Maybe Slow Guts Need Poked

Everyone tells you its simple.  Everyone tells you, “Oh, if you’d only try this, then…”

You don’t know whether to feel stupid or insulted and mad.  Then, rashly, you fork out money to try X, Y, or Z sometimes–which fails–and then you feel stupid AND mad.

I’ve got today’s post and one more on my personal story on severe, chronic, idiopathic constipation.  I’m not here to tell you it’s simple or even that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to constipation.  My blog is not for medical advice anyhow.  (It’s to make you wonder what kind of person would type about this.  Is she normal?  Or not normal?  Hmmm…)  If you missed them, I wrote this post first and this post second in my personal update series on trying to cure my refractory, lifelong constipation.

512px-Tea_in_different_grade_of_fermentation

Smooth Move Tea and Laxatives

A few years ago I went to a gastroenterologist for my constipation.  She recommended that I stop the magnesium preparation that I was taking and sip Smooth Move Tea (a senna product). I didn’t like this recommendation so I didn’t do it.  I’d tried senna products before, and they never worked for me.  I felt the doctor clearly wasn’t listening to my story, so I found a different doctor.  I mean, I’d told her I had given up pizza and bread and ice cream to try to beat my severe, chronic constipation–did she really think that sipping a simple tea was going to work?  Like she blew me off, I blew her off and did not try that blasted tea.  Last year, however, after having the baby, my constipation had some bad spells.  So I decided to get off my high horse and try the stupid tea.  The tea did nothing but cause severe cramps. (Point: Patients usually know their bodies.)  I also tried some other OTC laxatives, but they also did nothing but cause cramps and create no bowel movement.

Bottom-line:  These products don’t work well for me.  They never have, and they still don’t.  I get terrible cramping and little to no bowel movement.  To get a bowel movement, I have to take like 12 or more pills of whatever.  I’d better stick to giving up pizza.

Herbs and Spices

I use a lot of herbs and spices when I cook, both fresh and dried.  I’ve tried increasing these over the last several months.  Nothing has seemed to jump up and shout that it is making my gut move specifically.  But they taste good and have many great properties.  Could they be doing slow magical work?  Sure.  I’ll keep using my herbs and spices:  turmeric, Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom, fresh-pressed garlic allowed to sit ten minutes, coriander, allspice, nutmeg, saffron, fresh cilantro, fresh parsley, rosemary, and so on and so forth.

Bottom-line:  Herbs and spices are worth adding in for overall health even if they don’t clearly seem to make a definable difference in my GI motility.

Diverse Fiber

I’ve read some fascinating anecdotes about people who tanked up on diverse fibers and reversed their GI, SIBO, and food issues.  (Fiber is a VERY complex term.  Please consider reading about it here.)  Fiber in the forms of legumes, Metamucil, and whole grains has never worked for me.  But as I’ve researched, I’ve come to find that I’m not needing the “skin” fiber of foods that I thought I needed for bulk–or even “soluble” or “insoluble” fiber.  There are other, less definable, carbohydrates that the bacteria in our guts may chomp on to produce by-products that stimulate and repair the gut.  So I devoted a couple of months to trying high dose “fibers”:  glucommannan (cramping), FOS/inulin/beta glucan (no change), psyllium (no increase in movement but more bulk), and oatmeal/blueberry/potato starch smoothies three times a day (no change).  I had no significant set-backs from these attempts, but I still needed tons of magnesium.

The “fiber” that seems to do me best is resistant starch “fiber” via green bananas (in smoothies), cold cooked rice (as in rice salad), and cold cooked potatoes (great over a salad topped with vinaigrette).  I also occasionally pop a bit of raw potato.  I do feel these “fiber” foods help me if consumed daily.

Also, over the summer I inadvertently upped my raw vegetable intake with delicious Israeli-inspired salads a good friend taught me to make.  Raw vegetable intake at the beginning of my journey killed my bloating problems.  Not anymore.  Once a gut’s environment is improved, I think raw vegetables and fruits are important.  Maybe the addition of these salads helped.

Bottom-line:  I can’t be 100% sure, but I do think that the resistant starch foods eaten daily and the salads play a role in the recent progress of my gut.  (And these are amazing salads!  Not the kind boring ones I used to make.)  The powders and supplements I tried didn’t work for me. (Too easy.)

Triphala

I tried some triphala.  No luck.  Nothing bad.  But nothing improved, and although it is listed as safe in some places for nursing (and other places not), I thought my baby had looser stools when I titrated up the dose.  So I ditched triphala.

Essential Oils

Oh man.  I love the way these smell.  Some people swear success in helping their constipation with essential oils.  I’ve tried two different times and no go for me.

 

Acupuncture

Japanese_kudabariI told a medical school friend, who is married to another medical school friend, that I was trying acupuncture for my gut.  She laughed and jokingly said, “I won’t tell Jeff that you’re trying that.  He’d never let me talk to you again…”

Anyhow, I have received acupuncture now for about 5 months (with some quite extended breaks for traveling).  When those tiny needles poke me, you can hear my gut start rumbling.  It’s a little embarrassing.  Sometimes after a treatment, I will have to go to the bathroom.  Usually not.  However, in the several months of acupuncture I’ve had, my gut has improved. The acupuncturist I go to only does acupuncture, but he draws on chiropractic, ancient Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic principles, and kinesiology.  When we first started, I asked him, “So, do you think you’ll be able to fix me?”  He was super honest and said, “Well–you’ve had this a long time–but we can try.”  I love that answer!  I have the utmost respect for what he does, but I do have to say it feels like “voodoo” at its finest to a conventional doctor.

I think that acupuncture has been a piece of the progressive improvement of my gut (but only as a part of the plan).  For the first 6 weeks, treatments were weekly.  Then, he spaced it to every two weeks.  And then slowly we are stretching it out further.  It does seem to help.  On the down side, it is not cheap.  In fact, it’s expensive.  Some insurances pay for acupuncture, but mine does not.

Here are some links to check out about acupuncture and constipation:

Efficacy of acupuncture for chronic constipation: a systematic review.:  This is an abstract to a positive Chinese study on acupuncture for constipation.

Use acupuncture to treat functional constipation: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial :  Here is a full-text summary of the study protocol for the above-linked study, in case you want to take it to your acupuncturist to see what points were used.  🙂

Acupuncture for functional constipation: protocol of an individual patient data meta-analysis : And here it looks like the British Medical Journal is gearing up to explore acupuncture for functional constipation.

Bottom-line:  Acupuncture definitely seemed to add some motility to my gut.

Closing

I will try to wrap up this long story in the next post which will cover things like yoga, acceptance, meditation, getting up early, and my favorite topic–diet.  It seems like a lot of stuff to try–and it is–but I know these things will impact my marriage, my parenting, and my life forever.  Here is a funny thought:  I am a better person because of my constipation.  Oh, my.  Did I just type that?Insane.

I appreciate the comments you’ve all left.  And I like to hear of people doing well and what and who they used to achieve that.  Have a super week.

Terri

 

 

 

 

50 thoughts on “Maybe Slow Guts Need Poked

  1. Anonymous

    Can you share your Israeli salad recipe? Also, have you ever considered that perhaps a specific strain of bacteria is missing or in low numbers in your gut? Have you ever considered trying a fecal transplants from a tested donor (perhaps a family member)?

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Yes, of course I can (share the salad recipe)! My friend (and sidekick who helps me sometimes while I homeschool) told us that in Israel she would eat salad for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This really helped my kids take to salads! I probably should have called it Israeli inspired. My friend says that a true, typical Israeli salad is tomato, cucumber, onion, and parsley chopped very small. (We sometimes lay low on tomatoes depending on how things are going with our bodies.)

      But what she does and has taught me to do is to chop things small and use a light dressing. We start with a base “green” usually, like cabbage, red cabbage, spinach, or Romaine. Then add chopped and peeled cucumber. Some chopped onion. Some chopped either parsley or cilantro; I keep both handy. To vary it up, each day may have a different spin, like fennel or apple or raisins or dried cranberries or walnuts or red pepper or sunflower seeds. Or olives or capers. The dressing is simply fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sometimes garlic pressed in. That’s it. I then will sometimes add cold, cooked rice to mine or cold peas.

