The most important thing to remember when selecting a diet follow is that all diet protocols are intended to be guides, and should be tailored to your own unique personal needs. It is for this reason that it is recommended that you work with a dietician or nutritionist who is experienced with SIBO and who can develop a diet protocol specifically for you. If you cannot work with a practitioner, Dr. Allison Siebecker recommends selecting one of the following diets and then tailoring it from there using your symptoms as a guide. The following diets are commonly used to support the treatment of SIBO.
SIBO Specific Food Guide
Developed by Dr. Allison Siebecker, this diet can be useful in extreme cases of SIBO when less foods are tolerated. This protocol used a traffic light system, highlighting foods on a spectrum from least likely to most likely to cause symptoms and feed the bacteria.
SIBO Bi-Phasic Diet
This diet was created by Dr. Nirala Jacobi, Australia’s leading SIBO specialist, and was the diet followed by Rebecca Coomes. This diet combines the SIBO Specific Food Guide and the low FODMAP diet. It uses a two-phase system, with phase one following a restricted food list, and phase two re-introducing higher fermentable carbohydrates into the diet.
Low FODMAP Diet
The low FODMAP diet was developed by Dr. Sue Shepherd to alleviate symptoms experienced by her IBS patients. This protocol is less restrictive than the previous ones listed, and can be a good starting point for people commencing their SIBO treatment or those who have mild SIBO, are vegetarians or vegans.
Fast Tract Diet
The Fast Tract Diet was developed by Dr. Norm Robillard Ph.D. after realising his reflux improved after the reduction of fermentable carbohydrates from his diet. This diet can be used by people with SIBO, and uses a points system to calculate the fermentation potential in foods and the daily fermentation value tolerated by the individual.
Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
The SCD was developed by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas to support the treatment of patients with Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Coeliac Disease, Diverticulitis, Cystic Fibrosis and chronic diarrhoea. However, it can also be used for people with SIBO. It was made famous by Elaine Gottschall who healed her own child of ulcerative colitis. The diet restricts specific carbohydrates, which in-turn starve the excess bacteria, returning the flora to more normal levels.
Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS)
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride created the GAPS diet to support the individual healthcare needs of her patients suffering from a variety of intestinal and neurological conditions, resulting from an imbalanced bacterial ecosystem within the gastrointestinal tract. It focuses on removing foods that are difficult to digest and damaging to gut flora and replacing them with nutrient-dense foods to give the intestinal lining a chance to heal and seal. It can be useful when GI conditions coexist with mood/brain disorders (eg.autism, depression, anxiety, ADD, etc).
Cedars-Sinai Low Fermentation Diet
The C-SD was created by Dr. Mark Pimental to reduce the gastrointestinal symptoms experienced by patients with digestive disorders. It allows moderate amounts of carbohydrates and sugars, and can often be used successfully in SIBO patients once tolerances have expanded or for those struggling to adhere to a diet as it is easy to follow.