Tag Archives fordigestion

A-Z Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Series Part 1

This is Video 1 of the A-Z SIBO Series! 

In my experience, Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth is the most misunderstood GI condition. I have hundreds of people contacting me after their current practitioner was unable to help them. Don’t let your SIBO patients down! 

In this video quick series, I will teach you how to treat SIBO from start to finish. In Video 1, I will discuss the different types of SIBO you may encounter (and yes, the type does matter). I will discuss the different causes of SIBO and why SIBO may NOT be the first place to start. I will also discuss ways to test for SIBO and which is the best test for the most accurate results. 

If you are a practitioner and are interested in mentoring with me, I offer practitioner mentoring consults to help you understand your client’s SIBO tests and treatment protocols. I also mentor in interpretation for the GI-MAP test, DUTCH hormones testing, functional blood chemistry, metals testing and Hair Mineral Analysis. If you want me to help you understand your patients’ results you can book an appointment here.

 

5 Benefits of Coffee Enemas

Many people have recently begun utilizing enemas to improve their overall health. Over a period of many years, excess waste that hasn’t been eliminated can build up inside of your colon. In fact, anecdotal reports say that as much as 10 pounds of waste may accumulate in your body at one time. That’s a lot of excess baggage you don’t want to be carrying around.

 

When you perform a cleanse with an enema, it helps to remove toxic build-up, which will in turn provide immediate health benefits and relief from certain conditions.

 

There are many different ways to perform an enema, but today we will be focusing on one of the more ‘taboo methods’—the coffee enema.

 

If you are new to the idea of enemas, the use of coffee may shock you. However, it can indeed help detoxify your body and remove the excess waste that could be accumulating within your body.

 

5 Benefits of Coffee Enemas

 

Coffee enemas can prevent the overgrowth of Candida.

 

Overgrowth of the Candida albicans fungus inside your intestines can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, from fatigue, to brain fog, to a weakened immune system.

 

However, you should be happy to note that a coffee enema may help prevent the overgrowth of Candida, along with other bad bacteria. (1)

 

Coffee enemas can help detoxify your liver and bloodstream.

 

A coffee enema is a great way to detoxify your liver and bloodstream. Symptoms such as bloating, stomach aches, and intestinal disturbances can usually be traced back to an overworked liver.

 

When performing a coffee enema, the coffee is absorbed into the liver through the intestinal wall where it helps to take on some of that toxic load that the liver is unable to process on it’s own. (2)

 

Exposure to environmental toxins cannot be avoided, but there are ways to mitigate the potential damages that result from excessive exposure. Detoxes help tremendously with this, as do proper nutrition and regular exercise.

 

Coffee enemas can promote better digestion and regularity.

 

A coffee enema can help to improve the flow of bile. (3) This helps to alkalinize your small intestines, which promotes better overall digestion.

 

When food that you consume is not properly digested, it can generate toxic chemicals within your intestines. These toxins are then absorbed by your liver. Utilizing a coffee enema not only helps your liver with this load, but it also will improve your digestion to make it so your liver doesn’t have to work so hard in the first place.

 

Coffee enemas may help relieve anxiety and provide mental clarity.

 

Coffee is well known for its antioxidant properties. Many people who perform a coffee enema report a feeling of increased wellbeing and mental clarity, which also helps to provide relief for anxiety. The colon and liver are both parasympathetic organs, which have been shown play a role in anxiety disorders (4), meaning the cleanse from the enema helps to promote overall relaxation within your nervous system which helps ease anxiety symptoms.

 

Coffee enemas can help regulate hormones and restore balance to your endocrine system.

 

Your liver actually plays a very important role in the metabolism of hormones within your body. (5) Estrogen toxicity can actually develop from too much of the wrong type of estrogen accumulating within the liver. This can lead into a wide range of health issues for women, not least of all being a decreased ability to detoxify carcinogens. (6)

 

When you use a coffee enema with the intent of detoxifying your liver, an added benefit is the removal of these “bad” estrogen hormones that get flushed out as well. This helps to maintain proper hormonal balance for women.

 

Hormonal imbalances can also cause a wide range of symptoms such as fatigue, depression, low energy levels, and infertility.

 

Potential Side Effects

 

Coffee enemas can provide several great benefits for your health, with little to no side effects. Most of the unpleasant side effects can be negated by drinking plenty of fluids and staying properly hydrated. Once you have performed the enema, you expel a multitude of toxins and some water and electrolytes along with it.

 

Is A Coffee Enema Right for You?

 

If you’re looking for a natural way to detoxify your body, a coffee enema is a good place to start. Other measures to consider include evaluation of your gut bacteria and incorporating some physical activity in your routine.