      Finally, yes, I have considered that. I’ve had my gut bacteria tested by Metametrix (now Genova?). It costs quite a bit of money, and I don’t see the need for now to repeat it. I’ve decided to eat soundly, use probiotics wisely, and optimize what I can. I’ve read that the bacteria are not truly destroyed–more that they go deep into the crypts/films and are in very low colony counts. So if I do what I can to minimize conditions for overgrowths and promote growth for the low counts, slowly I can make ground. I have considered that I may need antibiotics or antifungals to help–but not for now. If the day comes that things stop again and nothing works, if nothing better is available at the time, I would probably seek out a clinic to have FMT done. I hesitate to use someone else’s FM, even in my family, for FMT because although my gut is my weak link, I’m very happy with lots–like my immune system, skin quality, energy levels, metabolism, etc. I just don’t understand how/if/how much those will be affected by FMT.

      Take care!

      Reply
  2. Susan

    Thank you for taking the time to share your journey! I have quite the opposite problem in that I sit in the bathroom far too often although usually just mornings since I started my odessey. Not diarrhea, formed but a bit more loose than normal…but am beginning to wonder what exactly is normal? I messed up my gut & tendons with a round of Levaquin a couple of years ago….loosely following The Perfect Health Diet which has helped tremendously. Am going to try adding the resistent starch to see if that will be the finally push my leaky gut needs to heal. Thanks again am enjoying your site!

    Susan

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Good morning! I hate that the Levaquin did that to you. I don’t know for you, but when I am “normal,” I know it’s normal. Okay. This is going to sound stupid: It just feels right. (I’m laughing as I type that. But it’s the truth for me!) But, yes, I see your point on normal! Your current situation sounds much more ideal than your former situation! And I really like The Perfect Health Diet book and the Jaminets (uh, not that I know them personally–just like their approach to people). Definitely a good read. The green bananas, cold rice, cold potatoes, etc. work for me; it would be nice if they were your ticket too. But I know we are all so different. So I’ll be anxiously hoping. Have a great weekend!

      Reply
  3. Kathy

    Hi Terri – a relief, kind of, to know that I’ve tried everything you have (except accupuncture) with the same results: none. I’m back to drinking Natural Calm before bed and a dost of 3 tablespoons seems to bring some relief. Sometimes it’s as if my behind is no longer capable of pushing the stuff out! And oft times, a lovely potato sized BM will form causing me to use an enema to cause relief! Too much information, I’m so sorry! I’m on week 2 of using raw potato starch and hoping this combination (starch and Natural Calm) are (or soon will be) helping. Love, love, love your posts! Hugs to you!

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Ah, Kathy—I hope it helps too. I hate drinking that amount of Natural Calm. Just tired of it. But, on the other hand, it could not work at all—and that’d be really a bummer. I don’t know. I’d like to hear from people who had colectomies and what points they had addressed. Did they take their diet down to X, Y, Z? Did they balance their hormones? Did they look for gut dysbiosis and get antibiotic treatment/supplemental treatment for it? Did they address the parasympathetic nervous system? Etc. I’m not saying they didn’t. I’m just really curious. Just in order to learn more. Anyhow, I’d better sign off for the night. My husband turned the heat down for the night and I’m freezing now. LOL!

      Reply
  4. barbara

    An herb called “slippery elm” has always worked for me if I developed a constipation problem. It is a mucilage so it makes the stool “slippery”. Yoga breathing/intestinal motility exercises helped as well. Your acupuncture treatments are synergistic to both.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hello, Barbara! Like in acupuncture, when my yoga teacher works on moves “that stimulate the colon” with me, my gut rumbles. So strange! Who would have thought!? I really like yoga. I tried slippery elm right at the very beginning of “my change” to this new lifesyle a few years ago. It didn’t work then, but I haven’t tried it since. I read that many people had success with it. I’m glad you do! Thanks for throwing that out there.

      Reply
  5. Bob

    re: …people doing well and what and who they used to achieve that.

    By the time someone is looking at, or posting to health-related blogs on this topic, their situation is usually pretty far out on the bell curve, and it’s easily not the same situation as the other folks also out there. There may be no one-size-fits-all all recipe for all those folks. Some standard approaches might even be adverse at the outset.

    I do part-time work for a healthcare blog (and I’m not speaking officially for it here)…

    … and for mainstream cases, the blog advocates for GI issues the same diet that it advocates for everyone:
    zero grains, very low net carb, high specific fats, low inflammatory, and attend to gut health and various crucial micronutrients.

    This usually results in near-term reliable smooth outcomes (it has for my family), and Metamucil being dropped from the shopping list – that brand, by the way, presently offers no products uncontaminated with grains and/or sugars and/or unwise artificial sweeteners – I’m not sure it even compensates for its own hazards, speaking as an ex-user thereof.

    For anyone:
    ▼ stop eating wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn and rice; period; multiple severe reasons
    ▼ dial added sugars and hi-gly carbs to zero (feeds adverse bugs, in addition to metsyn) (TERRI’S ADDED NOTE: metsyn=metabolic syndrome)
    ▼ stop consuming high Omega-6 oils, e.g. corn, canola, sunflower, safflower (inflammatory)
    ▼ stop assaulting the gut with routine antibiotics (from triclosan thru meds, unless prescribed for a GI overgrowth or other life-threatening condition)
    ▼ zero out the artificial sweeteners, most of which are suspect as microbiome antagonists
    (stevia, monk fruit, erythritol & xylitol are usually OK, but caution on inulin)
    ▼ certain frequently-deficient micronutrients need attention (Mg in particular)
    ▼ mind the hydration
    ▼ dial-down intentional consumption of “roughage” (fiber completely indigestible by either your enzymes or by your gut bugs, this sawdust is mostly gut irritant)
    ▼ avoid products & recipes with emulsifiers (microbiome antagonist effects)
    ▼ avoid glyphosate-resistant and Bt GMOs (microbiome antagonist effects)

    If someone with an advanced problem is in a position to get some testing, it’s worth ruling out some obvious suspects. Get tested for celiac and/or NCGS (Cyrex Array 3 or 4). Get a ubiome profile run (although it only reports bacteria). Get tested for C.diff, candida, SIBO.

    Certainly rule out other endocrine problems, including thyroid (the treatment of which is a scandal all its own). Supplementing hypochlorhydria and/or pancreatic enzyme might be indicated in some cases.

    A course of quality probiotic is the next thing to consider, unless contraindicated by testing. A quality PB is unlikely to be anything you find on the room-temp supplement shelves at the Mass Mart. Anyone with the more serious GI problems needs to also look into probiotic enema or even FMT.

    Carefully increase prebiotic fiber in the daily diet (and inulin is one). 20 grams/day is a reasonable goal. This is the stuff your gut bugs thrive on, and will use to your benefit – including healing the gut wall. Ramping up prebiotics (whether from supplements or just high preB foods) can over-feed some existing adverse overpopulations, so adjust dosage based on results.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Bob, I took the liberty of editing out your last name (but will gladly add it back in if you wanted it there!) and adding a note about what “metsyn” means for anyone reading comments.—What a nice comment! Thanks for leaving it. Pieces of it had me chuckling, like “the bell curve” and “as a former user.” Other pieces had me nodding my head in agreement. I copied your comment to add in thoughts (and that’s all they are–thoughts comparing my journey and story to your suggestions).

      re: …people doing well and what and who they used to achieve that.

      By the time someone is looking at, or posting to health-related blogs on this topic, their situation is usually pretty far out on the bell curve, and it’s easily not the same situation as the other folks also out there. There may be no one-size-fits-all all recipe for all those folks. Some standard approaches might even be adverse at the outset.

      TERRI: Yep. Love this introduction! So true.

      I do part-time work for a healthcare blog (and I’m not speaking officially for it here)…

      … and for mainstream cases, the blog advocates for GI issues the same diet that it advocates for everyone:
      zero grains, very low net carb, high specific fats, low inflammatory, and attend to gut health and various crucial micronutrients.

