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Carbohydrates and IBS


Small-intestine bacterial overgrowth SIBO & Small-intestine fungal overgrowth SIFO

Why does this matter?

It has been shown that bacterial and fungus overgrowths may underlie IBS. In fact, it has been sown IBS (gas, bloating, loose stools, constipation, abdominal pain) can have an heightened inflammatory response to their normal intestinal bacteria susceptibility to fungal infections and overgrowths because they cause alterations in the immune system's ability to control fungal growth. People with these gene variations need to eat in a way that prevents fungal overgrowth.

It's even been suggested that this inability of the immune system to regulate fungus may lead to fungal overgrowth that then causes the autoimmune attack seen in inflammatory bowel disease, specifically Crohn's disease. Similarly, increased bacterial diversity has been observed in diverticulitis, an inflammatory condition of the intestines. It has been suggested that increased diversity on microbiota testing could used as a test for diverticulitis. Again we see that some people need help rebalancing or even reducing bacteria and fungus in their guts and should not blindly attempt to increase their bacteria

Different guts require different carb intake, people that are obese, have celiac disease, thyroid disease and in some cases IBS may have preexisting bacterial overgrowths and a higher carb and prebiotic diet may be a bad idea for them. So a lower carb dietary approach can be very beneficial to reduce bacterial overgrowth and this may be the best strategy for them. A lower carb intake can help prune back these bacterial overgrowths and, by doing so, improving the environment in the health of the small intestine.

"But i have a friend that lost weight and feels great on a moderate/high carb diet; Aren't carbs good?"

This is a great question.

The answer is simple, those who are prone to diabetes, typically are those with insulin resistent, they seem to respond better to the lower carb diet, those with insulin sensitivity appear to be able to lose weight on any diet, high carb or low carb. Insulin sensitivity means you process carbs well, and insulin resistant means you don't. This tells us that not everyone has to follow one diet! This is an important point to keep in mind, and it should encourage a dietary approach that helps individuals determine where they fit on the spectrum of carbohydrate intake. Not just for weight loss but also to improve the health of the small intestine.

Next we are going to evaluate health recommendations.

The above information is taken from the Healthy Gut Healthy You Book, by Dr. Michael Ruscio

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