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What is IBS and what is leaky gut?
Irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) effects 15% of the population. IBS can manifest in a few different ways. 1) Consistent diarrhea 2) Constipation 3) Combination of both diarrhea and constipation. People with IBS feel uncomfortable and unsure of what causes it. People who are diagnosed with IBS are often told there is no cure, but Dr. Vikki disagrees.
Leaky gut is different. You consume food and your stomach determines what is fuel and what is waste. The nutrients leave the stomach via openings in your small intestines. 70-80% of your immune system is housed in your small intestines. A normally functioning gut will “open the doors” and allows good nutrients into your blood stream and will block bad things at the same time. If you have leaky gut, your immune system has been compromised and the “doors” are wide open allowing things like parasites and bacteria to get into your blood stream.
If you have been diagnosed with IBS and have been told that there is no cure, what do you do?
If you are willing to change your diet, you can manage your IBS. First thing you must do is look at your food sensitivities. Food allergies are not exactly the same thing as food sensitivities. Food allergies affect you immediately where as food sensitivities can affect you from 7 hours to 8 days later. A modified food elimination diet is the best way to determine what food sensitivities you have. You eliminate the most common food sensitivities for 3 weeks (gluten, dairy, citrus, beef, etc) and slowly reintroduce new foods every 3 days. You have to be very aware of how you are feeling as each new food is reintroduced.
What are some of the changes that people can expect to make in order to feel better?
Tests need to be done in order to determine what you individually need to improve upon. Every person will have different results.
Do you recommend doing elimination of foods prior to delving into a blood test?
The only good blood tests are the ones that determine gluten and celiac sensitivity. You can be off of gluten for a couple weeks before the test, but not much more. Other blood tests aren’t recommended because they aren’t accurate.
Why do we get heartburn or acid reflux?
When your stomach squeezes and goes into spasms pushing stomach acid into your esophagus, it is called heart burn because it feels to be near your heart. Acid reflux is when you are refluxing acid further into your mouth. When you take antacids, you are diminishing your stomach’s ability to break down food, therefore causing malabsorption and maldigestion the rest of the way through your intestines. You need to ask why is the stomach refluxing acid? You need to ask what is going into your stomach to cause the reflux. H Pylori, a bacteria, is also something to consider.
What are foods that are common causes of acid reflux?
Dairy and bread are common causes.
What should someone do if they have a lot of symptoms of IBS or leaky gut, and their doctor has prescribed them a lot of medications?
You have to relentlessly find a clinician (functional medicine) that understands and wants to get to the root cause. If your body isn’t properly turning food into fuel, your body isn’t getting what it needs.
What do I do if I am suffering from weight gain yet don’t feel like I’m overeating or eating badly?
Either what you are eating isn’t suiting you, you don’t have the proper amount of stomach acid, or you don’t have a proper balance of probiotics. You need to seek a functional medicine clinician who can help diagnose what real issue is.
How do I deal with chronic constipation?
You need to get to the root cause. Are you getting enough hydration by drinking enough water? Are you moving your body enough? Are you eating a lot of sugar? Are you eating a lot of heavy meats? Are you getting enough fiber? If it doesn’t improve after addressing each of these things, further testing needs to be done.