Well, it’s been 31 days since I started my SIBO & Candida regimen. The time has gone by rather quickly, but there’s one little problem: I don’t know if it’s working.
I feel like my bloating has improved, but there’s still definitely some there. I’m also not sure if I’ve experienced any die-off symptoms. I’ve been a lot achier, which can be a die-off symptom, but I also tend to get achier around this time of year when it gets humid & rainy in Phoenix. Bloating can also be a sign of die-off, so how am I supposed to know whether it’s just my normal bloating or die-off? [I can sort of answer this; I tend to get more bloating after eating FODMAP-y foods, so it’s probably just my regular bloating.]
My original plan was to get to the 30-day mark & reassess to see if I needed to continue on my antimicrobials & antifungals. I had to reorder them yesterday, & I think what I’m going to end up doing is using this next shipment & then stopping. I don’t necessarily want to stop, but this is costing me at least $100 per week & I simply don’t have it. Update: Since writing this, I’ve decided that I need to keep trucking with the supplements. Botanicals usually take a while to work, & the last thing I want to do is stop taking them right before I’ve turned a corner. That said, I think I’m going to combine them with what I talk about below.
I’m trying to decide which way to go next. I can either 1. Go low FODMAP & see what that does for me, 2. Go balls to the wall & do the Elemental Diet for two weeks, or 3. Do low-FODMAP for a bit, see how that pans out, & then do Elemental [I’m leaning towards this option]. I never thought I’d see the day where I’d actually consider the Elemental Diet as an option, but it seems I’ve reached the point in my SIBO journey where I’m willing to do literally anything to get rid of it. In my opinion, the Elemental Diet would probably work better for eradication than low-FODMAP; from what I’ve read, low-FODMAP is more just for symptom management & prevention of recurrence.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Elemental Diet, it’s not really a diet at all, because you don’t eat. Instead, you take vitamins & minerals in either a higher-carb or higher-fat base. This effectively starves the bacterial overgrowth but doesn’t starve you. Elemental Diets last between two & three weeks, so it’s not a long term situation. If I do this, I would choose the higher-fat option since the carbohydrate comes from straight dextrose & can feed Candida. I definitely don’t want that; if I feed Candida, then giving up fruits & starchy vegetables for the past month would have basically been pointless.
I like eating so much that I’ve never considered this an option until now. Actually, to be honest, I think I haven’t considered it because I still deal with anxiety around food at times, & for a long time I felt like not eating at all would make that anxiety worse. Now, it almost seems as if eating nothing at all would be easier than having to deal with restricting so many food groups, because that’s just overwhelming & could possibly lead to some bland food.
Speaking of food, I’ve noticed something interesting lately. Up until a few months ago, I loved coconut butter. The last two times I’ve bought some, it still tastes good but it’s almost nauseatingly rich. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say that I was so starved for fat when I first went Paleo that my body wanted as much of it as it could get. Now that I’ve been eating Paleo for a little over a year [my Paleo-versary was July 13!], I think maybe I just don’t need fat straight out of the jar anymore [unless it’s almond butter; that’s a different story].
Anyway, back to my SIBO crap. I finally got moved into my temporary office on Friday. It’s kind of nice in that I have a window & natural light, but having people gawk at me as they walk by is a tad irritating. Everyone was informed of this move, so I don’t know what there is to gawk at. I guess it must be like when people slow down on the freeway to check out a crash. Except I’m not injured or dead; I just smell.
Actually, I’m pretty sure I don’t smell anymore. Even my husband says it’s not coming out of my pores anymore, just my mouth. This is an improvement since just a few weeks ago I could hear people whispering about me before conspicuously spraying a shitton of perfume. Side note: If you’re going to talk about someone, maybe at least make sure they aren’t around first.
This miraculous improvement in garlicky smell is due to one of two things: It’s either because 1. The smell has spontaneously gone or 2. I’ve been drinking lemon water almost daily. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter, considering I’ve only been drinking lemon water since I Googled “how to get rid of garlic smell” & drinking the juice of a lemon in water was one of the only solutions besides waiting. I’ve been using a basic recipe to make a lemonade-y drink:
Lemonade-y Drink for Garlic Stank
- 1 lemon's worth of juice
- 10 drops pure stevia extract
Juice the lemon into a 16 ounce glass or mason jar, then add stevia & water. Stir if necessary.
*Stevia is controversial in the Paleo community; however, it's the only sweetener that both doesn't feed SIBO & isn't totally shady [think artificial sweeteners, which I lived off of once upon a time]. The stevia I use is just the leaves in water, no additives or extractives, & it doesn't seem to bother me. Once SIBO & Candida treatments are over & I've successfully gotten rid of both, it'll be back to raw honey & pure maple syrup for me!
