Three things I wish I had known about SIBO the day I was diagnosed

What I wish I knew when I was diagnosed with SIBO

It feels like ages ago that I was diagnosed with Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth, or SIBO.

Back then, I was bloated, confused, and overwhelmed.

I felt like SIBO had taken over my life… and I just wanted to get the answers I needed to get better so I could get my life back…

It wasn’t easy, but I sought out all the experts. I examined every angle – and I tried everything (yes, including the elemental diet!)

Today, I want to share 3 things I wish I had known when I was first diagnosed with SIBO.

If I had only known then what I know now…

I can’t, but you can!

#1 SIBO is chronic  – but it’s OK

When I was first diagnosed, I thought having SIBO was like getting the flu. I thought it was going to suck for a few days, I’d take the right medicine, get some rest, get better, and move on with my life.

Nope… not exactly.

I learned SIBO is actually a chronic condition for most people. Why? Because SIBO is the result of another underlying cause (in that way, it’s more like a symptom of your underlying cause).

Some people have underlying causes for their SIBO that can be treated and resolved. But most of us have underlying causes that will be with us forever:

  • Post-infectious IBS (aka autoimmune IBS caused by food poisoning)
  • Lyme disease or other underlying infections like Epstein-Barr
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • MCAS (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome)  or other histamine issues
  • Structural problems or past abdominal surgeries that have altered the gut (anyone out there missing their ileocecal valve?!?)
  • And many more!

When I first learned this, I was devastated. I just wanted to get rid of SIBO and never think about it again.

But after some reflection, it actually brought me a lot of peace and relief.

I learned that every time I had a setback or a day with bad symptoms, it wasn’t a personal failing on my part. It was just part of the condition.

Started to thinking of it the way I’d think about an old foot injury I had. Years later, sometimes that foot pain STILL flares up. I can’t do certain things or it will hurt.

But I also know what to do if my foot DOES start hurting again. I’ve been through it before. Knowing it will get better in a couple of days if I rest it.

When I realized it was the same thing with SIBO… it was like fireworks going off in my brain.

I wish they told EVERYONE this when they got diagnosed. It would have saved me so much frustration and disappointment.

#2 You’re not alone  – there are MILLIONS of us

I used to have a lot of shame and embarrassment around my digestive problems and I didn’t want to talk about them – even with my husband or my closest girlfriends.

I was even embarrassed of the name Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. So not sexy! Bacteria  – yuck.

But the deeper I got into researching this condition (and IBS, too) the more I realized – it is nothing to be ashamed about.

Our culture teaches us that:

  1. Bathroom stuff is private (don’t talk about it!)
  2. Sickness is something to be ashamed about (so fake that smile!)

Once I got rid of my own shame and was open about my health, I found out pretty much everybody has some sort of digestive issue.

It’s just part of life  – and the more open we are about it, the less people have to suffer.

Once I got comfortable with talking about my own problems, walls came down, I connected more deeply with the people around me, and I found an amazing community online of people going through the same thing as me.  

(Feeling alone? Come join our SIBO SOS™ Community Facebook Group!)

I think I have been able to get healthier (physically and mentally) because I’ve worked through the shame and embarrassment and found a community of other people in the same situation.

We are all #SIBOSuperheroes!

#3 Nothing Lasts Forever (Including a Negative Breath Test)

I worked really hard to treat SIBO when I was first diagnosed, and I was ecstatic when I re-tested and finally had a negative breath test result!

But – as we know – SIBO has a bad habit of coming back. Because I have post-infectious IBS and adhesions, I’m even more prone to relapses. I was recently treated for a relapse of SIBO.

What causes SIBO to relapse? It really depends on your underlying cause. Because one of my underlying causes is post-infectious IBS, I have to use a prokinetic to prevent relapses. If I loosen up on my prokinetic use, I’ll have a SIBO flare.

But it’s not just that SIBO can come back – what works (and doesn’t work) can also change over time.

For example – lots of people get immediate relief from switching to a low-FODMAP diet. But over time, it usually stops working as well. And (for most people), long-term low-FODMAP diets wind up doing more harm than good.

