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How to get rid of parasites naturally

The problem with treating parasites

 

Parasites are very annoying. They’re defined as “an organism which lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense” and that’s exactly what they do. At your expense, they are living, thriving and replicating and you are paying the price! Well enough is enough. It’s time to kick those parasites out and reclaim your gut and your energy!

 

Your GP will recommend treating parasites with antibiotics and while that may work for a few people, it won’t work for most because the life cycle of parasites means you have to work very hard to killing them off at all stages of their life cycle. That just can’t be done by taking a couple of rounds of antibiotics. They are hardened creatures, used to surviving attacks from strong immune systems, antibiotics, antimicrobials, the good bacteria in your gut and dietary attacks when you go on the elimination diet for a a week or so to kill it off. It’s used to these attacks and what you need to give yourself the best chance of getting rid of them for good is to have a planned, sustained attack from three sides! That’s what this guide is for.

 

How do you know if you have parasites?

 

Many people start off with the sentence “I’ve never been well since…” and whenever I hear that, it’s an automatic red flag that this is more than likely a parasite situation. I don’t like to judge a book by it’s cover but soooo many times this sentence ends with “… this great trip I went on to {enter exotic location} and I got traveller’s diarrhoea but I went to hospital/GP/got over it and thought I was fine, but it feels like it just keeps coming back. And I say to the patient “Hmm… yep I know exactly what’s happening here!”

 

If you’ve found yourself with a gut infection it’s probably worms or protozoa like Giardia. You might have got it overseas or after eating contaminated food. Some common sources of contamination and possible infection are:

  • Rice is a major problem as it cools from the outside in, leaving the perfect environment for bugs to multiple
  • Food left out of temperature controlled environments
  • Unhygienic food handling practices
  • Unclean water – use bottled water where necessary (even for teeth brushing)
  • Ice in drinks

 

There are some signs and symptoms of parasitic infection that you might be noticing:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating, particularly after eating
  • Fatigue
  • Foul smelling stools
  • Diarrhoea/loose bowel motions
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Reduction in appetite
  • Itching around anus
  • Low grade fever

If you’ve still got these symptoms and thought your parasite was gone then think again my friend. It could very well be there, lurking around in the deepest parts of your gut waiting for you to get run down, a bit (or a lot) stressed and ready to rear its ugly head and start causing you problems all over again.

 

What you need is a planned attack on them. Firstly, starve them! Make them weak by cutting off their energy supply: sugar. Then, when they’re weak and hungry, you hit them hard with some strong anti-microbial supplements and then probiotics to really drive them out of your gut. Buy my guide: Get rid of parasites now! here and get all the information you need to plan and execute your own DIY parasite attack!

 

Getting rid of parasites naturally

Below, I’ve outlined the steps I use with patients to help them get rid of parasites for good. It involves a three phase attack. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard, there’ll be cravings, poor sleep, fatigue and changes in bowel movement but let’s face it, you’ve been going through that already anyway! What’s a bit more if it leads you towards the light at the end of the tunnel right?

(For a more detailed version of these steps, see my Get rid of parasites now! guide)

 

PART ONE – DIET CHANGES TO MAKE THE PARASITES WEAK AND HUNGRY

  • An elimination diet that’s low on sugar is the way to go. It starves parasites of the nutrients they need to survive and thrive.
  • Garlic is a potent antimicrobial and can be used in the diet regularly – if you’re not following the low FODMAP diet.
  • Black tea and ginger tea can be helpful in settling nausea caused by parasites.
  • Coconut oil is antimicrobial and

 

PART TWO – SUPPLEMENTS AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO MAKE IT MORE UNCOMFORTABLE FOR THE PARASITES

  • Rest is vital whilst using a low sugar elimination diet as it limits many of the usual carbohydrates in your diet.
  • Drink plenty of fresh, filtered water and herbal teas can be useful and cleansing. Try chamomile, peppermint, nettle, dandelion leaf or root, ginger and lemongrass.
  • If worms are present, wash all clothes, bed coverings and all other soft furnishing thoroughly with hot water and add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil.
  • Supplements: use Herbs of Gold ParaStrike as a strong antimicrobial parasite killing machine to deliver the knock out blows when the parasites are weak and hungry. This needs to be repeated three times to make sure you get the entire life cycle of the suckers covered. Directions are on the label but also come with guide as well.

