The amazing thing about SCD is that it seems to work for just about everyone.
But not because it’s the magical holy grail of diets (though that would be cool!)
It’s because SCD takes people back to basics so that they can build a customized diet that works for them.
(In fact, we’ve taken customizing the diet one step further than even SCD with our Solving Leaky Gut program.)
See, success on SCD isn’t just about what you do or don’t eat – it’s also about:
- learning to listen to your body
- trusting your own wisdom
- and learning how to manage stress so that you can master the mental side of healing too
That’s why I’m sharing Kyle’s story with you today – Kyle is an absolute warrior who overcame a lifelong battle with constipation and a severe case of SIBO using SCD.
But beyond following the diet, Kyle learned that to really heal she would have to take a leap of faith, get back in touch with her body, and recognize some hard truths about stressors in her life.
I’m honored Kyle was willing to share her story – I know this will resonate with you as deeply as it did with me.
Here is her story in her own words…
After following SCD for close to a year, I want everyone to know, this diet works. Flat out, it just does. But, the things it taught me went far beyond what I ever imagined any diet ever would.
SIBO Is Personal
Just as no two humans are alike, no two cases of SIBO are the same. There isn’t a “one way” to get rid of SIBO, either.
Yes, there is a protocol. But at some point, it takes more than just changing your diet for you to get better.
SIBO will make you, i.e. “force you,” to confront and change everything that your body is just plain unhappy about. The bacteria feed on sugar, yes, but really, they feed on fear, worry, anxiety, and generally the lack of control over your life.
The Mental Side of SIBO
There is a very real physical side of SIBO – symptoms like bloating and pain. Then there is the other 50% – the mental side of things as I like to call it.
I learned early that SIBO has a +/- 50% relapse rate. I’ll buy that because it’s that 50% of the mental side that you must fix along with all the other physical symptoms that you have. That is what makes treating SIBO extraordinarily difficult.
I’m not being negative, in fact, far from it! Even with all the living hell I’ve gone through, I can safely say overcoming SIBO is the best thing that ever happened to me. Or will be, because I’m still not 100% there yet.
But, SIBO and the SCD Lifestyle crew probably saved my life. Sound dramatic? Well, after coming out of the dark side, it’s hard to not be a little emotional about it.
It Started as Constipation
In my 20s, my doctor told me that the on/off constipation I had was Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). He gave me a muscle relaxant and told me to eat more fiber. (Almost laughable given what I know now!)
20 years later, I was still struggling. The muscle relaxant wasn’t working for me at all, and the constipation was so severe that I felt and looked like I was 9 months pregnant.
Even though I felt like I was eating “good,” I was bloated, unhappy and pissed off. I worked out every day and ate lots of roughage, but nothing relieved the symptoms.
Oh, and I should mention, I was also extremely stressed out with nearly every aspect of my life. Fears over money, relationships and work dominated all thoughts, except when I was worrying about my deteriorating health.
Then, a Routine Procedure Pushed Me Over the Edge
A routine colonoscopy changed my lifelong constipation diagnosis into something else: full blown SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).
After the colonoscopy, the symptoms I’d been experiencing for years got far worse. A few months later, and I was struggling with:
- near constant hunger (no matter how much or little I ate)
- a hollow feeling in my stomach
- severe pain
- brain fog and fuzziness
- zero concentration
- never-ending constipation
And of course, there was the massive stress made even worse by the physical symptoms I had!
First, I Tried Standard SIBO Treatments
My GI doctor recommended a breath test to confirm SIBO. Results came back off the charts positive for SIBO – methane dominant (the type more commonly associated with constipation). It wasn’t any big deal they said. Take Rifaximin for 2 weeks and voila, you’ll be cured.
I never ever felt as bad as I did on the 9 days I took that drug. (Couldn’t last any longer). It magnified every SIBO symptom by 100%! With my GP absolutely ignorant about SIBO, I set about learning every single thing I could about it on my own.
Then, I Took My Health Into My Own Hands
I was obsessed with researching SIBO. Although I probably read hundreds of articles, the best thing in all my research that I found was the SCD Lifestyle website.
