I’ve tried a plethora of things to get relief from the gas and bloating caused by my SIBO:
- Stomach Ease tea (this actually did work but it contains malt flavoring, so had to cut it out when I went gluten free)
- Digestive bitters
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fennel seeds
- Slippery Elm
- Digestive enzymes
- Betaine HCL
All of these helped…somewhat. I never seemed to have consistent results with them, and some like the fennel and slippery elm are contraindicated for SIBO since they are FODMAPs and could actually fuel intestinal overgrowth.
The past month, however, I have been able to get more significant relief from two things:
- GT’s Kombucha / Ganeden BC30 probiotic
Ginger is a natural prokinetic agent, meaning it stimulates peristalsis of the small intestine. This is crucial for SIBO because it keeps food moving through the small intestine so it has less time to become fermented by bacteria and cause gas.
Since roasted carrots are one of the foods I tolerate right now, I’ve been adding a bunch of powdered ginger to them and I’ve noticed an improvement in my digestion. I also make homemade ginger ale by boiling slices of fresh ginger in water to make a concentrated tea. I add about a quarter cup to a glass with ice with a few drops of stevia extract, and top with club soda.
Sometimes, if I drink too much I get the “ginger burn”, but it doesn’t last very long and is a better discomfort than the bloating.
I’ve also tried mixing in a bit of powdered ginger with my coffee that I blend with coconut and cinnamon. The past couple days, though, I’ve noticed a slight upset stomach from that combo so I’m cutting it out this week to see if I notice any difference.
The second thing that seems to be working for me right now:
GT’s Kombucha / Ganeden BC30 Probiotic
I lump these two together because GT’s Kombucha adds the Ganeden BC30 probiotic to their product. After I noticed this, I bought just the probiotic and seem to have similar relief whether I drink the kombucha after meals, or take the probiotic before meals. I do like the Gingerade kombucha for the taste, though it does contain a bit of sugar which could make the SIBO worse, so I try not to drink it everyday. Plus, it’s expensive!
The Ganeden probiotic has actually been studied for IBS and found to provide significant relief for gas, bloating and other IBS symptoms. It’s also been studied for its effects on the immune system, among other things. All of their research is on their website, which is great. You can check it out here.
Probiotics are contraindicated for SIBO, so I may actually be making a wrong move with this. However, it seems to be helping me and at this point I’ll take what I can get for relief, so I’m trying not to stress out about whether it may be worsening the underlying cause, and just listen to my body and what works.
Note: Neither of these things help every time. But they do seem to help more than not, so I’m sticking with them for now until my body (once again) rebels and I have to seek a new way to get relief.
One last thing that work when I have really bad bloating: Phazyme. It actually works really well, but because it is an OTC drug I try to use it only when I am desperate. I haven’t looked into whether it may cause significant side effects with long-term use, but no drug is 100% safe so I err on the side of caution. But if you’re miserable with gas and bloating, it really may help.