      TERRI: I did try this and even went ketogenic for a few months. Felt great but eventually started getting fatigue. Gut no change. Slowly took my carbs up to a point where I didn’t have fatigue and felt good again. So I think people have to play with this one. On micronutrients, I really enjoyed reading Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet book to really quantify micronutrients and also to put them with food sources. I thought he did a good job with this. I liked reading The Paleo Approach by Sara Ballantyne to try to understand low inflammatory foods. GAPS did a good job walking a beginner through gut health. I’m not recommending these as “plans” to any reader, just as sources to try to understand the language you’ll see around the internet.

      This usually results in near-term reliable smooth outcomes (it has for my family), and Metamucil being dropped from the shopping list – that brand, by the way, presently offers no products uncontaminated with grains and/or sugars and/or unwise artificial sweeteners – I’m not sure it even compensates for its own hazards, speaking as an ex-user thereof.

      TERRI: Love the line “…I’m not sure it even compensates for its own hazards…” HA! SO great your family responded. Good news! I had to work harder than that.

      For anyone:
      ▼ stop eating wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn and rice; period; multiple severe reasons

      TERRI: I had to eliminate these, but I slowly re-introduced grains to see if any would be tolerated. Those that I tolerate, I incorporate sometimes. I’m not a big fan of eliminating foods forever if a person desires them back in AND the body tolerates them. But a person needs to be completely honest regarding them and whether or not they’re truly tolerated. This is not always easy to do.

      ▼ dial added sugars and hi-gly carbs to zero (feeds adverse bugs, in addition to metsyn) (TERRI’S NOTE: metsyn=metabolic syndrome)

      TERRI: See note above on low-carb. I did dial mine down to zero, but I found that some honey in my tea made me sane. So I dialed back up to a comfortable level, watching things like bloating, headaches, fatigue, etc.

      ▼ stop consuming high Omega-6 oils, e.g. corn, canola, sunflower, safflower (inflammatory)

      TERRI: Yes. Although I think that eating fat in whole food form is something else to add here. Once that fish oil is put in a capsule, degradation. Once olive oil is put in that bottle, degradation. Once the car is driven off the car lot…

      ▼ stop assaulting the gut with routine antibiotics (from triclosan thru meds, unless prescribed for a GI overgrowth or other life-threatening condition)

      TERRI: Check.

      ▼ zero out the artificial sweeteners, most of which are suspect as microbiome antagonists
      (stevia, monk fruit, erythritol & xylitol are usually OK, but caution on inulin)

      TERRI: Check.

      ▼ certain frequently-deficient micronutrients need attention (Mg in particular)

      TERRI: Check.

      ▼ mind the hydration

      TERRI: Check.

      ▼ dial-down intentional consumption of “roughage” (fiber completely indigestible by either your enzymes or by your gut bugs, this sawdust is mostly gut irritant)

      TERRI: I’ve played around with this. Literature suggests that in slow transit constipation, “roughage” makes things worse. I would agree that I follow that pattern. Oatmeal, peas, lentils–I’d tank up on these and swear things were worse. Always thought it was in my head till I saw it right there in black and white in my medical journal. But now, I can and do incorporate these foods and seem to do okay. I don’t ever tank up on them anymore.

      If someone with an advanced problem is in a position to get some testing, it’s worth ruling out some obvious suspects. Get tested for celiac and/or NCGS (Cyrex Array 3 or 4). Get a ubiome profile run (although it only reports bacteria). Get tested for C.diff, candida, SIBO.

      TERRI: Good idea. I didn’t do a ubiome; I did a Metametrix back in the day. I don’t know the difference at this time. Problem with SIBO is that I haven’t seen a lot of good treatment of it being reported.

      Certainly rule out other endocrine problems, including thyroid (the treatment of which is a scandal all its own). Supplementing hypochlorhydria and/or pancreatic enzyme might be indicated in some cases.

      TERRI: Check.

      A course of quality probiotic is the next thing to consider, unless contraindicated by testing. A quality PB is unlikely to be anything you find on the room-temp supplement shelves at the Mass Mart. Anyone with the more serious GI problems needs to also look into probiotic enema or even FMT.

      TERRI: Agree on probiotics. Tried the probiotic enema. I didn’t have luck. If I continue as is, I don’t think I’ll need the FMT. But I definitely read on it a lot.

      Carefully increase prebiotic fiber in the daily diet (and inulin is one). 20 grams/day is a reasonable goal. This is the stuff your gut bugs thrive on, and will use to your benefit – including healing the gut wall. Ramping up prebiotics (whether from supplements or just high preB foods) can over-feed some existing adverse overpopulations, so adjust dosage based on results.

      TERRI: Seems to jive with my experience. I was very scared to try an inulin supplement for fear of, as you say, over feeding some existing adverse overpopulations, but when I did, I had no problems with it. And, I do think, as you suggest that it may have helped my gut wall (food intolerances) also. I try to get my prebiotics via food but I wanted to try supplementation, and when I did, I didn’t have any negative consequences.

      Anyhow–Thanks again. Good outline. I think some of the more stubborn cases above and beyond this will need to explore whether or not heavy metals are involved, a need for specific antibiotics may be involved, consideration of parasympathetic/sympathetic tone, and/or hormones.

      Reply
      1. Bob Niland

        «I took the liberty of editing out your last name…»

        Not a problem either way.

        «I did try this and even went ketogenic for a few months.»

        The diet I follow is only borderline KD. I see full KD as a useful as a therapeutic tool for several conditions, and chronic keto as useful for a very few others (like epilepsy, T1D, perhaps some additional neuro situations).

        A risk that arises with KD is that many followers dial down the net carbs by dialing down all carbs, and inadvertently get their probiotic fiber intake way too low to keep their gut bugs happy. If they aren’t happy, you aren’t happy.

        «On micronutrients…»

        Mg we’ve already covered. Other key ones appear to be Vitamin D, Omega 3 DHA & EPA, iron, zinc, folates and iodine.

        Iodine deficiency is pandemic in most places, but raising iodine intake above RDA needs to be done in the context of knowing one’s thyroid status. It’s often throwing gasoline on a fire if Hashimoto’s is present. Thyroid miss-testing (TSH only, ignoring symptom and even body temp), miss-diagnosis (“normal” when it’s really hypo) and miss-treatment (nothing or T4 only) is one of the festering scandals of contemporary consensus medicine.

        «…to try to understand low inflammatory foods.»

        I’ve seen some folks point to the correlation between the rise of the fake “vegetable” oils, and trends in modern malaises, and claim that it’s more than correlation, specifically for heart disease. I consider it to be at least a target for the precautionary principle. Avoid fats that didn’t exist a century ago.

        «…slowly re-introduced grains to see if any would be tolerated. Those that I tolerate, I incorporate sometimes. I’m not a big fan of eliminating foods forever if a person desires them back in AND the body tolerates them.»

        Fasano. Zonulins. Tight junctions. Auto-immune disorders.
        Perlmutter claims the blood-brain barrier is compromised as well.
        As I’ve put it more than once, we are all celiac, it’s just a matter of degree and decades.

        «But a person needs to be completely honest regarding them and whether or not they’re truly tolerated.»

        The long-term ailments are often not noticed until it’s too late. Anyone with a chronic ailment needs to be cautious about which suspects are exonerated, perhaps prematurely. A very low net carb diet of course leaves no room for more than condiment quantities of grains, but the ones I mentioned by name all have problems suggesting an intake level of zero. A little quinoa from time to time is no problem. Wheat, never, and it can be really hard to avoid.

        Grain flours further raise the issue of fortifications, and in particular the folic acid added by regulation to many. FA is an incompatible form of folate for a substantial fraction of the population (MTHFR polymorphisms). A one-time genetic test provides indicators. 23andme with out-sourced analysis of the raw data may suffice (their own recently undead health risks report is nearly useless, thanks to FDA meddling).

        «…I found that some honey in my tea made me sane.»

        If it’s real honey, I consider it to be just a net carb issue. The problem is having any assurance at all that there is any bee spit there:
        http://wheatfreeforum.com/index.php/topic,895.0.html

        «…eating fat in whole food form is something else to add here. Once that fish oil is put in a capsule, degradation.»

