Are You Looking for Solutions for Gas and Bloating?

May 1st, 2015

Many of our patients complain of gas and bloating. This is a sign to Naturopathic doctors that there may be dysbiosis in the digestive system.   Dysbiosis is any combination of an overgrowth of pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms (these can be viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal) or a deficiency of beneficial bacteria that are synergistic to the digestive tract, such as probiotics.

You have probably heard of probiotics, but have you heard of the term microbiome? The microbiome is the community of probiotics that live within your digestive system. A healthy microbiome can weigh up to 3 lbs, similar to the weight of a small organ. This essential organ supports our vitamin and mineral absorption, aids in proper elimination, fights off pathogenic (bad) microorganisms that we are in contact with, and produces vitamins for it’s own body including vitamins B and K. It also supports the local immune system (in the GI tract itself), decreases inflammation, and is showing evidence that it decreases auto-immunity and allergies.

 

Below is an interview with Dr. Natasha Wolf about dysbiosis and probiotics…

 

If you had to describe the “typical” patient that comes into your practice with dysbiosis symptoms, how would you describe them?

“The typical patient with dysbiosis is going to have some digestive tract complaints; gas, bloating, fullness, and also changes in bowel movements, such as constipation, loose stools, or watery stools. With any of these complaints, I suspect dysbiosis. As well, patients with allergies, skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne, and autoimmune diseases also benefit from a maintenance dose of 10 billion CFU, as the probiotics help to provide immune support. Even without the presence of digestive complaints, I still know that dysbiosis is part of the underlying problem for these patients.”

 

Other than dietary intervention and probiotic supplementation, what other strategies would you use to address dysbiosis symptoms?

“If patients are already making dietary changes and supplementing with probiotics, after that my approach would be to eliminate pathogens. I can either do a stool test or assess symptoms to identify if the cause is from Candida, parasites, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). There are many things we can do to eliminate the organisms that we find, and repair the digestive tract. For gentler approach or a sensitive patient, I often choose the UNDA Numbered Compounds, to improve drainage and to open up liver pathways. Especially in children, I tend to lean more towards the Numbered Compounds, and assess for improvements in bloating and bowel movement symptoms.”

 

What is the treatment timeline for dysbiosis patients – how long do symptoms usually take to improve?

“This depends greatly upon the medical history of the patient. For example, in an adult patient who had frequent antibiotic usage throughout their life, the “repair” process is a lifetime approach, which requires lifetime probiotic maintenance.  For most patients though, symptoms typically improve within the first one to three months. Patients will have less digestive symptoms, bowel movements and constipation improve, and the patient feels better overall. For children, or someone with less history of antibiotic usage, 6 months of daily usage followed by 1-2 times weekly for a year may be sufficient.”

 

If you have questions about what type and dosage of probiotics is right for you, or what else can be done about dysbiosis, gas and bloating, please give us a call at 760-720-6288. We’d love to help you!

 

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