So you’ve been diagnosed with SIBO, followed either the low-FODMAP or SCD diet protocol and had amazing results with significant improvements! But now you are hesitant to figure out what to eat next WITHOUT getting SIBO back. I’ve created this protocol for you to follow after you get rid of SIBO without limiting your life and risking the return of SIBO. However, it is good to remember that diet isn’t just enough to eradicate SIBO forever. In addition, here are some strategies to avoid the comeback of SIBO.
What is SIBO exactly?
We are given an overabundance of information about the gut, our microbiome, good and bad bacteria without clear definitions. SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth defined as excessive bacteria in the small intestine. The symptoms someone can experience with SIBO can range from mildly uncomfortable (minor gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort) to chronic diarrhea, gas, bloating, weight loss, abdominal pain and distention and malabsorption. Also, the symptoms depend on the degree of bacterial overgrowth in the intestine.
If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for a while now without any relief, make sure to get tested for SIBO at our clinic!
The most popular protocol to follow for SIBO is the low-FODMAP/low-carb diet. This is because when you eat high starchy foods like bread, cereal, pasta, rice, or sugar, the bacteria in your gut feeds off the sugars in your food. The bad bacteria in your gut LOVE starches and sugar, so they can take over your gut!
Once you have taken sugary, processed foods out in combination with the right protocols such as gut-healing nutrients and digestive enzymes, this helps lessen your chance of the bad bacteria taking over again.
I highly recommend continuing to avoid sugary, processed foods. If you did it for SIBO, then do it for the rest of your health.
Choose an anti-inflammatory diet
- Anti-inflammatory foods will keep your body on the right track to eliminate and reduce inflammation that starts in the gut and can contribute to more serious conditions and diseases. My top anti-inflammatory foods that should be in your weekly or daily intake are:
Wild caught Fish
Turmeric (use this spice on anything!)
Dark, leafy greens
- Eat probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, miso and anything else that is fermented. You can also get coconut probiotic yogurt if you are avoiding dairy. Lean towards goat yogurt if you choose dairy. Probiotics help to reduce inflammation and improve gut permeability problems.
- Increase your zinc intake! Zinc-rich foods (grass-fed lamb, grass-fed beef, pumpkin seeds and chickpeas) or supplements can help reverse the defects in SIBO.
- Glutamine or aloe are a great combination to help heal your gut after therapy of SIBO.
- Practice meditation, hypnotherapy, and mindfulness to down-regulate your stress response on the immune system and gut lining.
- Consider an elimination diet to avoid allergens that trigger immune and inflammatory responses following your SIBO protocol before any of these recommendations.
If you follow this approach after your SIBO protocol, you’ll have success in healing and restoring gut function while avoiding more exacerbated conditions like IBS, and inflammatory gut issues!
It can be difficult and overwhelming to follow these guidelines on your own. If you would like support following your SIBO diagnosis or protocol, please feel free to schedule with me at San Francisco Natural Medicine for an appointment. Thank you and I look forward to working with you!
Sarina Irizarry, M.S, Nutritionist & Certified Wellness Coach focuses on bringing the body back to balance by using food as medicine. In addition to nutrition protocols, meal planning and grocery store tours, she incorporates her coaching skills and lifestyle modifications to achieve optimal function in the body towards sustainable living. Sarina is available Fridays and Saturdays at San Francisco Natural Medicine, and is accepting new patients. Call today to schedule a free 15-minute consult.