What is SIBO?

Do you suffer from mysterious bloating, GI issues, brain fog, or fatigue?

These are just a few of the countless symptoms in people with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). 

SIBO is the pesky little condition that is affecting 84% of IBS patients and non-IBS patients alike. It’s a condition in which you have excess bacteria in the small intestine (rather than being in the large intestine). It can cause many of those IBS-type symptoms, although the symptom list looks pretty vast among SIBO patients:

  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Distended Stomach
  • Acid Reflux
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Rashes
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Malabsorption
  • Insomnia

But I think all SIBO patients can agree, that the biggest issue for us is: BLOATING.

Oh, the bloat. It’s somewhat of a mixture between feeling 7 months pregnant, but also like a balloon that you’ve inflated just a bit too much. And every time you get to burp or pass gas it is a relief because you’re letting a little bit of “air” out.

And I’m not just trying to be funny, you really are!

There are two main kinds of gas that are present in those with SIBO:

Hydrogen and Methane.

(And newly announced and being discussed is Hydrogen Sulfide.)

Now, don’t panic! It’s nothing to be alarmed about. In those with SIBO, there is just an excess amount of these gases being emitted. The higher the gas levels (in parts per million), usually the more severe your case of SIBO tends to be.

For example, my numbers were very low, even what some doctors may consider borderline, and I never experienced the frequent stomach distention that so many with SIBO deal with. I definitely suffer, but due to underlying causes, rather than SIBO itself.

So, how do you even end up with this odd condition that most people have never heard of?

Here are a few risk factors and underlying causes.

Causes and Risk Factors

Bacteria is a great thing for our tummies. We need it to survive, thrive, fight off infections, and… you get the gist. The problem comes in when we have TOO much bacteria in the wrong place. We usually see most bacteria in our large intestine, not in the small.

Here are some ways we can see our bacteria count going up TOO much:

  • Stress. It’s my personal opinion that this is what most SIBO cases are caused by. Unmanaged chronic stress or trauma. Trauma doesn’t have to be “abuse” either. It can be a single incident like an accident. Or great parents that got divorced and you receiving less of their attention.
  • Prolonged use of antibiotics. Antibiotics are a wonderful tool for serious illnesses, but they’re not necessary every time we have a fever. Antibiotics destroy your good bacteria along with the bad bacteria present. And now we’re seeing bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics and the rise of chronic illness is higher than ever before. As someone who took yearly antibiotics growing up, this was definitely a factor for me.
  • Low stomach acid. 20-44% of the U.S. population is suffering with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you’re like me, you’re one of the lucky few suffering the Larynpharyngeal Reflux Disease. A doctor’s first answer is usually proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a medication that reduces stomach acid and a risk factor for SIBO, which may alleviate symptoms for some, but long-term are damaging because you NEED stomach acid to properly break down and digest your food.
  • Dysmotility. When the muscles of your digestive system slow down or malfunction, you’re going to experience some issues with being “regular”. And if food waste sits in your small intestine, instead of being eliminated, your bacteria count can go up as it feeds on the waste.
  • Poor functioning migrating motor complex. This is a system in your body that “sweeps” out food that doesn’t kick in until 1.5 hours after you’ve last eaten. If not working properly, you can run into that waste problem again.
  • Autoimmunity or disease. Conditions like Celiac, Crohn’s, and other autoimmune issues can set up poor digestive function and make it easy for SIBO to occur on top of already existing issues.
  • Structural alterations. This could be anything from obstructions in the intestines to backward migrations. Listen to SIBO expert Alison Siebecker speak more on that here.

Really, there’s a whole slew of risk factors that can contribute to someone’s SIBO. It is always important to do some reflection to figure out what some of your risk factors may be, but I wouldn’t sweat what you can’t change. Knowledge is always key–so you’re not making poor health choices, but the best thing to do is move forward with this knowledge!

Before you can begin to do that, if you’re beginning to think these symptoms sound like you and you’ve experienced some of these risk factors, it’s time to test for SIBO.

Testing for SIBO

Currently, the most accurate way to test for SIBO is a breath test.

NOT a stool test.

(Sometimes a blood antibodies test on rare occasion.)

That is across the board the consensus on every SIBO expert in the field, book, blog, and podcast in between. So, if your health professional is suggesting something else, a conversation may be in order.