Your body can develop tolerances to herbs used long-term and prokinetics, too. What worked the first time might not work the 2nd time.

Every time I’ve re-treated my SIBO, it has been a little different than the past times – that’s why continuing education is so important for SIBO patients.

The IBS & SIBO Journey

The day I was diagnosed with SIBO was a happy day. I was so relieved to finally know “what was wrong.”

But the days and weeks after were so frustrating. I felt confused, hopeless, and overwhelmed.

I don’t want anyone else to have to feel that way!


  • Instead of confused, I understand exactly what’s going on in my body
  • Rather than hopeless, I have a plan to treat my SIBO (and prevent relapses)
  • Instead of overwhelmed, I feel empowered

Now, I know what to do to get better.

Learn With Me

Newly diagnosed with SIBO or IBS (or even just suspect that’s what you’re dealing with)? I’ve been where you are – and I made it to the other side.

I want to guide you to the other side too – it is my calling in life to help other people with SIBO get relief.

Here’s how I can help you right now: The SIBO SOS® Masterclass Summit.

You can also think of it as the “SIBO Solutions Series” – because that’s what the 10 SIBO experts teaching are doing: sharing solutions for relief from SIBO.

There are someone to cover every topic I have found to be vital to healing from SIBO – parasites, hormones, root causes, probiotics, candida, the brain-gut connection, and more. It’s not just “theory” – it’s real information you can put to use right now.

It took me years to learn all of this – but you’re getting it all of it now that’s the benefit of having someone who has been through it all as your guide.)

There Is Hope For IBS & SIBO

I’ve been where you are right now – and I want to help you get the answers you need to get relief, and GET YOUR LIFE BACK FROM SIBO!!

Won’t you join us? This is your chance to join before the next event.

>> Join the SIBO SOS® Masterclass Summit Series <<

P.S. Sick of SIBO being the focus of your life?? Read this inspiring note we got from Beverly:

“First, thanks for being SIBO rock stars and bringing us this info. I hesitated to sign up because I am so tired of SIBO and other conditions being the focus of my life. But when you came out with the payment plan (and didn’t charge extra for this option –thank you) I really couldn’t resist. Just watched the lecture on parasites, and wow, I made the right choice.” – Sally

Or, if you’re interested in a step-by-step proven guide for treating SIBO, check out our SIBO Recovery Roadmap® course created by me and Dr. Allison Siebecker. She outlines every necessary step to test, understand, treat, retreat, and heal from SIBO – take the steps to get well today.

Never miss a live class! Get transformational health tips with Shivan from IBS, SIBO/IMO and the best minds in the digestive health world! Register here to receive class notifications (and more!) through your email


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8 thoughts on “Three things I wish I had known about SIBO the day I was diagnosed”

    1. SIBO SOS® Support

      Hi Rob,
      We are legally prohibited from making any direct recommendation on one’s medical condition or from making any direct referrals. I would like to share what Dr. Siebecker mentioned in her SIBO Antibiotic Doses.

  1. Omg!
    I am so happy I came across all the info you have provided!
    It’s been almost a yr..testing, trying diets etc..
    This has definitely ruined my Life!!
    I’m so sick of feeling SICK!

    1. SIBO SOS® Support

      Hi Cheryl,
      I’m sorry you’re going through this. We’re glad you found our work! You may sign up here to be kept up to date on the latest health news and live events giving you direct access to the experts.

  2. Corbina Mancuso

    Thank you Shivan, for your honesty, commitment and caring! it’s so helpful having you on our team! No, we’re not alone, we have a beautiful community of people here sharing our truths – our ups and downs!

  3. Michelle Seaman

    Thank you for being a hero in so many lives Shivan! You are a light, a blessing and a gift to so many people who need hope, knowledge and empowerment! God bless you!

  4. They say nothing happens by accident. I have been so overwhelmed recently with my diagnosis and feeling defeated. After reading this blog post, I cried and smiled because these are the words I needed today. Thank you just doesn’t seem enough. This is a chronic condition and I hope many people start to understand that.

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