Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, is more and more common now days. I see clients all the time with it. Its not nice to live with and can be resolved.
Did you know that 70% of IBS cases are actually SIBO?
This is currently frequently missed by the much of medical profession as they are not informed.
SIBO is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
This is when the bacteria that usually live in your large bowel proliferate into the small bowel.
A study by the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that 66% of patients who had Celiac disease but followed a gluten-free diet still tested positive for SIBO.
SIBO can be tested, in a breath test. I also can get an idea if someone has it by taking a case history study and looking at their blood. And I find many of these clients also have intestinal permeability or leaky gut. You can read more about this here Leaky gut and the gut brain connection
Many case are post infectious - this is after a bout of food poisoning or gastro. This can have an auto immune component . The bacteria from the infection cause the immune system to affect the ‘MMC’ - migrating motor complex and the gut transit time. This means you are left with the annoying and inconvenient symptoms that SIBO causes - including bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. I
t’s a bit tricky to treat but can be resolved with the right support
Some Symptoms of SIBO include-
⭐️Bloating after eating
⭐️Feeling of fullness after eating a small amount
⭐️Skin issues such as eczema and rosacea
SIBO needs a specific care to resolve and It is sometimes tricky to treat and can be resolved, if you know how!
It takes more than diet (and more than a FODMAP diet - there are more ‘SIBO specific diets’ out there) and some great supplements and gut brain connection techniques to get people feeling great again!
I have successfully treated clients (and myself) for IBS and SIBO, so know that you do no need to suffer! Please get in contact here if you would like to ask any question or need my help!
The gallbladder is an overworked gland. It’s a small gland that sits under the liver. The liver produces a substance called bile and the gallbladder (GB) stores it. Bile is used to break down fats from your diet and also binds to toxins and unwanted hormones such as excess estrogens to be eliminated through your bowels. When the GB is under functioning it will cause fat malabsorption, a build up of toxins in your body and estrogen dominance. AND it will predispose you to gall stones.
Symptoms associated with a under functioning gallbladder include
- Pain/tenderness under right rib cage
- Pain between shoulder blades
- Indigestion, especially after eating fatty food
- Feeling of fullness after eating
HRT and the Pill causes alterations with gallbladder function as theses hormones affect the stickiness of bile and make the gallbladder more sluggish, leading to potential gallbladder problems and stones. And for those of you women in perimenopause, who are estrogen dominant, then the GB can be a contributor.
Thyroxin or T4, is a thyroid hormone that influences GB function. If this hormone is low, it can cause slow bile flow and contribute to formation of gall stones.
What can you do to look after your GB?
Diet should include;
- Lemon juice in warm water on rising
- Regularly eat raw beetroot, bitter greens and olives
- Dandelion root tea
- Coconut oil, nuts and seeds, oily fish, omega 3 oils
- Avoid trans fats, red meat, fried foods, reduced processed foods and sugar
- Avoid over eating!
Supplements can include;
- Lethicin with meals – sunflower is best, or supplement with choline
- marys thistle
- Dandelion root
- Use castor oil packs of the GB area at night
- Rub a few drops of rosemary oil (in a carrier oil) over your GB
Get in touch if you need support or have questions.
IBS, leaky gut, SIBO and oxalates.
Have you tried many diets, supplements and treatments for your gut issues, yet you still struggle with your symptoms? Do you have IBS, IBD , SIBO, leaky gut, diarrhoea or bloating?
Oxalates, the crystals that can form anywhere in your body including your gut, may be to blame. Oxalates, if not removed efficiently by your gut bacteria / flora, can cause inflammation and irritation to the gut. If you have leaky gut or candida you will be more sensitive to oxalates in foods and these crystals will accumulate more. Kidney stones are the most well known problem related to oxalates. They can affect your joints, muscles, eyes, liver and thyroid and cause inflammation throughout the whole body.
What are these oxalates?
Oxalates are a molecule (with no nutritional value) that is found in many healthy foods including most nuts and seeds, black beans, kidney beans, spinach, carrots, buckwheat, rye and potatoes.
