Friday, November 28, 2014

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

As if dealing with Celiac disease is not enough I was continuing to have abdominal symptoms.  I wasn't eating gluten.  I had blood test to verify that there was no accidental contamination going on.  Switched to lactose free dairy products - no improvement.  My doctor recommended a breath test to rule out SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).

Symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, diahrrhea, heartburn.  I seemed to get a acid reflux like taste in my mouth and some bloating.

In addition to celiac disease, other diseases that may lead to SIBO include diverticular disease, crohn's disease, alcohol abuse and liver disease.

The overgrowth of bacteria can lead to malabsorption.  This can result in low levels of B12, iron and vitamin D.  Low vitamin D can lead to inability to absorb calcium which can result in muscle twitching (which I was getting) and it can lead to osteoporosis.

The diagnosis can be made non-invasive with a hydrogen breath test.

For the test I had to fast overnight.  After arriving I had to blow into a bag like this.  Next, they gave me a sugar water drink.  Every so often, I think it was every 10 minutes or so, I would have to blow into the bag again to give a sample. A time consuming test but pretty simple and non-invasive.  I got a call about a week later with the results.  My test was positive for bacterial overgrowth.

Treatment is with antibiotics.  My physician recommended either doxycycline or rifamaxin (Xifaxan).  Doxycycline is generic, cheap but can result in sunlight sensitivity while you are taking it.  Xifaxan is more expense and not all insurances will cover it.  I was able to get it covered and felt better after a few days.

Re-occurrence is common.  I did have a relapse about six months later and took another round of antibiotics.  So far so good - but time will tell.

I found a informative site by a woman who specializes in SIBO -  You can also find some information at emedicine.medscape.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Food Soul Chef

During my trip to British Columbia I had the pleasure to enjoy the cooking talent of Chef Julie, a Red Seal chef, from Canada.  Her food was amazing and she did an incredible job of feeding me delicious, safe, gluten free food for a week.

After many requests from many people she started a site called Foodsoulchef that offers up many of her recipes.  Many of the recipes are gluten free but those that are not are easily converted.  I have been talking up her blog to friends and thought I would list it here so you too can enjoy her recipes.

Some of my favorites are:

Cazeula from Culo de Mundo, Chile

This is a rich, hearty soup.  You can easily make it vegetarian.  I have at times used chicken instead of lamb.  Feel free to substitute yams for potatoes or butternut squash.

Sexy Beet Soup (her name not mine)

This is one I really like.  I like beets and the black beans and peppers add protein and some heat.

Blackberry-Apple Crumble

This one is awesome.  Have it for dessert with ice cream and/or whipped cream.  I even eat it for breakfast - with the almonds in the crumble it fills you up.  Be sure to use GF granola.

Quinoa brownies

This was one of the first things I ate when I arrived at the lodge.  Super good and healthy.  What is crazy is that there is no flour used just quinoa.

And there are many more - salads, appetizers and entrees.  Check it out I think you'll like it.  Keep and eye out for her pot de creme - my favorite desset that she made while I was there.

The Un-Gluten Guy