Greetings. New Zealand naturopath, Eric Bakker, author of Candida Crusher. Thanks for checking out my video. Today we’re going to talk about SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and specifically what are the best kind of foods to eat for people affected by SIBO.
I’ve just spent probably a good half an hour looking on the internet on different SIBO websites, IBS websites, leaky gut websites just to get an idea on the kind of information that’s out there for people. A lot of this information is put together by people who never see any patients, but there’s also plenty of information put on the internet by people like me who did see patients.
What I want you to really get into your mind is everybody has got their own opinion about what you can and can’t eat. There are no real laws or rules regarding diet. Probably to sum this video up in a nutshell, the best diet for SIBO or the best foods to eat if you’ve got a bacterial overgrowth are the best foods that you can tolerate for your condition.
I’ve got an interesting piece of paper here from a particular website that outlines the different kinds of basic carbohydrate modified diet. There’s probably real major carbo modification diets that have sprung up probably in the last 10 or 20 years. The specific carbohydrate diet or the SCD diet, for example, which was first put together by a lady named Elaine Gotschall for a child that she had. I believe a child with celiac. She wanted to look for a diet that would have very low reactive potential for her child. She believes that if you follow this diet quite strictly for 12 months or more, you can almost get back to normal eating. I can tell you I’ve got plenty of patients that have been on SCD diets for 5 to 10 years and they don’t come off them.
A diet is a four letter word. A normal eating plan that we all do for me what I would call normality. To me, a diet is a little bit like going to the gym. You do something short term to get an effect and then you go off that again. It’s not something you’re going to do for the remainder of your life. If you do, do it for the remainder of your life, it’s going to be slowly modified to suit your needs, to suit the foods that you like to eat. But there’s a lot more than meets the eye than just food when it comes to the gut. I’ve tried to make this quite clear in multiple videos.
The specific carbohydrate diet allows meat, fish, poultry, eggs, some beans, lactose free dairy, non-starchy vegetables, ripe fruit, nut seeds, honey, and saccharin. Not allowed: grains, starchy vegetables, lactose, some beans, and any sweeteners other than honey, saccharin and the occasional stevia. That’s the SCD diet. We’ll come back to that one in a minute. Of course, the other one is the GAPS diet, the gut and psychology diet, which is quite an interesting book put together by Dr. Carol McBride. I really like this book. It’s an excellent book. It’s got some really good information in it.
The GAPS diet is quite similar. A few modifications to the SCD diet. A few less beans. No baking soda or store bought juice. There are a couple of modifications to it. Of course, and also the low FOGMP diet. What does FOGMP mean? Fermentable oligosaccharides disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These are different kinds of fermentable carbs and sugars you need to avoid in your diet.
When it comes to SIBO, a very important factor for you to remember is have you got SIBO or not? Many people believe they’ve got SIBO. Many people will undergo a breath or stool test. I’ve not found a patient with a very simple presentation yet with a gut problem. Many people have got multiple issues that affect them when they’ve got SIBO. They often have some kind of yeast. It may be an unusual yeast strain or it may be Candida. They’ll often have down levels of beneficial bacteria, particularly the lactobacillus and the bifida species will be low. And they’ll also have other issues like parasites like blastocysts or Dientamoeba fragilis or pseudomonas or there could be other bugs there.
When you talk to me about SIBO, I want you to explain to me exactly what kind of condition is going on in the gut. And I keep banging on about the stool test because the stool tests to me are one way of actually doing a criminal check on your background, so I actually run a thorough check on it. I want to see what kind of bad people are involved with you when it comes to your health. It’s easy to take people at face value, but when you start digging a bit deeper, often you’ll find some very interesting facts.
I can’t tell you how many stool tests I’ve seen with the most remarkable results. Many patients the last few years are showing up with very high levels of streptococci bacteria. Alpha homiletic strep, gamma homiletic strep. Many of these bacteria have sat in the body for multiple years, have become resistant to many different pharmaceutical drugs. Unfortunately, many of these people end up going to see a functional doctor. They think they’re doing the right thing. They’re go on xifaxan or they go on another kind of antibiotic and they think it’s the right thing to do. But little do they know that many different types of pharmaceutical medications just create bugs to become stronger and more resistant. To me, it’s not really a viable option any more to look at pharmaceutical intervention for any kind of gut problem.
I’m not too bad on nystatin for some patients. I’ve had some relatively good results. But remember, nystatin is an antifungal. It’s not really antibacterial. When it comes to SIBO and food, to me, you have to try to understand where I’m coming from. Have you got SIBO? Is it predominantly a bacterial problem or have we got a mixed bag we’re dealing with? Are we dealing also with fungi issues, parasites and beneficial bacteria issues? Then you’ll say, “What’s that got to do with it? Just tell me about what kind of foods I can and can’t eat.” It’s got everything to do with it. Because some people who are diagnosed with SIBO can tolerate a wider range of fermentable carbs than other people who can’t tolerate them at all.