        For Omega 3 DHA & EPA, 3 cans of sardines a day would do the trick: wild caught, packed in water, with nothing added. According to consumerlab dot com, who recently updated their tests of n3s, the recent stories suggesting oxidized (rancid) fish oils may have been based on tests confounded by other ingredients in the capsules (principally flavorings) and at least one paper was authored by researchers who had conflicts of interest.

        «I didn’t do a ubiome…»

        At present, it seems largely useful for tracking changes. As I mentioned, they only sequence bacteria. More below…

        «Problem with SIBO is that I haven’t seen a lot of good treatment of it being reported.»

        If you don’t follow Chris Kresser, he’s had a number of articles on his blog about approaches to it. I don’t fully endorse CK, but he’s useful for leads. In any event, it’s worth knowing if one has SIBO.

        «…I don’t think I’ll need the FMT. But I definitely read on it a lot.»

        The gut also includes, and ubiome doesn’t test for; eukaryotic parasites, fungi, protozoans, viruses, yeasts, and according to one recent paper, perhaps new biological divisions as yet completely unidentified. We have only vague notions of what an optimal spectrum of these things might be, and with no way to measure some of them, there’s no way to know what genocide has been committed against them by routine meds and hostile food-like substances. This may explain why FMT, with very very very careful donor selection, is so wildly successful for C.diff (the only thing it’s presently approved for in the US).

        I recently read that some rogue doctors are miss-diagnosing C.diff so they can get FMT treatment for other conditions that aren’t responding to anything else tried.

        «I think some of the more stubborn cases above and beyond this will need to explore whether or not heavy metals are involved, a need for specific antibiotics may be involved, consideration of parasympathetic/sympathetic tone, and/or hormones.»

        CK just lately had an interesting interview with Dr. Chris Shade on mercury.

        Lots of other suspects to consider as well – just to name some at random:
        circadian disruption,
        non-native aluminum compounds and elemental Al,
        emulsifiers in foods,
        oral and skin care products containing stuff you wouldn’t eat.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        We agree on more than we disagree on, I think.—–

        I wish you’d come down harder on oils, more like the harsh stance you take on grains and wheat. Grain, especially wheat, may be inflammatory but it’s not incorporated into every cell’s membrane like lipids are. Every cell, from head to toe. I don’t, at this point, completely agree with the omega-6/omega-3 thoughts that circulate. But I do believe that when oil is taken from food, it needs simply processed and needs to be FRESH. I believe it’s harder to eat rancid-oil free than it is to eat gluten-free, dairy-free. And I believe that the body has a huge burden when it must repair these oils for use or it incorporates them and the function of the cell struggles.—

        Last I read, Fasano still ate wheat. It doesn’t change what I do, but it’s a curious question. Do you know, by chance?—

        I follow a SIBO Chris Kresser comment thread. Lots of people still struggling out there. Frustrating for them.—

        I hope you have a great Thanksgiving! What’s on the menu? I’d love to know! I’m thinking it won’t be the recipes I feature next week to keep people in the ballgame. 🙂 (You know I’m a firm believer in keeping people in the ballgame any way I can—till their inner fire lights up and they move forward to the next step.)—-

        Am I correct in assuming that you are Boundless? Or am I mistaken?

        Terri

      3. Bob Niland

        «I wish you’d come down harder on oils…»

        I do. I completely avoid 20th century oils.

        «I don’t, at this point, completely agree with the omega-6/omega-3 thoughts that circulate.»

        If you’ve been following papers, take note of how much they use. Most investigators think that 1 gram per day suffices for the n3 arm of a trial, and may also think that ALA suffices. Davis and Perlmutter advise 3 to 3.6 grams DHA+EPA per day, and Davis suggests rather more than that for specific situations, like Lp(a), and that benefits tail off sharply at lower doses. He appears to be minding outcomes in his patient population on that.

        How would a pre-ag human get so much DHA&EPA? It would have to be a shoreliner routinely eating seafood, or an uplander consuming game from snout to tail (including brain). So this suggests that ag-based neolithic humans have been significantly deficient in these EFAs, and are now also getting a toxic overload of n6, much of it as novel industrial substances, often derived from seeds that are themselves modern mutants (which would be all canola oil, plus other GMOs).

        Not clear how much of the above has a direct impact on GI health.

        «I believe it’s harder to eat rancid-oil free than it is to eat gluten-free, dairy-free.»

        Whatever oils we use, it’s important to cook at low temperatures.

        On dairy-free, it may turn out that the thing to avoid is beta casein A1 bovine dairy (which is most North American dairy). Anyone doing a dairy elimination, who wants to re-challenge on it, might try to find some A2 products, now becoming available. No A2 in sight? Try caprine (goat) dairy. A family member appears pretty reactive to unfermented bovine dairy, but has no problems with the milk from our goats.

        «Last I read, Fasano still ate wheat.»

        He needs to read his own papers. Zonulin opens the tight junctions of the gut in everyone, not just celiacs. Perlmutter argues that it opens the BBB as well. This allows into the bloodstream, and more ominously into the brain, all sort of antagonists that do not belong there. Now yes, the tight junctions open and close for various reasons all the time, but a gliadin-heavy diet (and possibly other grains with analog proteins) keep them open substantially longer, perhaps nearly full time.

        This may saturate body systems that clear toxins. In the particular case of the brain, I suspect that the recently discovered brain lymph system has a very limited capacity. Being a wheat eater may well overwhelm it. A recent paper:
        http://www.nature.com/articles/srep15015
        finds a strong implication for fungus in Alzheimer’s, many strains glycophilic. How does the fungus get into the brain? There are dots here, waiting to be connected. As I put it elsewhere:
        This looks like a perfect storm for a wheat eater:
        – leaky gut
        – leaky brain
        – high blood sugar
        Add essentially unavoidable fungi to the food, and boom, gloom; doom.

        «…SIBO Chris Kresser comment thread. Lots of people still struggling out there. Frustrating for them.»

        Yep, and basically only the rogue doctors and dissident diets are digging in promising places. Consensus medicine is largely stuck on what may well have caused the problem in the first place: antibiotics.

        «I hope you have a great Thanksgiving! What’s on the menu?»

        Turkey, and lots of grain-free low-carb sides, mimics and treats. I’d have to check for details, as I’m not the family cook. Enjoy your week.

        «Am I correct in assuming that you are Boundless?»

        Yes. I’ve moved away from using that screen name in most places.

        And let me correct that “…new biological divisions as yet completely unidentified” I wrote earlier. It’s new biological domains. I’ve since found the paper ref I couldn’t find then:
        http://www.biologydirect.com/content/10/1/64
        Might help explain why FMT appears to be more effective than PB enema.

      4. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Dear Bob, I can’t keep up. I read all of your comments and love them, including the links. I want to make nice detailed replies but my kids would have the house burned down by then. Thank you, and I’m sorry on my slackness. But I don’t think it matters, as the important thing is that the information is here for others to see and explore for themselves. Which I think is your point, not to convince me, but to lay out info for all. (Right? Or no?)

        However, in the idea of sharing ideas, I have been toying with the idea that adding fat leads to trouble. There are studies that show that high fat diets change the gut microbiome in mice (here is my slackness–no link for you, but one study used lard, I think another study didn’t make it clear what they used), so this IS relevant to gut health, not only cardiovascular health. I have started mulling the idea over that any fat separated from its source has the potential to be detrimental. Now, does that mean I don’t add fat? Nope. But so many studies point to problems with fats. We can say over and over that the researchers did this wrong or this or that or they’re just all idiots, but there are just so many studies and so much contradictory information. PUFAs good–no bad. Omega6 good–no bad. Saturated bad–no good–no, just okay. Laurie acid bad–no good. I think to be optimal, a person would only eat fat as part of their food. I, am far from optimal. I just can’t see that omega 6s in fresh, in cracked nuts are bad or the fat from an avocado can be bad (there are studies showing MUFAs as good and others showing it as bad—dang it—feed the mouse an avocado, please, and let’s see…).