At last, someone understood! And they made sense! Jordan and Steve seemed to be able to convey like none other all the myriad ways SIBO can manifest in different people.
I also found a Naturopath to work with. She also embraced the SCD Lifestyle website and loves it. Working in conjunction with both has definitely helped.
Giving SCD a Try
I followed the SCD diet to the letter. I was in so much pain that I could have cared less if someone told me I had to eat snakes every day, I would have done it!
I followed SCD religiously for 3 months – and promptly lost 15 lbs (not good for me as I was thin to begin with). But, the feeling of “hollowness” in my stomach had mostly gone away, and for the first time in 20 years, I wasn’t constipated.
Unfortunately, new problems were developing: I was left with horrible dehydration, exhaustion, waking with severe cramps, and a massive fear of literally being away from my house.
I was moving in the right direction, but I wasn’t there yet.
Customizing SCD to Work for Me
I finally asked for help by sending an email to SCD Lifestyle’s support team. I got a response I didn’t expect: if you don’t start eating more carbs, you will wind up in the hospital. And if you thought the pain of SIBO was bad, you have no idea how horrible this is going to be!
It hit home, but I was terrified of eating carbs. However, they told me push through the SIBO pain. Because if I lost any more weight, I was hospital bound.
So I started to eat white rice. Definitely NOT on the legal list. But SCD Lifestyle gave me the courage to try it. I did this, and guess what – nothing! No SIBO flare, no bloated stomach and with some carbs and a ton of fat, I slowly began to gain weight back.
This was a huge turning point for me. Following the diet is one thing, but it’s even more important to recognize that YOUR body may very well want something else. I had to trust myself and get over my fear of tweaking the diet.
Customizing the SCD to work for my own body was crucial for me. That and the 3 things below made all the difference in the world for me.
3 Things That Helped Me Heal
- Research Everything! I had so many different symptoms going on, when I attempted to explain this to my doctor, I’d say some things, but miss others, and it wasn’t giving her a complete picture. So, I began researching my own symptoms. Some things weren’t correct, and I knew it. But no one knows how you feel inside like you do! So while I had to take much with a grain of salt, I also did come across things that really seemed to make sense as to how my body was feeling, and reacting, which leads to #2.
- Testing And More Testing! My biggest issue was learning to control stress. But, I still knew there were other physical issues. I worked with my naturopath to order lots of tests: thyroid levels, the DUTCH Adrenal test (fabulous!) and the NutraEval test (amazing). All the tests in conjunction gave me and my naturopath a huge understanding as to what was going on inside, and what nutrients were missing for me. From there, my doctor and I could start really zeroing in on supplements that would support what my body was craving and moving away from the basic SIBO protocols.
- Don’t Neglect The Mental Side (Especially Self-Sabotaging). Jordan wrote a lot about the mental aspect of healing in the eBook, but what really hit home for me was self-sabotage. I have never cheated on the diet, but boy have I caused stress events for no apparent reason. Result? I would be doing fine, no SIBO symptoms, and then, “something” would happen to derail it and I would have to start all over again. I finally realized it was me! Subconsciously, I realized I was controlling the stress around me by feeling sick. No one wants to give you stress then lol! Understanding this and breaking free from it was the hardest thing I had to do. Sticking to a diet wasn’t.
My Healing Journey
In the end, understanding and making both your body and mental health happy will be the journey healing (from SIBO or anything else) forces you to take.
No one wants to be sick, but in a weird way, it’s just your own body’s mechanism for self-preservation. And as I found, really listening to what your body is telling you it needs will be the ultimate cure for SIBO and your own happiness.
I want to commend Kyle – and everyone else out there who nodded their head while they read this – for being so honest and vulnerable.
Healing isn’t always black and white. It isn’t always about “eat this, not that.” More often, it’s a journey of discovery – but one that leads to lasting peace, happiness, and abundant health.
If you want to get started on your own healing journey, I hope you’ll pick up our eBook like Kyle did – or check out our newest, most comprehensive course that builds on the premises of SCD to help you heal even faster – Solving Leaky Gut.
P.S. – What are you learning along your healing journey? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.