 

PART THREE – Rebalance and replenish the good bacteria (probiotics)

  • Rebalance your good bacteria in your gut. Replenishing the good bugs after annihilating the parasites helps to take up space in your intestines so there’s nowhere for them to attach on and live.
  • Probiotics are also helpful in actually killing off some parasites and gut infections as well!
  • Eat probiotic and prebiotic foods that help with gut flora balance including – yoghurt (Jalna and Vaalia are good brands for probiotic yoghurt), bananas, chicory and asparagus. Learn more about probiotics and prebiotics for gut health here.

 

 

It can seem a bit daunting at first when you find out you have parasites and need to do all this weird stuff to get rid of them. But really, all you’re doing is killing them actively with targeted antimicrobials and then cutting off their food supply and then finally making sure your gut is strong and full of good bacteria to avoid the problem happening again.

 

Remember, you deserve a healthy gut! I’m here to help with my Get rid of parasites now! guide.

Kate x

How to end bloating once and for all

What causes bloating?

Are your clothes feeling tight and uncomfortable? Are you bloated after meals or have embarrassing wind? Today we’re discussing what causes bloating AND how to fix it without sacrificing the food you love!

Why do I have a bloated stomach is a common question I get asked when people find out I’m a Naturopath. Apparently, I’m supposed to have a crystal ball (or similar witch doctor pharanaellia) that I can use to tell what causes bloating and how to get rid of it instantly.

Sadly, I’m not a witch doctor (a cauldron would be so much fun!), but I do have a thorough understanding of how the body works and with a few simple questions I can usually work out what causes bloating and I can tell you how to get rid of it.

Why do I have a bloated stomach?

You probably experience stomach bloating or water retention in one or more of the situations listed below. Luckily, these are predictable situations and there are practical steps you can take today to reduce what causes your bloating.

Let’s go through a few common scenarios and look at why you might be experiencing bloating:

 

 

Bloating after eating.

Having a bloated stomach after eating is relatively common but the reasons vary…

  1. Food sensitivities – fructose, lactose etc
  2. Sorbitol intolerance
  3. Over eating
  4. Too much fatty or rich food
  5. Dehydration

Naturopathic medicine teaches us that all symptoms are connected – part of the whole picture of a person’s health. I have found this particularly relevant when treating digestive complaints.

Sometimes stomach bloating is accompanied by other digestive symptoms like constipation, diarrhoea, burping, wind or nausea. The usual diagnosis for this is IBS or leaky gut syndrome. If you have been diagnosed with IBS or think you might have it, follow the dietary guidelines below to relieve and reduce your bloating. If you’re ready to take it a step further, you can join my Leaky Gut Boot camp: 28 days to transform your gut health and find out what’s causing your bloating and sort it out properly.

 

Bloating with your period.

Premenstrual fluid retention is quite common and caused by increasing levels of progesterone that encourage your body to store water. To combat this, you can drink gentle diuretic herbal teas like dandelion leaf, green tea and nettle. Be careful not to overdo them as they can cause serious side effects like electrolyte imbalance and put extra pressure on kidney and liver function.

 

Bloating with flatulence.

If you find your bloating is more air-based and is relieved by flatulence (the nice word for farting) then the probable cause is carbohydrate maldigestion. Put simply, this means the food you’re eating is taking way too long to be broken down and digested in your stomach and intestines. Instead, it’s sitting there fermenting and fermentation produces gas… you know what happens from there.

