My journey through healing SIBO naturally was not a straight-forward path. Back when my SIBO symptoms of acid reflux and bloating were at its worst, I didn’t even know what SIBO was.
All I knew was that I was becoming Perma bloated no matter what I ate. I also experienced annoying acid reflux if I ate my trigger foods such as bread. I had mild rosacea and inflammation in my skin as well.
These were my primary SIBO symptoms, yet I still had additional symptoms of poor fat digestion.
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I have always been a nutrition and health fanatic with a huge passion for learning about the body. But I was also curious about gut health and nutrition due to my symptoms.
The drive to find answers to my problems led me down the rabbit hole of gut health, genetics, nutrition, liver and gallbladder cleansing, parasite cleansing, etc. I also got certified as a Nutritional Therapy Consultant.
Some of my most profound health changes were a result of my own research through reading books and endless hours of listening to podcasts. The upside of my cleaning job is I had plenty of time to listen to podcasts.
My perspective became very broad as I listened and questioned everything I knew. I learned how to heal my SIBO naturally over many years.
So, my story is not a straight-forward path of the classic get tested, implement the SIBO diet, take antimicrobials, and your done. By the way, is it ever really that easy to heal SIBO?
The reason why I was able to heal from SIBO naturally and maintain my results is that I slowly improved my health bit by bit.
I addressed the root cause of my SIBO, which was a struggling liver and gallbladder. At times I made dietary changes, but I never implemented a strict low fodmap or SIBO diet.
Over many years I improved my gut health and overall health as I continued to learn. I was able to make small yet significant changes and maintain my results.
On the odd occasion I might experience mild bloating or acid reflux, but 99% of the time, I don’t get bloated or have acid reflux. I can even eat what used to be my trigger foods in small amounts without getting acid reflux or bloating. To me, that is true healing.
Being able to eat a diverse diet full of fiber and plant-based foods is crucial for optimal gut health. Following such restrictive diets long term to keep symptoms at bay is not necessary when true healing of SIBO occurs.
I also did not attack SIBO in the traditional way. Over many years I improved my health and healed from SIBO. My gauge was any improvement in feeling better, and being able to tolerate what used to be trigger foods.
I feel as though many people expect to overcome SIBO easily and quickly, but it can take time. A round of antimicrobials or antibiotics doesn’t always do the trick.
Many people implement the use of antimicrobials and the low fodmap diet or SIBO diet for far too long and significantly mess up the microbiome. It is crucial to address the root causes of SIBO alongside a SIBO protocol to prevent relapse.
My journey through healing SIBO naturally
First off, I would like to be clear that I never got tested for SIBO through the breath test. I self-diagnosed SIBO as the cause of my bloating and acid reflux, which are some of the most common SIBO symptoms.
My SIBO symptoms started to improve a couple of months after doing a food sensitivity test and candida test through bio-resonance testing. Small intestinal fungal overgrowth frequently occurs along with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
I decided to book in for a food sensitivity test as I was permanently bloated even after eating only a salad. At that time, I didn’t even know about the SIBO diet or low fodmap diet or even what SIBO was.
I wanted to make dietary changes that were specific to me, so I went to find out what food sensitivities I had.
The foods were rated on a scale of 0-3, with 3 representing the highest sensitivity.
Here is a list of foods that came back as 2’s and 3’s on my food sensitivity test.
- cheese (cow cheese, I was good with goats cheese)
- msg (soy sauce)
- refined sugar
- kefir grains
I also tested for candida, where my results were a 4/6. The practitioner informed me that high candida levels could be part of the reason why I was feeling bloated.
Getting the food sensitivity test was clarifying and helped me to pay attention to how I felt if I ate the foods that I was on my food sensitivity list.
The bio-resonance food sensitivity was accurate in identifying my problematic foods as below were the symptoms I was able to associate with each food.
When my acid reflux was at its worst, wheat such as bread was almost always a guaranteed trigger for acid reflux.
MSG in soy sauce made my hands, eyes, and face puffy. Through genetic testing, I have found out that I don’t metabolize soy sauce and soy products very well.
My trigger foods that worsened my SIBO symptoms
Lactose is a high FODMAP milk sugar that causes bloating when fermented in the small intestine.
I didn’t notice that cheese was very problematic, but it is high in fat, and I had poor fat digestion.
Fermented beverages from kefir grains made me extremely bloated, even after only drinking ¼ cup. When bacteria have overgrown in the small intestine, not all probiotics are beneficial and can aggravate symptoms.
Following the food sensitivity and candida testing, I decided to eliminate my food sensitivities and ditched the sugar to get rid of candida.
For one month, I avoided my food sensitivities, eliminated processed sugar, and took a probiotic for candida with caprylic acid. Within a month, I was able to reduce my candida levels to a 3/6 instead of a 4/6, but I was still feeling bloated and had a long way to go.
At this point, I got tested for parasites using the bio-resonance machine. The results came back positive for five types of parasites. I had a travel history to Central and South America.
Supplements I used for candida, parasites and healing SIBO naturally
I did a 6-week parasite cleanse using Paratrex from Global Healing Center, which contains:
- black walnut
- diatomaceous earth
- clove bud
- fulvic acid
I took the recommended capsules for two weeks with a four day break every 14 days for six weeks. It is essential to take the herbal parasite capsules for a minimum of six weeks to kill parasites throughout each lifecycle stage.
I also intermittently took oil of oregano, which has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
The paratrex parasite cleanse and oil of oregano helped to kill both the parasites and candida.
While I did not know that I had SIBO at the time as I had never heard of it, I’m sure it worked to knock down my SIBO as well.