It looks like a urine sample, but it’s pretty good. We’ve also tried it with sparkling water, which is kind of Sprite-y but not really. I tried doing half lemon & half lime, which was a little more Sprite-y but not really. I’ve also been diluting pure cranberry juice in either sparkling water or regular water with stevia. This is the only fruit I’ve had over the last 30 days since it’s supposedly good against Candida. The stevia I’ve been using can be found here.
After reading The SIBO Solution, I’ve decided to add a prokinetic to my regimen as well. A prokinetic stimulates the Migrating Motor Complex, a series of waves that flushes waste & excess bacteria from the small intestine between meals. People with SIBO can have an impaired MMC, & we definitely don’t want food & waste sitting in the small intestine for too long; that just provides extra food for the bacteria we’re trying to kill. I wanted to go with a natural option first so that I didn’t have to make another trip to my doctor’s office, so I’ve opted for MotilPro. I had to get mine on eBay because it was out of stock on Amazon at the time, but it appears to be in stock again if anyone wants to check it out.
Now, in the course of writing this post, I’ve developed a plan of sorts, & that’s this: Continue my botanicals for the time being [I’m adding Neem Plus to the regimen as well], start low-FODMAP next week, do the Elemental Diet once I’ve run out of botanicals, then return to low-FODMAP to prevent recurrence. If all goes well, I can start reintroducing foods after a few months of being symptom-free. [Stay tuned; my plans are always subject to change, as I’ve discovered. There’s one more route I could potentially take: ordering Rifaximin from Canada. This costs around $100 vs. $1000 here in the states, & all I’d have to do is send in a prescription.]
In other news, I did not get the scholarship from the NTA. This was a bummer; I was really hoping my message would be good enough to land one of the five scholarships. My husband thinks I didn’t get it because my video was too long. My parents think it’s because they already paid. In any case, I’m sure whoever got the scholarships both truly needed them & deserved them. I think I deserved it, too, but lucky for me I have parents who are willing to put me through school.
I recently had the opportunity to apply for a Virtual Assistant position with Dr. Scott Mills [if that name doesn’t sound familiar, he’s married to Diane Sanfilippo]. I ended up making it through the second stage of his application process, but ultimately didn’t get an interview. That was disappointing; I would have really liked to get some experience working with someone in the field. Also, rejection kind of sucks. It’s one of those things where you have to remember that just because you don’t get picked for something doesn’t mean you did a bad job. I’ve wondered what I could have done “better” to make him pick me, but ultimately his needs were very specific & maybe he didn’t think I could meet them. In any case, it doesn’t mean I suck or couldn’t have done the job.
I apparently have some sort of deep-seated fear of rejection. For as long as I can remember, I have feared confrontation at an irrational level. For example, it gets to the point where I’m afraid to open emails or listen to voicemails. This happened the other day when I was waiting to hear back from Dr. Mills. He emailed me, I saw that he had emailed me, & I got this sense of dread. Usually I’ll just put off the thing for as long as possible, but this time I actually asked myself why I was afraid. Was my life in danger? No. What was really the worst thing that could happen? He wouldn’t invite me to interview. I asked myself, “Why are you so scared? There’s nothing to be scared of.” Instead of thinking he wouldn’t pick me, I asked myself, “Why wouldn’t he pick you?” & I opened the email. & it was the one in which Dr. Mills invited me to move on to the second stage of his application process. The next email I got from him was the one where he let me know he’d filled the position.
I don’t totally understand this reaction that I have to potential rejection or confrontation, but I think I’m starting to understand it better. I might write another post to get into it in-depth.
More on the job front: Last Thursday I had an interview with my current employer for a better-paying position. Maybe everyone thinks this about themselves, but I feel like I’m terrible at interviews. There were times when I felt I sounded overconfident, times when I talked too fast, times when I literally had no idea how to answer [that damn question about weaknesses!]. [Of course I thought of better answers as I was walking back to my car.] In any case, one of the interviewers [it was a panel interview] knows my work well, so I’m hoping that’ll help me out in the event that my actual interview was less than stellar. Hopefully I’m able to land this position; we have two locations & this job would likely be at the one closer to home.
Can we talk about what I wore to my interview for a second? I wasn’t sure what I was going to wear at first since the majority of my clothes that could be considered interview material either no longer fit or are uncomfortably tight. I ended up fitting into a pencil skirt [of all things] that I bought early last year. It had been a little loose at the time, so it still fits.
I want to talk about it in terms of how far I’ve come regarding my own body image. There was a time, very recently even, where I wouldn’t have been caught dead in this skirt at the size I am now. I know many people probably look at me & think that’s absolutely ridiculous, & I can truly see why now. Although it was a little confining [I laughed every time I had to battle the thing in the bathroom], instead of thinking that I looked gross or too big, I thought I looked good every time I saw myself in the mirror. & that’s improvement I never thought I’d see, because my body hasn’t changed. My view of it has. That is a victory in itself.
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