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How Pam is Getting Her Life Back from SIBO

//How Pam is Getting Her Life Back from SIBO
  • How Pam is getting her life back from SIBO

How Pam is Getting Her Life Back from SIBO


Pam is one of Dr. Norm’s clients for our consultation services. Her courage and persistence truly paid off to get her life back from SIBO. Congratulations, Pam! This is her story.

I was 38 years old and healthy. I was running marathons, eating a near vegan diet and had never had any issues with my weight, digestive health or foods (other than a shellfish allergy). That all changed on Jan. 4th 2013.

I noticed lower belly swelling and a really full, tight feeling in my stomach. I thought I must have eaten too much the day before or maybe I was starting my period. The swelling that started that day never stopped, and over 3 years, it would fluctuate daily, sometimes as much as 7 cm (almost 3 inches) which made wearing pants with buttons impossible.

Over the course of 3 years, I have seen:

  • 2 family doctors
  • 5 naturopaths
  • An endocrinologist
  • A dermatologist
  • 4 GIs

I have had countless tests done including:

  • Stool
  • Blood
  • Colonoscopy
  • Endoscopy
  • Muscle testing
  • Saliva testing, etc.

And everything came back normal.

Doctors looked at me like they thought I was crazy

I knew I wasn’t. I eliminated this food and that, went on a 4 day rotation diet and was at one point eating only meat. I lost 12 pounds off an already thin frame. My hair fell out (I had to wear a wig), and I had dark circles under my eyes.

Something was wrong with my body, and I would not accept the doctors with their comments of “it’s stress, you’re fine.” My family doctor finally sent me to a digestive clinic where they tested for SIBO with the lactulose breath test. I was positive. Finally, a diagnosis! I was ecstatic. I got my prescription for flagyl and was sure this digestive nightmare would be over.

10 days of flagyl antibiotic didn’t help. So I was prescribed another antibiotic, rifaximin and flagyl. 10 days of that didn’t help. I was still testing positive. Flagyl and rifaximin for 14 days was prescribed. Slight improvement for 2 weeks and then symptoms returned. I was losing sleep, devastated and desperate for help.

I found Dr. Norm’s website and at 2 am I set up a consultation with him

I have had 6 Skype consults with Dr. Norm. He is warm and friendly, and I felt like he was on my team, not going to give up until we figured this out.

I followed the Fast Tract Diet and the other written recommendations he sent after each Skype session being sure to stay in compliance with his advice. Slowly but surely, my symptoms improved. I started implementing Dr. Norm’s advice in November 2015 and 4 months later, I am able to wear pants with buttons without having to worry I will be bursting out of them by the end of the day.

My constipation has improved, and I no longer have that awful full feeling after only a few bites of food. I am not fully healed yet. This has been an over 3 year battle for me, and my intestines have been through a lot.

But, after all the specialists, diets, meds (pharmaceutical and herbal) I have tried, Dr. Norm’s recommendations and the Fast Tract Diet have helped my symptoms the most. I cannot recommend Dr. Norm enough. I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel and I am getting my life back.

Pam, Toronto – Canada

By |2017-12-24T19:13:21+00:00April 7th, 2016|Diet and Digestive Health|12 Comments

About the Author:

Norm Robillard received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst studying Bacillus anthracis and other Bacillus species. His post-doctoral training at Tufts University focused on antibiotic resistance and gene transfer between the gut microbes Bacteroides fragilis and E. coli. During his career in pharma / biotech, Dr. Robillard studied the genetics of antibiotic resistance, septic shock, viral illnesses and antimicrobial and antibody-based therapies prior to founding the Digestive Health Institute. Dr. Robillard is the creator of the Fast Tract Diet, author of the Fast Tract Digestion book series and publisher of the Fast Tract Diet mobile app. He was the first to propose excess intestinal fermentation as the underlying cause of acid reflux and explained the connection between intragastric pressure from gas-producing bacteria in our intestines, nutritional malabsorption and the symptoms of acid reflux. His latest book series, Fast Tract Digestion provides a safe and effective dietary tool and behavioral strategy as an alternative to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), H2 blockers, IBS drugs or antibiotics for heartburn, acid reflux, GERD, laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPR), IBS and other SIBO related conditions.


  1. cindy June 27, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Just wondering if Pam had to give up her vegetarian way of eating to get rid of the sibo? Can one cure this condition without eating meat?

  2. Pam June 28, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Hi Cindy,

    Yes, I stopped near vegan/vegetarian and feel that was part of what helped me heal. There are probably some people who healed SIBO while remaining vegetarian, but I would think that would be difficult considering most of the veg staples are higher in ferment potential. Good luck!