 

The Final Word

 

You don’t have to wait until you exhibit symptoms of illness before performing a coffee enema. Preventive measures are always better than having to find a cure, so be proactive in protecting your health and wellbeing. Your body will thank you.

 

Always check with your doctor if you’re unsure about the effects of a coffee enema on your body, and whether or not it is right for you.

 

 

5 SIBO Treatment Mistakes Everyone Makes

Prefer to hear me discuss this article in a video? See video below!

 

If you are a health practitioner and you want to know my exact step-by-step process that I use when it comes to treating clients with SIBO, check out my 3-Part A-Z SIBO Series. Check out Video 1!

 

Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth is an incredibly common infection that I am finding in the majority of my clients who are struggling with chronic digestive issues.

 

A study undertaken at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center used 448 subjects who were referred by their doctors for detection of SIBO.

 

After completing a questionnaire, the researchers determined that 202 subjects could be considered as having irritable bowel syndrome according to standard symptom criteria (see sidebar). Of these, 157 (78%) were positive for bacteria overgrowth using the lactulose Hydrogen Breath Test.

 

What is SIBO?

SIBO is a condition where normal bacterial flora from the large intestine migrate up into the small intestine where they aren’t supposed to be. Compared to the large intestine, the small intestine is relatively sterile when it comes to microflora. With an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, food that is eaten is fermented and acted upon by the overgrowth, rather than digested for your nourishment.

 

The result is SIBO infected individuals tends to have a lot of gas, bloating, belching and abdominal pain. Depending on the type of SIBO present, individuals may have chronic diarrhea or constipation. I have also seen many SIBO clients presenting will extreme fatigue or even chronic fatigue.

 

SIBO is gaining some attention lately and more and more people struggling with IBS are looking to SIBO as the potential cause of their GI issues.

 

A journey full of trial and error, getting rid of SIBO can be HARD work. With our scientific and clinical understanding of the condition continuing to grow, protocols and recommendations are constantly evolving and as with any gut condition. This means that what works for one person may not work for the next.

 

It also means that the medical community is starting to catch on. In Canada, we are starting to see SIBO labs popping up which is a great thing. Unfortunately, many practitioners are testing their patients for SIBO without having adequate knowledge of the complex protocols involved in successfully treating the condition.

 

The result is that many SIBO sufferers try over and over to clear the infection and they either fail to get rid of it or they get re-infected.

 

I want to discuss some of the most common mistakes I have seen when it comes to treating SIBO. If you are someone struggling with SIBO, you need to read this. There are many practitioners who claim to understand SIBO but they have no kept current with their research. Make sure you or your practitioner aren’t making these SIBO treatment sabotaging mistakes.

 

1. Not knowing which type of SIBO you have

Not all SIBO is created equal. In the future, what we currently call SIBO may actually be categorized into many distinct conditions. Our knowledge of SIBO is new and we are learning more about it every single day. The type of SIBO you have entirely affects the protocol you decide to do. Currently, we know of three different types of SIBO; methane dominant, hydrogen dominant and hydrogen sulfide dominant.

 

We have the ability to test for methane and hydrogen but not for hydrogen sulfide. In order to effectively remove your SIBO and experience results, you need to know which one you have or if you have both.

 

The best testing method is a 180 minute lactulose breath test. Labs that I use for this are Biohealth Labs, Commonwealth Labs and Sage SIBO Lab in Canada.

 

2. Other gut infections are also present

This is a very common one. SIBO is not a lone ranger. In most cases is does not travel alone. Parasites are often one of the primary causes of a SIBO infection. How? An acute parasite infection, such as traveller’s diarrhea or gastroenteritis, can paralyze the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC). The MMC is a flowing motion that occurs multiple times in a day that essetially “flushes” bacteria back down the intestine and prevents it from moving upwards. In a healthy person the MMC occurs up to 40 times per day. If the MMC has been paralyzed it may only occur a few times a day.

 

Since parasites are often the cause of SIBO, they need to be addressed first. This is one of the more common reasons that SIBO continues to come back after treatment.

 

I have encountered many clients who have been tested for SIBO and are currently doing multiple SIBO protocols but their practitioner never ran testing for other GI infections. They are unlikely to have success.

 

Additionally, the symptoms of SIBO are often identical for other GI infections. If you don’t address these infections, your symptoms will persist and you may never get rid of the SIBO.

 

Don’t agree to a SIBO test before testing the large intestine first. My favorite test is the Diagnostics Solutions Lab GI-MAP which is fantastic for identifying parasite and other infections.

