In today's video I discuss my top 5 ways in which you can prevent your SIBO relapsing. This includes common SIBO treatments on how you can improve the effectiveness of your Motor Complex (MMC).
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When you experience slow gut motility issues when you have SIBO it is often a sign the there are problems with the Migrating Motor Complex or MMC. And just so this hits home, not supporting the MMC during treatment is often one of the main reasons why people relapse.
So why is the MMC so important? Well the MMC is essential electrical waves in the gut. And the easiest way for you to think of the MMC is that like a dustpan and brush. So when the MMC triggers it sweeps and moves everything along all the way down to the colon and beyond where it can then be excreted from the body.
So with all of that out the way lets discuss the top 5 ways that you can support your MMC to minimise your SIBO relapse risks. And these are in no particular order.
So number 1 is a minimum of a 12 hour fast overnight. So finish your meals no later than 7 in the evening and don’t eat anything else until at least 7 in the morning. This fast will enable your digestive tract to take a well earned break for constantly breaking down food and moving it along.
Number 2 is you have to Chill. You need to get your stress levels and cortisol down. So please please please stop reading all of the doom and gloom SIBO horror stories online, it will do you no favours. When you take this doom and gloom onboard anxiety and stress go up, digestion can be slowed down which can then lead to constipation and ultimately a slowed MMC.
Do whatever you can to reduce your stress levels. Listening to music, deep breathing, yoga or divorce. The last one is optional though.
Number 3 is supporting your vagus nerve. So the vagus nerve is the longest nerve of the cranial nerves that runs from your brain and down your body. The vagus nerve has many effects many processes in the body from lung and heart function, liver function, gallbladder and pancreas function and the vegus nerve can also trigger unwanted reactions on the MMC function.
There are lots of things that you can do to support your vegus nerve from exercising, meditating, exposing yourself to cold air or water or deep breathing.
Number 4 is Don’t overeat and certainly to overdo the snaking between meals. As I said earlier the MMC is activated by an empty stomach and a period of fasting and occurs every 1.5 to 2.5 hours. When the MMC is activated it generally takes the MMC around 45 minutes to go through its 4 phases. And when you start eating the MMC waves are interrupted.
So if you have really slow digestion and you routinely experience constipation then you can wait a minimum of 3 hours and 45 minutes between meals and this may help reduce some of your constipation issues.
The trick here will obviously to ensure that you are getting sufficient calories during your main meals with a good blend of protein fats, carbs and fibre to ensure you remain fuller for longer. So if you are going to experiment with not snacking then also ensure that you are only having water and herbal teas, avoid coffee.
And finally number 5 is supplements. Now you will more than likely be working with a practitioner who will have produced a detailed plan for you to follow. Somewhere in that plan will have some mention of prokinetcs and other supplements.
Prokinetics are compounds that you can take that will regulate the speed at which your food and faces travels through your intestines. Generally speaking I only recommend prokinetics when a person is experiencing constipation. For most other people you can resolve SIBO without the need to use prokinetics.
For the people that I work with where prokinetics are are needed then I generally recommend combining ginger supplements with something like iberogast, but other practitioners may recommend 5 HTP, medicinal bitters and Acetyl-l-carnitine. I tend to avoid these though as the science behind them is very limited.
I'll SIBO you next time!