The best way to resolve this type of bloating is three fold. Firstly, you can reduce the carbohydrates you’re consuming. Secondly, you can take digestive enzymes or apple cider vinegar to improve digestion and speed up your carbohydrate metabolism so it ferments less.

Thirdly, you can test the carbohydrates you’re eating to see if there’s one type in particular that you don’t process well. To do this you can use the low FODMAP diet. My Leaky Gut Boot campers go through this process and are always surprised at how they react to foods they never realised before! It’s an eye opener and once you know what your triggers are you can eliminate them from your diet and reduce your bloating and embarrassing flatulence.

 

Bloating during Pregnancy.

Bloating during pregnancy is also mostly caused by hormones – progesterone again and not a great deal can be done about this. Fluid retention during pregnancy is sometimes mistaken for bloating and often aggravated by heat or too much activity. If you are pregnant, please do not use diuretics unless instructed by your healthcare professional.

 

Bloating and stomach pain.

If you have bloating that’s accompanied by stomach cramping, dull or sharp pains or pain when you have a bowel motion, you should go to your GP and get checked out. It could be a range of digestive conditions that can be treated both medically and with natural medicine but you need to know exactly what you’re dealing with before you can resolve it.

How to get rid of bloating

Eat fruit separately

This might sound strange, but fruit is really supposed to be eaten on its own. It is a little known principle of food combining but one that should get some more air time, especially when it comes to relieving bloating. Principles of food combining are based on how long it takes to digest certain types of food and how much acid is required to break those foods down. You should try to keep fruit separated from other food groups as its a quick energy boost type of meal, with easily digestible carbohydrates that don’t require much stomach acid or time. Give it a try and you’ll notice you feel less bloated.

 

Chew your food properly

I know it’s not a food remedy but this is simply common sense. Chewing thoroughly and consciously is something not many of us do. However, it is a highly effective and very simple way of making sure we are only allowing small chunks of food into the stomach, where it is broken down further by our gastric juices (now there’s a yummy thought!). Bloating is more likely if we have rushed a meal and taken huge bites, not chewing properly and then expect our stomach to make all the effort. Put your tongue and teeth to work and get chewing!

 

Include herbs and spices when you cook

Fennel is a great natural remedy for wind and bloating. It stimulates digestion and promotes stomach acid which reduces bloating. You can chew on fennel seeds as some cultures do, use fennel tea or use fennel in cooking and salads. Almost every other herb and spice helps promote healthy digestion and relieve bloating, nausea and flatulence. Use them as much as you can!

 

Boost your metabolism

This remedy will take some time to see results but is well worth it. Bloating often occurs more frequently with carbohydrates so lowering your intake of these and replacing them with protein will provide many health benefits. Supporting our metabolism is like taking care of a fire. You want to stoke it with foods it likes and grow it into a big bonfire. As a bonfire, your metabolism can burn through food quickly and efficiently turn it into energy and in this process it will burn more calories and fat! When you’re better able to digest food with your bonfire metabolism rather than your tiny camp fire metabolism you experience very little bloating… unless you really overdo it!

 

Include probiotics and probiotic foods

Probiotics are friendly bacteria that assist with digestion and promote healthy immune function and metabolism. If your bloating is caused by poor digestion then these little guys can be super helpful. Increasing your intake of foods that naturally contain probiotics is also a highly effective and simple way of improving your gut flora to relieve bloating naturally.

 

Enjoy a cup of herbal tea

Herbal teas like Chamomile, Dandelion or Chai are just perfect for stimulating digestion and naturally relieving bloating. An added health benefit of these teas is that not only do they work on digestion, but they relax us and leave us feeling revitalised and refreshed. No, I’m not exaggerating, Naturopaths and many Eastern philosophies make a connection between the nervous system (our brain) and our digestive system. When one is “out of whack” often the other is as well. A simple, practical and effective way to treat this is through the digestive system and teas are an easy way to start getting some relief and some healthy results!