These crystals care meant to be removed through the bacteria in our gut. But if this balance of bacteria is disturbed – for example after food poisoning, gastro, antibiotic use or poor diet, then the body doesn’t do a very god job of this and the oxalates build up in the body and wreak havoc!
Why do plants contain oxalates?
‘ Plants use oxalate to protect themselves from infection or from being eaten. Oxalate crystals can tear up the “teeth” of the bugs that eat them, and the bugs will stop and leave the plant alone! That’s why oxalate is a good protection for plants that taste good to bugs, but they are a secret surprise for larger creatures who don’t detect oxalate when they eat high oxalate foods, and who lack the ability to sense its toxicity and lack the means to protect themselves from oxalate’s effects.’ (1)
If you are eating lots of nuts and greens and adding raw cacoa to smoothies , then you are getting a HUGE oxalate overload.
Some of the high oxalate foods you may like to avoid are –
- Brussel sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
- Sesame seeds
- Black beans
- Navy beans
There or other foods such as FODMAPS and Histamines that also may need to be taken into consideration when helping to heal your gut issues. If you have parasites, candida or a bacterial overgrowth including SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), leaky gut then you will most probably need to take natural supplements to rectify these issues.
Note - If you decide to try this out, please cut down these foods slowly to avoid a ‘ dumping ‘ reaction, where the body releases stored oxalates and can make your symptoms temporarily worse. Please contact me for support with this or if you would like a consultation to work on your gut issues. In clinic I use live and dried blood analysis to find out the state of your health and whether you have parasites, leaky gut or candida.
For more information on oxalates, check you this website - http://lowoxalate.info/index.html
1 - http://lowoxalate.info/index.html
Are you exhausted? Fatigued? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Moody? Depressed ? Wired and tired at night? Are you getting sick all the time or constant hay fever or allergies ?
If you have any of these symptoms, fatigue on waking or throughout the whole day and you have been suffering long term, your adrenal glands are probably to blame. These small, walnuts sized glands produce our ‘fight or flight’, or stress hormones. They therefore help regulate the stress response, but also other hormones, the nervous system, cardiovascular system, regulate the sleep wake cycle and inflammation, and the immune system. With many people in today’s busy world, they get over worked and then they cannot keep up with the ongoing demands our bodies put on them.
To rebuild the adrenals, you should avoid all stimulants where possible. This includes caffeine in chocolate, coffee, cola and guarana in supplements, sugar, alcohol, and white flour products/ refined starches. Reduce stress and get plenty of sleep.
EATING FOR YOUR ADRENALS!
- Eat within 2 hours of waking up
- Eat frequently through the day to regulate your blood sugar levels, at least every 4-5 hours. This will prevent a drop in your blood sugar levels and will make a difference to your adrenal health and energy levels.
- Eat good quality protein at every meal. These can include organic free range eggs and chicken, fish and nuts and seeds.
- Eat a wide variety of whole, natural foods
- Combine a healthy fat, protein and carbohydrate source with every meal
- Eat lots of vegetables, especially the brightly coloured ones and preferably organic
- Use a mineral salt such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt; ½ a teaspoon daily.
- Avoid fruit in the morning
- Mix 1-2 tablespoons of fresh essential oils (cold pressed olive or flaxseed oil) into wheat free grains, vegetables and meats daily. Do this after cooking as they are not meant to be cooked with! Cook with coconut oil which is anti-inflammatory and has a high burning point.
NUTRIENTS FOR ADRENAL HEALTH
Magnesium is a very important mineral for adrenal gland function. It is estimated that at least 80% of the population are magnesium deficient. Please be aware that there are many forms of magnesium and they are not all the same! Practitioner ranges have the most bio-available forms, meaning they are very efficiently absorbed. Potassium and magnesium together are the ‘nervous system Nutrients’.
B complex vitamins are important but may be too stimulating for some people when they are extremely adrenally fatigued. In these cases, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C are the best nutrients to nourish the adrenals glands. ‘Activated’ B vitamins should be used for more efficient absorption. Vitamins B5 and B6 especially help to restore adrenal function. Always take a B- complex if you are taking singular B vitamins to avoid an imbalance occurring. Be careful during intense anxiety as the B vitamins maybe too stimulating, also when there is Chronic fatigue, take small amounts to begin with and see how you feel.
