How to do the elemental diet for SIBO – Do It Yourself Health

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Mary’s recent SIBO success story shares how she beat Methane excess with the elemental food.

The elemental diet is an option for clearing SIBO when herbs or antibiotics don’t work. I’ve had several clients clear SIBO with the elemental diet when herbs were not effective.

The elemental diet is psychologically challenging because it’s a liquid diet that lasts 14 days or more rarely, 21 days for difficult cases.

For many, the thought of skipping meals for 14 days can seem frightening. But in some instances, elemental food may actually be better than real food.

But you don’t need to fear starving, the elemental diet provides complete nutrition alone with vitamins and minerals. It’s just a bit boring, time consuming and disruptive. It contains all the macronutrients you need (protein, carbs and fat) broken down into its simplest form so it doesn’t need to be digested.

After it’s consumed, it’s then absorbed in the small intestine, nourishing you instead of the bacterial overgrowth .

There are some cons to elemental nutrition. It is high in simple carbs, which could cause yeast overgrowth.

Mary requested a formula without dextrose that she use to reduce the chances of it happening. She was also advised to drink the shake slowly in order to avoid high blood sugar.

The yeast growth was still a problem for her, so she received an antifungal supplement.

To resolve any problems that may arise, it is always recommended to follow an elemental diet. It is important to have support.

If done right, you can convert a multimonth-old supplement regimen into a liquid diet of 2 to 3 weeks.

Mary’s success methane story

Mary eliminated her methane accumulation with an elemental 14-day diet. This was after several unsuccessful attempts at and reactions to herbs. The elemental diet worked wonderfully for Mary, eliminating constipation and bloating.

She’s sharing her experience below to demystify the elemental diet, which makes it more approachable. I hope it helps if you’re considering this approach.

Here you can find elemental formula. Once you have created an account quickly, go to Physicians Elemental Formula. You should also ensure that someone is able to supervise you. It is crucial.

You might also consider buying a small pouch to test the formula. Although it is very easy to digest, not all people like it.

I have a few recipes in my spring and summer cookbook and SIBO rescue guide for an elemental shake using the Physicians Elemental Formula and a DIY version that won’t work for a full diet but can help with a flare.

Mary’s elemental diet experience in her own words

“I had been unsuccessful beating Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) with herbs.

Angela advised Angela to eat an elemental food plan. The Integrative Therapeutics Doctors elemental diet offered 6 to 7 bags of medical food. To maintain my weight (which was approximately 1500 calories), each shake had 120 calories.   

The Elemental diet philosophy states that the Intestine should be allowed to rest and heal from all the stress of digestion.  The Elemental diet is made up of amino acids which are considered “pre-digested” since they’re the building blocks of all foods. 

The small intestine has to do very little work to digest this food, so it can concentrate on strengthening the immune system and flushing out what’s not supposed to be there (bad bugs).  It is eliminated from the body by starving hydrogen and methane.

Here are some basics
1. Every morning I was weighed in at the exact same time.
2. I weighed in each evening at the same time (to see if I’d lost weight throughout the day).
3. I set a timer for 3 minutes and took a sip every 3 minutes…to pace myself so I wouldn’t drink too fast.  This also helped my small intestine “rest” because I wasn’t consuming too much at a time.
4. My starting weight was 120.8 pounds. I finished the program at 118.8. 

Day 1:  This day was pretty “easy” because I was excited about getting better.  In the morning, I prepared half my shakes. To each 12 oz. water I added 1 scoop powder.  In a blender, I blended four servings and then poured the mixture into four containers.  So I could easily track how many drinks I had and which of the four shakes each one I was drinking, I marked them with times. For me 12 oz was too sweet so I increased my water intake to 16 oz for the 6 remaining shakes.  After drinking one shake, I felt sick.  That’s when I set a timer for 3 minutes.

Day 2:  Very similar to Day 1 – didn’t lose weight.  To break up the monotony, I used the elemental diet and decaffeinated coffee mornings.  So I could have a slushy after making one of the afternoon drinks, I also added ice.  That helped me have the satiety of “chewing” something!  I did this periodically so as not to feel “starved”.

Day 3:  I got very hungry this afternoon and decided to try the Chocolate Elemental Heal (not from Integrative Therapeutics) I’d bought earlier.  I found that having another flavor was very helpful.  Each afternoon, I’d have a chocolate shake to “spice” things up.  I noticed that I began to have ulcer like sores in my mouth and my Chilblain acted up (in my fingers – began itching) and told Angela – she recommended a anti-microbial supplement – Yeastonil to help counter it all of it.  It should all disappear once I stop eating the elemental food.

Day 4:  I began having Diarrhea and Angela told me she thought it was a die-off reaction.

Day 5-9:  Consistent diarrhea.  Angela advised me to add beef broth or MCT oil to my shakes as I was trying lose weight.  These seemed to make my diarrhea worse so I stuck to the shakes.

Day 10-14:  Got in a rhythm and listen to Dr. Allison Siebecker’s podcasts on Elemental Diets (found on the Listen to Your Gut website). After she assured me that my diarrhea was normal, it was easy to relax. Podcasts are a great way to get additional support.

I had to slowly reintegrate food – very slowly.  You had to eat 80% food elemental and 20% food (rice, egg) every day until Day 15. Day 15 was 60% food ed/40% on Day 16. Day 16 is Day 50.50 on Day 17. Day 17 is Day 17, and so forth. 

The SIBO test was retaken and my Methane levels went up from 81ppm down to 8ppm.  Hurray!! 

My gut health has improved steadily and continuously since beating SIBO.  

I also feel more freedom in my eating – which is HUGE!!  I’ve been able to think about food differently – knowing that avoiding certain foods is a given and it will only improve my overall health.  Much of the time, I don’t feel deprived in avoiding the foods that make my gut unhealthy like gluten and diary.

Because I have gotten my health back I love spending time with my husband and kids, playing cards/games with them, walking/exercising/yoga, COOKING, reading, spending time with friends, throwing the ball with my dogs, and watching my kids grow up!

I recently had my 50th birthday party and was able to indulge in cake and other treats without a big flare up from my gut.”

Mary’s story is about perseverance

As a health coach, I love to share Mary’s success story to show that SIBO is not impossible to beat if you don’t give up and keep trying new things.

Different approaches work well for different people. Sometimes, you can combine different methods to achieve the best results.

Although a complete elemental diet might not be feasible for all people, there are alternatives. These include combining an elemental diet with herbs, and strategically using antibiotics (with proper gut support).

Ich delve in-depth about how toYou can find all the information you need in my SIBO rescue book. Here you will find all of the details that are necessary to defeat SIBO permanently.

You can read more information about the guide by clicking here.

You can also download the book here at $17.99


Angela Privin proves that IBS IS NOT incurable. It is a call for help from a stomach out of balance. When the body AND mind are complaining, it’s an opportunity to examine what’s not working and change it. Angela was able to solve her IBS problem almost 20 years ago and became a coach for others. Angela uses root cause medicine protocols personalized to the individual to solve each IBS mystery. She uses lab testing, nutritional changes, supplementation as well subconscious mind work, nervous system rebalancing, and dietary modifications. Learn more here.

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