(Image courtesy CDC.)
Kellie’s experience illustrates how SIBO and SIFO management can be a long-term commitment. SIBO typically involves managing recurrences that require an exploration of why such recurrences occur, while fungal overgrowth can require weeks to months to eradicate, given the slower growth cycle of fungi and their ability to “hide” in the biofilm they avidly produce, making them less accessible to the human immune response as well as anti-fungal agents.
Kellie describes her experience:
“For those of you doing the herbal antibiotics and essential oils for treatment of SIBO/SIFO, hang in there, it will get better!
“I’ve been following all the WB/Undoctored strategies for about 5 months and today I actually have energy! I even vacuumed my whole house.
“I was a little late starting the prebiotics, about a month after starting Wheat Belly, and I just kept feeling worse and worse. I kept reading all these posts about increased energy, end to insomnia, etc, but I only felt slightly better, so I was getting very frustrated.
“After reading about SIBO/SIFO, I knew that’s what was going on, so I started the protocol which I did for 3 weeks and then the essential oils for about 3 weeks. I didn’t have many of the issues that other people had during treatment: only very slight GI issues, not really any dark thoughts, no fever or chills. But I DID have a huge increase is fibromyalgia symptoms and rashes. My fatigue and muscle pain has been crippling. (I’m a nurse). It felt like the fungus in my body was going crazy in ALL my nooks and crannies! My joints swelled up, joint pain became severe, my torn rotator cuff pain came back, my bunion pain became more intense and even my TMJ flared up, which hasn’t bothered me in years! The past few days I decided to take a break from treatment, concentrating on getting probiotics and prebiotics in.
“And today I feel WONDERFUL for the first time in a LONG time! I know I’ll have to retreat and I’m not looking forward to that, but I’m just gonna enjoy this for a couple of weeks! So, hang in there! It will probably get worse before itgets better, but it will get better.”
SIBO management has been vastly simplified with the availability of H2-testing via the AIRE device. Unfortunately, there is no such device to help us in SIFO management. We are therefore left with either occasional re-examination of the stool for fungal counts or making judgments by our response in, say, a rash, perceived sugar cravings, or fatigue.
Bottom line: If you are embarking on a fungus-eradication effort (actually, we are aiming to reduce, not fully eradicate, fungal colonization, as well as limit populations to the colon and not the upper gastrointestinal tract), be prepared for a process that can require many weeks, sometimes months. But, as with Kellie’s experience, there is light at the end of this tunnel with restoration of energy, mood, and freedom from the health problems associated with fungal overgrowth.