It is a fairly non-invasive test. The patient will eat a particular diet for 24-48 hours that is very bland and won’t cause any of those hydrogen or methane gases to skyrocket. Then, the patient will drink some sort of sugar solution. Usually, it is lactulose or glucose. Lactulose seems to be the most popular and effective testing method.

(Warning: This may/may not cause a reaction in some people. It is often prescribed as a laxative for those suffering with constipation. I did fine with it during the test, but had explosive diarrhea once when I was taking it weeks prior to testing for SIBO.)

The patient will then breath air samples into 10 different tubes about every 20 minutes (all while not eating) and the test lasts about a total of 3 hours.

You’ll need a doctor to be able to order the test for you (and you’ll want one to help you accurately determine the results).

This is where I ordered mine from. The test is $180.

Then, the results take 2-3 weeks to get back.

Treatment Options

Now, of course, the reason you’re probably reading this is post is because you either suspect or just found out you have SIBO and you want to get rid of it and you need to know how.

There are three traditional routes that you can take for treatment, but before we get into them, there’s something important I want you to hear:

SIBO is NOT a diagnosis. It’s not even your main problem. There is an underlying reason you got SIBO in the first place.

This is important to note because as we begin to talk treatment options and you scour the internet for information, you’ll find that people go through rounds upon rounds upon rounds of different antibiotics only to find themselves relapsing with SIBO again and again. It can be extremely disheartening for someone newly “diagnosed” because they think they will have to live with this forever when that is NOT the case.

Many people have asked what I’ve done to address my SIBO. I did ONE round of traditional SIBO treatment and after that I stopped–because I wanted to make sure I took care of the reason I ended up with SIBO in the first place, rather than doing a course of treatment every time SIBO reared it’s head.

No option is “right”. Everyone is different. If I had a more severe case of SIBO, I may have done more rounds of treatment to alleviate my symptoms until it was time to begin being my own health detective. This is just something to note before you go down this road and question why you aren’t getting better and it continues to come back up.

Let’s take a look at the most commonly used treatment options for SIBO.

  • Pharmaceutical antibiotics. You may be wondering why this would be a solution when a risk factor for SIBO is antibiotics. Rifaximin, the main antibiotic prescribed, is actually different than most antibiotics. It is non-systemic, meaning it stays in the intestines and doesn’t carry into the bloodstream. Neomycin, the drug prescribed when methane is present, also has this effect. A course is taken for about 2 weeks (and are pretty expensive for some individuals). No matter how “gentle”, this will still affect your good gut flora, so make sure you know this before you decide to go this route.
  • Herbal antibiotics or antimicrobials. A more natural alternative to antibiotics. This is the route I went. For this treatment option, you’re taking things like Allicin (garlic), Berberine, Oregano, Neem, and even Cinnamon to treat your SIBO. A course of herbal antibiotics lasts around 3 weeks and are more affordable than pharmaceuticals (unless your insurance covers pharmaceuticals). This option is just as effective and they’re less prone to antibiotic resistance. However, even herbal antibiotics can still kill off good bacteria. Something to think about as you are deciding the protocol that is right for you.
  • Elemental diet. Often a “last result” for those that are desperate, this is a 2-3 week protocol where you ingest nothing but a liquid formula of predigested nutrients. The idea is to starve the bacteria, but keep you alive. It is one of the more effective treatment options and tempting for people like myself who aren’t having great results with other treatment options–however, it can be very difficult for people post-treatment to re-introduce food. Many patients also end up with a yeast overgrowth afterwards. So, talk to your health professional about if they think this is a good option for you or not.

And the “secret sauce” to any treatment option is…

Diet

Your diet can’t “cure” your SIBO, but it certainly can alleviate symptoms and reduce inflammation. Inflammation is the root behind most disease, so why not try a less inflammatory diet?

When SIBO is present, the excess bacteria like to feed on carbohydrates. Most of the diets that are suggested to alleviate SIBO symptoms focus on monosaccharides, simple sugars, and foods that are very easy to digest. There is no “right” diet or one-size-fits-all. It all depends on you, what you feel led to, and how you do on the diet.

These diets are all meant to be temporary. 

Please don’t stay on these diets for years to come. That’s not what they’re meant for. I understand if you can’t afford working with a nutritionist, but I’d highly recommend becoming your own health advocate and experimenting with reintroduction. Keep a food journal (the app Cara) is great for that. And document your food and symptoms.

A large variety in our diet is what helps our gut microbiome and good bacteria thrive. So don’t restrict too long!

