Elemental diet for SIBO done and dusted!

Well I’ve reached the finish line! Two weeks of nothing but liquid nutrients and I am so proud of myself for finishing!

Overall was it challenging? Yes. I am I glad I did it? YES! The hardest part was the first few days, after that I felt pretty well, except for some gastrointestinal symptoms here and there and feeling pretty lethargic at times it was ok. Apart from these side effects and feeling like ripping food out of other people’s hands when they were eating in front of me 🙂 I feel good; none of the sluggish bloated feeling paired with brain fog, I feel lighter and clearer. I didn’t lose any weight at all, I already border on being underweight so this was a happy outcome for me.

Today I introduced my first meal of scrambled egg with ghee and some herbs, it was delicious but went straight through me, however after two weeks of no solid food this was to be expected as my body gets used to real food again. I’ve also prepared some slow cooked grass-fed beef with some pumpkin puree for dinner, but I intend to only have very small serves and build my way up. I’ll also continue to drink the elemental formula to ensure I get enough nutrients during this introductory phase.

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I’m so happy I did the elemental diet, it’s given my gut a much needed rest and hopefully accelerated the repair process to heal my leaky gut. My diet now will be inspired by the Fast Tract Diet, but I will tailor it to my own needs by listening to my body; previously fructose has been an issue for me so I will be cautious with that. I will slowly reintroduce different foods over the next few months and will stick to homemade, softly cooked food.

Check out my Instagram page healingyogi for more on my healing journey post elemental diet.

Happy healing x

Meredith

Elemental diet for SIBO

I’ve been away from the blog for a while, I was disappointed I didn’t see the results I wanted from FMT and felt disheartened, but the thing I had to remember is to never to give up; SIBO and gut issues can be complex to treat but they are treatable.

So I decided to try the elemental diet and here I am on day 4. For those who don’t know; an elemental diet is a powdered medical formula that you mix with water and it completely replaces food for a period of 2-4 weeks. The reason people take it for SIBO is it starves the bacteria, it has a similar effect to taking antibiotics or herbal antimicrobials but based on studies it’s been proven more effective at treating SIBO. It is also used for other medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease, as it gives the gastrointestinal system a break as all the nutrients are absorbed at the top of the small intestine.

Elemental diet The Healing Yogi

My thoughts about the elemental diet? It’s not that bad. Yes going without food is challenging but it’s doable. The formula I’m taking is the Physician’s Elemental Diet by Integrative Therapeutics, it’s expensive but tastes good. The first two days were a struggle but I feel better now. I run out of energy quickly so there’s no yoga classes, but gentle exercise like walking is ok.

The symptoms I’ve experienced so far are diarrhea (mostly on the second day), I experienced headaches initially but now they have subsided, brain fog, fatigue and some joint pain. When I go too long between drinking the formula I get very hungry and feel hypoglycemic, so for me I’ve found it’s best to take sips throughout the day.

My tip for anyone thinking of doing the elemental diet is to try antibiotics or antimicrobials first along with a SIBO diet. If you’ve been through rounds of treatment and nothing is working then it might be worth considering.

Yours in health,

Meredith x

 

FMT for SIBO and gut health

I recently completed FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) after treatment for SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).

FMT is not a treatment usually considered for SIBO, essentially SIBO is a problem where bacteria is overgrown in a place where is shouldn’t be (the small intestine), FMT is used to colonise and balance the gut with healthy gut flora using a healthy person’s faeces (yep their poo!), it sounds bizarre and disgusting but FMT is proving to be an effective treatment for a range of gut issues.

Following many rounds of SIBO treatment, restrictive low FODMAP diets and taking strong antibiotics after surgery for endometriosis, my gut flora had taken a beating, so I decided to give FMT a try.

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I met with a gastroenterologist who prescribed me antibiotics and anti-fungal medication, following which I had my first FMT treatment which involved a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy (including taking biopsies), he then completed the FMT into the small intestine and the large intestine (injecting twice as much into the large intestine). For four days following, each day I had to administer the FMT via an enema; this process is not for the faint hearted 🙂

So, how did I feel after the process? I felt amazing up until day 4, then I crashed and felt exhausted which took a couple of days to recover from. Unfortunately my gastrointestinal symptoms returned about a week later, but not to the same extent and it’s important to note that I’m consuming a high fibre diet to feed my new microbiome (as instructed by my doctor), which is a diet I’ve not consumed for years due to SIBO. A week and a half later I generally feel quite well other than some bloating after meals.

My follow up appointment with the doctor takes place 4 weeks after treatment, so I’m trying to keep an open mind about the effectiveness of the treatment until this time, as the new bacteria will need time to make a difference.

FMT has been shown as effective in helping people with specific gut conditions such as clostridium difficile and inflammatory bowel disease, but with regards to SIBO, my view is to only consider this treatment once you’re SIBO free. FMT can benefit some people a lot, whereas with others it doesn’t make a huge impact, so if you’re considering it, discuss with your health professional to see if it’s the right approach to take for you.

Yours in health,

Meredith