HERBS FOR ADRENAL HEALTH
There are many herbs for the adrenal glands that can help strengthen the adrenals, but also act as adaptogens. Adaptogens help your body adapt to stress and protect the adrenals from any ongoing stressors. An example of an adaptogen are; siberian ginseng, panax ginseng, withania and Rhodiola. Withania can help when there is insomnia and Rhodiola is great for energy, stamina and cognitive function. I use other herbs simultaneously to strengthen the adrenals glands, such as Rehmannia and licorice, along with homeopathics.
When there is anxiety, herbs such as withania, skullcap, magnolia and ziziphus, are great to reduce the flight and fright hormones. It is important to check your Thyroid function through a basal body temperature testing or a thyroid function test. The thyroid gland may need support also. The adrenals and thyroid work together to help regulate the nervous system.
RELAX AND MEDITATE
The adrenals cannot rebuild themselves when they continually stimulated. It’s like whipping a dead horse! If you are tired, avoid ‘soldering on ‘, as this will only make the adrenals weaker. De- stress often, by meditating or doing yoga or Tai chi. Have regular massages and enjoy some time to yourself every day. During times of anxiety more intense exercise may be needed to help the body rid the stress hormones and relieve tension.
Have an Epsom salt bath before bed to get you into a deeper sleep. If you haven’t got a bath, have a warm shower and afterwards rub some lavender oil on your temples. Magnesium oil can be rubbed on the tops of your feet before bed to give the same effect as the Epsom salt bath (Epsom salt is magnesium). Sleeping well and for at least 8 hours a night is an integral part of helping the adrenals recover.
AND BREATHE !!
Try and practice breathing from the lower part of your diaphragm. Too many people shallow breathe when they are stressed or have anxiety. Breathe in for a count of 3, and out for a count of 5, when you feel anxious or finding it hard to get to sleep.
Also our adrenals are patterned from birth, we pick up stresses in utero (the womb) and during childhood, which can have long term effects on our adrenal glands. In families, there may be a genetic pattern, where the all of family members have a similar weakened adrenal response.
No matter what stage you are in, there IS a sure road to recovery! I am here, to help you recover also!
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1; an excerpt From Angela Hywood on ‘The Adrenal insufficiency syndrome’
NLS Salivary hormones training manual, 2009
WHAT STRESS DOES TO YOUR HORMONES
Stress comes in many forms. It can be emotional (ie; relationship issues at work and home, grieving ), physical (ie; overwork, over exercise, over sedentary )and environmental (ie; hay fever, chemicals, pollution). When your body is under constant stress, such as being busy. working too hard and not sleeping well we are usually in the continual ‘fight or flight’ response. We produce more cortisol than usual, a hormone produced by our adrenal glands.
High cortisol over time reduces progesterone levels. This is because we produce cortisol and progesterone from the same hormonal precursor- pregnenolone. Progesterone is our anti-anxiety hormone and gives a feeling of contentment. And if you feel like you have constant PMT/PMS then you probably are low in progesterone!
If this keeps dropping over time because of stress, lowered thyroid function or a sluggish liver, then you end up with estrogen dominance. Excess estrogens can cause more frequent, painful and heavier periods, slow down the thyroid function and contribute to an under active thyroid.
And when the thyroid function slows down, this slows the liver function down and it becomes a cycle. Prolonged cortisol levels also can decrease the livers ability to clear excess estrogen from the blood.
A sluggish liver can mean you end up with insulin resistance and weight gain. Insulin is the hormone which ‘unlocks’ glucose from your food. If you are not unlocking the glucose for energy, it is stored as fat in your body, usually abdominal fat after age 40, which I known as the middle-aged spread…. Eeek! I know no-one really want this to happen!
Also, as we age we become more resistant to insulin, this can cause weight gain. Our body doesn’t utilise glucose from food as efficiently as it did when we were younger. The way around this is to exercise more and eat less sugar and carb’s.
All the endocrine glands and hormones work together like an finely tuned orchestra, so when one hormone is out of wack it will inevitably effect the others.
But don’t let this be you! You can change it, naturally .
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