Patient experience: SIBO and bloating

Extreme bloating and gas, caused by undiagnosed SIBO

Jan 21, 2022 | Effects | 3 comments

I struggled with SIBO for years. Like many, I had no idea. I was constantly told things like: Bloating is normal • Maybe it’s just your period • Maybe you’re just intolerant to X, Y, or Z • Have you tried low FODMAP? • Have you tried intermittent fasting?

Yes, yes, I have. And I had been tested for everything under the sun – except SIBO, it so happened.

No one took it seriously that I was in constant pain and that eating made me feel sick instead of energized. Not my friends, not family and not doctors. I didn’t blame them; this had been going on for years and I became used to being ignored about it.

Every time I ate, I would feel sluggish and uncomfortable. A doctor told me, “This is a normal part of digestion called ‘rest and digest.’” But it wasn’t.

FixSIBO Patient Experience SIBO Bloating 01

After breakfast

I knew something was going on, and I should have advocated for my health more aggressively.

I would tell myself that I’m not the professional and that I didn’t go to medical school. I would even gaslight myself that it was all in my head.

SIBO was driving me insane at that point. I didn’t have a clear mind, just a lot of brain fog. If you have SIBO, you will know precisely the kind of brain fog I’m talking about.

I’ll probably always regret some red flags I ignored because medical professionals said it was just IBS. I suffered from SIBO and this bloating for years, which caused me immense pain. Not only that, but it also affected those around me – and not just from my terrible gas, either!

I was in debilitating pain and the bloating left me looking pregnant every time I ate.

It was so severe sometimes that I almost felt winded, like couldn’t move, which gave me anxiety and panic attacks.

By the end of most days, it was so bad that my skin felt like it could burst open at any second. The pressure often caused reflux if I moved too quickly. It was difficult to sleep. It ruined my life from multiple angles. I even had to get a whole new wardrobe to accommodate the fact that I could never count on the size of my stomach staying the same for a consistent amount of time, and nothing could be tight or it would hurt.

As I mentioned earlier, I also had gas. Terrible smelling gas. The type of gas that could clear not only a room but a whole house. It really was that bad. It was so hard to hold it in and it impacted my social life. I was embarrassed. Going out in public was hard, let alone eating in public.

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Usually by mid-afternoon

You are not alone!

I want to explain my experience so people know the difference between SIBO bloating and normal bloating… and don’t let medical “professionals” with a lack of knowledge of this condition leave you suffering for years like I did. You are not alone and there are tests, treatment options and management protocols. Yes, everyone bloats to some degree, but the level of bloating I experienced with SIBO was something else, and I have seen it in countless other people with SIBO, too.

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And late evening – sleeping was not comfortable

The severity of my bloat would vary depending upon what I ate and how much.

I developed a yoga routine to relieve the gas (thanks, YouTube) and popped De-Gas so I could at least pass some of the gas more easily. I took multiple capsules each day.

I tried many things to address the bloat. Cutting out food groups (lactose, sugar, carbs), eating only “clean” foods. I also tried going keto as I convinced myself I was allergic to carbs. It was exhausting and I was angry. I was tired and becoming really depressed.

The experience was very frustrating for me because I had always eaten a whole, healthy diet. However, as my SIBO got worse, I seemed to have more and more problems digesting, well, everything. Vegetables were particularly problematic for me. The more whole and healthy the food, the more problematic it was. Gut “superfoods” and probiotics made everything worse.

I felt so helpless.

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The severity of my bloat would vary depending upon what I ate and how much.

For the first few days of treatment, everything got worse.

I had colonoscopies and endoscopies (a very unfun and expensive experience), stool tests, blood work, a full workup of medical tests. They all came back normal.

It wasn’t until I went to probably my eleventh doctor that I was tested for SIBO. I tested positive to both types.

For the first few days of treatment, everything got worse – the bloating, the lethargy, the anxiety, the depression. My doctor assured me it was normal, common and meant that die-off was occurring and that was a good thing. So, I pressed on, and I am so glad I did.

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FixSIBO Patient Experience SIBO Bloating 08

This is my late afternoon bloat now. Sometimes I still bloat, but it’s nothing like it once was.


I am now 90% recovered. I closely monitor my diet and take some supplements specific to me on my doctor’s advice, but I have now been pretty much symptom-free for about a year. I can digest vegetables, lactose, carbs and sugar.

I hope everyone with severe, painful, constant bloating seeks out a doctor with expert knowledge on the treatment and management of SIBO. I hope if you recognise yourself in any way in my experience, you can get treatment, get better and get your joy for life back.

Patient experience: SIBO and bloating


  1. koolis

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. If I wrote my story it would be exactly, word for word, the same as yours?

    • JasmineFounder

      I hope this helps you feel less alone in it all!

      It is so painful and debilitating!

    • DrJames

      Hi, koolis – feel free to join the community! I’m happy to answer any questions you have over there.

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