Digestion & SIBO

Digestion is the Cornerstone of Health

The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage are beneficial for the GI (gastro-intestinal) Tract.  The stomach, pancreas, liver, spleen, small and large intestines are assessed and benefit from increased blood circulation during the session.  I am convinced that I perform the most thorough abdominal exam in the Champlain Valley.  In addition to improvements in blood flow through these organs, usually elimination of stool and gas is improved.

In 2013 I found myself with distressing gut symptoms.  I had abdominal distention with gas after eating.  I felt tired after eating, and gained weight.  One morning I woke up at 4 am, and my intuition led me to open my course notes from my colleagues Dr. Allison Siebecker and Dr. Steven Sandberg-Lewis from 2011.  The course was about a condition called Small Intestine Overgrowth Syndrome (SIBO).  I had a classic case of it.  Finally, the answer!

The benefit of having gone through this experience is that I have learned so much. It turns out that SIBO is actually very common and under-diagnosed.  It is a disease of decreased motility of the small intestine that causes bacteria from the large intestine to back flow into the small intestine.  The bacteria eat your food and make gas.  And thus the vicious cycle does commence. With gas, there is less motility in the gut, and more bacteria.  Eventually the lining of the small intestine is damaged (leaky gut) and some possible outcomes are food allergies, IBS, headaches, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disease.  What ends up happening probably depends on the genes of the individual.

The causes for decreased motility include painkillers, stress, not sleeping deeply at night, and infections like the Norovirus.

Many people confuse intestinal candida overgrowth with SIBO.  If I saw 10 people with similar abdominal complaints (such as what I described above among other vague complaints), 8-9 of them would likely have SIBO and 1-2 of them would have a general imbalance of flora with an increase in candida species that the primary problem (otherwise known as candida overgrowth).  I mention this because conventional medical doctors do not acknowledge overgrowth with candida in the intestines.  When patients bring this up to their MDs, it is likely that a missed opportunity for accurate diagnosis will occur.  But if patients ask about SIBO, there is a bounty of new scientific research to support the existence of this condition.  Now we have common ground between various disciplines of medicine.  The difference in treatment is that NDs offer herbal antimicrobials (which according to research out of John Hopkin’s is just as effective as antibiotics!) in addition to a temporary restrictive diet.  This diet is utilized to starve the bacteria which are thriving in the wrong place.  It isn’t east to follow, but the satisfaction derived from bringing order to chaos is better than a slice of pizza. most of the time…

go to my friend Dr Siebecker’s site to view all things SIBO!

I can help you diagnose this through physical exam during your ATMAT session.  The gold standard is a Lactulose Breath Test.   The test requires some preparation, but it fairly easy and non-invasive.  Alternatively, start the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, be strict for 3-14 days and see if your symptoms change.  For ideas about how to eat, go to Against All Grains. I recommend this cookbook.


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