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Eric Bakker here, the naturopath from New Zealand. Thanks for coming back.
Why do SIBO patients tend to have more acid reflex, more GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease, than non-SIBO patients? I’ve certainly noticed a connection here. Not all people with small intestinal bowel overgrowth issues will experience reflux disease, but many, many people do.
Dr. Norman Robillard, PhD, who I hold in very high admiration for his digestive work, has a theory, and it’s an excellent theory which I totally endorse. From where I’m sitting from my experience, what happens in the small bowel, if you’ve got bacteria sitting there right up the top part of the duodenum, they’re going to be producing gases, aren’t they? You’re going to get an inappropriate fermentation, a dysbiosis fermentation. I’ve always called SIBO dysbiosis because that’s what we used to call it, poor bacteria, but now we know that the small bowel, particularly the upper regions, are where all these bacteria can really thrive.
Now, what the hell? How could this be connected with stomach acid? Well, if they produce gases, when you think about it, they could be putting pressure on the stomach and forcing acid up rather than down, which can make it come more up in the upper regions. Then, eventually, LES, poor uncle LES, the lower esophageal sphincter that sits on top of the stomach, will eventually become weaker and weaker and open, and you’ll get reflux disease.
What about drugs? Aren’t they any good? Why don’t we just recommend a proton pump inhibitor or Nexium or some crap like that? Well, I totally agree with Dr. Robillard that these are a really dumb thing to do because when you take acid blocking drugs, unfortunately, you’re going to create an environment in the stomach lower down into the small bowel where it’s more conducive for the growth of these small bacteria. In fact, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. If you’ve got SIBO, what I’m trying to say is, and you take a drug for stomach acid problem, you could make the SIBO worse.
Instead, Robillard, in fact, is not really agreeing with FODMAPs, in that case, who would encourage people to eat resistant starches, like sort of semi-raw bananas and corn and things like that. I agree with Robillard, but I don’t have specific recommendations for food because, for where I’m sitting, I see too many people have got variables. I don’t like bringing out [inaudible] cookie-cutter diet sheets that… and, say, give to a thousand people and it suits everybody. So many people will benefit from some foods that really aggravate the hell out of others, so cases have to be taken on their individual merits.
There are so many variables with patient the best approach for SIBO and for GERD is the individual approach where the patient is seen as a complete blank white sheet of paper separate from any other patient. That’s how it should be in medicine. People shouldn’t be treated like paint by numbers. It just doesn’t work like that, folks. If you are going to see a practitioner, don’t come to me because you know my clinic, again I’ll say it, is finished end of November. You need to find someone who can offer you a holistic approach for this kind of a problem.
I can definitely see a connection with esophageal reflux disease and small intestinal bowel overgrowth. Now you’re saying, “All right, mate, you’ve given us the problem. Now give us the solution.” Well, the solution is to work on the SIBO. Try and get rid of these bad bacteria in the small intestine. Have a look at a product that’s going to work not just for bacteria but for fungal because, don’t forget, we’ve spoken about SIFO, small intestinal fungal overgrowth. when you’re going to take a supplement, make sure that it will hit bacteria and fungus at the same time. You need a broad-spectrum product that’s going to do that.
If you get a bit of testing done, you can often pinpoint some key issues. Generally, you’ll find a bacteria sitting there that needs nuking, a bacteria or a fungus. Make sure that you go on a proper program that’s going to last four to six weeks to clear this mess up. Wait a few weeks. Treat again if so need be, and then, down the track, retest to see what’s going on. To go on medications for blocking acid, it’s not a good idea. It’s not a good idea.
Thanks for tuning in. Don’t forget to click on the link if you want my free candida report. Thank you.