The Importance of Finding Your (G)Root Cause

Hello my little SIBO-ers!


Punny, aren’t I?

It’s been a long time.

A lot has happened! I made it through herbal antibiotics (UGH, what a poopy experience), I watched as many videos as I could from the SIBO Summit, I read and read and read some more, I turned 23, I tried to stop thinking about SIBO for a little bit, I took a stool and MRT test, I began taking Digestacure, I got engaged, and I am finally back here with you to share in my journey of all things SIBO.

It’s been a wild ride… but I’m still alive.

Lately, I’ve been reflecting over my time with SIBO. Just thinking about how much has changed. About how much I have learned and emotionally accepted. How I had to go through the grief stages (and still do).

How I became obsessive and read and watched and listened to everything about SIBO. I became really angry that I had an illness and that God would allow this to happen to me. I thought for a time that I could cure myself in a couple of months. I became depressed and I hated my 23rd birthday and I just wanted one day where I could eat something I wanted to without spending the night on the bathroom floor. I pretended it didn’t exist, tried to think about other things, and ate a gluten-free pizookie, leading to immediate regret.

And then I got some sense of normalcy. Realizing that this was just my life for a while and it was okay. I think everyone kind of needs to go through that.

I hate waiting. I hate it a lot. I’m not blessed with the gift of patience.

Just ask my fiance 😉

Looking back, I am glad I was able to sort through all of that grief and emotion. But it still really, really sucked to get through. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I hope I can be an encouragement to and help anyone else who is going through this awful, awful thing.

Anywho, in the midst of all the emotions… I waited and I prayed. Then there was more waiting. And more praying…. and I decided that instead of spending hundreds of dollars on antibiotics, herbal antimicrobials, or an elemental diet (although let me tell you I begged both of my doctors to let me try this option because I was so over it), I decided that the best option for me was to get some testing done.

After seeing [literally] thousands of people on the SIBO Facebook Group talk about how many times they have relapsed, how they went through 8 rounds of antibiotics, and how miserable they are, I just did not want to live that way. I knew there just had to be a better way to go about making sure SIBO was gone for good. Even if the road was longer.

I knew it’d be a pain and that it wouldn’t be cheap, because most western medicine doctors don’t believe SIBO exists, or don’t know what to do with it. And the lovely human beings that are Dr. Pimentel, Siebecker, and countless others are continuing to research this tricky little thing because there’s still much we have to learn about it.

But, ultimately, I knew that if I knew why I had SIBO in the first place… I would then likely be able to prevent getting it again (I hoped and prayed). So I opted to start with a stool test (testing for parasites, H Pylori, iGA, and other gut bacteria) as well as a food sensitivity test (the Mediator Release Test) that showed me what foods and chemicals I was reactive to.

And I am SO excited I did. Those two tests alone gave me so much insight into what is going on with me and my body.

Sidenote: The MRT test is meant to show you which foods are causing inflammation in your body temporarily. Once your gut heals, you should no longer have a problem with most of these foods. Talk to your doctor, naturopath, chiro, FDN-P to see if this is the right step for you. 

After getting the results back, my FDN-P and I learned a lot! We realized that I have some dysbiotic flora: Klebsiella oxytoca, strep, and citrobacter. As well as an H Pylori infection that came back negative through the Doctor’s Data stool test (I ordered through my old naturopath). My FDN-P was irked that the one he ordered me didn’t have quantitative data because she was worried I could be right on the cusp (even though it came back negative) and I could still have an infection, but she said originally that we would move forward as if I didn’t. UNTIL I tried to remove salicylates from my diet (one of my MRT sensitive chemicals) and I showed classic trademark symptoms of an H Pylori Infection.

[The main symptom being having difficulty breathing.]

Not only that… but Klebsiella oxytoca is a hallmark bacteria for autoimmune disease. My FDN-P was thrilled that we were catching it this early to avoid the possibility of autoimmune disease. And while my body certainly isn’t healthy, it is definitely still putting up a fight with all of my high iGA levels.

