Welp, I shouldn’t really be surprised. After all this is an old, conventional MD. But still, he came with good recommendations so I had high hopes.
He came out to get me right at 2pm, my appointment time, which was a great start. He listened to my history and asked a good deal of questions. But then, the fatal statement that proved to me he was not up to date on SIBO research.
“I don’t believe you have SIBO because you aren’t having diarrhea.” He said this, mind you, right after looking at my lactulose breath test results showing a significant rise in both hydrogen and methane production. “I think all of your issues are due to the fact your bowels are not moving.”
At this point, I had two options.
- Try and educate him on SIBO-C, methane, and how to properly read a breath test, or
- Don’t bother with the above and listen see what he had to say about improving bowel motility.
I quickly assessed my options and went with number two.
I just can not seem to make myself an authority figure to doctors. For the most part, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve done the research. I even bring the studies with me to the office! But as soon as they say something that proves to me they haven’t read the latest research, I tend to think all is lost and there’s no point in educating them as they aren’t likely to change their minds anyway.
So I listened as he gave me the same information I’ve read on the internet as thousand time (eat more fiber, drink water, exercise, take fiber supplements and a laxative if needed). I tried to explain I’ve done all that (I was running an hour a day last year, same issues. I drink so much water I pee almost every hour. I have eaten up to 50 grams of fiber a day with no improvements. Ahhhhhh!!)
I told him I didn’t want to take a motility drug because I wanted to know why my bowels have stopped moving. The human body doesn’t just quit functioning properly for no reason. There’s always a reason!
Also, I am only 27. If I started the drugs now, it’s likely I’d have to take them for the rest of my life, which I hope to be for quite a few more years. And I don’t want that.
While he was very understanding about those concerns, he didn’t really have anything else to offer me. He said to try some of his recommendations and call him in a month.
He did offer me one solid piece of advice that I think may play a big part, if only I can implement it: Relax and have fun!
Stress can mess up the bowels, big time. And I’m certainly always stressed. Even though I love my job, my boyfriend, and my life as a whole is not stressful, I put so much stress on myself. To lose weight. To look better. To exercise better. To learn more. To do this, do that. Be creative, keep the apartment clean, find a house, where to live. I even stress myself out to have fun!
But even though I know stress is a part of it, it is not the whole of it. I still think SIBO and impaired colonic motility are a problem that needs to be fixed.
So here’s where I am now:
Luckily, knock on wood, the peppermint/fennel/ginger gels are still preventing most of my bloating and abdominal pain symptoms if I take them before a fibrous meal. The problem? They are giving me a false sense of hunger, so I am noticing I am eating more. And my weight is starting to creep up again. That’s unacceptable to me, (as well as another source of stress!)
However, I am going to continue with that supplement and try to keep my eating under control. I am also considering doing another round of herbal antibiotic protocol in conjunction with the peppermint gels. I don’t think it will hurt, and I also want to use up the remaining product that I have. Then, my plan is to get my functional doc to order another breath test so I can see where I am at.
If at that point I am still having symptoms and the breath test is positive, its time to bring out the big guns and find a SIBO expert, even if I have to go all the way out to Portland to do so.
If things are improved or the test comes back negative, then I’ll work on repairing and rebuilding my gut.
Until then, I am going to continue with the diet that I’ve been doing, but I think I may need to bring my protein intake down a bit and increase the fat intake. I’m considering adding collagen protein in the morning.
I might try a fiber supplement and see how that goes, though I have a strong feeling that my gut won’t care for it.