 

When stomach bloating is a warning sign

According to everydayhealth.com, you shouldn’t ignore stomach bloating that is accompanied by –

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Blood in your stool
  • Bleeding from your vagina (not related to menstruation)
  • Fever
  • Changes in weight (more than 10% of your body weight)
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin, associated with liver dysfunction)

Because the bloating could just be a symptom of a more serious health problem it’s vital that if you are experiencing any of these additional symptoms that you go to your GP and get checked out.

 

Get rid of stomach bloating for good

By following these simple dietary strategies, you can relieve your bloating and you can even stop it from happening altogether if you can find your triggers and eliminate those from your diet.

Remember, you deserve a healthy gut.

Kate x

Image credit: iStock photo

Your ultimate guide to eating out and travelling on the Low FODMAP diet

Have you found it difficult to eat food that won’t make you sick when you travel? I’m in Uluru this week with my mum and aunty and it’s been challenging at times to find food that tastes good and won’t make me sick later.

 

And what about those awkward conversations you have when friends invite you over for dinner? Maybe they just don’t invite you any more? When you go out for dinner or over to a friend’s place it can be difficult to help them appreciate how badly some food can make you feel.

 

This week I’ve created this guide to make it easier when you travel and to help you to eat out more – being social is good for our well being and nourishes our soul… it doesn’t have to leave you bloated, in pain or running to the loo!

 

Eating at restaurants

 

Many people with food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies find the idea of going out to eat a bit daunting. You have your favourite places where you know the menu and what you can and can’t have and sometimes find it difficult to go somewhere new.

 

But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying yourself and getting out and about to new and exciting places to eat.

 

Here are five hot tips for getting out and try new places:

 

  1.   Check out the menu beforehand. You can download almost any Restaurant menu onto your phone so you can check out what they have and what might be appropriate for you;

 

  1.  Call and ask if they cater for allergies/intolerances and find out what their policy is and how flexible they are with their menu. This is especially useful if you’ve looked at the menu online and still aren’t sure;

 

  1.  At many restaurants now, waiters will proactively ask if there’s any food allergies or intolerances. Now is the time to speak up and start a conversation about what ingredients you can’t have and what alternatives they provide. It’s really important here to know you all the names for your ingredient because chefs may use some alternatives names and may not be aware of the allergen if it’s listed in the ingredients of a sauce/dressing under another name.

 

  1.  A quick google search will get you loads of restaurant options that cater specifically for food allergies/intolerances. Try typing in “best restaurants for food allergies” plus your city. Enjoy working your way down the list!

 

  1.  If in doubt, you can generally find a meat and vegetables or salad option somewhere on the menu that you can ask for without dressing/ a simple dressing you can have on the side.  

 

 

Travelling with IBS

 

It’s no easy feat sometimes to find something you actually want to eat plus something that won’t leave you bloated, unbuttoning your pants or worse, running to the toilet. Airports and train stations are particularly hard places to find low FODMAP food – or let’s face it, food that will give you the least amount of symptoms!

 

Travelling this week has been a mixed bag for me. I didn’t do much reading up on the latest advice on how to go about travelling because I know what to look for and what my triggers are, but sometimes reminders are useful! I had a burger and chips for lunch yesterday and regretted it. It was delicious at the time but probably wasn’t the best decision and thinking back to the menu, they had a caesar salad which would’ve been a much better choice, with dressing on the side. Ah well, sometimes you need to make a bad decision and suffer the consequences to remind yourself of why you always make good decisions even when they’re not exciting, fun or the tastiest. :s

 

The Monash Uni Low FODMAP team recommend taking your own snacks with you like mixed nuts (I do always have a muesli bar in my handbag and it works wonders) and calling the airline if you’re flying long haul to arrange a meal free of your most troublesome foods. They also add: “Something to keep in mind – airline food is well-balanced, and although there may be many other foods that you prefer to avoid, they do not tend to serve large amounts of one food. Therefore, the amount of some high FODMAP foods provided may be low FODMAP. For example, there may only be 2 or 3 florets of broccoli, 2 slices of beetroot, and minimal amounts of butternut pumpkin – all of which are still low FODMAP.” That’s really good advice.

