Does IBS Cause Lower Back Pain?

Does IBS Cause Lower Back Pain?

In my practice, clients with a primary presenting symptom of lower back pain often also report having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and gas. To the client, these two conditions appear unrelated. But are they? Does IBS cause lower back pain?

Research has found that IBS is associated unrelated extra-intestinal symptoms including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression and Fibromyalgia.

Association of symptoms means that they usually appear together. It does not mean that one condition may cause the other.

For example, just because many of my clients with lower back pain also have IBS does not mean that the latter caused the former.

To say that one condition causes another you would have to observe that by treating one the other also resolves. In this article, I will outline a client case study whose back pain and IBS symptoms resolved on a low FODMAP diet.

Meet Kelly

Kelly 35, is a yoga teacher working in downtown Ottawa.

While participating in a yoga class, I was also attending I noticed that she avoided doing any postures that involved twisting. After the class, I asked whether Kelly suffered from lower back pain.

She said she did.

Kelly explained that the pain had started some four weeks previously. She had been receiving chiropractic care with a limited reduction in symptoms.

I indicated that if physical symptoms do not respond to physical therapy, then there is often an underlying condition that is driving the problem. I suggested that she come for a consultation with me so that I could assess her back pain and what might be causing it.

A week later she came for an initial consultation, and I took a full medical history.

As well as suffering from the lower back pain she also complained of digestive symptoms including abdominal discomfort, bloating, diarrhoea and gas. She had experienced these symptoms since she was a teenager. She had tried removing gluten from her diet to help her symptoms (which it did) but said that it was socially too stressful to maintain the diet.

On examination, I identified that her muscles were hypertonic or tight and a couple of the primary muscles that support her lower back were not functioning very well.

I explained to Kelly that in my experience over tight and poorly functioning muscles are often a cause and sign of low-grade inflammation. Furthermore, this inflammation often stems from problems in your digestion.

Some years previously Kelly was referred by her family to a Gastroenterologist about her digestive symptoms and was diagnosed as having IBS.

Recent research has found that approximately 80% of people with IBS have a condition called Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or SIBO.

SIBO is a condition where your friendly bacteria that normally live in your large bowel overgrow into your small intestine. One of the functions of the friendly bacteria is to breakdown fermentable carbohydrates known as FODMAPs.

When this process occurs in the small bowel, it can lead to a build of gases causing the symptoms of bloating, constipation and diarrhoea but also inflammation that can spread throughout the body.

Research has also shown that a low FODMAP diet can help reduce symptoms of IBS.

With this information in mind, I explained to Kelly that I thought that her poor digestive health might be causing her back pain and suggested that she try following a low FODMAP diet for two weeks.

Due to her experience of following diets, she was a little anxious but said she would think about it. I said that was, of course, her decision and to do what she could manage without getting too stressed.

Two weeks later at our follow up appointment she said that on reflection she had decided to embrace the diet fully. Furthermore, she reported significant improvement in both her digestive symptoms and lower back pain.

Interestingly she noticed that when on one occasion she veered away from the diet she observed the following day her lower back symptoms were worse.


Based on the clinical outcome, we could assume that Kelly’s back pain was the result of her IBS.

Can we expect that everyone with lower back pain and IBS will have the same outcome? The answer, of course, is no.

To make that conclusion we would have to carry out a much larger study.

That being said changing one’s diet is a relatively low-risk therapeutic intervention compared to for example long-term use of anti-inflammatory medication.

If you do suffer from lower back pain that has not responded to physical treatment and at the same time suffer with IBS symptoms following a 2-week low Fodmap diet would be a safe option.


This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Do you suffer from lower back pain and IBS? Have you tried a low FODMAP diet? Let us know in the comments below.


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7 Little Known Warning Signs That You Have SIBO

7 Little Known Warning Signs That You May Have SIBO

SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is characterised, as the name implies, by excessive bacteria in the small intestine.

Typical symptoms of SIBO include bloating, gas and constipation and or diarrhoea.

If you thought that not having any of these symptoms meant you do not have SIBO, think again.

There is a growing amount of evidence to show that SIBO can manifest with symptoms both inside and outside of the gut. Read on to find out more about some of the little-known signs and symptoms of SIBO that I observe every day in my practice.

Do you Burp after meals?

The majority of your friendly bacteria or microbiota should reside in your large intestine. Your small intestine should be virtually sterile.

