Tough decision to make here – seems like the antibiotic treatment is causing my “chicken skin” (normally limited to my upper arms) to spread down onto my forearms and it’s getting quite itchy. Although I only have this last day of treatment to complete, the last thing I want to do is develop skin issues on top of everything else. The treatment length for Rifaximin can be either 10 or 14 days anyways, and I’m well past the 10 days. In hopes that I haven’t already done damage I’m going to stop the antibiotic a day early and let my gut begin it’s recovery.
(high = bad)
Sensitivity to FODMAPS – ?/10
Brain fog – 2/10
Head pressure – 2/10
Bloating – 2/10
Anxiety – 2/10
Depression – 2/10
(high = good)
Overall well being – 6.5/10
I’ll continue to report on how I’m feeling in the days and weeks following this antibiotic. So far my thinking has been a lot clearer, my head pressure reduced, bloating more or less the same (was never a huge issue), anxiety and depression both decreased. Overall I can say I feel better than before I started the antibiotic, however whether this was a result of simply reducing the amount of bacteria in my gut (and therefore reducing the endotoxin load) rather than actually treating my SIBO remains to be seen. I still seem to be sensitive to FODMAPs so it might just be the former, in which case my symptoms may just come back as my gut flora recovers. Hopefully by being strict on lifestyle and diet factors as I recover, I can foster the growth of good bacteria that allows me to sustain my symptom relief.
10:00 pm – Really intense symptoms coming in waves. Experiencing periods of calmness and mental clarity divided by periods of horrible anxiety, irritability, depression and brain fog. Stomach ache and headache also coinciding with those symptoms. Stomach very grumbly. There’s still a war to be fought between the critter colonies in my gut – going to be extremely careful with lifestyle and diet factors over the next while to support the dominance of healthy strains.
Oddly enough the prebiotic I’ve been taking (Prebiogen) seems to be helping a lot with the symptoms now that I’m off the antibiotic. I don’t know if this is just a coincidence but I’ve been taking scoops from the lighter brown parts of the prebiotic mix instead of the darker brown parts, and since doing that I’m not getting the usual brain foggy side effects immediately after consuming the prebiotic. This actually could make sense – Prebiogen is a mix of three prebiotics (inulin, beta-glucan and arabinogalactan) and I may be sensitive to one of them (whichever constitutes the dark parts of the powder) while experiencing beneficial effects from another (whichever constitutes the light parts of the powder). This would explain the weird phenomenon of the effect it was having on me before today, i.e., clearing my anxiety and irritability but simultaneously worsening my brain fog. I’ll keep an eye on this.
Hopefully my sudden tolerance to the prebiotic supplement is because of the Rifaximin. It would mean I could probably start reintroducing FODMAP foods. And when I’m able to tolerate FODMAP foods, life is just that much better.
11:00 pm – Feeling pretty good while getting into bed. The waves of symptoms have been getting progressively less intense and I’ve been feeling progressively clearer and more calm. Hopefully this trend continues!