Could it be SIBO?

Could my symptoms be caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?

It’s normal to grow bacteria in your large intestine, in fact it’s healthy to grow bacteria in your large intestine.

But what about when that good bacteria moves along into the small intestine and starts to grow?

The results are less than optimal and often uncomfortable.

When this happens, when bacteria from the large intestine moves into and grows in the small intestine, SIBO can create the following symptoms (Madormo):

  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Frustratingly, these same symptoms might also indicative of other bowel disorders like, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), for instance. In fact, research shows that SIBO could be an underlying cause of IBS – and often times goes undiagnosed because of the similarities. (Ghoshal).

With persistent IBS, it might be time to take a look at the root cause – SIBO should be considered.

“SIBO sufferers are usually divided into one of three different categories: diarrhoea-dominant (D), constipation-dominant (C) or alternating variations of both.” (Lindemann)

Although there are several ways to determine if SIBO is at work in your gut, breath tests are the main form of diagnosis. Kits can be ordered through our office to measure hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen-sulfide gases – the gases produced in the small intestine that cause such discomfort.

If SIBO is present, treatment options are available. A general naturopathic approach might include the following:

  1. Anti-Microbial Combinations – including some form of: “Candibactin AR” and Candibactin BR” from Metagenics; Neem; “Biocidin and FC Cidal” from Biotics Research; and “Allimax Pro” by Allimax.  (Please consult your naturopathic or medical physician before starting an anti-microbial regimen).
  2. Dietary Changes – Limiting foods that promote fermentation in the lower gut is advisable. Generally, a low FODMAP diet, monitored by a physician, is recommended.
  3. Intestinal Repair – Once symptoms improve, repairing the intestines so that motility normalizes, hopefully decreases the likelihood of recurrence in the future.  

SIBO has a 40% chance of recurrence (Grace) complicated by fungal growth. Therefore, broad spectrum anti-microbial botanicals could provide benefits antibiotics do not. For this reason it always helpful to look at your symptoms from a whole health perspective.

Worried about whether or not you will ever feel relief from your intestinal discomfort? I would be happy to help you determine what underlying factors may be contributing to your symptoms.

If you live in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area and would like to learn more about SIBO and whether or not it’s affecting your overall health, Dr. Fisel is here to help. Call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation.

REFERENCES

Bella Lindemann. “SIBO Series Part 1: Is Sibo the Hidden Cause of Your Ibs?” Bella Lindemann, Bella Lindemann, 30 Mar. 2021, https://bellalindemann.com/blog/sibo-series-part-1-hidden-cause-ibs.

Ghoshal, Uday C et al. “Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Bridge between Functional Organic Dichotomy.” Gut and liver vol. 11,2 (2017): 196-208. doi:10.5009/gnl16126

Grace E, Shaw C, Whelan K, Andreyev H. Review article: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth – prevalence, clinical features, current and developing diagnostic tests, and treatment. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2013;38(7):674-688. doi:10.1111/apt.12456.

Madormo, Carrie. “SIBO: Symptoms, Treatment, Diet, and More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 14 Sept. 2021, https://www.healthline.com/health/sibo.

Veloso, Hazel Galon. “FODMAP Diet: What You Need to Know.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/fodmap-diet-what-you-need-to-know.

THIS SEASON: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROTECTING YOUR BRAIN FROM INJURY

Brain Injuries, Concussions, Collisions, Athletes, Concussion Symptoms, Anti-Inflammatory, Natural Solutions

In the midst of the transition from fall to winter:

We plan to watch our kids participate in athletic activities at school,

We plan to get on our road bikes before the snow flies,

We plan for that first ski run of the season.

We often talk about our plans for this transitional time…

BUT WHAT ABOUT WHEN THINGS DON’T GO AS PLANNED?

Statistics show that either you or someone you know has been involved in a collision that may have caused your brain to be injured in a significant way. (SOURCE)

And, although we know that helmets are helpful in protecting humans from head injuries, they are not 100% effective in preventing concussions.

Here’s why…

The CDC defines a concussion as “a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.

This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.” (SOURCE)

The tricky thing about brain injuries is that they do not present the same in any one person. Two people can have similar seeming injuries and have different symptoms and outcomes.

In fact, many high schools and colleges are gathering baseline brain data on their athletes so they can be more proactive in a situation where a concussion may occur.

After a head injury, you might notice certain signs of a concussion in others:

  • Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall.
  • Appears dazed or stunned.
  • Forgets an instruction, is confused about an assignment or position, or is unsure of the game, score, or opponent.
  • Moves clumsily.
  • Answers questions slowly.
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly).
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes.