One of the main occupations of the microbiota is to breakdown fermentable carbohydrates and produce valuable nutrients for your body as well as gases.

When SIBO occurs your microbiota overgrows from your large intestine to your small intestine. The microbiota that now lives in your small intestine continues to feed on these carbohydrates and produce gases.

These gases become partially trapped in the small intestine leading to the typical bloating and gas.  These gases are expelled upwards causing burping.

So, if you find yourself burping a lot especially after eating, this could be a symptom of SIBO.

Do you experience Fibromyalgia symptoms?

Fibromyalgia symptoms include chronic muscle pain and stiffness, especially across the upper back, neck and shoulders. There has been growing evidence of a link between Fibromyalgia and SIBO two studies published in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease, researchers from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found a direct association between subjects with fibromyalgia and SIBO. (1) (2)

Do you get Interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic condition causing bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pelvic pain. A large number of people who suffer from IC have SIBO. In a study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences, researchers found 81% of 21 subjects with IC tested positive for SIBO. (3)

Are You Lactose Intolerance?

People with lactose intolerance are unable to completely digest lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk. A small but significant amount of people with a lactose intolerance also has SIBO. In a study published in the Saudia Arabia Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers found that 18% of subjects with IBS were also lactose intolerant. (4)

Do you have chronic low Iron and or B12?

You may have SIBO if you suffer from chronic low B12 or iron that does not increase with supplementation. It is thought that the bacteria that have overgrown into the small intestine take up nutrients such as B12 and iron before they can be absorbed. (5)

Do you suffer from Restless Legs?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition in which you have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. It typically occurs in the evenings while you’re sitting or when you first lie down to go to bed. Recent research has found a strong association between IBS and RLS. In a study published in 2012, researchers found that 25% of people with RLS suffered from SIBO compared to 6.5% of controls. (6)

Do you have Diabetes?

If you have been diagnosed diabetes and suffer from digestive symptoms then you may have SIBO. A recent study observed that SIBO was present in 43% of diabetic patients with chronic diarrhea, and 75% had a positive change in their symptoms after being treated with antibiotics. (7)


If you suffer from any of the above conditions with or without other digestive symptoms then I suggest that it worth looking into the possibility you have SIBO.

SIBO is diagnosed using a Lactulose breath test.


This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Do you suffer from any of the above conditions? Have you heard of SIBO? Let us know in the comments below.


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What diet is best for IBS

How to choose the best diet for IBS?

Is there a best diet for IBS? The answer is: it depends.

The actual cause of IBS, short for irritable bowel syndrome,  is unknown although there have been numerous factors associated with it including food sensitivities, epigenetics, nutritional deficiencies, genetics and psychological stress. (1)

In my clinical experience, there is never one single cause for a condition it always a blend of factors.

The food we eat can often be a common constituent of this blend but deciding which foods are triggering your IBS symptoms can be confusing.

Read on to learn about the most clinically and scientifically valid diets for IBS and how to work out the best diet for you.

Diets for IBS

There are various of diets that have been shown either clinically or through scientific research to help with symptoms of IBS. In this next section, I will briefly outline each of these diets, beginning with the simplest.

A Gluten Free Diet

Gluten is a protein found in the protective casing around all grains. The most well known and most toxic glutens include:

  • Wheat gluten.
  • Barley gluten.
  • Rye gluten.
Other less well known but potentially harmful glutens are found in Spelt, Kamut, farro and durum.
If you suspect that gluten may be triggering your IBS symptoms, it is crucial that when following a gluten free diet you exclude all the above grains.

It is a well known scientific fact that gluten is associated with IBS. (2) A gluten-free diet has also been shown to help with IBS symptoms. (3)


FODMAP is an acronym, for a group of carbohydrates, which stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These carbohydrates are found in various foods and alcohols including:

  • Oligosaccharides –Fructans and Galacto-oligosaccharides found in wheat, rye, barley, onions, leek, shallots, garlic, legumes, lentils, artichokes, and chicory.
  • Disaccharides – Lactose found in dairy products.
  • Monosaccharides – Fructose found in honey, mango, watermelon, apples, pears, and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Polyols – Alcohols found in Apples, pears, apricots, nectarines, plums, cauliflower, products (e.g., gums & confectionery) sweetened with artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol known as polyols.

To download a more comprehensive list of FODMAP foods, please click here.

