Another SIBO success story
There’s so much written on line about how hard SIBO is to treat with a high likelihood of relapse.
This stacks the deck against us because mindset is such a key part of healing. Expecting a high rate of failure rate is demoralizing and demotivating.
Anxiety will be higher, and compliance lower.
There are plenty of success stories out there and I want to highlight them. I beat SIBO recently and wrote about it here. And I’m not the only one.
Rebecca Coomes is another SIBO success story and she is spreading helpful information to inform and inspire people to beat SIBO.
Rebecca has written several low FODMAP cookbooks based on the Bi-Phasic diet she used to heal herself. She also created an amazing SIBO resource which I’ve found incredibly supportive, the Healthy Gut Podcast.
What stands out about Rebecca’s message is her 5 pillars of healing. It emphasizes that successful healing involves more than changing diet or adding supplements.
The 5 pillars are awareness, movement, diet, mindset and lifestyle.
This is how I used these pillars in my own SIBO healing plan…
This was the easiest part for me because as a digestive health coach I’m very familiar with the low FODMAP diet and supplement protocol. I also love to cook and used the restrictions of the low FODMAP diet to fuel my creativity in the kitchen. You can see exactly what I ate over the last few months here.
I can’t say the switch was easy. It felt strange to eliminate healthy, favorite veggies like onion, garlic or cauliflower. But I told myself it was temporary and that did help.
This was the toughest for me. I tend towards anxious and negative thinking. Luckily I had help, working with a cognitive behavioral therapist weekly to monitor and transform my catastrophic and future paced thinking.
Dealing with a health issue brings up tremendous amounts of anxiety for me. And was especially triggered by feeling bad or the reemergence of symptoms. Labeling my thoughts as anxiety and replacing them with alternative scenarios or calming thoughts help me tremendously but was constant work.
Disarming the panic/stress response in my mind and body made a huge difference in speeding up my healing.
Some of the mindset traps that I and others fall into are based in doubt, fear and future pacing.
Some examples are wondering if your treatment is working or if it’s doing more damage when you hit a detox reaction. Wondering if you will live with this forever? Thinking that nothing has worked and nothing will work. Focusing on the high SIBO relapse rate and fearing you’ll be part of that statistic. Fearing every bite will cause a flare up.
These are the damaging mindset traps that can often make the difference between a speedy recovery or being stuck in feeling sick.
Never under estimate the power of the mind. It is in conversation with your gut all day long.
Lifestyles changes differ for everyone. Some may need to work on stress reduction or better sleep habits, while others must resolve toxic relationships, reduce compulsive exercise habits or get out of the house to connect with the world and people.
My lifestyle habits were generally good but my changes revolved around stress reduction and my job. I made the hard decision to take a break from seeing new clients so I could make space for self care.
The reduction in stress and responsibility was huge! I was able to relax and heal in peace. This was not selfish, it was strategic. You have to fill your own cup before you’re able to help others. Reprioritizing my life my sped up my recovery. SIBO was gone in 6 weeks after a hydrogen score of over 100. A pretty severe infection.
This is something I’ve been working on for years through my chi gong practice. Awareness is defined by having a clear connection to your body, where you intuition resides. By connecting to your body you have more clarity of mind.
This is the toughest pillar for most because people with IBS (myself included) tend to avoid connecting to their body sensations (which are often painful, loud or confusing) and live primarily in their minds.
Awareness building is cultivated with practices that quiet the mind and connect to the body, such as meditation, biofeedback, Feldenkrais or yoga nidra.
Building body awareness is the most valuable investment you can make in becoming your own best healer. You are less confused or overwhelmed about what you need to do to feel better.
The voice of awareness is drowned out by anxiety. There’s a lot of resistance to leaving the head, where you have a sense of control, to enter the wild and unpredictable terrain of the body. It’s like getting to know a wild animal. You don’t quite trust it at first.
Once you make friends with your body it becomes your best ally and most trusted advisor. But just like mindset, it takes constant work to cultivate this awareness connection. Because I have been focusing on this link for years with my meditative practices, awareness was not a difficult pillar for me to approach.
This part was relatively easy for me. I have an energetic dog who needs a lot of exercise, so my daily movement is walking him 5 miles a day. I multitask taking care of him, while getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine for gentle exercise. While I walked I listened to Rebecca’s podcasts.
Gentle exercise gets your lymphatic system moving and heart pumping without wearing out the adrenals. It’s a much better idea than vigorous exercise during the healing process. Vigorous exercise robs the body of the energy it would use towards healing. Recently I’ve added a weekly water aerobics class because it’s really fun and gentle. I don’t feel tired afterwards.
Rebecca will be coming to the U.S. for some speaking engagements in the late spring and early summer. To find out more about where and when she’s visiting, check out her tour schedule here.
You can also download a kindle version of her low FODMAP cookbook here. You don’t need a own a Kindle to read this, simply download a free Kindle reader on your computer to open the book.
And in the video below you can learn how Rebecca overcame SIBO after a lifetime of suffering with it.
After her treatment she feels the best she ever has. And talks about how applying her 5 pillars supported her recovery.
Angela Privin is proof that IBS is NOT an incurable disease or a disease at all. IBS is a body out of balance. It’s an invitation for change. After solving her own IBS mystery more than a decade ago Angela trained as a health coach to help others.
Angela uses both science and intuition to help people figure out what’s out of balance in their body. She works with lab tests, dietary changes, supplementation and nervous system rebalancing. Get help rebalancing your digestive system and solving your IBS mystery here.