Meal prep and planning has been in full force lately. I enjoy making making healthy recipes as a general attempt to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but the food I typically make is geared towards managing or healing certain conditions. Particularly digestive conditions. I’m currently doing another treatment for SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), so this means I’ll be following the SIBO specific diet. Regardless of your health status, recipes I post are accessible to anyone looking for healthy alternatives.
Over the years I learned the toll that a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol, a childhood filled with antibiotics, years of birth control pills, and anti-acids, would have multiple health consequences. Not to mention stress! These things can have multiple consequences, but in this case I’m referring to SIBO.
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, is when there is an increase in bacteria in the small intestines. Not even necessarily bad bacteria, they’re just in the wrong place. There are various possible causes, but the ones mentioned above are common risk factors.
Symptoms vary in degree, but for most they can be pretty obvious. Have you ever ate and all of a sudden looked like you were 3 months pregnant? The fact that “food baby” is a term most are familiar with the answer is probably yes. Do you experience other rouge bodily functions like gas, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation? I remember when I use to think some of these things were normal and most people experience them. Even if most people do experience these symptoms, they are not normal and are signs that something is going on.
Other indications that you may have SIBO are, you have a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, a neuromuscular disorders or autoimmune disease. If you experienced food intolerances such as gluten, casein, lactose, fructose etc. or have vitamin deficiencies. These are all considered risk factors or indicators that SIBO may be present. (1)
Before you jump to self-diagnosing there are obviously a lot of other things that can cause the symptoms you are experiencing, and even if you have a history of some of the “risk factors,” it doesn’t imply that you have or will acquire a specific condition. Maybe you’re not eating enough fiber, drinking enough water, or chewing your food enough. Or maybe your symptoms are result of fungus overgrowth or parasites. Often a lot of these things can also occur together. Just something to consider if you can’t seem to figure out what’s causing your symptoms.
I highly recommend finding a Functional Medical Doctor, Integrated Medical Doctor, or any health care professional that is familiar with diagnosing and treating some of these conditions. These professionals have been a vital link in my life. SIBO is something that is gaining recognition so you may be able to find a mainstream GI doctor that is familiar with testing and treatment.
In some cases it can be difficult to treat. This may depend on the underlying cause of the condition. I decided to write a little about SIBO since I’m about to start my 3rd treatment for it. I know too many, I’m pretty over it so we’re breaking up and I’m kicking off the celebration with these carrot cake bites. There are various ways to treat it. In the past I’ve done an antibiotic protocol and diet. This time I’ll be doing an herbal protocol with diet. With many of my treatments over the past year I’ve used herbal remedies, lifestyle and diet modifications and they have been extremely effective.
Over the past years I’ve learned so much about the healing remedies that mother nature has filled the natural world with. The benefit is that a lot of these treatments don’t have the long list of side effects you hear on medication commercials. Not to say that they can’t have side-effect or that medicine should be avoided, but I have definitely adopted a new respect for natural medicine. We often under-estimate the impact of lifestyle on our health as well. What you eat, what you think, how you move your body, what you put on your body, etc. all greatly impact your health. To me these seem like key areas that should be addressed when either maintaining health or trying to heal.
If you’re familiar with the FODMAP diet, that was designed for people with IBS, the SIBO diet is similar, but a bit less inclusive. If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS or know someone who has it may be worth being tested for SIBO. You were likely told you have IBS without many answers, maybe you were recommended to follow the Low FODMAP diet. Some studies suggest that 40-50% of people with IBS actually have SIBO, so it may be the answer you are looking for.
If you have questions feel free to leave me a comment.
Raw Carrot Cake Bites
Serves: About 12 mini cupcakes Time: hands on 10 minutes, about 30 minutes total
(gluten-free, vegan, paleo, SIBO friendly, Low FODMAP, refined sugar free)
- 1 cup of chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup of almonds
- 1/2 cup od pecans
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin spice
- 1 tablespoon of almond milk
- Coconut butter
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of stevia
- Chop the carrots and place them into the food processor and pulse a few times.
- Add the pecans, almonds, pumpkin spice, salt, and stevia to the food processor and mix until a ground consistency forms.
- Add the walnuts and run the food processor. While the food processor is running, add the almond milk. The dough should begin to roughly stick together. You can slowly add more milk if the dough doesn’t stick when you push it together with your fingers.
- Separate the dough into small cupcake tins, or you can form it into balls with your hands. Place them in the refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes.
- Add melted coconut butter on top, as desired, before serving.
Tip: The coconut butter makes them slightly sweet, but if you are looking for something more dessert like, I suggest adding another ingredient. If you don’t have specific dietary restrictions you can use dates, maple syrup, or honey. Soak about 4 dates for 20 minutes to soften and add them to the food processor in the second step.
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This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care workers