What’s wrong with my gut?

by Gavin Guard, PA-C, MPAS, CISSN, Pn1

Roots Integrated Care

How is your gut health?

Unfortunately, many people go their whole life not realizing that they are living in a fog. Operating at 70% is a new normal.

What you may not know is that a state of sub-optimal gut health may be the main driver of why you don’t feel your best. From your brain chemistry to your joint health, skin complexion, and mental acuity, your gut health dictates a lot of your overall health.

Perhaps you (or someone you know) are suffering from reflux, nausea, and bloating, belching, pain in the upper part of your abdomen, and maybe even vomiting. These are all characteristic of a condition called gastroparesis, which is a result of delayed stomach emptying.

This can be a frustratingly difficult condition to diagnose and treat, and many patients suffer (an unnecessarily) long-time with these symptoms before finding an answer to their condition.

Fortunately, though, there is new and exciting evidence that points us to:

1) A possible root cause of gastroparesis and associated symptoms

2) Multiple novel strategies to remediate this root cause

In this article, I will walk you through a tour of how you can solve these symptoms and eliminate the frustration and confusion that they may have led to in your current state of health.

An overgrowth of bacteria may lead to gastroparesis

Under normal conditions, most of the bugs in your gut are isolated to your large intestine. Our small intestine, on the other hand, has only small amounts of microbes. However, there are times when the small intestine can become overrun with bacteria. This is called “small intestinal bacterial overgrowth” or “SIBO” for short.

This imbalanced microbiome environment can ultimately contribute to symptoms associated with gastroparesis (nausea, reflux, bloating, belching).

In a study of 50 patients with gastroparesis, SIBO was found in 60% of individuals. Furthermore, SIBO was more likely the longer the patient had gastroparesis. Another study suggested that up to 39% of 700 gastroparesis patients also had SIBO. This association may be due to slowed gut motility that sets up a conducive environment for bacterial overgrowth.

SIBO is associated with IBS

Next, we must acknowledge the association of SIBO and IBS. SIBO is just one of many causes of IBS. With that said, SIBO comprises a large portion of IBS cases. Specifically, in a meta-analysis of 50 studies, more than ⅓ of IBS patients tested positive for SIBO. Furthermore, IBS patients are 5x more likely to have SIBO compared to healthy controls. This evidence points to the strong relationship with SIBO and IBS.

IBS therapies may also help gastroparesis

Some of these symptoms of SIBO and IBS also overlap with those of gastroparesis. Since we have many data points of successful therapies for SIBO, we may extrapolate that to suggest these therapies may also be helpful for gastroparesis as well.

You can go to GavinGuard.com to read the full article.