As someone who has been dealing with chronic health issues over the last 4 years, these are the most popular diets I have seen in regards to alleviating SIBO symptoms.

  • The Low FODMAP Diet. Low Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. That’s what FODMAP stands for! But you don’t have to remember all that. This is probably the most popular diet amongst IBS patients, probably due to it being one of the least restrictive. Here is a great grocery list and resource if you decide to try Low FODMAP.
  • Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This diet is near and dear to my heart because there was a cool God story behind it. I felt very led to this diet and found it less restrictive than other suggested diets. It was during this diet that I documented as much as I could and began to learn as much as I could about listening to my body. There are several great resources for this diet including Facebook groups, the “SCD bible”, and a host of websites.
  • The SIBO Specific Diet. This one was created by SIBO expert, Dr. Allison Siebecker. It is a combination of Low FODMAP + SCD. I found this diet too restricting and tedious for me to follow, but others follow it with success. Here is the food guide she has created.
  • The Biphasic Diet. This diet was created by SIBO expert, Dr. Nirala Jacobi. It has had large success with her patients in Australia and Rebecca Coomes has some phenomenal cookbooks out that follow the biphasic diet.

You are, of course, not limited to these diets. I have firsthand see others who have had large success with the Fast Tract diet, AIP, Paleo, GAPS, etc. Just pick one and try it!

There are other factors involved in treatment, such as taking a prokinetic to stimulate proper motility functioning in your body. But for the sake of keeping this overview general and not TOO overwhelming, we’ll leave it here.

If you are wanting to learn more about SIBO, here are some wonderful resources you can start using and listening to today:

  1. The Healthy Gut Podcast. One of my favorite podcasts in regards to health and SIBO. Rebecca Coomes interviews loads of health experts and it is worth a listen.
  2. Dr. Allison Siebecker’s Website. This gal is my favorite. She is the leading SIBO expert, along with Dr. Mark Hyman and she’s got some great resources lying around on her site.
  3. The SIBO Solution. One of the first books on SIBO–I love this comprehensive guide to SIBO. It is so easy to read and understand. It is excellent for anyone struggling with SIBO, but especially newbies!
  4. Healthy Gut, Healthy You. This is more of a comprehensive guide by Dr. Michael Ruscio. It is huge and might be overwhelming for a beginner, but this addresses so much more than just “SIBO”. He talks gut health, meta-analyses, studies, and how to have a healthy gut. I am such a fan of this book and would say it is definitely worth the read.
  5. The SIBO SummitThis is one of THE BEST resources available. Shivan Sarna gets all SIBO and gut health experts get together to talk SIBO. I have learned so much from these summits and can’t wait to attend this year’s summit!

I hope this resources help. As always, comment below with any questions or if you need further assistance. Stay strong, SIBO warriors!

Fruitless Chocolate Protein Shake

Hello, health warriors!

How are you doing?

I wish we could meet face-to-face and create these recipes, go on walks, and do some yoga together. But for now, we’ll have to settle for online friendship.

Many of you are curious as to what I eat on a regular basis. I love me a good smoothie, or shake, for breakfast. In liquid form, they’re already broken down, which takes chewing out of the equation and creates an opportunity for your body to more easily digest your meal.

So, if you’re interested in a liquid breakfast, what should you have?

You can blend pretty much everything, right?

Well, for a while, I loved me a good fruit smoothie (and I still do). With SIBO, I had no issues with fruit. In fact, it really helped me go to the bathroom, if you know what I’m saying.

But recently, I have felt a little queasy after my morning fruit smoothies. After a few mornings of this, I decided to listen to my body and do something different. I got on a call with my nutritionist and she recommended adding more proteins and fats!

Did you know fruit is actually a carbohydrate

That may be why some of you with SIBO may not respond super well to fruits, depending on the current condition of your gut.

If you don’t seem to tolerate fruit, or you just want to reduce your intake a little, I’ve been experimenting with this super tasty fruitless protein shake.

As always please modify to your level of toleration. Remember, our microbiomes are not created equally. So, especially if you’ve never used these supplements, practice titration and start SLOW. (Although, I did very well with them and collagen and protein are both known to be extremely effective at healing and sealing the gut.)

Ingredients:

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Instructions:

  1. Blend ingredients, add 2 ice cubes, and enjoy! Note: If you use gelatin, I tend to add it last because it tends to get gelatinous the longer it sits. You can use whatever you have on hand. And for the milk as well! This is so yummy + healing for your gut.

Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you try it.

Gut-Healing Banana Smoothie

Have you ever had the stomach bug?

The. Worst.

What about a gastritis flare up? Just feeling a little queasy? Constipated? Or maybe you can’t keep much down?

I know that feel all too well and it can be a little anxiety-provoking to reintroduce food. Especially if the “BRAT” diet you’re supposed to follow doesn’t work for you if you have a digestive disorder and can’t tolerate rice or toast.

I created this very plain, but tasty banana smoothie this week after a nasty gastritis flare. And it was so yummy! Plus, I felt great hours later. Once you think you are past the “hump”, so to speak, and are ready to try food again, here is a very simple smoothie recipe you can try and let me know how you did with it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Frozen Bananas
  • 1-2 Cups of Homemade Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Scoop of Ancient Nutrition’s Bone Broth Protein (you can order here)
  • 1 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon
  • Honey

Info:

  • Bananas: rich in potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6. Supports digestion, heart health, blood pressure, it’s high in fiber, and iron to prevent anemia.
  • Coconut Milk: loaded with manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium. Lowers blood pressure/cholesterol, builds muscle, provides electrolytes, improves digestion, manages blood sugar, prevents ulcers, and prevents joint inflammation and arthritis.
  • Bone Broth Protein: rich in collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine. Protects joints, supports digestion, maintain healthy skin + nails, supports immune system function, and aids in detoxification.
  • Ceylon Cinnamon: rich in manganese, calcium, iron, vitamin K, and antioxidants. Contains anti-inflammatory properties, fights diabetes, protects heart health, protects brain function, fights infections/viruses, prevents/cures candida, aids in dental health, fights allergies, and benefits skin health.

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Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender, using alternative milk as tolerated, and add a dash of honey. Enjoy with a probiotic, if tolerated, to improve digestion. This is the one I use.

Let me know how this turns out! I’d love to hear your stories + see pictures! Happy healing to all.

The Road to Healing: Series 1

Hello, friends!

It’s been hard to write lately. I feel unworthy, or unjustified, to share my experiences–because I want to have answers for you all. And the reality is that I’m just as messed up and in poor health as the rest of you that are suffering with this hair-pulling, makes-you-want-to-throw-your-bone-broth-across-the-room illness (and this is not an invitation for you to tell me that I need to go meatless, it’s just an expression).

I’ve come leaps and bounds farther than I was a year ago. I’ve learned so much about the gastrointestinal system, food, detoxing, and how to care for my body. I’ve learned how to manage my illness. I’ve grieved the loss of my quality of life. I’ve prayed. I’ve learned how to listen to my body and what it needs. It hasn’t been for nothing–and hopefully I can still share some of what I’ve learned with you.

But I am still fighting.

It can be discouraging hearing the tales of SIBO survivors and how quickly they managed to triumph SIBO through their various rounds of treatment. But the reality is–I just don’t want to live that way. Because those very same people are re-testing and relapsing with the same gut issues today. And that’s not how I want to live life.

So, I signed up for the long haul. The emotional and physically taxing quest to find out why I got SIBO in the first place and how to heal. And it’s not as easy as getting a stool and blood test done. It’s so much more. It’s trial and error with foods, changing your life style, switching to low-toxic products, testing for mold, seeing how you do on a particular diet/protocol. It’s trusting your health team. It is hard freakin’ work, man.

I know the people in my life are tired of hearing about this as much as I am tired of talking about it. There are seasons when I just want to forget I have it for a little while and focus on something more fun. Like my upcoming wedding, reading, church, traveling, etc.

But inevitably, it comes up again. And I have to think about it again.

So I’m here now.

The last 90 days I have been doing a protocol catered to the results of my stool tests. I came back as having Klebsiella Oxytoca, Citrobacter, Strep, and my naturo assumes I also have yeast along with everything else. So to tackle these things head on, we took on this protocol:

  • ACZ Zeolite Spray
  • Biocidin
  • Glutagenics
  • Megasporebiotic
  • S Boullardi
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Enterosgel
  • Argentyn 23

I’ve taken all of these products in various ways throughout the day. And I removed nightshades, my MRT foods, and follow an Autoimmune Protocol Diet.

My reflux disappeared, guys.