The low FODMAP diet has been shown to help IBS symptoms in several high-level clinical trials significantly. (4, 5)

FODMAPs are broken down by our friendly bacteria that normally reside in our large bowel.

In a significant percentage of people with IBS, these bacteria overgrow into the small intestine, known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.

When the bacteria break down FODMAPs in the small intestine, they produce an excess of gases. These gases cause the symptoms of bloating and altered bowel function.

The diet is thought to help symptoms by starving the bacteria of FODMAPs.

It is important to see this diet as a short term measure to get symptoms under control since there concerns about the future health of the bacteria in the large bowel.

A Low Histamine Diet

Histamine is a compound produced by your immune system when it encounters an allergen.

Histamine Intolerance occurs where there is an excess production of histamine. Histamine intolerance has been associated with the development and severity of IBS. (6)

Histamine is found naturally in various foods and food additives.

In my clinical experience, I have observed IBS symptoms improve when clients have followed a diet low in histamine foods. A present there have no clinical trials to show that a low histamine diet helps with IBS.

A brief list of high histamine foods includes:

  • Leftover meats and fish
  • Processed or smoked meats
  • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir
  • Aged Cheeses and meats
  • Tomatoes and Avocados

To download a more comprehensive list of high histamine foods, please click here.

How to choose the best diet for IBS

If you suffer from IBS and are confused by which of the above diets to follow I suggest taking a simple step by step approach.

Begin by putting yourself on a gluten-free diet for at least two weeks. If your symptoms totally disappear, then you have your answer.

If your symptoms only partially improve, I suggest starting the low FODMAP and following that for another two weeks.

If your symptoms significantly improve, then this would strongly suggest that you may have SIBO. In such case, I recommend that you seek out a health professional, such as a Functional Medicine Practitioner or Naturopathic Doctor, that has experience in diagnosing and treating SIBO.

If your symptoms only partially improve, I suggest moving to a low histamine low FODMAP diet for another two weeks. If your symptoms significantly improve, then this is also a strong indication of SIBO.

To download a more comprehensive list of Low FODMAP Histamine Diet, please click here.

If your symptoms do not improve on the Low FODMAP Histamine diet, I strongly recommend you go to your doctor and ask to be referred to a GI specialist for further investigation including a colonoscopy.


This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Do you suffer from IBS? Have you been confused about what diet to try? Do you have any other suggestions that have worked well for you? Let us know in the comments below.


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Bloating and Gas: Everything you need to know

Intestinal bloating is caused by an excessive build-up of gas in your small intestine. There are two varieties of gas – either regular/chronic gas or severe/acute gas. Gas can be nothing more than a sign that you have swallowed some air but it can also be a sign that you are not correctly assimilating your food.

Chronic gas typically composes of methane. Methane has the adverse impact of exhausting particular short-chain fatty acids that line a healthy large intestine. The prolonged exposure to methane can raise the probability of disease in the colon such as polyps or even cancer.

Symptoms of bloating include distention of the abdomen, abdominal pain, excessive discharge of gas (i.e. farting), and heartburn.

Common Causes of Bloating

  1. Excess intake of caffeine, sugar, alcohol or processed oils
  2. Nutrient insufficiency
  3. Absence of adequate enzymes
  4. Food allergies or sensitivities
  5. Inadequate bile production
  6. Stress
  7. Dysbiosis or bacteria imbalances
  8. Candida
  9. Parasites
  10. SIBO (small intestinal bowel overgrowth)

Treatment for Gas and Bloating

Step One

If you want to try and help reduce your gas and bloating think about how and what you are eating before reaching for a supplement or medication. Here are my top 8 suggestions:

  1. Make sure you chew your food well
  2. Massage your colon, following the line of the colon
  3. Consider removing all dairy products
  4. Soak beans and grains before cooking
  5. Avoid sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol
  6. Try a low FODMAP diet
  7. Do an elimination diet to detect food triggers
  8. Use herbs such as ginger, fennel, anise and cardamom in cooking

Step Two

If step one only partially helps you might want to try supplementation. It is important only to try one supplement at a time so that you know what is working. Here are my top 6 suggestions:

  1. Soil-based probiotics
  2. Digestive enzymes
  3. Enteric coated peppermint oil
  4. Activated charcoal
  5. Fennel ½-1 tsp; 3x per day
  6. Fermented apple cider vinegar with meals

Step Three

If you are still suffering from gas and bloating, after steps one and two, it is time to utilise some functional lab testing. The two most common tests I use in my Functional Medicine practice are:

  1. A Stool Test is looking for Candida and parasites.
  2. A Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) breath test.