 

Alana Scott, low FODMAP blogger at A Little Bit Yummy recently went on a trip to South America and I loved her article on how to choose (or pack) a low FODMAP in-flight meal. You can read the full article with all her advice here.

 

 

The pre-packaged food options for those on a low FODMAP diet or those with IBS who really don’t want a flare up on their holiday is booming right now. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a microwave or kitchen there’s a number of companies offering low FODMAP packaged foods that are readily transportable for travellers. Check out Fodmapped for you and FODY Foods.

 

When you’re eating out the whole time like we are this week, the best advice I can offer you is to choose each meal as best you can. Try and make the healthiest decision for your gut and try to do the right thing by yourself! I do 80% of the time and that’s usually enough but this week I’m reminded that when you’re not in control of what’s on offer and what you can and can’t eat, it’s crucial to be more vigilant and “good”!

 

Eating at friends’ places

When you’re invited to a friend’s house for dinner, having to explain about a food sensitivity or intolerance must be done so you can be safe but you don’t want to seem picky, fussy or downright difficult!

 

Asking them to change their whole menu for you may be a bit extreme when chances are, a few minor changes may be all that’s needed. A simple way to approach this without anyone getting their nose out of joint (you or your host!) is to start a conversation about it:

 

You: “Hey Mary, thanks so much for the invite, we’d love to come over. My stomach is still sensitive to a couple of foods, what are you making?”

Mary: “Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Um, I was going to make some {insert food with ingredient you can’t eat here}.”

You: “Okay, that sounds delicious but if I have too much {ingredient} then I’ll be in the toilet all night with stomach pain/cramping. Can I be a pain and ask you to use {alternative you can enjoy} instead? It won’t change the taste much.”

Mary: “I haven’t used that before. I’m not sure.”

You: “Oh that’s okay. It’s really easy I can send you a link to a video/blog post to show you how… or if it’s easier I can bring my own food along? What would suit you?”

 

In this conversation, which I’ve had a few times before, your aim is to get a meal that you can eat and whether you prepare it or your host is irrelevant.

 

Some people are more than happy to exchange ingredients and prepare something you can enjoy. For others it’s too difficult and bringing your own is an easier option all round.

 

It’s important not to be offended if someone doesn’t want to change their menu for you. I’ve seen these situations get out of hand and people losing friendships over something as simple as using lactose-free cream! It’s crazy and there’s no need for it.

 

Keep it simple when talking about your sensitivities and intolerances, saying things like “wow, I’d love to eat that but I’ll be in so much pain later” is much more clear to someone who doesn’t have any intolerances than “oh, I can’t eat any food with {ingredient} in it”. The former sounds like you wish you could eat the food (which you probably do!) and that you’re the one missing out because you can’t; whereas the latter sounds dismissive of your host’s meal plan and uncompromising.

 

Keep it light, friendly and always fall back to bringing your own food. I’ve had a friend bring their own frying pan due to a peanut allergy – the point of getting together is to share a meal together and enjoy each other’s company.

 

One last thing to remember is that reminding someone of your food sensitivities isn’t annoying them – in most cases. I once completely forgot a friend of mine was fructose sensitive and I made an apple cake for dessert! She politely declined dessert and reminded me about her fructose issue and I was horrified I’d forgotten. It’s easy to forget these things so don’t feel bad about offering gentle reminders.

 

Remember, you deserve a healthy gut!

Kate x

 

Photo credit: iStock photos

Do you know what stress really does to your gut? Find out!

Were you always taught to trust your gut instincts when you were younger? Maybe you’re still being told to this now. They’re usually right on the money but what if I told you that when you’re stressed, your gut changes the messages it sends around your body… including the ones it sends to your brain? Would you think twice about trusting it?

