Bugs in My Belly?
Updated: Dec 29, 2021
Healthy or Harmful? How can I tell?
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME vs SIBO
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) have many common signs and symptoms.
Both cause biochemical and structural changes in the intestinal tract.
Both cause dysfunction in the gut-brain axis.
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth is the leading cause of irritable bowel syndrome. It is a condition in which bacteria which are normally found in the large intestine have overgrown into the small intestine
SIBO is associated with a number of chronic illnesses which you can read about on sibotest.com. and include diabetes and crohns disease,
A simplistic way to look at this is to consider the microbiome within your gut. This is the bacteria and their environment.
There are good (healthy) bacteria which you need to feed and nurture with healthy foods.
There are bad (unhealthy) bacteria that will feed off the unhealthy foods and food sensitivities and have the ability to flourish, overpopulate your gut and contribute to health issues.
All these bacteria have by-products from feeding, just like we do.
The healthy ones produce things like vitamins, enzymes and hormones essential to health (eg vitamin B12 and serotonin).
The unhealthy ones produce toxic waste that cause problems (eg ammonia and methane).
The Healthy ones need to flourish and keep our digestive environment clean and functional with a balanced diet full wholefoods, variety, nutrients and water.
(Eat all the colours of the rainbow people).
The Unhealthy ones will flourish if we load our system with processed foods, sugars, alcohol and remain dehydrated. These foods are well marketed as cheap and tasty.
The damage done affects the intestinal border lining.
This lining is made up of lots of finger like projections called villi. Their job is to move material through the intestine and to provide a surface area for the absorption of nutrients.
These villi become damaged by toxic wastes produced by unhealthy bacteria and foods that cause inflammation. The damage causes the villi to become inflamed and to wear down, making them shorter and ineffective at absorbing nutrients.
Once the integrity of the border lining is compromised the junctions between the cells open enough to allow particles that are essentially too large to pass directly into the blood stream. In a healthy lining only the smallest particles can get past this barrier.
Once in the blood stream the larger particles are inflammatory and travel everywhere in the body, but most importantly to the brain.
Now the brain is very clever. There only certain molecules that can pass from the blood into the brain cells. But when the brain becomes inflamed from molecules that normally should not be there then you will begin to see a cascade of health in the brain too. This may express as brain fog, memory loss, depression or other mental health issues.
Do not underestimate the importance of a Healthy Gut.
Hippocrates said many years ago "All Disease Begins in the Gut" and now science has caught up and proves what many health professionals already knew.
Of course once a level of damage has been reached then the signs and symptoms become noticeable and uncomfortable.
*bloating after meals
*burping after meals
*leaky gut symptoms (food sensitivites, joint pain, brain fog)
Getting an actual diagnosis from your doctor can be hard as the symptoms all seem rather vague. And to be honest the best results come from changing diet and lifestyle. something your average doctor does not have time to address.
SIBO can be diagnosed via a simple, non invasive breath test.
How is this possible?
The bacterial overgrowth can cause a rise in gases which are not produced by humans.
These gases are hydrogen and methane, which diffuse from the small intestines into the blood and are carried to the lungs where they are exhaled. By capturing the breathe after a specific prep diet, hydrogen and methane gases are easily assessed. Best of all the test is conveniently done at home.
It is possible to reverse the damage done to the intestinal lining. The time that this takes depends on the extent of the damage. This may take anywhere from one week to many months.
It requires diet changes, supplementation and the removal of toxins both from foods and your environment.
Other body systems may also need balancing to help the healing process.
This will be determined by your presenting signs and symptoms.
If you leave it and wait for a diagnosis of disease the damage will continue to progress. There is a fine line between what can be easily fixed and what has caused too much structural damage already.
Reach out for help. The solutions are often simple and effective.
Cherish Your Health
You Deserve It.