        What about high fat “to heal?” Yes, perhaps the advocates of “healing with high fats” have a valid point. Maybe the people transferring from the SAD need those fats to help “flood” the faulty fats they have in their membranes. Then, after one is “healed,” then switching to a diet with fats as a part of the foods eaten to satiety will be the next move. Maybe the same with fish oil. Use it to “heal” and then try to use the diet after that. It maybe won’t be possible and a person needs to supplement indefinitely. But jacking up the linolenic pathway over the linoleic pathway has feedback consequences which I think are neglected when people talk about this. But I don’t know. I just love to read and think about this stuff.

        I must go. I hope you have a GREAT Thanksgiving!!! Hope you get a day of joy and rest. Kiss the cook.

        Terri

      5. Bob Niland

        «Which I think is your point, not to convince me, but to lay out info for all. (Right? Or no?)»

        Correct. It’s just things to look at, for people discovering that consensus medicine doesn’t have all the answers (and has flat out incorrect answers on too many important topics). People need to be their own case managers, do their own research, and double-check the advice they get from all quarters.

        «There are studies that show that high fat diets change the gut microbiome in mice (here is my slackness–no link for you, but one study used lard, I think another study didn’t make it clear what they used)…»

        Rodents. Fats. Sigh. I’ve read a lot of nutrition papers (and even have a long and growing list of key failings that flag rubbish results). Rodent “high fat” and “ketogenic” trials are almost all disasters. The standard high fat chow (Harlan) is basically Crisco plus junk. And then we have:
        PLOS|ONE: Laboratory Rodent Diets Contain Toxic Levels of Environmental Contaminants: Implications for Regulatory Tests
        http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0128429

        Perhaps the only researcher using a credible high fat rodent diet is Dominic D’Agostino, and he has to have it custom-formulated.

        «PUFAs good–no bad. Omega6 good–no bad.»

        Some of the contributors on a subscription forum I follow are convinced that the real bad actor in the rise of cardiovascular disease is not so much the carbs, but the n6 PUFA oils, and those industrial grain and seed oil lubricants are in everything – plus CAFO meats, because it’s in the feed.

        «…dang it—feed the mouse an avocado, please, and let’s see…»

        That points up yet-another limitation of rodent trials. Avocados are toxic to mice (and many pets).

        «What about high fat “to heal?”…»

        Brings to mind another point about your keto experiment. KD is both lowering carb intake, and raising blood ketone levels. If the point is the ketones, anyone experimenting with it might want to consider using exogenous ketones, which can raise BHB without even having to do KD. The only such products on the market that I know of are Patrick Arnold’s KetoForce and KetoCaNa. I have no experience with them.

  6. Lesq

    Will you please elaborate as much as you can on your diet as you said you would be writing about it in your next post. Thank you so much for all your effort you are putting into this. I follow your blog and you are very similar to me–straight forward, honest and deep hearted!!! Thank you again so much for all you are doing. I get up very early every morning, do two hours of yoga at a studio, run and walk eight miles daily, have the most amazing marriage(husband and I are best friends always have been) and gave two wonderful young adult children so we are empty nesters. I am so happy and serene and this is such a terrible thing to deal with for soooooo many years. We travel a lot and I find the food in Europe much better then here. I do eat an organic and healthy diet and am very thin. I have been taken a product that is all fermented food and some magnesium–bingo there it is for me the one thing that works like it does for you. It is expensive so sold at only very certain high end health food stores– I live in NYC. Eager to hear what diet you have found to be useful. Probably fermented foods and very paleo I am assuming.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      It’s very nice to meet you! Your family sounds lovely!—- Sure I will elaborate on my diet. Long answer–but you asked 🙂 ! Four years ago (or so–I’m losing track of time now), I ate very “standardish.” Tons of bread products, tons of processed foods, tons of eating out, tons of sweets, low on meat actually, tons of cheese, etc. Then, I decided to try diet for my gut and chose the one that sounded like it’d have a chance of fixing my gut if there was any. So I picked GAPS. And I did my darndest to do it right. If you do it right, you end up with an elimination diet basically. Using it, I realized I probably had/have “leaky gut” (increased intestimal permeability) and am very sensitive to foods (and not just my gut); I had no idea about this! So I removed foods that bothered me, and I did this until I have tailored my “own” diet for me. I’ve added foods slowly, taken them out, back in, etc over the last three years to observe effects. Interestingly enough, it lands me feeling best (no headaches, no fatigue, no dry eyes, etc) when I eat autoimmune Paleo minus chicken and coconut. However, my gut (and kids!!!) likes more substance like nuts, seeds, certain cheeses, rice, potato, a few legumes, (and some un-nutritious GF flour baked good) every now and then. So it’s a balance I fight for now. If I had to say what I’m close to, I’d call my diet autoimmune Paleo plus rice, nightshades, a few legumes and heavy on GAPS principles (fermented foods, organ meats, and broth). I make it my goal to eat more plant matter (aside from grains and legumes) than vegans or vegetarians. 🙂 But grains, too many legumes, and too much dairy, although I love them, just don’t fit me yet. My gut is doing SO much better, and I just assumed once it was better, all my food intolerances would follow. Not the case. As far as macronutrients, I’ve played around with that and it varies.—- We love to travel, too, but traveling is always very hard on my GI tract. Maybe I’ll do better in Europe! Last time I was there I went for the sweets. :-)—- A fermented food product? Sounds interesting! Probably doesn’t travel to Europe well, eh?! I hate lugging all my magnesium and butyrate when we travel.—- Well, I guess that’s way too much of an answer. Much longer than what will be in my post. 🙂 TAKE GREAT CARE!

      Reply
  7. Lesq

    My fermented packet is in a little throw away size portion like a Starbucks VIA and two fermented capsules accompany it would in a vial–the packet crystals get drank down, not chewed, and followed by the capsules with sixteen ounces of room temp water. Works like a dream, but want to get off of it hate being dependent on anything!!! Very easy to travel with and yes traveling is a big upset on my body. Just got back and I quickly work to reverse effects and get my body rolling again. Such a funny thing to say with having the idiopathic constipation for soooooo many years. I have been everywhere. Even to Dr Greene at Columbia Presbyterian hospital, celiac center. I have one of the genes but not both. I guess overall this is a very happy independent journey, we learn from each other and keep trying to heal our guts and change our mind sets and at the end of the day need to determine what works for our own body. Sometimes it is lack of parastalsis period. Do U believe parastalsis can be reactivated? Thank you for all your words. Btw, love, love the mom u are and how u homeschool. Your family sounds great.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      “Do U believe parastalsis can be reactivated?” Yes, I do. BUT give me a chance to explain. I think the neuroendocrine system in some people like us’s guts are damaged. (Oh, gee. Was that proper grammar?) The longer and more severely it’s damaged, the lower the chance. But when I studied butyrate, its effects could reverse that (and I don’t think butyrate is the only thing, just all I read about). However, we’re talking NERVES/NERVOUS CELLS here–so it takes time. And the right environment, inputs. And negative inputs (like diet, too much epi/norepi, estrogen and progesterone levels, and more) are going to impact the functionality of the system that is working for the person.

      It is so good that these “simple” things you use are working! (Simple. Cough. Cough.) It is a good place to be in, but I’m always afraid that if my mag stops working again, will I find something else that works without cramps? So I, like you understand, also want to be med free!

      And on my family, I do adore my family, and we have fun.—-Terri

      Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I am not rigid. So it is fluid, depending on how I am feeling.

      But over the last three months and currently, you will find me sometimes skipping breakfast in favor of a large lunch OR eating pastured sausage/bacon OR going for brown rice farina topped with hemp/tigernut flour/raisins or dried cranberries and sprinkled with a few walnuts and maple syrup OR eating leftover salad and fish from the day before OR eating sardines topped with olive oil and avocado and cilantro and onion OR eating cold leftover herbed potatoes or cold rice (I actually enjoy this a lot!).

