Week 1 of the Fast Tract Diet

It’s been around 2 days since I stopped the herbal antibiotics for treating SIBO overgrowth and around 5 days since I started a ketogenic, Fast Tract Diet protocol (which you can read about here). Please note I am not a paid shill for this book. Actually, my intentions were to start the SIBO Specific Diet (which Allison Siebecker created by combining the Low FODMAP and Specific Carbohydrate Diet ideologies). What had changed my mind were two things:

  1. I had previously tried low FODMAP for over two months (extremely strict, I might add). I cooked everything I ate, stuck to the recommended portion sizes, and was far from symptom free during that time (though maybe it was slightly reduced).
  2. I found and joined the SIBO Discussion Group on Facebook, where it sounded like people doing the SIBO Specific Diet were having less success than the favorable reports I heard regarding the Fast Tract Diet. With that information, I joined the Fast Tract Diet group and quickly decided that it was at least worth purchasing the $10 kindle e-Book to decide if I wanted to pursue the diet.

I think the main thing is, what works for me or for other people isn’t necessarily going to work for everyone. Nobody can know your body as well as yourself, and since I was noticing that even simple, low FODMAP carbohydrates were causing digestive distress, it made sense to follow a low starch, low fermentation potential diet to reduce the amount of fuel for the stubborn bacterial overgrowth.

I don’t think my overgrowth is gone, but I’m in a holding phase with treating it more. My current plan is to pursue this diet and wait it out. If my symptoms are being reduced greatly, then maybe it’s OK to continue this for awhile instead of wiping out all the good and bad gut bacteria in the process. The goal is to eventually have a balanced gut microbiome, and obviously repeatedly killing the bacteria won’t accomplish that on its own anyway. If I do decide to treat it again, I may try the elemental diet first but I’m still unsure about that.

In the meantime, my symptoms are getting a lot better! Some days, I do still have a flare up after eating, but it certainly isn’t after every meal as before and the duration is shorter too. What I’ve been cooking this week:

From left to right, pictured: on top is my pork shoulder roast and green beans (before cooking), on bottom is my sad desk lunch (deli turkey roll-ups with cucumber and cheddar cheese), next is my pork shoulder before shredding but after it finished cooking, on bottom is my breakfast for the week (egg muffins, with ham and red bell pepper, and black tea with heavy whipping cream), and finally my homemade chicken soup (homemade broth, spiralized zucchini “noodles”, peeled and chopped carrots, chicken thighs, with fresh thyme, rosemary and sage). My meals basically consist of a protein source (turkey, chicken, pork, salmon) and usually a vegetable sauteed in butter or olive olive, or ghee if I’m feeling fancy). It’s a lot of work, but I feel it’s worth it for my health and to get better. I don’t accept feeling shitty for the rest of my life. I will treat this, and I will have more good days than bad days.

For next week, we have a breakfast casserole (basically used the recipe for egg muffins, but put it in a casserole dish so I can cut out large slices rather than the overflowing muffin tins – also they were kind of dry so hopefully this is better!), for lunch I am still working on that pork shoulder and green beans, and for dinner we’ll be making prawns with a lemon dressing and swiss chard. Other meals include bunless burgers, and a chicken crust pizza with an “alfredo” sauce topping! I hope to post pictures of those in the coming days. Until then, best of luck to my fellow SIBO killing machines. We got this.

Ten Days Into Treatment Check-in

I thought it might be helpful for myself and possibly others to write a symptom update about ten days in to my SIBO treatment protocol. I’ve been following Dr. Pimentel’s protocol so far of eating alllll the FODMAPs and gluten and feeding the bacteria so they are more receptive to the herbal antimicrobials. So far, I’m sad to say I don’t feel any improvements as of yet. I’m starting to feel more helpless but trying to remind myself that its a four week protocol for a reason, and no results will be instant.

This bacteria set up camp several years ago and won’t go away that easy. I’m also coming to terms with the fact that my case of SIBO was somewhat severe (hydrogen dominant in the 140s). It may take more than one treatment to relinquish it regardless. And I’m also doing more research on elemental diet protocols. It seems for cases as severe as mine, the elemental diet is the most effective at reducing hydrogen levels significantly.

I’m trying to take it one day at a time, and also remember I have alternative plans for the future. I am not out of options. I will do whatever it takes to kill this thing. Plus this treatment time is like my last hurrah to eating without any inhibitions. It has made me realize that as good as food tastes during the enjoyment of a meal, no short lived fulfillment is worth the digestive consequences-no matter how good the meal was!

As someone who, for the last few years, has tried to mainly eat in a way that nourishes my body rather than satisfying every craving, I am starting to welcome the dietary changes, challenging as they will be. Cooking everything from scratch will be time consuming, expensive and difficult, but it makes sense that eating an all natural, whole foods diet without hard to digest (for me) grains or dairy will help with keeping the bacteria at bay. My first priority is to kill the bastards. Then starve them away from recolonizing, until my gut is healthy enough to handle them.

This battle totally sucks, but it could be worse. It sucks having health issues that make social situations difficult, and trying to explain to loved ones in a simple way that life is just different now. This year, I have decided to make my health and betterment my number one priority and I won’t compromise on that for anything or anyone. We can do this you guys.