 

3. Expecting one round of antibiotics or antimicrobials to be all you need

 SIBO is hard to to get rid of in many people. Some studies have shown that relapse rates for SIBO are as high as 50%. Expecting a single round to be all you need may lead to disappointment, depending on the severity of your condition.

 

SIBO is about getting the levels of bacterial down to a point where they are no longer an ‘overgrowth’. The amount of treatment you need will depend on the level of gas being produced and how well you respond to treatment.

 

It is crucial that you re-test immediately after treatment. If you still have an overgrowth but your gas levels have decreased,  that’s a sign that your treatment protocol is working and you just need to do it for longer.

 

If you don’t see an improvement in your gas levels, you need to change course. If you have been doing a herbal protocol, antibiotics or an elemental diet may be a better choice.

 

Stick with the protocol until the test tells you the SIBO is gone.

 

4. Following a FODMAPS diet during the treatment Protocol

This is most common among clients trying to treat themselves without the help of a skilled SIBO practitioner. Many people know that the FODMAPS diet is the most commonly used diet to treat SIBO.

 

What many people don’t realize is that you need to be strategic with the FODMAPS diet. Most people consume a FODMAPS diet during their treatment protocol. This is a huge mistake.

 

Eating a low FODMAPS diet essentially starves the overgrowth. Starving the SIBO bacteria can make them go dormant which means that the herbs or antibiotics you take don’t work. Treatment will not work on dormant bacteria.

 

For this reason it is important to consume some fermentable carbohydrates during the treatment protocol. The FODMAPS diet should be employed after the SIBO has been eradicated In which case it will need to be followed for at least 3 months.

 

5. Failure to Address the Root Cause of SIBO

SIBO is a much more complex condition than simply too much bacteria in the small intestine. By treating SIBO like other infections, many practitioners fail to address the reason a person became infected with SIBO to begin with.

 

In my experience there are three things that need to be addressed in order to prevent re-infection:

  • Structural causes. These include intestinal valve issues, abdominal adhesions or misaligned organs
  • Parasites. We discussed this above. Parasites need to be identified and removed before one considers addressing SIBO
  • Migrating Motor Complex. A prokinetic supplement needs to be taken for multiple months after the SIBO is eliminated to stimulate the MMC and prevent bacteria from traveling back up into the small intestine and causing SIBO all over again.

 

If you are a health practitioner and you want to know my exact step-by-step process that I use when it comes to treating clients with SIBO, check out my 3-Part A-Z SIBO Series. Check out Video 1!

 

 

3 Reasons Why You are Chronically Fatigued

 

“I’m just so tired!”

“I am so sick of feeling tired”

“It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, I wake up feeling totally exhausted.”

 

Sound familiar? Fatigue is the most common complaint I hear from my clients. In fact, it is rare that I work with a person who claims to have high energy levels and feels like they are totally rocking it.

 

There is a fatigue epidemic these days. Everyone seems to be lacking the energy they need to fully enjoy their lives.

 

So what’s going in with this low energy epidemic?

 

In order to have proper energy levels, you need to have a well functioning body machine. Unfortunately, with a deficient food supply, increased exposure to environmental toxins and chronic stress, our machines are taking a serious beating.

 

If you are feeling exhausted, no doubt you are wondering why.

 

Here are three reasons why you are exhausted, fatigued and straight up drained.

 

1. Hormone Imbalance

 

Hormones play a massive role in energy production. Specifically, cortisol, is incredibly important when it comes to having high energy. Many of us know cortisol as a stress hormone but it is also needed in certain amounts every single day.

 

In fact, without cortisol you wouldn’t even be able to get of bed in the morning.

 

It mainly operates to not only make us feel energized but to stabilize our blood sugar. We all know how low blood sugar makes us feel; hangry, dizzy, anxious and low energy. Stable blood sugar = stable energy levels.

 

Fluctuating cortisol throughout the days almost always go along with fluctuating energy levels. Imbalanced cortisol always lead to imbalanced energy.

 

When a run a hormone panel on a client I can use their cortisol rhythm to predict how their energy feels through the day. If you are finding yourself with dipping energy levels, consider your cortisol production.

 

Additionally estrogen dysregulation, low testosterone and low DHEA are often implicated in poor energy production.

 

2. Poor Digestion

 

There is a saying that goes, “You are what you eat,” but really you are only what you digest, absorb and assimilate. How many of you out there are eating this amazing whole foods diet, rich in protein and healthy vegetables but you still wake up every single day feeling wiped out?

