Have you heard about the microbiome? If you have not, then maybe this is a much-needed read. The microbiome is a big topic at the Nutrition College. As Allana Collen beautifully titles her book, ‘10% human’ meaning our DNA is 10% human and rest of the 90% is the microbiome.
20 years ago when we as nutritionists, practitioners of natural nutrition (aka food) referred to the so-called ‘leaky gut’ it was ‘frowned upon’ by the mainstream medical profession. BUT now, it is recognized by the mainstream medical profession but it took a bit of time, just under 20 years.
Now we have the same with SIBO, which is Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. Most mainstream medical professionals ‘frown upon’ this too and do not believe it exists, but it does. And hopefully, it will not take another 18 years or so for this to be understood. Know anyone on FODMAPS diet? Well they more than likely have SIBO.
SIBO, is basically the good guys (good bacteria) in the wrong place. That is commensal beneficial bacteria living rent-free in parts of the gut where they are not invited. They have taken the opportunity to move over and across all manner of boundaries and decided to reside in the small intestine when they ACTUALLY should be living their life further ‘down under’.
Surely, if it is beneficial bacteria, so-called good bacteria what is wrong with that? Well although they may be the good guys, good guys can still end up in the wrong place and create a bit of a ‘scene’, actually more than a scene in this case. These bugs in the small intestine can create damage to the small intestine lining especially the amazing and VITAL villi. This damage has a tremendous negative impact on the digestion and absorption of food. So if you are not digesting and then absorbing your meals…you are in for a kind of malnutrition of the 21st century in the Western World.
When this SIBO has been going on for some time, the individual with SIBO may be put on a restrictive diet, such as the FODMAP diet. This diet is a most welcome relief to anyone who has SIBO, the bloating, diarrhea, brain fag, indigestion, cramping, nausea, acne rosacea, hormonal issues, weight loss, fatigue, general ‘under par’ feeling all disappear. It is like ‘heaven’ for most people with SIBO. Did you know that about 84% of IBS patients have SIBO?
Nutrition is such a key part in DEALING and HEALING someone’s gut who has SIBO. Food comes in various forms and most people with SIBO cannot tolerate ceratin fiber type foods whatsoever, moreso due to the ‘sugars’ from specific carbohydrate foods. BUT FODMAP although can relieve symptoms and give the individual literally a ‘second life’ so to speak, it is not great long term, as it lacks vital nutrients and is not really addressing the cause. FODMAP is supposed to be a short term ‘stop-gap’, maximum about 3 months. HOWEVER, most people end up on FODMAPS for several years by which time, they end up nutritionally depleted and no REAL healing. FODMAP starves the SIBO BUT it does not HEAL and repair the damage created by the SIBO.
At the college in London, we submerge ourselves into this microbiome. We look at factors such as the health of the estrobolome, the presence of pancreatic enzymes, the diversity or lack of diversity of the microbiome, the ‘density’ of each species of bacteria. It is not only about the DIVERSITY of the microbiome, although this is critical for a healthy microbiome but also the ‘density’ of each species, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!
We show and teach you not ONLY the importance of having a healthy gut and what that means, but how you can use various tests to see what is actually going on down in there if need be. There are some very sophisticated tests that can now look at the microbiome health and we support our students in this training, so they are better equipped to deal with such common and complex health issues.
Homeopathically we integrate remedies with the nutrition that support the individual’s constitution and even use and prescribe what we call bowel nosodes, which are basically bacteria that have been made into homeopathic remedies.
Khush and Gordon