Learn what you can about SIBO, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, and about The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). When I learned about these two topics and tried a very careful adherence to the SCD, in as short as two weeks I began to understand the relationship between the foods that went in to me and the symptoms that resulted from eating what used to be a ‘normal’ diet.
I had tried a gluten free (GF) diet for two years, and in the first half year to a year I found great relief, until I started experimenting with various GF grains and starches to make bread and cookies. Ultimately, with symptoms advancing, I decided to read the labels on my supplement bottles and found one ingredient that was not recommended for people with bowel disorders. That ingredient, croscarmellose sodium, was the key for my discovering the SCD and about SIBO.
I eliminated ALL starches, sugars and grains as outlined in the four internet pages of the SCD Legal/Illegal foods list, and focused on fruit, vegetables, good lean meats, eggs, Fage 0% yogurt, aged hard cheeses, oils, and lots of nuts. Within two weeks I noticed an abatement of symptoms, and now six months later, still adhering to the SCD when I can control the food that I eat (eating out is akin to navigating a mine field) I am responding well to the regimen.
I have found that eating only cooked vegetables is better for me at this point, and that I cannot drink wine, and alcohol without feeling a response in my intestines a couple of days later.
The symptoms have mostly disappeared, but I do know that the sensitivity or responses to foods is still a problem if I “try” or am given a trigger food.
I feel so well eating this way. As soon as I started it, my cravings for bread and cookies ceased. I also lost ten pounds, slowly while not feeling starved or deprived.
My experience with understanding about what SIBO is, and how the SCD works, and how it works for me makes me want that everyone should, at the least, learn about this approach to helping their bowel disorders. With it, you begin to participate in an approach to your own wellness, rather than just suppressing the symptoms with medicines.
If you are under the care of a physician, discuss this approach. Not all physicians will know about it, others will have heard about it. I went to an evening presentation to hear a Gastro Intestinal Doctor and a GI Surgeon, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The doctor did mention the approach by foods management, saying that some people do find relief this way, but without substantial clinical tests backing up the method, they may not be able to recommend it, also citing that it can be difficult for people to adhere to.
My thoughts when I heard this, and still now, is that once I felt better by eliminating the trigger foods and have been eating a very healthful diet, there is tremendous motivation to continue with this approach towards eating!
There are other web sites that take the SCD approach with more or less stringency for various and specific outcomes. The reading is fascinating once you get into it.
Best wishes to you, and all with bowel disorders. It is no fun to suffer with it.