What is SIBO? How do you get SIBO? Why is SIBO bad? How to test for SIBO? And how do you cure yourself from the wee bastards?
What is SIBO?
SIBO stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Too many bad bugs where they don’t belong (in the small intestine.)
But noooo, they don’t want to stick to their own neighbourhood, the large intestine, because the small intestine is so much better.
The small intestine has a free smorgasbord of food! So, these bugs are over there having a party at the host’s expense. Hostess with the mostest, in my case.
They love carbs!
You can’t really blame them. I love carbs. Everyone hovers around the chip table at a party, so why wouldn’t they.
How do you get SIBO?
Well, if you’re me, you have super low stomach acid.
These bad bugs don’t like acid rain on their parade. Normal levels of stomach acid seem to keep them in check.
Also, stress seems to cause it. Or stress causes low HCL. Either way it’s a vicious cycle.
I may have had a few stresses my whole damn life, but particularly the last few years.
Or it could’ve been that one time in Mexico when I ate a street taco (not a prostitute) and had food poisoning for three days.
I shit the bed — literally — for three days. Fortunately, I’d already managed to seduce a much older man with a banana-shaped penis a few days beforehand, so he stuck around to clean the sheets.
I should write another memoir now that My Little Mom can’t be embarrassed. (Do people who’ve transitioned over to Heaven get embarrassed??)
So, why is SIBO bad?
You might develop leaky gut syndrome.
In AJ’s simplified lingo, this means that the protective mucus-y film of your gut lining gets thin and then gaps form where undigested food particles slip through and sneak into your blood stream causing your body’s police squad to attack said food stuff.
If you’re a doctor reading this, just know that I’m doing my best to ‘splain this in layman’s terms, not in accuracy terms.
So, yeah, the party gets out of hand and the cops are confused on who to arrest and are chasing the wrong guys.
In practical terms, this could show up looking like (I’ve checked the symptoms I’ve had):
- Insomnia √
- Brain fog √
- Chronic fatigue √
- Depression √
- Anxiety √
- Bloating (damn you, broccoli √)
- Constipation √, or it’s opposite, the Hershy Squirts
- Excessive gas
- Hair loss (from lack of nutrient absorption) √
- Whatever else lack of nutrient absorption causes (excessive medical bills √)
- Celiac disease
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome — hey, I’d be cranky, too)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Other terrible things I can’t readily remember
How to Test for SIBO?
Go to a naturopath. Because a doctor is just going to tell you that you’re a hypochondriac, again, and send you out the door disappointed.
You’ll do a breath test. (Don’t worry, you have time to let the liquor escape your system.)
Anyway, you do a strict no carb diet the day before the breath test, basically starving the little beasts and then on breath test morning, you drink this super sugary-type substance and feed the lot of them while they’re totally Jonesing for glucose.
If you’ve got SIBO, the cagy bastards will be farting up a storm, which magically shows up in your breath.
Then you breath into a bunch of little tubes every 20 minutes for three hours, take it to the clinic and wait for the results.
How to cure SIBO?
Sing: Bad bugs bad bugs whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you …
The naturopath gives you a choice of antibiotics or natural antibiotics. I went with natural.
Then you eat garbage for six weeks because you need to keep them alive while nuking them or they’ll make like vampires and go dormant.
This is the glorious phase of carbs and sugar and dairy and everything yummy.
If they are sufficiently eradicated after six weeks, you move on to the restricted food phase where you wonder if going bald and having eternal eye bags and dark circles would really be so bad after all.
No carbs. No sugar. No lactose-full dairy.
Can I just have —
What about —
Not even a litt —
Sad face. Thoughts of cohabitation with the enemy.
But at the time of this writing, I’m only beginning week 2 of the joyous part of the program, and I’ve got to say, I might be ready to release my love of carbs by the end of this.
I mean how many grilled cheese sammiches can a girl eat? (Don’t answer that.)
The SIBO Summary
In the long run, this is not a good thing to have. If fact, it’s no good in the short run. Not that I run. I don’t. Eww.
How can I state this in a way that will make sense from an AJ perspective…
Oh, ok, SIBO will unnaturally age a woman because lack on nutrients does not provide lustrous shampoo commercial hair or dewy, youthful skin.
And laying around due to lack of energy will not a round booty make.
Plus, flatulence is not the new black.
Um, if there are any men reading this, I do no pass gas. Sideways glance.
That’s my story and I’m stinking to it.
OMG, people, I’ve been at this SIBO food reintroduction phase for, like, everrr.
The SIBO Food Reintroduction Phase
After you starve the bad bugs for another month then you start adding foods back one at a time, in a specific sugar-type order.
If there are no symptoms, you up the anti by eating a bit more of it. Repeat three times.
If there are symptoms, wait three days and try again. Repeat three times.
Either way, wait three days then move on to the next sugar-type food.
Who the F knew avocados had a kind of sugar???
There are 10 different types of food groups to test. This process takes for-fucking-ever. (Especially since I keep cheating and have to start over.)
So far I have mild reactions to lactose (most dairy), fructose (mangos, honey), sorbitol (blackberries, peach, avocado); even worse, wheat gives me nightmares, insomnia, and headaches!
I have yet to test foods related to mannitol (mushrooms, cauliflower, sweet potato), onions, garlic, and galacto-oligo-saccharides (beans).
The irony is that even when I eventually figure out what’s what in my gut, ima still eat everything because …
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