Again, I keep saying this similar sort of thing. I don’t want to keep playing the same record. But a lot of it is experimental. A lot of it means that you need to try things for yourself in very small amounts to start with. A very important I’d like to also stress in this video is by modifying starches, it can have a very different effect in your gut. An interesting comment from a YouTube subscriber who said that when he steamed grains, he could tolerate them really well. But when he didn’t steam them, he couldn’t tolerate them. Many people have told me when they bake chick peas or bake lentils or bake potatoes or bake pumpkin, they can tolerate that. But when they boil it, they get bloating and gas.
None of that information is here on these websites. Don’t automatically assume because you’ve got a problem such as SIBO that therefore you have to avoid every kind of starchy vegetable. You may be okay with certain types of starchy vegetables. Some of my patients can tolerate wild rice very well, the black rice. I had a patient recently email me and said that he can tolerate brown rice mixed with a small amount of wild rice or the black rice extremely well. But as soon as he adds basmati or jasmine rice or any other kind of white rice, he gets immediate bloating and gas.
Many other people have told me that they found the information I gave them was correct was to start on a teaspoon of cooked rice and then slowly build up to a tablespoon of cooked rice and not to take a large portion size. Sometimes starches work better if you improve pancreatic function. That’s another thing you didn’t think about is you need very good stomach and pancreas functional ability to be able to break starches down. Many people have got issues with their digestive organs. Not just bacteria. Now you can start seeing it’s getting a little bit more murky and complicated. It’s not a matter of should I eat this or should I not eat that. It’s not that simple.
We didn’t even come near stress. Fifty percent of people with SIBO have got autonomic nervous system imbalance. They’ve got a big problem with the nerve endings in their gut, the hormone production in their gut and they get lots of issues with that that can affect the motility of the stool through the bowel. That can mean that food particles stay longer in certain parts of the digestive system and cause fermentation. When they should be moving through a bit more quickly, they’re moving through more slowly.
The movement of the food through the gut is very dependent on the proper functioning of your autonomic nervous system, which is controlled to a big degree by stress. Nobody talks about these things. Nobody talks in these GAPS diet books about the effect of the motility and the fermentation and how the adrenal function either up or down regulated can affect bloating significantly in the gut.
These are things I’m going to explore a lot more in subsequent videos. What are the best foods to eat for a SIBO diet? Let’s go back and talk about that. The foods that you can tolerate. The first thing that you need to obviously do is cut out all of the crap out of your diet. I’ve spoken a lot about this on previous videos, so you know the foods you should cut out. Sugary foods, ice cream, alcohol, soda drinks, breads that you buy in the shop, all these standard kind of foods need to go. Home cooked meals, basic foods, foods that our grandparents used to eat, basic vegetables, basic meats, lean quality products, not with a high amount of animal fat, in my opinion, not really the good way to go. Butter, I’ve always been a big fan of butter. Basic foods of a very high quality nature, cooked okay, are usually going to agree with your gut quite well.
Remember, the stress part. I read another very interesting article about the exhaustion epidemic, which I’m going to do a video on today, too, about how many people now are exhausted. We’re sleeping two hours a night less than people did 70 years ago. Don’t you think that affects the gut? Come on. We’re getting more people with gut problems than we’ve ever seen before in clinics like I run. In my mind, a big part of it is technology. Staying up at night. Not sleeping anymore.
What’s that got to do with eating? This is a SIBO diet video. What the hell are you talking about? I’m trying to show you than there’s a lot more than meets the eye than just what you put in here. It’s also your lifestyle. That’s something I don’t want you to forget. In the next video, we’re going to talk a little bit about the foods you shouldn’t eat with SIBO and there’s clearly defined foods that I really want you to avoid probably for a good 6 to 12 months.
Let’s sum everything up we’ve said in the video. Experiment with your diet. By all means, read the GAPS book, the SCD book, the FOGMP books, read all those books. Get good ideas out of those books. Also have a look at Candida Crusher because I write quite a lot about different diet approaches in that book. I write about body ecology and GAPS and all these sorts of books. Donna Gags has got good ideas with body ecology, putting fermented and cultured foods back into the diet. Everybody’s got their take on it. And all the shelves you see behind me all bowing and ready to fall over, a lot of these are full of diet books.
The best diet for you is the book that you write for yourself. It’s the foods that you can tolerate at this point in your life. Disappointed? Don’t be disappointed. Diet plays an important, but in my opinion, a minor role in recovery from a lot of gut problems. Think about it. Thanks for tuning in. Don’t forget to click on the link below for your free report. Thank you.