If you have any questions about this article either post them in the comments section below or email using the form on my contact page.


This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Heartburn – Everything you need to know

If live in Ottawa and you suffer from heartburn you are not alone. In Canada, 14% of the population suffer from heartburn each year. In Ottawa, that equates to 140,000 people. This blog will help you understand what are the common causes and how you might help your heartburn symptoms.

Most people assume that heartburn is the result of too much acid in the stomach. However, researchers now understand that heartburn is the consequence of too little acid in the stomach. Either the food has been sitting in the stomach for too long because there is not enough acid to properly break it down or the oesophagal valve is not working correctly and fails to prevent the contents of the stomach from rising into the oesophagus.

Symptoms of Heartburn

  1. A burning feeling in the chest usually behind the breastbone, burning in the throat
  2. A hot or sour taste in mouth
  3. Difficulty swallowing
  4. A sense of food being ‘stuck’ in the throat or chest a chronic cough, sore throat or hoarseness

Common Causes of Heartburn

  1. Low stomach acid
  2. Overeating
  3. Eating too fast
  4. Consuming too much coffee or caffeine
  5. Consuming too much sugar or refined carbohydrates
  6. Smoking
  7. Drugs
  8. Food allergies and sensitivities
  9. Certain health conditions such as ulcers, gallbladder problems or
  10. IBS
  11. Stress or anxiety
  12. H. pylori
  13. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or SIBO
  14. Histamine Intolerance

Treatment for Heartburn

If you have heartburn, I suggest the following four-step process that I use in my practice to identify and resolve the cause of your symptoms.

Step One – Modify your eating habits

  1. Don’t eat late at night
  2. Don’t over consume fluids with meals
  3. Eat more slowly and chew food thoroughly
  4. Avoid eating just before exercising

If the above suggestions give you no or partial relief then it is time to consider whether your diet is causing your heartburn.

Step Two – Modify your diet

  1. Avoid cold drinks
  2. Increase vegetables
  3. Avoid caffeine and sugar
  4. Increase probiotic foods
  5. If excessive, avoid chocolate, citrus, tomatoes, onions, peppers and peppermint temporarily
  6. Food combining can work well as it creates less work for the stomach
  7. Try a Food Elimination Diet to identify potential triggers.

If the above suggestions give you no or partial relief, then it is time to consider introducing supplementation.

Step Three – Try supplementation

Below are the most common supplements I use in my practice for constipation. When using supplements introducing one at a time is best.

  1. Soil Based Probiotics
  2. Aloe vera juice
  3. Apple cider vinegar
  4. Betaine HCl treatment
  5. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)
  6. Slippery elm or marshmallow root to help soothe oesophagal tissue
  7. Vitamin A, beta-carotene and zinc to help heal the mucosa membrane
  8. Fennel tea

Step Four – Functional Lab Testing

If steps one to three does not help, then consider the following functional lab tests, which you can obtain from your family physician or a functional medicine practitioner.

  1. H. pylori testing (stool)
  2. SIBO Breath Test
  3. IgG food sensitivity testing
  4. Barium swallow (Physician only)
  5. Endoscopy (Physician only)

If you have any questions about this article either post them in the comments section below or email using the form on my contact page.


This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Constipation: Everything you need to know

Constipation is a big problem for millions of Canadians each year. When a person doesn’t eliminate entirely and daily, their body is in a toxic state. Persistent constipation is a symptom that should not be ignored.

What is Constipation?

Constipation is a lack of daily bowel movement (normal is 1-3x per day), straining to eliminate or hard stools or unfinished elimination.

Symptoms of Constipation

Constipation can cause a number of different symptoms including:

  1. Fatigue and brain fog
  2. Aches and pains elsewhere in the body
  3. Chronic headaches

Typical Causes

  1. Food allergies or sensitivities
  2. Lactose intolerance
  3. Leaky gut or increased intestinal permeability
  4. Impaired digestion and absorption
  5. Parasites
  6. Prescription drug use
  7. Reduced Friendly Bacteria
  8. Lack of dietary fibre
  9. Dehydration
  10. Not enough exercise
  11. Lack of sunshine
  12. Stress or anxiety
  13. Magnesium deficiency
  14. SIBO
  15. Hypothyroidism


If you have constipation, I suggest the following four-step process that I use in my practice to identify and resolve the cause of your symptoms.

