Where do I even start.
When I was a sophomore in college, I started to notice some things in my body were off. Those same issues continued throughout my junior year, and amplified.
After dealing with stomach pains, bloating, and SO much more, my Mom gifted me many visits to a local naturopathic doctor to figure out the reason for these issues. If you want to read my journey with SIBO, check out my past blog post on how I found out I had it and what I had to endure to fix it. If not, long story short, it took me about a year to recover, thousands of dollars, and a heck of a lot of patience.
Fast forward ~ I finished my “gut rehab” and moved to Austin, TX. At the end of my “rehab,” I was supposed to go back into the doctor and get another round of testing done to ensure my health was where it needed to be. Silly me didn’t have time to do it before I left, and quite frankly, I didn’t want to spend the hundreds of dollars on exams that wouldn’t be super comfortable to complete. So, I skipped them.
After about 6 months of living in Austin, I started to realize that I still wasn’t feeling my best. I thought that SIBO had an ongoing effect on me. Since I wasn’t feeling ulcer-like pains in my belly, I thought we were all good to go despite the other ongoing symptoms.
Still to this day, I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a meal (or snack) and felt fine. My belly’s always in discomfort and I have the fear of eating something and feeling like I gained 10 pounds of bloat just from taking a bite. Oh, what I would give to have my gut from my high school years back.
I decided to visit a naturopathic again, here in Austin. I got three rounds of blood work done, two urine tests, and one stool test. From there, I found out I had leaky gut, which was most likely caused/played a part in my whole SIBO track.
If you don’t know what leaky gut is, it’s where the cells in your gut are inflamed enough that food particles leak into your bloodstream. Not only does this have various other health effects, it also makes you feel like absolute trash.
I still experience bloating, various digestive issues, brain fog, tiredness constantly, and, well, very similar to SIBO just without the small intestinal pain.
The next step was to get more blood work done to see what was making it into my bloodstream. Random foods like coconut (which I consumed a lot of), wheat, peas, and even turkey heavily showed up in my blood.
After getting my results back, I had to do a full gut reset. For 30 days, I had to eat a keto-based diet while eliminating all foods that showed up in my blood. Realistically, you’re supposed to do this for about 6-9 months to fully restore your gut linings. But, if you choose, after the 30 days are up, you’re able to test restricted foods back into your diet ~ just don’t go overboard.
Of course, that’s what I did and am now having to go back and redo the sequence all over again. You live and you learn amiright?
As of right now, I have to go in and get MORE blood tests done to see where my gut is at. If things are decent, I carry out what I am doing and I start rebuilding my healthy gut microbiome. If things are bad, we go back to ground zero.
All I have to say is, LISTEN TO YOUR GUT.
If you feel weird or out of place, get checked and don’t take no for an answer. If I could go back, I would have visited a naturopathic sooner instead of living with the constant pains and effects that carried throughout a few years. I wouldn’t have listened to the doctors that told me I was “fine” again and again.
Cause guess what?
You’re the only one that feels what you go through. You’re the only one that’s truly looking out for yourself ~ especially when it comes to a doctor you may not know. Don’t take no for an answer. You may save yourself years, pain, money, and the damage that may never go away.
One thing that helped me throughout my journey was tracking my symptoms. I would write down how I felt each day, the problems I was having (or not having), and the precursors that could have caused negative effects on my body. When I went to the doctor, I would show the whole roadmap to her to give more of an idea of the effects I was having and things I didn’t understand.
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Keep chugging on girlies (or boyizes).