Or the person receiving the head injury might report certain symptoms such as:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Bothered by light or noise.
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”.

If, after a head injury, you show or feel symptoms that are common in concussion scenarios, in almost all cases the key to recovery is reducing oxidative damage that causes inflammation in the brain.

One of the most important ways to reduce oxidation and inflammation in the brain is through diet and nutrition.

A common anti-inflammatory nutritional regimen would be the Mediterranean Diet or something similar. Stick with fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, lean meats, dairy products, eggs, whole grains and healthy fats.

Also, antioxidants/ anti-inflammatory supplements such as a higher DHA version of omega 3 fatty acids, Zinc, Curcumin, Creatine, Glutathione, NAC and green tea have been shown to reduce inflammation and promote brain healing. (SOURCE)

Dr. Fisel can help you find natural solutions and relief if you are recovering from the symptoms of concussions, brain inflammation or brain injury.

If you live in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area and would like to learn more about the innovative programs Dr. Fisel has to offer, call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation.

RESOURCES:

Brain Injury Association of America

CDC: Heads Up Program

Traumatic Brain Injury: Impact, Assessment & Management of Concussion & MTBI

Traumatic Brain Injury: Definitions related to TBI

THYROID DISEASE: YOU ARE NOT JUST YOUR TSH LEVELS


thyroid disease, metabolism, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, TSH levels, naturopathic medicine

YOUR THYROID IS OFTEN BLAMED FOR EVERYTHING FROM…


Fatigue
Weight Gain or Weight Loss
Dry Skin
Sensitivity to Cold or Heat
Constipation or Diarrhea
Muscle Aches
Brain Fog


It’s highly possible that you’ve experienced at least one if not multiple symptoms related to thyroid disease – maybe long before you thought to get it checked out.

That little butterfly shaped gland at the base of your throat regulates your hormones and sets the pace for your metabolism. When your thyroid is dysregulated, it can cause greater problems throughout your body.

To determine whether something is wrong with your thyroid, blood work is used to analyze the levels of TSH in your system. You may be diagnosed with HYPERTHYROIDISM, an overactive thyroid gland, or HYPOTHYROIDISM, an underactive thyroid gland

.


DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE BEEN REDUCED TO A NUMBER?

The most important thing to remember is…

YOU ARE NOT JUST YOUR TSH LEVELS.


While traditional medications targeting your T4 and T3 hormones can help to regulate the thyroid, you may test in a normal range and still feel off.

In other words, you look good on paper but as you listen to your body you know traditional therapies are not getting to the root of why you continue to feel unwell.

It happens all the time. We address overt symptoms with medication but neglect the underlying issues which can be just as important to wellness.


I am here to help if you are thinking, “My doctor says my TSH levels are within a healthy range but I still don’t feel well…” The thyroid doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and is often upregulating or downregulating in response to other metabolic factors, so we don’t want to get caught up in micromanaging the numbers!

Let’s look at three ways you can optimize your health, by making lifestyle changes, to alleviate some of the symptoms you might be experiencing as a result of thyroid disease – regardless of your TSH numbers.


NUTRITION: Thyroid disease can be caused by an autoimmune response and might be exacerbated by inflammation in the body. One of the best ways to eliminate inflammation – which is key – is by focusing on your nutrition.

TRY: Fruits, vegetables, proteins (especially fish), healthy fats, WATER, nutritional supplements as recommended by your naturopathic doctor

AVOID: Added sugar, alcohol, dairy, excess gluten


STRESS MANAGEMENT: Depression is both a contributor and a result of thyroid disease. Therefore, it is important to go beyond your TSH level numbers and also address your mental health needs.

TRY: journaling, exercise, sleep hygiene, seeking professional support

AVOID: alcohol, excessive sleep, isolation


PHYSICAL MEDICINE: Naturopathic medicine addresses your mind, body and spirit in compliment to conventional medical approaches.

TRY: Hot/ Cold therapy (SOURCE), adjustments to the spine, acupuncture

AVOID: Settling for a one size fits all diagnosis


When you get your thyroid checked, you might feel reduced to a TSH level number…but that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. There are empowering choices you can make to your lifestyle that will leave you feeling as healthy as your numbers say you are.

Dr. Fisel can help you find relief if you are battling with thyroid disease. If you live in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area and would like to learn more about the innovative programs Dr. Fisel has to offer, call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule your consultation.


