Relapse or “dip”?

A few days ago Sara started to shows signs of decline.  The ups and downs of her issues are not new to me — even at her worst Sara had “good days” and “bad days” – so I am used to seeing the pendulum swing in extremes on a regular basis.

But, now that I understand the science behind her issues (bacterial overgrowth), and now that I have lost her once (back in March) the “downs” worry me in a way that I am not accustomed to.  Now, I start to worry that every little negative is proof that she has an overgrowth again.

When she was on the Inulin and we saw these “dips” I worried that it was proof that she needed to be on the Rifaximin (Dr Nemechek says 12/13 is the age where he finds Inulin is not strong enough to give long lasting results).  The stress and uncertainty was enough to finally pushed me to make the decision to just put her on the medication.    After that I was worried that every little regression was proof that she was having a relapse.  Spending so many hours on the SIBO boards further cemented my belief that most people relapse after Rifaximin.

So the other day, when she started to decline I got worried again.  I hovered and fretted.  I watched her face for the subtle signs that she was struggling with memory and processing.  I was discouraged when she started having stomach pains, fatigue and all the familiar symptoms seemed to resurface.   I wanted to race to the drug starte and get her started on another round before she plummeted back into that dark world.  I forced myself to go back and reread Dr. Nemechek’s email to me the first time I worried that she was relapsing after Rifaximin.

A few weeks before I had sent him a list of symptoms that were resurfacing and he assured me that they were not the result of bacterial overgrowth.  He said the stomach pains and nausea were probably mild IBS and stomach inflammation.  That the fatigue, her inability to regulate her body temperature and her difficulty interpreting hunger/thirst cues were all the result of Parasympathetic Nervous System dysfunction and would resolve with time and the continued use of the omega oils.

And of course…he was right.  A few days later she bounced back and was even better than before.

Regardless, I found myself watching her decline again a few days ago and that same familiar fear came back.  It was the same stomach pains, fatigue, nausea etc. etc. etc. that we are used to but every time I wonder if THIS is the time that it is a relapse not a dip??  At one point even SHE asked to be put back on the meds!    But this time I tried to stay the course and not jump the gun.   And just like before…she bounced back and all was right in my world again.

It is reassuring that Sara has recovered as well as she has over the past few months.  It has brought me a level of comfort that regardless of whether it is a “dip” or a relapse we can get the same success again by treating the overgrowth.  There is a sense of calm now that we know what is happening as opposed to when we just watched her decline with no clue how to stop it.

That peace and knowing allows me to take a “wait and see” approach.  I know we can afford the slide even if it is a relapse and not a dip.  We have a solution now.  We finally have answers and that is a game changer.  This protocol has healed both Sara and I in so many ways – her in the obvious way that she has her health back, and me in the way that it put me back in control.   For so many years we have been powerless to fix her and that takes it’s toll on any parent.

So, while I still have moments where I struggle with knowing whether or not Sara is relapsing or just having Nervous System Dysfunction “flare ups” I now realize – it doesn’t really matter.  Regardless of which it is – we will not lose her again.  We can fix it and we have the power to keep her healthy!   For that I will forever be thankful to Dr. Nemechek and this Protocol.



  1. Thank you for this amazing take on “dips” and relapses. Im 29 and in the midst of my 5 relapse. This makes me feel better and like you said at least now we know how to treat it, whether is SIBO or just the dysfunction and it wont be as debilitating each time.


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