I never realized how prevalent SIBO was (and is), until I finally understood it. And wow, I’m fairly confident that almost everyone has had or will have this at one point in their lives, especially those dealing with chronic illness.

What is SIBO?

SIBO protocol that is safe for cancer patients

SIBO, or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, is a bacterial imbalance in the small intestine. In a healthy person, the body intentionally keeps small intestinal bacteria in low quantities, especially in the duodenum which is located at the beginning of the small intestine. This is for several reasons:

  1. The stomach’s acidity and the bile & enzymes in the proximal small intestine destroy much of our ingested bacteria.
  2. Peristalsis – the powerful contraction and relaxation of intestinal muscles which moves ingested food through the small intestine and waste through the large intestine – limits the amount of bacteria on the small intestine’s mucosal layer by continually moving bacteria forward through the digestion process. This also prevents bacteria from the colon from moving backwards into the terminal ilium, which is located at the end of the small intestine.
  3. Our immune systems and secretory antibodies help prevent certain bacteria from growing within the small intestine.

However, these three functions may fail to operate correctly. This could be due to lowered stomach acidity, or poor sleep patterns and stress which can alter peristalsis {see function #3 above}.

When these mechanisms function sub-optimally, it can increase the chances that bacteria can grow in the small intestine. When this happens, any ingestion of sugars, fiber, certain probiotics and starch can cause digestive discomfort and gas formation. And if this is left unchecked, it can prevent the necessary absorption of certain fats and proteins, leaving the individual nutrient deprived.

How to reverse SIBO through diet & supplementation:

The goal of a SIBO diet is to consume nutrient-dense foods, but restrict foods that promote the further growth of bacteria.

The below image highlights foods that are best to avoid when trying to heal SIBO.

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The below list consists of recommended foods to consume while completing the protocol. These foods are lower in fiber and sugar and won’t be likely to feed the bacterial imbalance.

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Notice for cancer patients, make sure you FIRST stick to the foods that are not drivers of your cancer and then you can add in selected foods from the “recommended foods” list.

Now, supplements come into play. Our goals in supplementation are to improve gut health, increase nutrient absorption, reduce inflammation and re-balance your gut bacteria.

Step 1 – Enhanced Nutritional Support

Step 2 – High-Dose Probiotics

  • Theralac Pro by Master Supplements
    Dosage – 1 capsule every other day from TruBifido Pro
  • TruBifido Pro by Master Supplements
    Dosage – 1 capsule every other day from Theralac Pro

Step 3 – Gut Repair

Step 4 – Enzyme Blend

The Goal: broad spectrum enzymes to help support the body’s digestion of starches, fibers, proteins, sugars and fats. It should also include HCL for further digestive support.

  • HCL-XYM by US Enzymes
    Dosage – 1 before each meal

Step 5 – Fatty Acid Support

The Goal: incorporates nutrients and a propriety blend of fatty acids in a formation intended to support the intestines and intestinal cell function.

  • ButyrEn by Allergy Research Group
    Dosage – 2 tablets

Step 6 – Vitamin D + other Fat Soluble Vitamins

The Goal:

Follow the above protocol in approximately 1-month increments, until the supplements run out. Then attempt introducing some of the “foods to avoid” and see how your body responds. If you become bloated or develop gas, then reorder the supplements and begin the protocol again.

If this same cycle repeats more than twice you may want to attempt the diet for a longer period of time, 2-3 months straight. You may also benefit from running a food sensitivity panel to see if there are any foods you are allergic to, which will reduce overall inflammation and GI distress.

*This protocol was adapted from Dr. Datis Kharrazian’s SIBO protocol with Apex Energetics.

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