Hooray, it's my favorite time! Time to figure out a new diet plan, and figure out how to mesh it into my life! Woo hoop!
For those of you who are unfamiliar (you lucky ones) with my diet struggles, you can check out my journey so far by going here. Basically, I have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), which I only just discovered last year. No idea how long I've had it for or what initially caused it, although some creepy research out there suggests long years of birth control usage could weaken the gut and make it more possible. Really, contraception? Way to bitch slap me for 16 years of loyalty. So what SIBO does is basically make it hard for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs and forces it to react to certain foods badly in an attempt to keep the bacteria growing. It's disgusting, I'm sorry to put you through its description.
ANYWAY, since SIBO's my new BFF, I've been spending a bit of my life lately trying out various diets, taking repeated breath tests, and visiting a series of nutritionists and gastroentrologists. It hasn't been fun, although it has been weirdly educational (who knew I'm now allergic to cantalope, one of my fave childhood foods?) and definitely opened my eyes to the struggles of the food allergy sufferers out there. Turns out, some people can be just as hostile to a person for avoiding certain foods (diary, soy, gluten) as they were when I first decided to become a vegetarian. It's weird having to defend why you don't eat bread to someone who is clearly offended by the mere idea. Just because I'm not eating the bread doesn't mean YOU DON'T GET TO EAT THE BREAD. I'll be over here with my gluten-free slice of emptiness. I'm fine, leave me alone.
So on to the diets I've been trying. When I first visited my nutritionist, she put me on a gluten/dairy/soy free diet of nightmares that shocked me to my core, since up until that point ALL I was eating was soy, dairy, and gluten (bread, cheese, and fake meat - nectar of the gods!). She even took away my cheese for a time. I don't think I have to describe to you how dark that period of my life was. I immediately lost weight because I had no idea what to eat. Basically, I had to become an adult, try new things, and cook a lot more recipes. Next I moved on to the Low-FODMAPs diet and spent months trying to both make sense of what I could and couldn't eat and explain it to others. It's a lot harder when you suddenly have to keep accessing a spreadsheet on your iPhone of your allowed foods. While on this diet I tried a couple rounds of herb protocols to wipe out the SIBO (which didn't work) and finally an antibiotic for 30 days which started to make me feel like a whole human again. It actually helped, yippee!
. . . But of course it didn't rid me of SIBO entirely. So faced with going back to my FODMAPs-free diet, I started to get angry and frustrated, since it seemed like the diet alone was only making things worse. Breath test after test, herbs or no, the SIBO had been worsening. So why the crap should I keep avoiding apples and pears if it doesn't matter?? I went rogue with my own research (which I don't suggest, especially if you're as awful at research as I am) and discovered some support groups where people told me the only thing which helped them eradicate SIBO was the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, established wayyyy back in the good ol' 1980's. In looking into it, it was simpler, easier to understand, and very much resembled the latest fad Paleo Diet, which meant there was a slew of great recipe blogs and resources out there.
So now, with a whole NEW mess of rules, a new spreadsheet to put on my iphone, and more food fears to tackle (guys, I really hate cooked veggies), I'm ready for GUT WAR PART 3. Do I have any fellow SIBO sufferers out there who want to share their tales of woe? How about SCD-ers? Also, you Paleo people out there - which are your favorite blogs?