Step One – Practical suggestions

  1. Eat more mindfully. Avoid eating on the run or while watching the television. Remember to chew your food.
  2. Bring more movement into your life. This can be as simple as taking a regular walk in the morning or consider joining a yoga or pilates class.
  3. Check side effects of medications you are taking. More than 150 prescriptions and many regularly used over-the-counter medications can induce constipation. These can include certain acid blocking, antidepressant, cold, painkiller, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol medication.
  4. Manage or reduce the stress in your life. Exercise and mindfulness techniques such as meditation have been scientifically proven to reduce stress.
  5. Consider what you might be ‘holding on to’ or not releasing in your life. Emotions can have a powerful effect on how our bodies work. If you are holding on to loss or sadness from your past then this can affect the functioning of your intestines.

If the above suggestions give you no or partial relief then it is time to consider whether your diet is causing your constipation.

Step Two – Dietary changes

This step has two parts. Part 1 is adding in foods that can help speed up bowel movements, and part 2 is removing foods that may be causing constipation.

Part 1

  1. Consume more fibre in the form of vegetables.
  2. Drink more water – at least 2 litres per day.
  3. Consume probiotic foods
  4. Add ground flax seed or chia seeds
  5. Flaxseed oil(unheated)can be used in salad dressings
  6. Eat more garlic
  7. Soak dried figs or prunes overnight; drink the soak water
  8. Papaya can stimulate bowel activity
  9. Eat more probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods
  10. Dandelion root tea

Part 2

  1. Avoid hydrogenated and processed foods
  2. Eliminate dairy

If the above suggestions give you no or partial relief then it is time to consider introducing supplementation.

Step Three – Supplementation

Below are the most common supplements I use in my practice for constipation. When using supplements introducing one at a time is best.

  1. Soil Based Probiotic
  2. Magnesium
  3. Digestive enzymes
  4. Aloe vera juice (2-4 oz)
  5. Slippery elm or marshmallow root
  6. Psyllium husk
  7. Vitamin C

Step 4 – Functional Testing

If the above suggestions give you no or partial relief then it is time to consider using functional lab testing. The most common tests I use in my practice are the following:

  1. IgG food sensitivity testing
  2. Comprehensive Stool Test for Candida and Parasites
  3. Organic Acids Test for yeast, metabolic and overgrowth concerns
  4. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) breath test
  5. Comprehensive serum thyroid panel

If you have any questions about this article either post them in the comments section below or email using the form on my contact page.


This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Parasites: Everything you need to know

Finding out you have parasites can be disturbing, but you’re not alone; they are far more prevalent than you would imagine. It is a myth that parasites only exist in third world countries. In fact, many of the clients I see in my practice have a parasite. Thay can cause a countless number of symptoms, only some of which are digestive.

What are parasites?

Parasites are organisms that exist and feast from another organism. Intestinal parasites are usually worms that feed off of the food you eat.

Examples of intestinal parasites include roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms, whipworms, hookworms, and more. Parasites can cause a very wide range of problems:

  1. Some eat your food, leaving you feeling empty after every meal and not able to put on weight.
  2. Some feed off of your red blood cells, leading to anaemia.
  3. Some lay eggs that can produce itching, irritability, and even insomnia.

If you have attempted many strategies to heal your gut and alleviate your symptoms without any resolution, a parasite could be the underlying reason for several of your unexplained and vague symptoms.

How do you get a parasite?

There are a plenty of ways to catch a parasite. First, parasites can invade your body via infected food and water. Undercooked meat is a well-known place for them to hide, as well as contaminated water from third world countries, lakes, ponds, or streams. Meat is the not the only offender. Polluted or contaminated fruits and veggies can also hide parasites. Some parasites can even invade the body by moving through the sole of your foot.

Once infected with a parasite, it’s very easy to pass it on to somebody else. If you have a parasite and don’t clean your hands after using the bathroom, you can easily transfer microscopic parasite eggs onto anything you touch such as a door handle, salt shaker, phone, or anybody you feel. It’s also very easy to catch a parasite when around animals. Ensuring you was your hands can help prevent parasite infection and transmission. Going overseas is an added way that parasites can enter your body. If you drank any contaminated water during your travels, you have probably acquired a parasite.

