Hi SIBO-ers and gutsy people!
This is a thing that is just so near + dear to my heart. I will try not to get on my soapbox too much, but I just feel so strongly about this because it has made such a difference for me in just a few short months.
I’ll get right to it.
Many readers have approached me since my last post saying that they had never even heard of these different tests. That their doctor was putting them on their fourth round of antibiotics (without exploring other options or doing further testing). They’ve done some tests, but not the ones I had mentioned. And they are still struggling to find what their root cause is, why they can’t get rid of their SIBO, and they are frustrated.
As they should be.
I had similar frustrations before finally finding my FDN-P that I love with my whole heart. My holistic specialist prior to her was nice enough. He would answer my questions, return my e-mails, he helped me diagnose my SIBO, and actually did recommend some testing done. I’m not bashing the guy. He knew his stuff well enough and I’m glad I started my health journey with him.
However, there was something that never really clicked with him. The language he used when speaking to me always felt a little condescending. Or maybe I’d ask a question and he’d spend ten minutes talking about something without really answering my question. He’d switch protocols on me in the middle of a protocol I was on. These were all just little things that weren’t a huge deal, but the part that bothered me the most was that he seemed to be dead set on whatever protocol he came up with, without including me in the decision.
I remember really fighting with myself, going back and forth, about whether I needed to find a new specialist. I had lost respect and trust in my holistic specialist, but I didn’t want to leave him unless I knew I could find another great specialist that would help me with my gut problems.
Sounds like a bad boyfriend, huh?
As I was on the fence, the SIBO Summit went live and I watched Angie Alt’s video on health coaching. 1 of the 40 minutes of her talk, she spoke on having a trusted health professional that would be a part of your team. And it was then I knew I had to find someone else.
Let me say this once: A great health professional is a part of your team.
That means– you’re not a project. You’re not $180 per Skype session. And you shouldn’t have the same protocol as every other patient that has SIBO, leaky gut, Lyme, Crohns, etc.
You’re a person. With different genes than everyone else. You have different hydrogen and methane levels than someone else does. You have different levels of vitamins and minerals in your body. You have different food sensitivities. You may or may not have parasites. Your igA levels may be low or high. You may have a slow MMC. Or it may not be a huge issue at all. You may do fine with avocados, while someone else can’t touch them.
So your health professional should be someone that knows that and uses every different facet and factor about you to help you. They should be someone that empowers you to make a decision together.
Goodness, what a difference it makes.
As I began my research, I found my FDN-P and knew from our first consultation I wanted to work with her because she said those exact words to me.
SIBO is such an individualistic illness that, while there is a general protocol to eliminate SIBO, there should be an emphasis on the whole person and what would be the best treatment plan for them given their whole being.
- I really hate swallowing pills. I have a small esophagus and I can feel it even if it’s a tiny little pill. The sensation really bothers my throat and triggers my gag reflex. My FDN-P takes that into account when we are looking for the best products for me, so we end up getting liquids or pills you can break and put into food or drink.
- Through an MRT test, we found out I am sensitive to a LOT of foods. This vastly makes a difference in all of the supplements I can or can’t take.
- My H Pylori stool test came back ‘negative’, but because my previous specialist had ordered the test, it didn’t come with quantitative data. She said I could be borderline and still have one, but we’d watch out for that. After having some symptoms after cutting out salicylates, she deduced that I may have it after all and we should just go ahead and cover our bases. When seeing my previous specialist, he had me taking Betaine HCL, which was making things worse since I had an H Pylori infection.
- When I first came to my FDN-P I was desperate + ill. I begged her to let me do an elemental diet. She explained (in a lengthy email) why she didn’t think that was the best option for me at the time, but we would definitely try it in different circumstances. I asked my previous specialist 4 times about it and he didn’t address my question once.
This is more a spur-of-the-moment and somewhat unorganized post, but it’s all to say:
If you feel like you should see a new specialist, you probably should.
Look, SIBO is newer. It’s a sucky little beast. And we, as SIBO-sufferers, have to do a lot of our own research. We often have to be our own doctors. Even the best health professionals don’t know your body as well as you do.
My main point though, is that whether they’re your yoga instructor, personal trainer, doctor, naturopath, chiropractor, nutritionist, etc…. they should be on your team. They should HELP you make decisions (not make them for you). And they should help you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Although I am not a SIBO expert by any means and I am currently still suffering with it, I can say that it makes a huge difference to know WHY I am taking the pills and supplements I am taking. I know exactly what they’re doing in my body. I know why I am eating (and not eating) the foods I am. And I am able to power through this sucky time because I know that these things are going to be good for my body and they’re going to target those dysbiotic bugs in my body.
I am more confident and more empowered to take on my health.
And thrilled to have found someone that I respect and enjoy working with.
Do you have a similar experience? Or did you find a health professional you enjoyed working with right away? Let me know below!