Is it me, or do you think health is becoming…well, trendy?
There is so much information out there, so many gurus, and so many people jumping on the green juice-bone broth-kombucha bandwagon.
I love it.
It’s spreading the word like wildfire and things are changing.
What about Candida though – even if you are not a “health person” per se, you may have heard of Candida, right?
I was in a coffee shop last week and I overheard a girl next to me talking to her friend say “Ah, I can’t take a bite of that, my candida is really acting up”. Lol.
I smiled, partly because it’s funny to hear that, and partly because everyone seems to know about it on some level.
These “organisms” that live in and on us all the time are really jockeying for our attention, and they are getting it.
We know that yeast overgrowth is responsible for a lot of trouble from bloating to constipation to low energy to brain fog.
But health is a complicated matter with many organisms working together (and these organisms can work together either for you or against you).
Since we have about 10 times more bacterial cells than we have human cells, we must talk about bacteria and not just yeast alone because you almost never find one without the other.
After taking two large groups and a clinical trial totaling almost 3500 people through Gut Thrive in 5, I’ve become intimately familiar and acutely aware of a condition that plagued more than 1000 of these people and millions of others (potentially you on some level). That condition is SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
What is SIBO exactly?
We have bacteria in our small intestine, which is the place where you digest your food, but we have an infinitely higher number of bacteria in the colon (the large intestine).
SIBO can be defined simply as having a bacterial overgrowth of many different types of bacteria that belong in the large intestine, in the small intestine.
And when bacteria are in the wrong place, it wreaks havoc on our health because it leads to intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome), liver overload, immune trouble, and potential brain toxicity.
This often goes on unchecked for years on end because it's not truly recognized in the mainstream medical community.
SIBO significantly impacts our digestion of food and absorption of nutrients (because it damages the gut lining) and those plagued with SIBO often experience:
- Trouble digesting most carbohydrates (FODMAPS)
- Many food sensitivities (what can I eat??)
- Constant, excessive bloating
- Brain fog
- Exhaustion (from being undernourished and not digesting your food)
- Long-standing, stubborn constipation
- Depression and anxiety (the gut, the brain & the nervous system are a team)
- Vitamin A or Vitamin D deficiency
A few things that can cause it:
- Antibiotic use (sometimes even just 2 or 3 rounds of antibiotics)
- Irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive diseases like Celiac, Crohn’s, or ulcerative colitis
- Inadequate stomach acid (see how to avoid that here)
- Overconsumption of alcohol, sugar, birth control pills, or NSAIDs (anti-inflammatories)
The mission to eradicate SIBO can be complicated and requires a multi-pronged approach.
But it absolutely can be done with system and strategy and customization along the way, based upon how you respond to the strategy.
Here is my 10-step approach of how we like to kick SIBO for good in our Gut Thrive Program.
How to Get Rid of SIBO
1: Slash inflammation by removing food sensitivities and things that proliferate bacteria (this includes all fermented foods, even the ones you think are good for you). At the same time add in amazingly tasty, powerful foods as your antibacterial (and anti-yeast) medicine.
2: Build the adrenals and thyroid so you have energy for steps 3-10. Take enzymes so you can digest your food and avoid deficiency.
3: Purge pathogens with a carefully crafted cocktails of botanicals that interrupt the way these “super bacteria” communicate because if take away their “cell phones”, they can no longer talk and proliferate and we can get to moving them on out.
4: Keep ‘em moving down and out. We use salt flushes to keep the bacteria moving down (since it’s tendency is to come UP and cause problems). Follow your salt flush with a coffee enema and they know they really need to find someplace to live.
5: Close the ileocecal valve. This is the “border check” valve that keeps the microbial ecosystem of your colon separate from your small intestine. A lazy or flimsy valve is going to ensure the problem persists by letting bacteria up and into the small intestine where it doesn’t belong.
6: Neuro-activation techniques like gargling, singing, and deep breathing that wake up the brain to remember its role in intestinal motility. This helps alleviate constipation from one of the root causes.
7: Heal and seal leaky gut with food and dip your toe back in the water of good bacteria, to see if probiotics will now help or hurt.
8: Balance stomach acid to make sure you don’t get bacterial overgrowth again.
9: Build your long-term gut health and make the good bacteria especially strong and self-sufficient to make your own vitamins again and to keep you balanced.
10: Live a balanced, healthy life because now your body has developed the ability to adapt and survive and you can employ the 80/20 to eat clean 80% of the time.
Now we want to hear from you. Do you have SIBO? If so, what are you doing to overcome it? Did you have SIBO? What was your journey like?