Gut Health Update: Post-Endoscopy/Colonoscopy
After my first round of herbal SIBO treatment, I was scheduled to get an endoscopy and colonoscopy to check out my digestive tract and see if there was anything that could help give my medical team and I some more information. After all, we had been treating for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), and I had been feeling markedly (though not completely) better after the treatment, but the first SIBO test I took came back virtually inconclusive. So my practitioner wanted to see if a scope of my digestive tract could give us any more insight.
Fortunately, the procedure went smoothly. The gastroenterologist showed some instances of gastritis (inflammation of the digestive tract, which we already knew was the case because of the symptoms I was having). He biopsied a few areas to test for H. pylori, but labs for this came back negative. He also found a very small tubular adenoma polyp in my colon, but this sort of polyp is considered normal and not a big deal. Because he found this, he did recommend I come back in 5 years (versus 20-30 years because I'm still young for this as a regular preventative procedure) for another colonoscopy.
So, all in all, nothing useful came out of this scope except that it showed I don't have anything very serious going on in my GI tract (i.e. no cancer, growths, or scary things like that). However, this leaves us right back where we left off, still not 100% sure what the source of my symptoms are and why I'm feeling so sick.
My functional medicine practitioner suggested I get re-tested for SIBO to see if in fact we should put me on another round of SIBO treatment. Since most people require at least 12 weeks of treatment (2 rounds of 6 weeks), I would have to do at least another 6 weeks of treatment if we are to move forward with that. I'm awaiting the results from my lactulose breath test (the SIBO test), but should have them back soon.
With that said, it might sound weird, but in some way I hope that the test comes back positive because then at least I have something to point my symptoms to.
I had been about 3 weeks removed from the end of my first round of treatment when I had my endoscopy/colonoscopy, because they ask that you are not on supplements for a period of time before that procedure. If you read my last gut health journey post, you might remember that at the end of that first round of treatment, I had been feeling better. Not totally healed, but my symptoms were so much better, and I felt like I was starting to see a light at the end of a very long, very dark tunnel. But by the end of the three weeks of being off of the treatment, I was feeling awful again. Severe bloating and discomfort, lowered energy levels, brain fog, and my reflux even came back. And that's where I am now. Feeling set-back a few months and just as lost and frustrated as I was then.
I hope that this new SIBO test gives us a concrete direction with which to move forward, so that I can get back on another round of treatment, since I believe that it was really starting to help me after the first 6 weeks.
I'll post another update after my SIBO test results come back and I see my practitioner with next steps.
As always, thanks for reading.