 

The more the scientific community is finding out about the role of gut health and the gut microbiome in controlling our feelings, mood and even our response to stress, the more they realise that we are at the mercy of the health of our microbes.

 

What happens to your body when you’re stressed?

 

Research has found that if you start with a healthy diversity of gut microbes and a well-functioning digestive system and put it under stress, it responds better than if you had a poor gut microbiome. Translated in to plain english that means that the healthier your gut, the less likely you are to suffer symptoms of stress. Your body and your microbiome is able to better withstand the hormonal changes that come along with stress.

 

Eventually though, if the stress is prolonged, your microbiome will succumb to those hormonal changes and the increase in cortisol changes your microbiome and changes the messages it sends out to the rest of your body. 

 

What causes stress?

The million dollar question really isn’t it? If you knew the answer you wouldn’t be reading this and you’d never have a care in the world! Perhaps the better question is why do you feel stressed? Is it just produced inside of you without you having any control or is it is your reaction to outside influences like lifestyle and environment? As we develop a deeper understanding of the gut microbiome and how it influences and even controls our overall health is fascinating and terrifying at the same time.

 

It turns out that when your body responds to stress, it releases a couple of potent hormones. One of these is cortisol, which increases the permeability of the gut and changes the microbiome environment – this changes the kind of bacteria that can live there and not for the better. Studies have shown that stressed individuals showed overgrowths of some bacteria whilst other strains died out completely! To be healthy and happy, you need a wide diversity of probiotics and other gut microbes and having cortisol change up the delicate balance is not helpful! Cortisol also attacks brain cells, leaving you foggy, forgetful and unable to concentrate on basic tasks.

 

The other hormones released are inflammatory and some increase your sensitivity to pain. This explains why you end up with those bad headaches or really sore shoulders when you get stressed.

 

Symptoms of stress

If you answer yes to 4 or more of the following symptoms you may be stressed out:

  • Feeling tired or down right exhausted*
  • Difficulty falling asleep, feeling wired at night
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Back pain, particularly through your shoulders and neck*
  • Digestive upsets – diarrhoea or constipation*
  • Nausea or a general sick feeling*
  • Heart palpitations (bordering more on anxiety)
  • Unable to focus on one task, your mind races*
  • Feelings of worry or uneasiness*
  • Being forgetful*
  • Feelings of anxiety or depression*
  • Nail biting or other fidgeting habits

It’s not a complete list, but includes the symptoms most frequently seen clinically.

 

Where this all gets really interesting is how many of these symptoms are digestive or controlled by your microbiome – as shown by the * next to each relevant item.

 

To think that the health (or ill health) of your gut determines how you think, feel and respond to stress is an amazing opportunity to completely change the way you… well think, feel and respond to stress!

Why your nightly glass of wine isn’t helping stop the stress and what to do instead

Alcohol is a sedative and many of my patients use it at night to “wind down”. It dampens your response to adrenalin and cortisol but doesn’t eliminate it. Worse, it makes for a restless night’s sleep. Then you’re reaching for a double shot coffee in the morning.

 

I call it the roller-coaster from hell. Bad sleep, so you hit caffeine and sugar in the morning, jacking your adrenalin. Then you’re wired at night. Alcohol helps you “wind down” but gives you a bad sleep… and around you again.

 

How do you get off this roller-coaster of hell I hear you ask? Do I have to give up the only two things I enjoy: caffeine and alcohol? The good news is you don’t have to give them up. But not depending them for comfort, peace and sleep will go a long way to relieving stress.

 

Breaking free from stress is simple.