      Lunch is our large meal of the day. Lunch will be salads typically made of cucumber, chopped Romaine, chopped cabbage/red cabbage, chopped parsley or cilantro, and miscellaneous things chopped in like red pepper, onion, apple, fennel, raisins or dried cranberries, olives, capers. The dressing is almost always a light fresh lemon juice/olive oil/garlic/onion powder. It is chopped pretty small. I’ve eaten this all summer and fall. I used to get very bad bloating with something like this but I don’t much now so things have definitely changed. (Yay!) Along with this is either brown rice or white rice (I change it up.). (You can see I tolerate rice. 🙂 Some people don’t! But the rice is prepared like a pilaf kind of. It is first sauteed in a little olive oil and then chopped carrot, onion, garlic, celery, kale, parsley, cilantro, peas, squash, etc are added and sauteed and then the water is added to boil. Spices and herbs are also abundantly added before boiling: saffron, curry, turmeric, oregano—whatever–go with the mood of the day! We then eat a meat with this, like fish or seafood—cod, salmon, tuna, shrimp, scallops, etc. Or we’ll have ground lamb or lamb chops with herbs. Or a pork chop. Or a soup. If we don’t do this triad combo of dishes, I’ll make something like meatza or meatballs or roast or a robust soup like chili, vegetable-beef stew, or lentil or bean based soup.

      For supper we/I are usually lighter. (What my kids eat is a little different.) Maybe a smoothie (kale or spinach, green banana, mango or blueberry, lime juice OR peanut butter/hemp/green banana). Some steamed broccoli (love broccoli) or cauliflower and/or carrots. Fresh fruit. Something I feel I’m missing, like last night I broiled oysters for zinc topped with parsley. Had a little leftover spaghetti squash with leftover sausage. Might make up some liver. Eat some Brazil nuts for selenium.

      We usually go out for dinner about once a week, and there I get red meat, a potato, and broccoli. And wonder why I pay so much for something like that. But the kitchen is clean and it’s my night off.

      We had to strictly cut out dairy again for other family members, but early fall I was eating some Manchego cheese and feta with no issues at all. So that was a nice snack, and I would do that again if dairy was back in the house. (But someone in my house had to go and eat tons, tons, tons of ice cream on a vacation and flare up some issues again. Dang it. 🙂 ) And as I mentioned, my gut didn’t seem to mind nuts and even baked goods that we can eat here (but my head symptoms flared with a vengeance).

      Did that help? As always, it’s a mini-series. But I know that as I sift through things, I always wonder too!

      Reply
      1. katpotter

        I’m so excited to hear about your introduction and success with fresh raw salad. So delicious! So forbidden from my gut in so long. My diet is soooooo limited in what I tolerate, but ask me what I miss– not cheese or chocolate or crusty bread or ice cream– I miss crunchy refreshing raw salad!! I would so much love to get where you are with that, because, not just for the tastiness, I do think incorporating the raw foods is important for my health and healing. You say “I used to get very bad bloating with something like this but I don’t much now so things have definitely changed. (Yay!)” So…which came first? Did you try out the salad one day and say, ‘hey, my gut’s better and I’m not so bloated anymore, all this other stuff has been working’? Or was it a gradual introduction and adjustment process to the salad not bloating you? As in I should just suck it up now and tolerate the bloat until I adjust.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        I also think that fresh, raw foods are instrumental in health, but like you, struggled to eat that stuff without tremendous bloating. I tried hard to not be bothered by the bloating, but it definitely looked like I was early pregnant with a bump, and so I consciously avoided the majority of raw foods. I tolerated a handful and the rest I cooked or I ate in the evening or mentally geared up for and selected appropriate shirts. I would have to say over the last ten months, I had started having times where I noticed I wasn’t bloated for about a week. Then, other weeks would be very bad again. So I guess over the ten months, there were little bursts of unpredictable improvement but I was still guarding my eating. Then, this summer, I had this wonderful friend/helper come and she cooked for us lunch daily. I was very busy, and I didn’t have time to think about whether to eat it or not–and I just ate it because I was hungry and how lucky I felt to have someone cooking it for ME! So I guess, I did just eat it, and then after the fact, I was like, “Hey! I just ate cabbage! And chopped apple (always a BIG killer for me!)! And fresh onion! Even some raw beet. And I still look like me in that region!” Now, I’m not as flat as I am when I wake up in the morning, but I consider it definitely pretty normalish most days. My gut has definitely improved. I think the improvement was on its way before I delved in. Terry Wahls, MD who wrote an MS recovery book and uses tons of veggies/fruits, commented in her book that people with these kinds of gut issues found that their issues resolved on her protocol. So when I was modifying my diet to accommodate her protocol, I ate tons of fresh, raw veggies/fruits, and I felt great but my GI issues, stomach bloating (and constipation), did not go away!!! 🙂 That’s my story! (And I’m sitting here thinking, thinking of what else my story includes…I don’t take my hard core probiotics religiously anymore. Just have some Bubbie’s stuff fairly often and if something urges me to get back on the hard core probiotics then I do. I’m attracted to fennel now in tea, salad, seeds…All stupid anecdotal stuff!!!) Merry Christmas! Ask more if you want! I don’t mind sharing my story or articles I’ve read. 🙂

      3. katpotter

        Stupid anecdotal stuff…Always good to share! Pieces of living that come together, each little bit maybe making a bit of a difference. Maybe. My mind tracks all that stupid anecdotal stuff in my life and my ups and downs, too much sometimes.
        It’s interesting about your kitchen helper and removing that mulling over food seemed to have a positive effect. I feel you on the raw apple, and marvel at you being OK with *raw cabbage*– yay Terri! I actually too feel like I can get away with more when my boyfriend cooks for me. Then repeat on my own and it’s a “selected appropriate shirts” disaster. Removing the mulling = good. So interesting…
        I’m a bit familiar with Terry Wahls– mainly just associating her with eating a ton of fruits+veggies to overcome MS, presumably on a backdrop of ‘paleo’-esque. I looked at this as something I would loooove to do to heal (and get to eat tasty fruits+veggies!) but felt like I couldn’t and it wasn’t the path for me because of my bloat and intolerances. But I like hearing that you incorporated this into your health path, because it just seems to make sense. Eating more fruits/veggies should be good. Whereas in my life right now it feels the exact opposite in terms of immediate symptoms. Is there more to her protocol than simply upping the fruits/vegs (on the paleo backdrop)?

      4. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Kat, Check your e-mail! I sent you some information on Wahls. She does have some extra “stuff.”

        As you move along through all this nutritional jazz, I’d love to hear of the tactics you think work best for you! I’m sure you’ve tried all the digestive enzymes, FODMAPS, SIBO approaches. Am I correct?

        One book I found very good for helping me outline approaches in my head was a book on Lymes called Why Can’t I Get Better? by Horowitz, MD. I still don’t know where I stand on his belief that everything comes down to tick related diseases (seems hard for me to believe), but he has a great 16 point check-list which attacks many angles of chronic illness. I really, really like that list! As I’ve kept reading and working on my gut and headaches and associated food intolerances, I’ve kind of come up with the same list. Although, I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it like he has–or put it into practice like he has. But the list asks that patients and practitioners consider infectious disease, hormones, food intolerances, heavy metals, etc. It might be something fun to check out from the library or find at a bookstore and then find that 16 point list in there to read through. (And a thank you to the commenter who told me about it once.)

        Anyhow, have a good week! And hopefully you can wear your favorite shirts this week… 🙂

        Terri

      5. S

        Thanks for the book recommendation “Why Can’t I Get Better”. Will check it out when the calm after the holidays set in. It is so vitally important to have physicians who do, say, and write, what you do. Seven years ago when I started on my own health journey, while not quite a desert, it was still sparse with MD’s tackling chronic diseases through functional means. The first one I came across was Terry Wahl’s and her “Minding My Mitochondria” and her video series on Youtube “Food as Medicine: Brain Health” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEikq4x5Abc. I do not say this facetiously but the best thing to happen to health care in this country (IMHO) is for doctors to be fed up with being sick themselves and having run out of pharmaceutical answers turn towards functional medicine as Dr. Wahl’s, Dr. Hyman, and many others have. Thank you for your kindness, generosity, and humor.

      6. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        I hear you. I often say and think the same thing about doctors really starting to think, pull together loose threads, and pushing forward when they’re faced with a health obstacle that isn’t budging. But the changes needed are often so deep, I don’t know how the general public will respond.

        On the book, it’s really long, but if you just went and looked at the few pages that explain his “16 point checklist,” it then can help organize all the information, offer lab test ideas, and provide areas to read in.