Neem, clove, and oil of oregano are antimicrobials that are effective for SIBO as well.
When I went back to get my candida levels checked after doing the parasite cleanse, candida diet, and avoidance of food sensitivities, my candida levels had dropped down to 1/6. I was feeling less bloated and was happy with my results.
The liver and gallbladder flush for SIBO, bloating and acid reflux
Another critical part of my healing journey that improved my gut health and acid reflux was doing the liver and gallbladder flush by Andreas Moritz.
I did four liver and gallbladder flushes in total over a year and at the same time as I was working on reducing my candida.
The liver and gallbladder flush was the most satisfying cleanse I have done as you get to see gallbladder stones come out in your stool if you have them. My first liver and gallbladder flush yielded the most stones. By my 4th flush, I no longer had any gallbladder stones.
After doing my fourth liver and gallbladder flush, I remember noticing that I hardly ever got acid reflux. I wondered if a sluggish gallbladder and liver were somehow connected to my acid reflux. Now I know it was.
I also noticed increased energy levels, less bloating, very regular healthy bowel movements, and better fat digestion.
My stools would usually float and be loose, but right after doing my last liver and gallbladder flush, I noticed that my stools were well-formed and sinking due to better fat digestion. I remember thinking, damn, my digestion and bowel movements are on point!
When I look back now, I can see why the liver and gallbladder flush worked to reduce my bloating and acid reflux while also improving my bowel movements and fat digestion.
A sluggish liver and gallbladder was the root cause of my SIBO and acid reflux. Although I still had not connected all the dots and made the connection.
At this point in my healing journey, I was feeling good and had seen some significant improvements in my health.
But this was still just the beginning. I had so much more to learn as I did not know anything about SIBO yet. I still had to learn about the connection between genetics, a sluggish gallbladder, and SIBO. Although, I was starting to connect all the dots.
How I ultimately healed from SIBO
A few years after doing my food sensitivity test, I noticed that corn chips and bananas were a trigger for mild acid reflux.
In one podcast I was listening to the speaker mentioned that fiber could cause acid reflux if SIBO was present due to fermentation in the small intestine.
This caught my attention and was how I was able to pinpoint SIBO as the cause of my acid reflux. I also got very interested in SIBO as I was sure this was part of the reason why I used to get so bloated.
Banana’s corn chips and potatoes are all high in resistant starches which bacteria ferment upon. This is great for the microbiome in the colon but not in my case where I still had too much bacteria in the small intestine.
Soon after this aha moment I came across Dr. Ben Lynch and his information on genetics through another podcast. He mentioned the connection between SNPs in the PEMT gene, a sluggish gallbladder, and SIBO.
In short someone with a dirty PEMT gene or SNPs in the PEMT gene can have a sluggish gallbladder and thus poor bile flow. A key property of bile that no one is talking about is that bile is antimicrobial and helps to prevent SIBO.
I just knew that this was related to me, so I went out and bought Sunflower lecithin to support my PEMT gene and sluggish gallbladder. The phosphatidylcholine found in sunflower lecithin worked like magic.
Overnight my loose stools became well-formed and turned almost black for a few days. It was like my liver and gallbladder were finally able to rid itself of built-up toxins once the bile was able to flow better from my gallbladder.
I continued to take sunflower lecithin for 1 month and was feeling good. My mild acid reflux was almost gone when I ate my trigger foods but not quite.
In another video, Dr. Ben Lynch mentioned that taking ox bile on an empty stomach was like dropping a bomb on SIBO due to the antimicrobial properties of bile.
Since I had done antimicrobial herbs in the past, I decided I would give the ox bile a try to see if it worked to kick the last bit of my SIBO symptom of acid reflux. Lo, and behold in 1 month, I was able to eat potato, banana, and corn chips again without getting acid reflux.
While I never tested for SIBO through the breath test, I did go to another bio-resonance practitioner and asked her to use the bio-resonance machine to test if SIBO was an issue.
The machine noted that SIBO was present, and when the practitioner put my pads connected to the machine on the top part of my abdomen for a session, it started making growling bubbly noises. I forgot to mention that ever since I was a young girl, my stomach would always make grumbling noises after eating.
I did my bio-resonance session when I had just started taking the sunflower lecithin. This session confirmed for me that I was on track and that indeed I did have some small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
To this day, I have been able to maintain my results without having to continue to restrict my diet or take antimicrobials. If anything, I feel my best and can eat a more diverse diet than when I initially started on my health journey years ago.
I truly believe that addressing my liver and gallbladder as the root cause of my SIBO was the silver lining for my ultimate success in healing SIBO.
Resources for healing SIBO naturally
In some way, I hope that my story helps you along your SIBO journey. I know SIBO can be tough to overcome especially when the root cause is not addressed. Here are some SIBO resources to help you along the way.
As you can see, my journey took a while and is not the healing SIBO story one might expect, but it is also why I know what I know now. I would not take my healing SIBO journey back as I have learned so much profound and life-changing information along the way.
While it took me years to learn everything about healing SIBO naturally, I now have the tools to keep myself as healthy as possible and free of the annoying SIBO symptoms.
If you are struggling with SIBO Dr Nirala Jacobi from the SIBO Doctor has a very informative patient SIBO success course to beat SIBO for good. This course covers
- additional underlying causes of SIBO
- testing for SIBO
- Symptoms of SIBO
- types of SIBO
- biphasic SIBO diet
- antimicrobials for SIBO
and much more!
Dr Nirala Jacobi has been my go-to resource for information on SIBO. There is so much to know about SIBO and the SIBO success plan covers all the essentials that you need to know about SIBO so you can beat SIBO for good.