 

Use the following suggestions for a few weeks and speed up the process with a herbal adrenal formula like this one. Working on restoring balance to your microbiome is essential. These lifestyle and dietary suggestions will help:

 

How to relieve stress with natural remedies

  • Replace morning coffee(s) with regular black tea. Less caffeine means less adrenalin and tea helps with withdrawal headaches.
  • Eat breakfast!! Oats are wonderful and grounding. Muesli and eggs are also good choices that keep your blood sugar level. Eating before 9am helps reset cortisol and adrenalin levels.
  • Set regular hours for going to bed and getting up. Cortisol is the opposite of melatonin and will keep you awake. Regulate your sleep/wake cycle to help turn off stress patterns.
  • Reduce the sugar in your tea and coffee by half.
  • Magnesium is magic for relieving the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety.
  • Eat cooked or warm foods like casseroles, soups and stir-fries for lunch and dinner for a few weeks. They are easy to digest and nutritious, stabilising your blood sugar levels.
  • Avoid alcohol for a month. You will sleep better, get out of bed more and your head will be more clear during the day. (Losing some extra weight will be a bonus!)
  • Listen to your body. When it says, rest – have a nap or go to bed early. When it says I’m sore and achy – have an Epsom salt bath or a massage. When it says enough food/drink/work – stop and take a break, even for an hour. Your body is always talking to you, are you listening?
  • Break your day down into smaller, achievable tasks. This helps you focus on prioritising and concentrating on one thing at a time. It is okay if not everything is accomplished in one day.
  • Exercise is amazing for relieving stress but it’s often the last thing you want to do. Collapsing on the couch is much more attractive. But exercise lowers adrenalin and resets your stress-o-meter. Aim for a 5-10 minute walk around the block at lunch or after dinner. Make it somewhere green, near water or singing birds. Studies show this lowers stress and improves mood.
  • Fermented foods. Okay, maybe not your favourite go-to food but restoring balance and diversity to your gut mcirobiome is a sure-fire way to lower cortisol and re-establish a healthy brain-gut connection.
  • Probiotics, either supplements or probiotic drinks are helpful but shouldn’t be your first choice. The inflammation in your gut caused by excessive amounts of cortisol does not make for a happy environment for the good bugs to thrive so you’re best to get that sorted first with herbal formulas and dietary strategies and then try some probiotics.

Stress doesn’t have to be a life sentence

Be kind to yourself and invest in self-care strategies THAT WORK! Just pick one or two of the above list and work on getting those into your routine. Add in the Stress Ease formula and you’re on your way to a good night’s sleep and feeling less stressed.

 

If you’re one of the unlucky ones who’s been on the stress cycle for a while, it might be time to consider a bigger overhaul – not just using these strategies but a complete rejuvenation of your gut microbiome to restore the balance you need to have the capacity to withstand the stress in the first place! If you think that’s you, check out my Leaky Gut Bootcamp: 28 days to transform your gut health. It might be just what you and your stressed microbiome need.

 

Remember, don’t wait another day to start feeling better.

Kate x

Photo credit: iStock photos

Constipation

Constipation: taboo topic no more!

Constipation. It’s a topic you never really talk about with friends or family and no wonder, I can’t say it makes for pleasant dinner conversation. But it’s a subject that does need to be spoken about because there are so many people just like you suffering in silence and it doesn’t have to be that way! There are lots of ways you can soften your bowel movements and many times all your bowel needs is a bit of love and encouragement and you’re on your way… literally.

 

Okay, let’s get stuck in so you can get unstuck!

 

Why am I constipated?

Constipation is where a person has difficulty in passing bowel motions and/or infrequent bowel movements. When you do have a bowel movement, you probably experience some of these symptoms:

  • Straining
  • a feeling of incomplete evacuation (i.e. not a satisfying movement)
  • Hard or lumpy stools
  • Bloating
  • movements occur three times a week or less

 

How to “fix” constipation

To fix your constipation, the first thing you need to know is how you got this way. I strongly believe that once you understand the root causes of how something happened, you can make long lasting, positive changes to make sure you don’t get constipated again!