I didn’t even realize it. My bloating was still there. I still experienced nausea. And had other symptoms. But the thing that started this whole journey was GONE. So crazy! No cough! No inflammation in my throat or tummy (that I could feel). It was GREAT. I loved it.

But it was taxing having to be SO strict and regimented on what I ate every single second. Not being able to have tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower really limited my options to eat out. I was tired of eating the same thing every night. And I heard great things about people who went meatless. I added back some nightshades and MRT yellow foods to make sure I was getting more nutrients.

I decided to try it and didn’t last more than a week.

I was weak, fatigued, and I knew it wasn’t just die off. My body could not handle sustaining itself without meat while I was dealing with this bacterial overgrowth (and whatever else was going on). I continued to eat foods I was ‘sensitive’ to — (still no gluten, dairy, sugar–we’re talking strictly veggies).

It was SO nice to not have to be so crazy about what I would eat. To not think about it every second of the day.

To be a normal person that could just make dinner quick and eat a cauliflower pizza crust with some spinach + gut-friendly tomato sauce.

And as the weeks went on, I’ve realized eating these trigger foods is not just a mental thing. It’s real. It’s biological. And my body wasn’t having it.

To make matters worse, I began to push my body past it’s limits. I was on ‘ultra-productive’ mode and pushed myself mentally, killing myself at work to prove myself and be taken seriously. Working past 5 and researching and writing more than I ever had. And physically–using every free moment to pay a bill, run a wedding errand, clean, etc. There was no rest.

I also re-visited a place that was traumatic for me and that brought a lot of physical symptoms to the surface.

And I had my last wedding shower, where I felt the pressure/anxiety to appease 20 friends while all I wanted to do was crawl to a toilet because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to hold any food down.

Life is a lot. I wish I would’ve eloped. In a perfect world, I’d love a wedding. Being ill has robbed me of so much–I didn’t want it to rob me of a wedding. And here I am, 26 days away, and I wish I would’ve eloped or done a smaller wedding. I wish I would’ve listened to myself and done what was best for me. I guess I was hopeful that 7 months ago I would’ve been so much more improved than I am right now.

It’s hard when everyone is so excited for me. For my bachelorette. My wedding day. My honeymoon.

When I don’t even feel like I’m going to make it through today.

How on earth am I going to make it through such a long day?

Just because I am “getting married”, that doesn’t magically cure my ailments. And I’m tired of people saying those things. I’m so excited to have a partner in my corner and to be married. But we don’t have to have a wedding to do that. (Except now we do because we’ve already paid for everything and this is just life now).

And I guess this blog doesn’t really have a point. I just wanted to document the hard moments, the great moments, and all the in-between.

I think it’s okay to be upset sometimes. I think it’s great to have a positive mindset towards your illness. I think you need to go through the process.

And this is my hard season at the moment.

I’m not looking for advice. I just wanted to share my feelings for any brides with gut issues out there. Or people. To know that I know what it feels like to feel discouraged. To feel robbed from your quality of life. To be grateful and tired of people asking you how you’re feeling. To be tired of your life revolving around food. To feel great one day and terrible the next. To feel like it’s never going to end and you want to give up. Then to feel like you can see the road to healing.

This is honestly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through.

I’m not sure what God is teaching me in the process, but I still trust that He is good.

I really would appreciate any/all prayers for great health on my wedding day and honeymoon. And words of encouragement.

My next steps are:

  • Taking it VERY slow leading up to the wedding.
  • Continuing therapy.
  • Proactively taking time each day and week to rest well.
  • Skyping with my naturopath.
  • Removing trigger foods.
  • Practicing whole life detoxing routines more regularly.

Here’s to the next 26 days! And the journey to health.

What are antioxidants?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen the words “rich in antioxidants” on a bag of food at your local health food store, you’ve grabbed it off the shelf, and thought to yourself, “yeah, those are really good for you! I have all the antioxidants. I’m super healthy.”

But what even are antioxidants!?

girl

I had no idea. So as usual, I decided to research and write a blog post. Here are my findings.

What are they?

Essentially, every living organism utilizes oxygen to metabolize and use dietary nutrients to produce energy for survival. Oxygen is what metabolizes fats, protein, and carbohydrates to produce energy in our bodies.

When oxygen gains or loses an electron, it can become a highly reactive atom, known as a free radical.

Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that are capable of attacking healthy cells in the body. This can lead to damage, disease, and severe disorders. Free radicals have been implicated in the pathogenesis of at least 50 diseases.