        Anyhow, I remember listening to that Wahls’ video. Where I was. What I was doing. LOL! HA! I was moved! 🙂

        Well, I’ll get back to reading about lactic acid and butyrate producers until my elves wake up.

      7. katpotter

        Been doing a little experimentation before replying back.
        Namely, “liquid salad.”
        A good friend is a long-time vegan, raw vegan at home. He was telling me about his breakfast ~5 days a week he calls “liquid salad.” So much stuff in there, oh my! The bowl he uses is huge! For him I think it’s just more about efficiency because it would take so long to thoroughly chew 1 apple, 1 pear, 2 celery stalks, 1/2 cucumber, 2 handfuls greens, 1 avocado, 1 tomato, etc, etc, etc, But it got me thinking as a way my tender gut could start with rawness. It’s going well!! Not perfectly…a little too ambitious a few times, but it is allowing me to get in more vegetables. And in the cool refreshing (though not crisp) raw form.
        Only burned out 1 blender so far…

        Thanks for the Wahl’s protocol details. (Also, yes, familiar with and incorporate all the FODMAP, SIBO, enzymes, HCl, etc, efforts.) I’ve done the very low carb ketogenic stuff before, but didn’t fare well for me– too much stress on my hormones. So I might look at her lower levels of intensity. My period actually stopped a few years ago because of weight-loss/undernourishment (I’m only 33 now). Have gained the weight back now but I think just because my metabolism is kaput– I still feel super undernourished and am too low carb in what I can tolerate. Needless to say hormones haven’t reinstated. I wonder sometimes how much that is now feeding back and preventing my gut from healing, yet my body won’t OK itself for reproduction unless it feels nourished and not under stress. Damn.

      8. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Heck, I wouldn’t worry about checking out Wahl’s. What your friend does for breakfast is 75% of the protocol (I just made up the percentage. LOL.). What I take home from her is plant matter, plant matter, plant matter and good quality meats and eliminate pesky foods. (Then, for tough cases of MS, ketogenic. And throw in some bits and other pieces of info.) I’m so happy the bloating doesn’t sound like it intensified for you! Yay! Bummer about the burned out blender. 🙂 Worth it…

        I read somewhere that sometimes the last link in leaky gut (can’t remember if you identified with this or not) is a woman’s hormones. Can’t remember who I read that from, if it was Wilson, or Kresser, or who? But I read it. I’ve also read about hormones and constipation, but not enough to write up and piece together yet. So I think your wondering about hormones is legit. But the question becomes, what to do about it, right? LOL. (Don’t cry.) I did one of those spit tests a while back to check hormones. You spit every morning for a month before you eat or drink. I sent those tests in. And then they told me I missed a vial. Probably fell in the bottom of the deep freeze. 🙂 And I’d have to do it all over again. Then, I got pregnant. So that’s my personal experience with sex hormone testing. (I had my gyn check them via blood—but they were “normal” even though no one made sure I had them drawn on the proper day of the month and at the proper time in the morning and I was kind of clueless about all that back then…) So you’re having problems incorporating carbs in sufficient amounts, you think?

        Lastly, as I always say too much. I’ve been reading Sarno’s work (as it came up in two different places within twelve hours–a good friend and then on Stephan Guyenet’s The Whole Health Source blog site) on applying kind of a mind over body type thing. If it works, I’ll write it up (eventually). It has been interesting work even if nothing comes of it. I totally disagree with what he thinks (Sarno) is happening (“voodoo” in my affectionate term) but can see that the actual techniques he uses to help his patients may have merit, as the brain exerts powerful influence throughout the body. It requires that I eat how I want rather than thinking of my food intolerances. The Brie tasted good, but my gut has stopped again. So we are off to a slow start. Pun intended.

        Signing off finally! 🙂

        Terri

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Oh, Sharon: Thank you so much for that on all fronts. Thank you.

      I was just inquiring the other day about the difference between a naturopath and a homeopath. You’d think I’d know. I’m still not clear and haven’t made time to Google it yet. In my mind, homeopaths use these little concoctions with numbers and Latin names… 🙂 Now I’m quite interested!

      Isn’t humor an amazing defense mechanism? Happy Thanksgiving time!

      Terri

      Reply
      1. Kathy G.

        Hi Terri – hope you’re enjoying your Saturday and apologize for emailing you on a day that I hope you don’t even look at your computer! I’m still plugging away with potato starch and wondering about adding diatomaceous earth to my morning chalk drink – will be googling today but wondered if you’ve come across that. Read an interesting article on l-glutamine, having been clinically diagnosed via fine needle biopsy with Hashimoto’s, I’m always looking for things to help with that, as well. Several of the l-glutamine reviews mentioned improved BM consistency along with increased energy. Will continue my research. What I wanted to ask you is whether or not any of your children deal with constipation? My 7-year old granddaughter has for the last 5 years. She’s very adept at using the squatting position with feet on the toilet seat and that has helped tremendously (also brought up several rather interesting reactions from pre-school teachers. etc.!). I’ve tried probiotics for both of us, but like you, we haven’t had good results – none to speak of. What has been working for her is a chewable magnesium made by Pedia-Lax – active ingredient 400 mg magnesium hydroxide. My daughter, her Mom, seems to think that if she would just drink more water, that would solve the issue. I’m not so sure, but at least, Mom and Dad are agreeable to her taking the pill and thankfully, they taste good to her! I hate for her to suffer from this, have read that sometimes, kids outgrow it, so I am hopeful. So any suggestions/thoughts/findings on children’s constipation would be appreciated! Ha ha! I’m laughing to myself at the post-it note you probably have posted all over your house with note from your readers asking you for help! No need to reply anytime soon, just in the event you have any suggestions, or if anyone else on this blog has experience and would be willing to share, that would be great!
        Happy Thanksgiving to all! Another adult daughter called me today from NYC (where she lives) and said she read an interesting article that said Thanksgiving is now the “forgotten holiday” – Halloween filled the stores beginning after the back-to-school rush, and immediately after that, Christmas took over!

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        I haven’t read on diatomaceous earth yet, although I’ve come across it. I think I read about it when I was reading about pulling out heavy metals. I used it once when we had fleas (and no inside animal—we think something got under the crawl space and died, leaving their fleas to pounce up to our living room!); I sprinkled it all over! It was a mess! I am laughing at the memory.

        Anyhow, I have used l-glutamine, particularly to try to help my food intolerances (leaky gut/increased intestinal permeability), but I didn’t get the success I wanted gut-wise. It did not help me, but you and I know what helps one won’t help another! Some people get hyperstimulation with it, particularly with regards to mental illness (bipolar mania). I’m not sure it helped my energy or not, may have damped my appetite a little. Not a lot.

        Yes, we do have some constipation in other members. One child, in particular, was terrible. She responded very, very quickly when we started the GAPS diet (minus all dairy initially—when we tried ghee, she experienced problems immediately at first–eventually, she eats all high quality dairy pretty well—butter, ghee, homemade yoghurt). It was amazing how she responded and then after about, I don’t even remember, 2-6 months, she could eat a little of any kind of dairy. Made me wish my mom had done that when I was a kid; oh well, those Twix bars were darn yummy. She relapses when she eats too much standard food on vacation or at parties. Another also rides the line, but manages with a probiotic and diet control. When in our own house, any flares can be controlled with a fall back to some GAPS principles: soups with homemade broths, ferments, straightforward diet of vegetables, fruits, and meats. A scattering of nuts. A side of sauerkraut or pickles. Any comments from others are welcome here!

        LOL about the post-its. I usually don’t allow a comment through until I reply to it, otherwise I WILL forget! Once I let it be seen publicly, then it moves out of my “unread” comment box. So if a comment doesn’t appear for a while, it’s because I’ve not yet had time to formulate my response.

        I LOVE Thanksgiving! It’s my favorite. My husband and kids are out picking up groceries for our meal as I type (why I can be typing now). Aaah. A quiet house for a little bit!

