Gut Issues with NO Answers?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath I see this more and more clients coming into my clinic with years and sometimes decades of gut issues, yet they have yet to get the answers needed to turn this around. I can sense the frustration and hopelessness from these clients as they have already spent so much time, money and energy to overcome these challenges, but to no avail. I used to be easy as far as looking at food sensitivity and addressing gut pathogens and inflammation but there is now another issue that is cropping up more and more with these chronically gut challenged individuals. That issue is SIBO or small intestinal bacteria overgrowth. To get an overview on the subject of SIBO view this past article on this subject. This is a great introductory article but we are going to get deeper into this today based on these areas.
  • Understand if SIBO is an issue for you
  • Provide the essential testing if you believe this is a risk
  • Importance of diet
  • Bodily assistance in shifting this bacterial imbalance
  • Longer term support to reestablish health small intestine integrity
Let’s start with understanding if this is an issue for you. Take a look at these questions below with the awareness of how this ties into your personal gut issues.
  1. Abdominal distention after consumption of fiber, starches, and sugar?
  2. Abdominal distention after certain probiotic or natural supplements?
  3. Lowered gastrointestinal motility, constipation?
  4. Raised gastrointestinal motility, diarrhea?
  5. Alternating constipation and diarrhea?
  6. Suspicion of nutritional malabsorption?
  7. Frequent use of antacid medication?
  8. Have you been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diverticulosis/ Diverticulitis, or Leaky Gut Syndrome?
If four or more of these areas above are a challenge for you SIBO would be expected. So what do you do if this is expected, jump into a SIBO protocol and nutritional plan? Actually no! This is far too extensive of a protocol and ridged nutritional plan to engage in without truly understanding if SIBO is your issue. I always recommend the SIBO breath test for any of my clients suspected of SIBO. This way we can have confirmation before undertaking the protocols and dietary restrictions that are necessary to overcome this small intestinal bacterial imbalance. This simple, non-invasive test detects bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, a common condition that often underlies chronic symptoms of maldigestion and malabsorption, including bloating, gas, diarrhea, irregularity, and abdominal pain. If you have answered yes to 4 or more of the questions listed above, I would get your SIBO test kit today. I have seen this change to lives of many clients already and especially those that have undergone many other gut related programs with little to no success. The Bacterial Overgrowth Breath Test is appropriate for people who demonstrate:
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the most commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal disorder, affecting 20% of the general The SIBO test aids in identifying the actual cause of IBS. Studies suggest that as many as 50-75% of the people with IBS have SIBO, as demonstrated by hydrogen breath testing.
  • Unexplained abdominal symptoms, especially gas and bloating
  • The inability to tolerate sweet or starchy foods, fiber, or friendly flora supplements
There are answers for you! Click here of more information on SIBO testing. If SIBO is an issue for you, your dietary choices during this time are essential to address. I provided a list of nutritional challenges in the article “What’s SIBO all About” but it is not always that simple. There are of course general guidelines for a SIBO diet that would be used during your time of healing but I have found that this has to be addressed individually as well. As you will find if you did your own internet search, there are many versions of a SIBO diet available due to this individuality. While there are some “must avoids” to address, some of this can also be dependent on each individual person. Thus the importance of working with someone that understands this deeper. There is also a two part approach in overcoming this naturally but as with the diet, this is not set in stone with one person to another. Some of my clients are under too much gut distress to move right into the supplement recommendations to assist the body in destroying the unwanted bacterial overgrowth. Some will have to support the small intestinal integrity while following the nutritional recommendations before even thinking about the supplements for the bacteria directly. The good news is, there are answers for this and the keys are:
  • Awareness
  • Testing
  • Dietary
  • Supplement support for bacteria overgrowth
  • Supplement support for small intestinal integrity
  • Happy, healthy gut
If you have any comments or questions in regard to this article, feel free to post this below and we will address this personally.

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