Due to the instability of the free radical, it’s common for a chain reaction to begin and for thousands of free radical reactions to occur within seconds (because a free radical is looking for another electron to stabilize itself, it steals one, and the next one looks for an electron, and so on).

This process can be a good thing for your body to neutralize viruses and pathogenic bacteria. It also is what allows us to age. However, high levels of free radicals can become a problem. This is when they perform damage on our healthy cells.

Thus, our body naturally produces….. antioxidants!

There are naturally occurring antioxidants in our bodies (called endogenous antioxidants). These little guys give that extra electron to the free radical without turning into free radicals themselves.

Then, there are antioxidants in supplement form and in our food!

Antioxidants prevent and slow the oxidation of other molecules, which prevents free radicals from continuing destructive behavior.

Pretty cool, huh?

What does this mean for me?

Antioxidants gained popularity in the 1990s because scientists found that free radical damage was involved in the early stages of artery-clogging atherosclerosis, possibly contributing to cancer, vision loss, and other chronic conditions.

People with lower intakes of antioxidants were at a greater risk for developing chronic illnesses than those that had an antioxidant-rich diet.

However, many of the trials show mixed results.

Animal studies have shown some evidence to show that antioxidants prevent chronic conditions. While there have been no human clinical studies that have shown any such evidence. There is still much research to be done.

However, many (but not all) of the clinical studies done have used an antioxidant supplement, rather than a diet rich in antioxidant-nutrient foods. This may have different results entirely. The FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements like they do for pharmaceutical drugs. A dietary supplement can be sold with little to no research on how well it works, side effects, and possible long term effects.

I’d be interested to see more studies shown that purely base their research off an antioxidant-rich diet.

The conclusion: “The implication of oxidative stress in the etiology of several chronic and degenerative diseases suggests that antioxidant therapy represents a promising avenue for treatment.”

The study goes on to say…

Further research is needed before this supplementation could be officially recommended as an adjuvant therapy. In the meantime, it is reminded that avoiding oxidant sources (cigarette, alcohol, bad food, stress, etc) must be considered as important as taking diet rich in antioxidants. Indeed, our health also depends on our lifestyle choice.

Antioxidants have been shown as promising, but not a definitive prevention method, for preventing chronic diseases. Free radicals still have their places in our aging process, as well as defending our body from viruses. We don’t want to get rid of them entirely.

However, we see here that while antioxidant-rich diets are beneficial to the preventions of some of these degenerative diseases, they must be accompanied with a healthy lifestyle.

tenor

They’re not a cure-all. But definitely helpful in our quest to good health.

Many antioxidant rich foods are loaded with all kinds of other beneficial nutrients, so we should try to be eating these foods anyway.

Based off the research and case studies, I believe a diet rich in antioxidants is beneficial to our health + nutrition. But you shouldn’t only eat antioxidant rich foods. The goal isn’t to get rid of all our free radicals (I’m not even sure you could if you tried). Everything in moderation 🙂

Antioxidant Rich Foods

Some antioxidants you may have heard of before are:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Beta Carotene
  • Flavonoids
  • Lutein
  • Selenium
  • Copper
  • Polyphenols
  • Manganese

Just to name a few. These have additional benefits as well, such as reducing inflammation. So you’ll definitely want to get some of these in your diet. Foods that have been found to be rich in antioxidants are:

  • Spices + Herbs: clove, cilantro, turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, parsley
  • Tea: matcha, green, black, oolong
  • Berries: goji, wild blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, elderberries
  • Cacao (powder or nibs)
  • Veggies: artichoke, kale, spinach, sprouts, broccoli, beets, red bell peppers, egg plant, red cabbage
  • Nuts: pecans, flaxseed, almonds, walnuts, cashews
  • Beans: kidney

Note: dried herbs + fruits increase the ORAC value of the food (there are more antioxidants).

What do y’all think? Are antioxidants a part of your diet intentionally? Would you take supplements or stick to a nutrient-rich diet? Comment below so I can hear your thoughts!

 

 

30 Days of Matula Tea

Welcome, SIBO warriors!

A lot has happened in the last little over a month. And many of you have patiently been awaiting this blog post. Know that after Sam and I’s wedding is over, things should be slowing down a little more + I have some excited new projects in the works for all of you 😉 I appreciate your constant encouragement and checking in.