 

If this sounds like you, poor digestion might be your issue. Unfortunately, many of the things that we do in everyday life destroy our digestion. Some of the worst digestion destroyers are alcohol, gluten, stress and lack of sleep.

 

And how many of us do those things on a regular basis, right?!

 

Digestion is huge. So if you have tightened up your diet but you still feel fatigued, consider your digestion.

 

3. Exposure to Environmetal Toxins

 

It doesn’t matter where you live. All of us are exposed to environmental toxins and heavy metals on a regular basis. This is an unfortunate reality of our increasingly toxic world. Thousands of chemicals are being added to our environment on a yearly basis with no regard for how they might be affecting human health.

 

Our detox organs are overwhelmed by toxins and are unable to process them effectively. The result is that toxins and metals are stored in our body; in our bone, brain, organs and cells.

 

These interfere with our cellular function, our mitochondria and the result is that we can’t produce energy at the level that we need to. No wonder we are so damn tired

 

Poor energy levels almost always means you have some level of toxicity in your body. Detoxification is key!

 

If you want to know 3 simple things you can start doing right now to eliminate fatigue, get your FREE PDF below!

 

 

3 Ways to Eliminate Fatigue – Get Your Free PDF!

Paleo Chicken Pho – And How It Can Support Your Hormones

Pho is pretty much my favorite thing ever. Ever! Ever! Ever! Apparently I say that a lot. My boyfriend is always pointing out that everything I come across is the “best thing ever,” or “my favorite thing ever,” or the “best thing I have ever seen.” I think it drives him crazy. Honestly, I don’t really care. Cause everything is awesome and every day is the best day ever in the world. Take that!

 

But seriously, when it comes to Pho, I just can’t get enough. So warm and full of nutrition, I find myself craving it the most at this time of year. The great thing about this recipe is that it is Paleo. I found these wonderful sweet potato noodles that are just fantastic. I have been eating pho for 2 weeks straight and I just keep wanting more.

 

I use my own homemade broth to make this and I think that’s why it tastes so damn good. Broth is one of the most amazing things you can do for your digestion. Imagine the nutrients and minerals it would take to make bone. When you simmer your broth, you pull all those minerals and nutrients out of the bone and put it into a tasty delicious liquid that you can just consum consume consume!

 

Is broth good for my hormones you might ask? I would say “yes, yes it is.” All those minerals and nutrients help your hormone system function better. How? Let me tell you.

 

Bone broth heals your gut. Gut health is inextricably linked to your hormonal health. If you got something nasty going on like leaky gut your body is not able to absorb enough minerals or nutrients to even produce hormones. Leaky gut leads to toxins and other gross things leaking into your bloodstream. This in itself can cause a fight-or-flight response which pushed cortisol up and throws your other hormones all over the place. If you have gas, bloating or any other gut symptoms then I guarantee your hormones are a wee bit messy. What am I trying to tell you? Make this Pho recipe and eat it up!

 

 Bone Broth is packed full of electrolytes. We need a good balance of electrolytes for the adrenal glands to function properly. In fact, when we are stressed, electrolytes are easily depleted from the body. Sodium and potassium are especially important for the adrenal glands. The ratio between sodium and potassium will determine fluid and electrolyte dynamics, blood pressure activity, nervous system output and energy production. If either of these is depleted your adrenal health will suffer. Do drink it up. The bone broth, I mean.

 

Bone broth is full of  beneficial amino acids like proline and glycine. Amino acids are key plays in the development of your hormones and also the detoxification process. Your liver is responsible for clearing excess hormones from the blood. So if your liver doesn’t detoxify well then extra hormones are running amuck around your body doing all kinds of weird things. Poor detoxification is implicated in things like estrogen dominance and PCOS

 

No discussion about hormones can leave out a discussion about gut health and digestion. The two are romantically involved and you just can’t break them up. So what I am trying to say is make my Pho recipe. Make it for your digestion, make it for your hormones and make it because it just taste so damn good!

 

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Is a Parasite the Cause of Your Gas, Bloating, Gut Pain, Constipation and Diarrhea?

Having healthy digestion is crucial to feeling awesome. When digestion is working as it should, you feel energized, you have great sleeps and you easily maintain a healthy weight.

 

The digestive system is the way in which your body breaks down food, assimilates nutrients and eliminates waste out of the body.

 

Unfortunately so many people struggle with gut problems. Whether its gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, these issues are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world.

 

As a health practitioner, gut healing is a main focus of the work I do with clients to re-establish health, especially when hormones are out of whack. Gut problems play a huge role in hormone imbalance.  When a client comes to me with hormone imbalance, I always start by looking at gut health.