I’ve learned that my 3 dysbiotic bacteria, along with an H Pylori infection, caused the perfect storm for SIBO. And rather than trying to treat the SIBO, regulating and killing off these bad bacteria will help take care of the SIBO as a side effect, while what we’re truly doing is getting at the root cause (so NO RELAPSES)!

I’ll save my protocol for another post – but I just had to share.

I am giddy.

These aren’t 5 different autoimmune diets, supplements, oils, or antibiotics I’m trying. These tests are the results of what is happening in MY body. There is something so exciting about that. About just knowing what it is. NAMING it. Knowing that although it may take months, a year, or years… there is hope for healing!

There is hope for a life without the fear of relapsing. There is hope to know exactly which foods are bothering you. There is hope to not feel like you can’t get out of bed everyday. There is hope to live a normal life again.

This is what can happen when you take the time (and plan financially) to make this a priority. It’s a huge, huge, huge blessing and answer to prayer. It’s taken me some time because all the testing wasn’t cheap. I couldn’t have done it without my support system and relying on the Lord. But I am so happy I did.

Everyone needs to go on their own journey. And I respect that. I respect the person that tries an elemental diet 4 times. Or has never touched an antibiotic in their life (they probably don’t have SIBO though, lol). I know I haven’t been on my SIBO journey long, but I’ve been on the gut-illness one for 3 years and I can tell you this is the best decision I’ve ever made.

Take the tests. Find the answers. Break the cycle.


5 thoughts on “The Importance of Finding Your (G)Root Cause

  1. I have SIBO. I was diagnosed about 6 months ago and have been on a rocky journey ever since. I’ve done 3 rounds of Rifaximin and herbal antibiotics, but I keep relapsing every time I go off them and start the SIBO recovery diet. My naturopath has hope that she can cure me, but it’s so so so hard not to give up hope. It’s an emotional battle every day, and I wish I could just stay on the antimicrobials forever. I’ve never heard of any of the testing you’ve had done, but I’m very intrigued. I thought that SIBO was the root of the problem, but it sounds like there’s a lot of underlying causes that should be addressed first? I wonder if I should bring this up to my naturopath, and I also wonder why she’s never suggested doing any of this. 😦 How did you go about getting these tests done?


    • Hi Hannah!

      I’m so sorry to hear that. SIBO really is the worst + no fun at all. I know plenty of people that are cured from SIBO after doing several rounds of antibiotics/elemental/etc. So I don’t think she’s wrong! But with SIBO, there is usually some sort of underlying cause for why you got it in the first place. So until that is addressed, I think you’ll always face the threat of relapse. My naturopath was just not working for me. I didn’t respect him for several reasons, the main reason being because I didn’t feel like we were working as a team. He wasn’t hearing me/my concerns. I wanted someone who was on my team to help me make the best decision for ME and not someone who just followed the same protocol for every person they worked with that had SIBO. So I found someone I respected much more (who has gone through all of this herself) and she encouraged me to do some testing and figure out what was going on. I would approach your naturo with your concerns. You could tell her you’re tired of trying the antibiotics + you want to try a different approach and see what she says? Some naturos can be so dead-set on following the SIBO protocol, but it’s such an individualistic illness that you really have to look at the whole person (their symptoms, genetics, personality, concerns, etc.).

      When I wasn’t seeing results, I asked my naturopath if we could get some testing done and he did order a stool test. However, throughout our time together, I realized we weren’t a good fit. After much prayer and deliberation, I decided that I needed a new “SIBO expert” and really along with testing I think a good naturo/chiro/FDN-P that you trust is also the key to healing and testing and finding all of that out. She recommended the food sensitivity test. And then we went over all of these results.

      Bottom line– A good doc should hopefully suggest these tests. If not, bring it up. If they’re for you + truly want to help be on your team, they should be willing to at least explore the possibility with you. If they’re writing you off as crazy/neurotic/they are not willing, I would highly consider working with someone else. That really made a world of difference for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so so much. This reply is so helpful to me. I’m definitely going to bring this up to her and see what she says. I also have celiac disease, and I wonder if there’s a correlation? The SIBO world is so confusing because there’s still so much research needed to be done. It really is so different for every person. Good luck on your journey. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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