RESOURCES:
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: The Impact of Nutrition

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

chronic fatigue syndrome, long haulers, covid 19 lingering symptoms, post-viral illness

Have you heard about COVID-19 “long haulers” and their post-viral symptoms?

And did you know there are similar responses from those with Lyme disease or other post-viral/ bacterial infections?

Other (some life-long) symptoms of post-viral illness include pain, swelling and headaches.

Most commonly, though, both long haulers and those who have suffered from Lyme or other viral infections are having to learn how to cope and live with:

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can’t be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity. (SOURCE)

There is a debate among providers about whether lingering symptoms from Lyme disease, COVID-19, and other chronic viral infections may in fact be an abnormal immune response or whether they are evidence of a lingering virus or infection that requires further treatment.

There is a lot of hopeful research and work that can be done in this area – especially as we are seeing the immune responses of COVID-19 patients in real time.

We can learn things about those recovering from COVID-19 that help us provide better informed treatment options for post-viral symptoms in survivors of Lyme (or other chronic viral infections) – especially when it comes to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Here are 3 Things to Know from Lyme Survivors to Long Haulers:

1.BOLSTER YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM –Because we’re potentially dealing with both persistent infections and/or an autoimmune component, we will often use a combination of therapies that target underlying infections, along with modulating the immune system, in hopes of correcting the abnormal immune response.  Identifying and avoiding individual food sensitivities can also reduce the overall burden on the immune system.  

2. REPAIR YOUR ENERGY LEVELS – We use treatments that focus on building the body’s energy reserves, hopefully speeding up the recovery time. Herbs that help to restore both optimal energy levels and a more balanced immune response include:

  • astragalus
  • licorice
  • andrographis
  • cordyceps
  • rhodiola, and
  • eleutherococcus.

You should always contact your primary care physician to determine whether herbs and supplements are right for your condition, prior to taking them on your own. 

3. MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR LIFESTYLE – It is so important to REST! Trying to push through chronic fatigue and continue your normal work and lifestyle routines will undoubtedly slow down your recovery process. The psychological impact of not being able to function at a “normal” level often leads to feelings of failure, forcing patients to overdo it, which inevitably ends up prolonging their recovery.  Seeking the help of a mental health professional is extremely beneficial to combat the effects of chronic fatigue.

Even just a few adjustments in your daily routine can make a great difference in how manageable your post-viral symptoms are to live with. From long haulers to Lyme survivors, there is hope – even during the pandemic.

Please contact Dr. Matthew Fisel ND if you have questions about integrative solutions for your health care needs. He promotes health and healing on all levels, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you live in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area and would like to learn more about the innovative programs Dr. Fisel has to offer, please call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment.

Why Your Injuries Aren’t Healing Properly

injuryOveruse injuries are something I see in my practice on an almost daily basis.  Whether it’s low back pain from running, shoulder pain from lifting weights, or neck pain from being in the wrong position for too long, most of us have experienced an issue related to muscle pain.  Most of us have been told what to do when it comes to dealing with the immediate trauma-rest, ice, compression, elevation, etc.  But what about the majority of you who aren’t getting relief weeks, months, or sometimes years after the initial trauma? What I’m finding is that the typical approach to soft tissue injuries (muscles, tendons, ligaments) is actually leading to further damage, and a long-term weakening of tissue.   [Read more…]

Your Health and the Environment

chemicaltoxicityMost of us realize that the environment we live in isn’t exactly pristine.  From chemicals in our water supply to the ubiquitous use of plastics, we’re constantly challenging our body’s ability to handle environmental pollutants.  The incidence of chronic disease in this country has continued to grow, and most any chronic disease you can think of (diabetes, autoimmune disease, cancer, endocrine disorders, you name it!) is influenced by the chemicals that surround us.  However, when it comes to the relationship between exposure to environmental toxins and disease, conventional medicine pays little to no attention to this connection. [Read more…]

High Glycemic Index and Inflammation

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010; 92(3): 634-43) further demonstrates the direct relationship between a high glycemic diet and inflammation. In a study involving 1490 postmenopausal women and 1245 men (baseline average age: 49 years) from a population-based cohort, women consuming a diet with the highest glycemic index (highest tertile) were found to have a 2.9-fold increased risk of inflammatory-disease related death, as compared to women in the lowest tertile of GI diet (multivariate HR=2.89). Increased intakes of foods high in refined sugars or starches and decreasing intake of vegetables other than potatoes as well as cereals and breads was also independently associated with a greater risk. The authors conclude, “These data provide new epidemiologic evidence of a potentially important link between GI and inflammatory disease mortality among older women.”