated at the end of 2019 to add: Still SIBO free! See my final 28-day Rifaximin and Neomycin Journal HERE.


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  1. I’m so sorry for you! Thank you for sharing this! I have been struggling with relapse for the last week and decided to stay he antratil after hearing a podcast by dr seibecker. It’s giod to hear that my relapse can be caused by stress… that’s my story. What about lack of sleep? I’ll pray for your and everyone’s healing and soooo appreciate you sharing your journey! It’s been so helpful to me ????????????

    Running any groups?

    1. Yes and yes. Read the very next post. I’m always talking about Antrantil and started taking it again last Saturday.

  2. Hi ,I just find you blog looking for answers , I just be diagnosed with SIBO , I also find out that name now , The Dr Diagnosis was Bacteria Overgrowth and he explain me the normal levels are below 12 and I am in 680 , IAM having a lot pain for 6 months being hospitalized , feel like 9 months pregnant (I am a guy ) , gain weight special body fat , my Dr put me on Levofloxacin 500mg I am in the 3rd day and this is killing my muscles and feel cramps on my stomach like is a battle against dinosaurs , yesterday was hard to stand up from my bed because the pain on my muscles , arms , legs and BACK , I don’t know what is worse if have the constant pain of SIBO or the side effect of this antibiotic , I sad to hear this can Relapse

  3. I don’t know why i haven’t discovered your site properly earlier. I know I’ve read a couple of posts, but just today i’ve full dived into the trove of information and wisdom and history. A few days ago, I relapsed with SIBO. I can feel it. I’d had a about 1 month of no SIBO after dealing with it for a couple of years. A taste of hope! So this relapse as disheartening. But I’ve felt hope and sanity from reading your site. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into sharing. Thank you!

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