        Terri

  8. Pingback: Do Slow Guts Need Loved? | The HSD

  9. andthreetogo

    I have been wanting to try acupuncture for my lethargy and inability to lose weight, but I am trying with diet first, then will back up with the acupuncture… it can be a bit expensive here. About $50 a session.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Acupuncture is expensive here. But I’m surprised after reading your posts on prices of other things that are expensive here–being so much less there–I’m surprised that the cost is not THAT different! (Yes, it’s more—but not proportionate to the other things you talk about!) If everything checks out medically (which I thought you posted it did), I start thinking of food intolerances, carbohydrate “intolerance,” “adrenal fatigue,” “borderline” thyroid issues which don’t show up with simply a TSH, and/or hormone imbalances. Start Googling… Agh! So much responds to food, though, that I am convinced we all have to tackle our food choices head on. “It starts with food…” as some popular nutrition gurus say. But, I know in light of me making all-around good choices in many areas, that acupuncture did seem to help me!

      Reply
      1. andthreetogo

        I agree with all you said! I have actually been very encouraged by you and others to start with what I eat. Though, I do feel the toughest part here is the pesticides and gmo’s. I feel like those are probably equally if not more harmful. So as I get rid of the crap in my diet, I want to also get rid of the crap that helps bug company’s grow my food. It’s not easy here, sometimes I really really miss whole foods market. 🙂

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        The dynamics are hard. Especially because the big guys see no issues with all that stuff. Even my dad, a simple, small farmer, says, “Terri, [I know you don’t like Roundup but…] you should have seen all the pesticides and herbicides I used on my crops before we had those.” To which I say, “Perhaps you shouldn’t have been growing mass corn and beans and stuck to different crops.” To which he replies, “People would starve.” There are no easy answers. BUT, you can do it! It will just take more time, planning, effort, creativity, etc. I find over time, my network gets bigger and bigger locally, and I find local, organic, whatever you want, foods the more people I know and meet.

        However, in med school, we learned that breast cancer is a disease of the 50 and 60 year-olds. Two friends have been diagnosed in their 30s with breast cancer. This is not the way it was even 20 years ago—even 12 years ago. Things are changing, and the higher ups are moving too slow to stop it for us. We have to take control as individuals; we can’t rely on regulations. Rant over.

        It’s worth it. Keep on trying!

      3. andthreetogo

        Amen, sing it sister! Seriously, I completely agree. 🙂 Thanks for always being supportive Terri. I am really hoping some of your tenacity (such a perfect word to describe you really!!!) will rub off on me.

  10. Jo tB

    but traveling is always very hard on my GI tract. Maybe I’ll do better in Europe!

    Nice try, but it won’t work in Europe as well. As you may remember I have suffered from slow transit constipation for most of my life. Every time I manage to get my bowels moving every day, I ruin it again the moment I travel. Just back from 6 weeks in Australia visiting family and I am back to square one. I agree with you travelling is always very hard on my GI tract. And I took a battery of supplements with me to help with my constipation, but to no avail. (Never thought I would get them through Aussie customs!!)

    I think it is the different environmental bacteria in every country I go to, that disrupts my gut flora. And it takes some time for my guyt flora to adjust to the new scene. So it is back to the drawing board to figure out what to do when travelling to keep my bowels moving.

    On another blog site, i read the tip. When sitting on the pot wiggle you hips by moving each knee forward in a walking manner. It apparently dislodges the facal matter from the intestinal walls and helps the bowel movement. I tried it several times and it seemed to work.

    Jo

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Jo tB, You are not allowed to dash my optimism. (Joke. I’m not too optimistic that Europe will agree with my GI–but since it will be years before our next trip there, maybe I’ll no longer have this problem then at all…) Magnesium gets me through vacations, but not very reliably. I had to get sniffed by drug dogs back in March when traveling abroad, and it was with the suitcase with the magnesium powder. Haha! Agh. I would have been devastated (seriously) had they confiscated that because I know I couldn’t get any like it where we were going. Glad they didn’t steal yours either at customs!

      We’ll travel later this year, and I’m hoping some of my current success will hold. I’ve also read that squatting and holding that pose until you have the urge works. Wish it was that simple, right? I haven’t yet decided why my gut stalls with travel, even if it’s simply back to my childhood home where I can continue to eat normally.

      Good to hear from you again. I hope Australia treated you well aside from the GI tract and you had a nice time visiting family. I’m not asking a leading question at all–but have you ever tried something like Wilbur did over at Vegetable Pharm? I tried, and it didn’t hurt my GI at all, but don’t think it helped. (But who knows if culmination helped.) Was curious if you tried. Did you try the oatmeal/blueberry/inulin thing Tim blogged about? I’m simply just curious.

      Terri

      Reply
      1. Jo tB

        Hi Terri, I took inulin powder with me to Australia (didn’t know if I could get it there) and there I found steel cut oats (not available in Holland) and soaked them overnight added blueberries and inulin with coconut milk. No help unfortunately. I took one heaped tablespoon a day. I may have to take it twice a day. I tried potatoe starch as well. I feel that inulin might be better. Also tried to eat as much as possible starchy vegetables, like sweet potatoes, parsnips. Regularly passed winds, but not much movement.

        I think it is the long periods of sitting I do while travelling that stops everything in its track. Once I start walking it seems to bring it on, if slowly. And travelling by car (sitting most of the day) doesn’t help either. I try to drink at least a liter of water a day, but it doesn’t really help much.

        I also took a high dose magnesium tablet with me. Unfortunately I took it intermittantly so I can’t really tell if it helped. I will definitely continue it, as I think that it helps.

        But we will plod along, and one day I get a handle on this.

        Jo

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Yes, I didn’t find much of that helped me either. (At least at the time, I can’t deny that perhaps things contribute downstream in time.) I’d have to say, though, that on vacation, I am often more active than I am at home and things are always worse. Grrr. Maybe grounding would help us—pulls together the bacteria you mentioned in the last comment, activity, and some extra voodoo power. (I’m kind of joking. I’ll have to Google grounding and constipation now sometime. Ahaha! You WILL plod along and one day find a trick to get a handle on it. Neurons take time. Remind me, Jo–in all the last decades, have you ever had any one or two times where you went to the bathroom normally for let’s say a month or even a week? Any? Like I had the time after antibiotics once and then a couple of years ago after I did butyrate/potato starch/resistant starch foods. I’ll keep reading and looking and sharing. Just takes me a while.)—Terri

  11. Kathy

    Hope you had a restful, calm Thanksgiving. Have you ever used Oxy-powder? I have good results with it and have never had to rush to a bathroom! I keep thinking I want to find something else but then when I go back to O-P and it works, and I ask myself why. I have difficulty getting the dosage right and it does tend to make me looser than I like, but not having to worry about having a bathroom nearby is a definite benefit.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hi, Kathy! Nope, I haven’t. It was on the list probably next up to try when/if the magnesium quit working. Since magnesium kept up the job, I was satisfied. I never had to read up on the oxy-powder, and I wasn’t quite sure how it “worked.” But I had read in many, many places where people with severe constipation issues swore by it. Good to hear your take.

      Thanksgiving was really nice here! Our guests even helped with dishes despite my protests! Can’t beat that!

      Terri

      Reply
  12. S

    Thanks for talking about this. You bring a question that I can’t seem to find the answer to. What is normal transit time and at what point are you considered constipated? I have a movement daily which is considered normal. But if the contents of the movement should be from what you ate the day before then I am not normal. It takes at least 36-72 hours for a meal to pass through my system. Should I work to improve that? Also, Dr. Datis Kharrazian in his Gut Brain Axis book talks about how the vagus nerve effects the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC). There was a terrific video of him explaining how you could use simple techniques like forceful signing and gargling to help stimulate the vagus nerve and maybe help get the MMC moving. It is not longer on you tube unfortunately.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear S, Thanks for commenting. Normal transit time is a very good question. Over time, I would like to write up on the whole physiology the movement of the gut. Would help me understand better too. (So come back in a year or two and maybe I will have…:-) ) So for now I don’t have an answer on whether or not improvement should be sought. But I did get to watch those Kharrazian videos and even have some of his transcripts, although I haven’t read the book. So my ideas stem from him, and after doing some primary research searches decided those were great things to try! So many good, unique ideas out there with research behind them that just never get presented or unified into anything. Anyhow, I hope you have a good month and you are feeling great, including the tummy/gut!

      Terri

      Reply

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