*sappiness rant over*

Anywhooo–most of you who have made it to this post have been dying to know how the Matula Tea protocol worked for me.

Unless you have absolutely no idea what Matula Tea is or what I am talking about. In that case, let’s rewind.

After clearing my detox pathways, I shared everything I had recorded about the process with my bomb health professional. We’d been e-mailing back and forth throughout the process. I was having some trouble removing foods that were high in salicylic acid from my diet (they were an MRT sensitivity for me). I had difficulty breathing and my LPR was absolutely off the charts. So, my health professional (let’s call her Dr. A) had a hunch that I may have had an H. Pylori infection (even though it came back negative on my stool test).

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She was frustrated my former specialist had ordered a non-quantitative test because I may have been “borderline” positive. So, she wanted to go ahead and treat me as though I had it.

At the time of this conversation, I was not in a place where I  could do everything I needed to do to take care of myself. I was in a low place, under a lot of stress + didn’t quite have a place to call “home”. I just couldn’t imagine carrying 7-8 different supplements around with me everywhere. So I asked her if there was something very simple I could do in the meantime to treat this H. Pylori infection.

She told me there was an option, but it was hella expensive.

And I didn’t care what it was. I just wanted to feel better.

So, she mentions Matula Tea. It’s a specialized, powerful blend of herbs that only originates from Africa. And through several in-vitro tests done by Professor Patrick JD Bouic, Matula Tea has shown potent activity against the H. Pylori bacteria (which can also be one the main causes of stomach ulcers).

The tests showed a 93% inhibition of the H. Pylori bacteria.

It can be taken alongside other medications. And all you have to do is drink a cup of tea in the morning and at night (away from meals).

The catch with this “miracle” tea?

It’s $190 total for a month’s worth of tea (60 packets).

BUT if you tested positive for H. Pylori and you re-test positive after a 30-day course of tea, you will receive a full refund for the tea.

Personally, it was a pretty good motivator for me to go for it (even though I tested negative). That gave me some confidence in the quality of the product (alongside reading all of the 5-star reviews on + off the site).

Aside from being highly effective in eliminating H Pylori + ulcers, Matula Tea has the following benefits:

  • Regulates the production of stomach acids which promotes the healing of heartburn and reflux disease
  • Aids in rebuilding the protective mucus lining of the stomach
  • Promotes the healing of damaged tissues
  • Non Toxic – it is as safe as a normal cup of herbal tea
  • Alleviates reflux + candida symptoms

So, I knew even if H. Pylori wasn’t an infection I was dealing with, I would certainly benefit from the use of such a powerful blend of herbs.

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It’s obviously a pricey investment, so I’d encourage you to do your own time/research, but I knew I wanted to give this stuff a try.

So I (with a little bit of pain in my heart) bought a month’s worth of tea for $190. It arrived much more quickly than I anticipated and I began! I took it an hour before breakfast and right before bed each night. It was nice to not be on a protocol with 7-8 pills per meal. (Although I did continue to take digestacure, enzymes, minerals, and a probiotic during this protocol.)

Fortunately for me, even if I did have any traces of H. Pylori, it was eliminated with this course of tea. Unfortunately, my SIBO symptoms weren’t alleviated due to the tea.

There weren’t many side effects. It was nothing like being on a round of herbal antibiotics. But, with any new supplement is always hard and there is generally some mild die off. I did have to take a break every 5-6 days from the tea because of traveling and/or some bloating, fatigue, etc.

However, the one noticeable benefit I saw while on the tea was a significant improvement of my larynpharyngeal reflux. Like, I could lie down without having to be upright and I would wake up with no cough and it was glorious.

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So, I guess all of their claims to fame really are legit.

I’m glad I didn’t have H. Pylori, but I half wish I did so I felt better. That’s alright, though! Matula Tea was a little piece of my puzzle and if you can afford it + have H. Pylori — I would definitely give this tea a try! With a full refund, what do you have to lose? If it’s just not in your budget, there are definitely other other, less tasty alternatives (i.e. mastic gum).

After finishing this course of tea, my next steps will address bacteria and pathogens that actually did show up on my stool test–so I am hoping to see some results from that. New supplements are on the way and as always, there will be a later post on that protocol in the future.

Thanks for reading + following my health story!

Have y’all used Matula Tea before? Did (or do) you have H. Pylori? What have you used to treat it? Was it successful? What are you still working on? I’d love to know!! Leave a comment below! 🙂