  3. Linda July 4, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Your story is so familiar (to many people, I’m sure) — I feel this could be me! I have been suffering for almost 3 years, have seen multiple practitioners, done various tests and have been through too many rounds of different antibiotics with no results. Am about to start the elemental diet, and plan on following that with the Fast Tract Diet. Your story gives me a glimmer of hope – thank you!

  4. Linda July 4, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    By the way, I’m near Ottawa, ON 🙂

  5. Biscker July 4, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    So so very difficult for those of us who wish to be vegan. It causes so much emotional turmoil.

  6. Marisa July 10, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Did you have to take meds along with the diet? What other things also did you do besides the diet?

  7. Pam July 11, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Linda – I was born in Ottawa, but I never lived there (I was early and came the weekend my grandma was throwing my mum her baby shower lol. My grandparents lived in Rockliffe, so I spent lots of time there.
    Marissa – I did not take meds while following FTD. In fact, Norm took me off many of the supplements I was taking.
    I don’t take anything now, which is amazing. It’s been a few months since I wrote this testimonial and my symptoms are now 99% gone. I eat about 35-40 FP points most days. I occasionally have slight lower belly bloat at night, but that’s the only thing keeping me from saying I am now 100% symptom free, and this bloat could be hormonal and not sibo related. Good luck!

  8. Shelby September 5, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Pam, Your story is so encouraging. My husband is going through all of this now with SIBO….multiple Dr’s, multiple tests! He took antibiotics too and they helped some, but he’s still experiencing all the symptoms. It blows my mind that every GI Dr. we’ve gone to (4 in all), don’t think SIBO’s a real thing or they don’t have or know where to get a Breath Test. Crazy! May I ask a few questions: 1) Did your bloating happen immediately after you ate or hours after, next day, etc? 2) Did you experience cramping and/or gas at all when you had SIBO? 3) Did your GI Dr. put you on a Prokinetic (motility drug) after you finished the Antibiotics? 4) Did you take a Probiotic while on the Antibiotic and/or do you take one now? 5) Do/did you take supplements to help heal your intestinal health like Zinc, L-Glutamine, etc? Do you still Skype with Dr. Norm? Thank you.

  9. Pam September 8, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Hi Shelby,

    It is very frustrating. It has been months since I posted this and I am doing even better. I hope I can answer your questions:
    1) the bloating was almost always hours later. Not the next day, but sometimes even half a day. It was never immediately after eating.
    2) I had zero cramping and zero gas, which I found odd, because passing some gas is normal, I think.
    3) I was put on procalupride by one of the GI’s I saw to help with motility. I took it for a couple of months and then stopped. Didn’t notice much of a difference.
    4) I took a probiotic during 1 round of abx and didn’t take one for another. I did not notice any difference. I don’t take a probiotic now, but I eat a lot of fermented food like kimchi, sauerkraut etc.
    5) Norm took me off most of the supplements I was taking (thank goodness as it saved a fortune) as he wanted to get down to basics. I now take magnesium and vitamin D. That’s it. I do not Skype with Norm anymore, but I am part of his Fast Tract group on Facebook and if I have a question, I post it there and he responds.

    I hope this helps.
    Good luck!


  10. Suzanne September 21, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    HI Pam!!

    I was so thrilled to read your story in particular because you are an athlete like me! I was one who LIVED off Carbs so no wonder my issues lol!! I figured if a distance runner could get energy, so could I!

    Do you have any main staples in your diet for energy or do you just eat what you need to control the SIBO?

    I wanted to ask, how long did it take you to feel good energy from fats versus carbs? i have only had a couple really bad days of zero energy but the rest have been pretty good!!

    Thank you for sharing your story and giving me incredible hope!!!


  11. Pam September 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Suzanne,

    I am happy to help. I found I never got used to really low carb. It’s possible I needed longer to adapt, but I stuck to a very low carb diet for a couple of months and was exhausted and couldn’t run. So I changed things up and kept my FP points low, but I made sure I ate enough carbs to fuel my runs (jasmine rice, sweet potato, Lowe FP fruit etc). I would still consider it low carb, but it wasn’t keto. I need around 70 – 80 g of carbs in a day. As I healed, I could tolerate more and now I can eat around 35 FP points. There are a number of people who can run on really low carb. Check out the Maffetone Method. I hope this helps. Good luck!


  12. Marisa September 22, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Sorry I have another question for you. I know you had bloating but did you experience any other major symptoms? I have so many and am trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and mast cell acticpvation syndrome. I react to so many foods. I was just wondering if you had any other symptoms along with bloating and fullness after little food? Thanks!


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