 

Many of the clients I work with are already educated about gut health. They are doing all the staple things to improve their digestive health. They drink bone broth. They take probiotics. The consume digestive enzymes and eat a healthy, whole foods diet.

 

Despite their best efforts, their guts are no closer to being healthy. No matter what they do, their guts are still a total mess. They still experience constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating and abdominal pain. It is extremely debilitating and interferes with their lives.

 

I have found the missing link in gut health to be the presence of pathogenic GI infections. This might include parasites but can also include bacteria, yeast, worms or even viruses. A parasite is actually just one of the many organism that could be inhabiting your digestive track and promoting inflammation.

 

We all know what it’s like to pick up a stomach bug. Maybe you ate something questionable or are travelling in a foreign country and you get those initial food poisoning symptoms of diarrhea and abdominal pain. This is what is called an acute infection.

 

The problem that leads to long term gut problems tends to be low grade chronic infections. These are infections that we contract and our immune system deals with to a certain point but they are not fully eradicated from the system. They continue to exist in smaller amounts and cause chronic inflammation and over stimulation of the immune system.

 

Your immune system works hard to keep these things in check so they do not take over but this can lead to extreme fatigue, poor sleep quality and inflammation. You can imagine how many resources your body would need to keep these things in check. You suffer as a result. You may experience alternating constipation and diarrhea in between periods of normal bowel movements. You may also experience chronic low energy, brain fog, anxiety or depression.

 

If you have experienced chronic digestive issues despite cleaning up your diet and actively trying to heal your gut, an infection may be to blame.

 

I don’t believe these infections are the root cause of illness. I believe that our digestive systems become unhealthy due to exposure to toxins, stress, drugs and alcohol and this compromises the gut mucosal barrier system.

 

What is the Mucosal Barrier System?

 

The gut is lined with an intricate barrier system which separates your GI tract from your bloodstream. You can imagine that you would not want everything you eat to end up in your blood.

 

The lining of your gut is selectively permeable. Some things can get through (ie. vitamins, minerals, nutrients) and some things are blocked out (ie. viruses, pathogens and toxins). Our constant exposure to toxins, chemicals, food additives and stress can not only create inflammation in this barrier system, causing it to breakdown physically, but it can also cause communication problems, that lead to malfunction.

 

The result is that the intestinal barrier begins to malfunction, allowing not only inappropriate things to leak into the bloodstream but also impacts the immune system and breaks down our defenses. The result is we become more easily infected with pathogenic organisms and physically we may experience more frequent illness, like colds and flus. A situation such as this is called, Leaky Gut Syndrome.

 

 

leaky-gut

 

Many people are unaware of how common this is. I frequently find multiple pathogenic species in one person. If you would like to learn more about my journey with serious GI infections, check out this blog post.

 

Infections can absolutely destroy your digestive system. Not only do they stimulate the immune system, causing inflammation but they also produce excessive amounts of toxins. The toxic load stresses out the liver, causing congestion.

 

A liver that is overloaded with toxins, is unable to do its other important jobs like clearing excess hormones from the blood and converting thyroid hormones into energy. This can have serious implications for your adrenal and thyroid health, not to mention the effect it can have on your skin (acne, eczema or dermatitis).

 

Infections are huge blocking factors when it comes to healing. If you have had the experience of doing all the right things for your health but are still feeling terrible then this is definitely something to consider.

 

Store bought parasite and Candida cleanses are common. I see these lining the shelves of my local health food store. Many people do one of these 2-3 weeks kits and think they’re “good.”

 

Unfortunately 2-3 weeks is not nearly enough time to clear many of these infections. These kits also fail to address the reason one’s gut may have become unhealthy to begin with. If you do not change these reasons, then you will likely become re-infected or infected with some other pathogenic organism.

 

Not knowing what organism you might be infected with is another huge issue. Many of these infections share the same symptoms. Many people think they have Candida, because they have sugar cravings, a white tongue or extreme fatigue. But these symptoms are also common of parasitic and bacterial infections.

 

Certain infections do not stay put in the intestine. They travel outside to other areas of the body like the brain, gallbladder, liver and lungs. Infections that exist outside the intestine do not respond well to botanical formulas. In some cases, antibiotics are necessary. Read more about my experience taking antibiotics to treat a potentially fatal parasitic infection.

 

I have run hundreds of Gastrointestinal Pathogen screens on clients and students and it is rare that they come up clean. In one person it is not uncommon to find parasites, bacteria and yeast infections all at once.

 

Do you want to know whether or not you have a Gastrointestinal infection? Get my free quiz below:

 

Take the Gut Pathogen Quiz!