I never believed I’d be on here writing one of these, but I managed to get my symptoms nearly completely under control. I used to spend hours on here desperate to find a solution that was just a little bit better than what I dealt with.
I have bile reflux from having my gallbladder removed. Starting before the surgery, I had violent diarrhea, nausea, terrible headaches any time I had a flare, terrible sinus issues, heartburn, GERD, and literally had the chicken pox three times, then I had shingles. The headaches were the worst, and nothing got rid of them. Most days I was too afraid to leave the house, and I wouldn’t go anywhere where I didn’t know what the bathroom situation would be. The surgery helped some, but I continued to have flares, with days where it all returned. They got worse again, more regular. I tried everything – paleo, low fat, low carb, barely eating, probiotics, all sorts of supplements, calcium, SCD, and what helped the most was low-FODMAPs, but nothing really helped me back to normal.
About four months ago, my gastroenterologist put me on Welchol after I had an endoscopy and it showed large amounts of bile in my stomach. Welchol helped some of the symptoms, but I still had quite a few. I was still doing low-FODMAPs, and decided to try out probiotics again. Within a week, my symptoms subsided to a manageable level. After three weeks, I had normal bowel movements, no headaches, and felt like a totally different person.
What I believe happened was that I had SIBO with leaky gut, but the bile reflux kept probiotics from working in the past. It took Welchol to clean up the bile and ease the leaky gut before the probiotics and the low-FODMAPs diet worked. I believe low-FODMAPs gave the SIBO less to eat, and that’s why it helped more than anything else, but the bile reflux was keeping my stomach inflamed and unable to repair itself. The probiotic I took was Raw Probiotics Vaginal Care. I took two a day for three weeks, then went down to one a day. It was crazy expensive, but I’m downgrading to a cheaper one today, and going to see how that goes. All of them together fixed the problem.
I added gluten back two weeks ago, and feel fine. I can eat fruit again, even higher FODMAPs fruit (though I’m still afraid to try fruit like apples and pears). I’m keeping a low-fat diet to help the Welchol keep the bile reflux in check, but I’m eating normally and feeling normal.
If there’s even one person that reads this and it helps them, it’s worth it to share my tale. I hope everyone finds something that makes their lives easier.