I talked about this several months ago…back when I was still nursing V and was thinking about how my gut has gotten worse lately. Well, the time has come to stop talking and take action. I don’t have a GI MD anymore, but that’s fine because I’m pretty sure I know more about this than anyone I could find locally.
After reading this paper through several times, and then researching the crap out of rifaximin and alternative (herbal) therapies, I decided to steer clear of the antibiotics and go with the herbal therapy.
Of the 37 patients who received herbal therapy, 17 (46%) had a negative follow-up LBT compared to 23/67 (34%) of rifaximin users (P=.24).
(LBT = lactose breath test)
I’ll take the 47% group, thankyouverymuch. Some details below…
Oil of oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a well-documented botanical that directly kills or strongly inhibits the growth of intestinal microbes.56,57 Oil of oregano has other beneficial properties such as inducing apoptosis in human colon cancer caco2 cells.58 Berberine extracts and thymus vulgaris are also well known for their broad antibacterial activities.56,59–61 Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) has substantial antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that may be important to the pathogenesis of SIBO and has been used to successfully induce remission of Crohn’s Disease.37,62 There are other herbals used in our study that have noteworthy properties. Lemon balm offers anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects that may benefit patients with IBS, while coptis root has growth-inhibitory effects on human bacteria.63–65 Red thyme essential oil inhibits the growth of Escherichia coli O157: H7 and Staphylococcus aureus.66 Indian Barbarry root extract (Berberis aristata) contains berberine and has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antidiarrheal proper-ties.67Equisetum arvense L. was shown to possesses a broad spectrum of a very strong antimicrobial activity against a variety of enteric microorganisms including Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus), Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella enteritidis and the fungi Aspergillus nigerand Candida albicans.68Thymus vulgaris has potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory actions.69–72Olea europaea inhibits the growth of a number of staphylococcal species including S aureus.73
Knowing all that, here’s what the study gave people for the treatment. I did SO MUCH research before choosing the exact cocktail (which was hard because everyone’s bodies are different and respond differently to different things), but decided to do FC Cidal + Dysbiocide (one of the combos used in the trials) AND oil of oregano AND Berberine Complex. I got it all off amazon (those are all the links for the exact ones I bought). It wasn’t cheap but it wasn’t too bad either. If it works it will be well worth it.
I bought enough for 30 days, but I may lengthen it depending on how I’m feeling. I want to really kill everything off, but the reviews made the “die off” process sound pretty awful. So we will see.
As far as diet goes, I’m planning to be as low carb as I can tolerate during those 30 days. And yet, I need to make sure I’m keeping my gut healthy with probiotics…probably in the form of kombucha and probiotic capsules. Collagen seems to be having a positive effect too, so I’m going to keep that up. And beyond that, I’ll let you know. I am not planning on going grain free because I don’t know that that’s helpful for my body. That said, I’ve been dabbling with grain free/low carb meals and I definitely feel good after those meals. But that may be because a grain free diet happens to overlap with a more strict fodmaps diet – like I used to be! I want to end up with a more free eating lifestyle though, so I don’t want to let the elimination phase end up being my end point. That’s too restrictive and I can see myself slipping in that direction if it feels good to my gut. So I’m writing it out here to remind myself that the end goal is to get my GI tract healthy and properly populated with the right flora to digest everything and anything without symptoms.
For 30 days I’m going to try to keep my sugar load down (some kind of cross between a low fodmaps, candida, SCD dietary approach). I have a bunch of recipes bookmarked to help me succeed, especially dessert ideas, which will definitely be the hardest part of this.
Do you want me to share the recipes and meals as I go along? It may keep me accountable, but if it gets too boring and/or repetitive I’ll spare you. 😉