12 Signs You Might Have a Parasite

  1. You have unexplained constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, or heartburn.
  2. You travelled abroad and remembered getting traveller’s diarrhoea.
  3. You have had food poisoning in the past, and your digestion has not been right since.
  4. You have difficulty falling asleep, or you wake up multiple times during the night, particularly
  5. between 2 and 3 pm.
  6. You get unexplained rashes, hives, rosacea or eczema.
  7. You grind your teeth at night.
  8. You get pain in your joints and muscles.
  9. You experience tiredness, weariness, sadness, or frequent feelings of indifference.
  10. You never feel satiated or full after your meals.
  11. You’ve been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anaemia or low iron that does not increase with supplementation.
  12. You experience a crawling feeling underneath your skin.
  13. You drool on your pillow while asleep at night.
  14. You get nightmares – especially children.

The symptoms of a parasite can often seem independent and unexplained. As I stated previously, there are many diverse types of parasites that we are exposed to in our environments. I typically see parasites prompting more constipation than diarrhoea. Insomnia, skin rashes, mood swings, and muscle aches can all be produced by the toxins that parasites release into your body. These toxins often cause anxiety, which can display itself in different guises. For example, waking up in the middle of the night or grinding your teeth at night are signs that your body is feeling anxiety while you rest. When these toxins mix with your brain chemicals or blood, they can cause mood swings or skin rashes.

How to Test for Parasites

The best route to test for a parasite is to do a stool test. In Ontario, parasite testing is covered under OHIP through your family physician. This one major drawback of this testing is that the lab only asks for one stool sample. Parasites can be difficult to detect so taking more than one sample significantly increases the chance of detection. In my practice, the lab I use (Biohealth) ask for three different samples collected on separate days.

Stool testing is the best scientific method for testing parasites sometimes it can produce false negative results even though all the presenting symptoms point towards parasites being present. In such cases, I way up all the presenting data and may treat even though the stool test may be negative.

How to Treat Parasites

Any positive stool test will tell you which type of parasites are present. You can then use specific herbal medications to target those particular parasites. If, however, the parasites cannot be distinguished, you can use a combination of herbs, comprising magnesium caprylate, berberine, Tribulus, sweet wormwood, grapefruit, bayberry, bearberry, and black walnut. You can typically find herbal mixtures at any health food store or my practice. In general, these herbal formulas afford a broad spectrum of action against the most prevalent pathogens existing in your GI tract, while not damaging the beneficial gut bacteria.

If you have any questions about this article either post them in the comments section below or email using the form on my contact page.


This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

signs of sibo

SIBO: Everything you need to know

Have you ever consumed some food or drink and within a few hours seen that your belly is so bloated that you can’t fasten your pants? It’s not unusual for my clients to inform me that they get up with a flat tummy and by the close of the day they look seven months pregnant. Even if you haven’t endured abdominal swelling to such an extreme, any amount of bloating is not healthy, and it is a mark of intestinal inflammation. If you’re producing gas and bloating frequently, you could have food sensitivities and a gut infection, such as SIBO.

What is SIBO?

SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth happens when the bacteria in our gut get out of balance and overgrow. Most of your friendly bacteria should reside in your large intestine. When you have SIBO, these bacteria overgrow into your small intestine. This overgrowth occurs when you have a slowing down peristalsis through the digestive tract.

What causes weak peristalsis?

  1. Intestinal wall nerve damage, For example, diabetes mellitus and scleroderma can both affect the muscles in the gut.
  2. Scarring from surgeries or Crohn’s disease.
  3. Diverticulitis, which are tiny pouches that can form in the wall of the small intestine.
  4. Medications such as antibiotics, acid-blocking drugs, and steroids.
  5. A diet high in sugar processed carbohydrates and alcohol.

17 Signs Of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

  1. Abdominal bloating
  2. Belching,
  3. Flatulence
  4. Abdominal pain or cramps
  5. Constipation and or Diarrhea.
  6. Heartburn
  7. Nausea
  8. Food Sensitivities
  9. Headaches
  10. Joint Pain
  11. Fatigue
  12. Eczema or rashes
  13. Asthma
  14. Depression
  15. Fatty stools – stools that float
  16. Iron Deficiency Anaemia or B12 deficiency that does not resolve with supplementation
  17. Weight Loss

How to test for SIBO

The gold standard test for testing SIBO is a lactulose breath test. This test is not readily available in Canada but can be obtained from labs in the US such as Genova Diagnostics.

If you have any questions about this article either post them in the comments section below or email using the form on my contact page.


This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.