What organ in your body is a rebel against authority? The only one that can get things done without being bossed around by the brain?
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Yep, it acts as its own brain and doesn't wait for anyone to tell it to do its digestion work. No other organ, not even our heart, can pull that off
Today, a continuation of a short series about SIBO
Part I covered what SIBO is and highlighted the amazing set of janitors that work overtime to keep our small intestines neat and tidy. They have a big job!
Primary Symptoms of SIBO
While SIBO has several symptoms that overlap with other conditions, there are certainly some that are big red flags
Do you bloat or experience some level of GI discomfort after eating foods with sugar, fiber, starches, prebiotics/probiotics, fiber supplements, fructans, or galactans?
Do you have loose stools?
Are you often constipated (defined as one or less bowel movements every day)
Do you go back and forth between #2 and #3?
Do you experience belching, heartburn/acid reflux/GERD, or abdominal pain/cramping and nausea?
Are you carbohydrate sensitive or intolerant?
It's amazing how, when something is off in our gut, the effects are felt throughout our entire body. Other symptoms to keep an eye out for
Brain fog – Because of the gut/brain connection, people who are dealing with SIBO are also experiencing some level of brain fog. Why? The gut and the brain are far more connected than we think and work together in the most beautiful of partnerships.
Did you know? 90%(!) of our brain's output heads down the vagus nerve (through the spinal column) and into the gut's nervous system tissue, before coming right back up. When there's a gut problem, there's a brain problem. When there's a brain problem, there's a gut problem.
Increased food sensitivities
Fatigue and headaches – It's very common that people with SIBO are dealing with fatigue. Even chronic fatigue if they've had SIBO for quite some time. In part because vitamin B12 is a common deficiency associated with SIBO, and B12 plays a significant role in our body's energy production
Joint pain – There are inflammatory receptors throughout our bodies. Therefore, when there's inflammation in the gut, it can lead to an inflammatory state in the entire body. Which, in turn, will lead to a whole host of aches and pains, especially for people who are dealing with this chronically
If not dealt with, the inflammation can even lead to an autoimmune disease
Malabsorption problems and nutrient deficiencies – Fat-soluble vitamins are of special concern, especially any of the B vitamins, including vitamin B12, folate, B6, and even iron
Readers of The Veggies know how to feed ourselves well. We know it's best to focus on good quality organic foods, grass-fed protein sources, organic fruits, and veggies. But if our blood tests show a different story, one of being malnourished, SIBO could be a bigger cause to consider
Iron deficiency anemia – A special note about iron. If someone is deficient in iron, this is really a deal breaker as far as health is concerned. Until it's dealt with, it will be next to impossible to restore balance to the body
Typically, when an iron deficiency is recognized, people are given an iron supplement, and it makes a lot of sense if you think about it. The problem is that taking a supplement isn't going to do much if they have SIBO or some other underlying factor that's inhibiting their body's ability to absorb and assimilate the iron
SIBO's ties to other conditions
It's found in
9.3% of people with Celiac
66% of people who have Celiac with persistent symptoms
53% of people who regularly use antacids
78% of people diagnosed with IBS
33% of people with chronic diarrhea
34% of people with pancreatitis
15% of the elderly population
90% of alcoholics
At this point you might be asking yourself, why in the world would it develop? What can you do to prevent it?
( to be continued .. )
During this series, I'll be featuring recipes that follow the low FODMAP diet, which is often recommended to someone recovering from SIBO
A simple soup I've had on repeat as of late. Nothing fancy, just chicken bone broth and eggs, with a spring twist.
It's so easy to make that it really is the sort of thing you can summon the will to cook, even on busy weeknights. I started making regular egg drop soup this past winter when I wasn't feeling well. Nostalgia for a soup my husband and I always pick up for each other when we're under the weather
In this version, parmesan and eggs are whisked together and poured into the bubbling broth. It may seem ordinary, but I chose it precisely because it is so simple and so good. Elevated for Spring with peas and radishes
The result is phenomenal
(Gut Trivia – via Mental Floss)
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~ Adapted from Gourmet | February 2002
Egg Drop Soup (For Spring)
- 4 cups chicken bone broth or stock (low sodium)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sherry
- 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 2 tsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ cup frozen carrots
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1-2 oz grated parmesan cheese + more for serving
- 1 - 2 scallions thinly sliced + more for garnish
- 1 tsp Asian sesame oil (or to taste)
- 4 small radishes, thinly sliced
- Cornstarch Slurry
- Reserve ½ cup of the stock and mix with the cornstarch until dissolved
- In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, add the stock, soy sauce, Sherry, ginger, and garlic. Bring to a low boil
- Add the cornstarch slurry and stir; reduce heat to a simmer
- Remove ginger and garlic with a slotted spoon and discard. (optional, I like to leave them in)
- Stir in the frozen peas and carrots before returning to a simmer
- Crack eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a whisk. Now, whisk the Parmesan cheese into the eggs
- To avoid clumps that make the soup seem more like failed scrambled eggs than a delicate broth, pour the egg mixture into the hot stock in a really thin stream, stirring the soup in a clockwise direction with a wooden spoon. The eggs will spread out into pretty ribbons.
- Promptly pull the pot off the heat when finished
- Portion soup into bowls and top with additional scallions, radishes, and an extra sprinkle or two of grated parmesan