 

There are a number of reasons why you might find yourself stuck and unable to have a satisfactory bowel movement. Dehydration, medication side effects, not enough dietary fibre, too much sugar in your diet and long term use of laxatives or caffeine can render you helpless when it comes to forming and passing your bowels all on your own. Although it can take some time to undo the damage, you can get a head start with the tips below and then, when you’re ready to take the next step my Leaky Gut Bootcamp can take you from blah to oh yeah!

 

Other common causes of constipation are leaky gut syndrome, IBS, antibiotics and disrupted gut flora. In each of these situations, the root cause is the imbalance of probiotic bacteria found in the small intestine. You see, in a healthy digestive system the good bugs break down your food and digest it for you, all ready for your to absorb it. Whatever your body can’t use is sent along the intestines, water added (assuming you’re drinking enough… more on that later!) and a soft, well formed poo is created. You get the urge, you go and evacuate your bowels. Your gut bacteria is happy and so are you – job done.

 

So if this is not happening for you on a regular basis – meaning once a day – then rebalancing your gut bacteria is the perfect place to start in your quest for a satisfying poo. If you need help with the steps to rebalancing your gut bacteria, have a look at my 7 day gut health challenge. I’ve refined and distilled down all the essential steps to rebalancing your gut and getting those bowels moving again. Click here to learn more about it.

 

Natural laxatives and other dietary changes

To bulk and soften the stool to make its passage easier we need soluble fibre. Stewed apples, pears, prunes are wonderful along with steamed vegetables broccoli, pumpkin, brussell sprouts (yes), green beans, carrots and squash.

 

Slippery Elm Powder is a supplement that acts just like soluble fibre if you are time poor or need a faster solution.

 

Avoid lots of raw foods as it is harder to digest. Find more helpful advice about why a raw food diet may not be a good choice for you. Instead, enjoy casseroles, soups and slow-cooked meals. They are easy to digest, very nutritious and help get you hydrated.

 

A strong cup of coffee helps move a bowel motion but don’t rely on this as in the long term it can be counter-productive.

 

Eat foods that help with gut flora balance including:

  • yoghurt (Jalna and Vaalia are good brands for probiotic yoghurt)
  • prebiotics which are food for your good bacteria (bananas, chicory, asparagus)
  • fermented foods

Read more useful information on how probiotics help your digestion here.

 

Relieve constipation with these easy lifestyle changes

Regular exercise will help relieve constipation. Think a daily 10 minute yoga routine, just google yoga for constipation and find a video that resonates with you. Please don’t email me and tell me you don’t have time to do 10 minutes of yoga because you’re probably spending double that trying to go to the toilet every day so save your breath and just start moving your body! You’d be surprised at how many times this tip alone has been the only fast natural remedy for constipation that someone has needed.

 

Drinking plenty of fresh water will hydrate your body and help to resolve your constipation. Aim for 1-2 litres daily, but anything more than what you’re currently drinking will be an improvement. Opt for herbal teas or fruit infusions if you need to but just get hydrated. When your poo looks dry, hard, pebbly or has lots of cracks in it, you are dehydrated.

 

Listen to your body for the signs of needing to go to the toilet. On the first urge, go and sit on the toilet for a few minutes. Avoid straining. Lift your heels off the ground and sit up straight, leaning forward slightly with your hands on your knees. No joke, this improved posture will help.

 

Start with these natural constipation remedies

If you’re not having a bowel movement every day, or it’s hard and dry or you have to strain, don’t put up with it anymore! You can make a significant difference by following my tips and making a couple of simple changes to your diet and lifestyle.

 

After you’ve seen how much improvement a couple of small changes can make, get ready to make a big change and jump on board with my Leaky Gut Bootcamp, 28 days to transform your gut health. Click the button below to get started today!

 

Don’t wait another day to start feeling better. You deserve a healthy gut.

Kate x

SIBO: is it sabotaging your gut health?

Have you heard about SIBO? I’m not surprised if you haven’t, it’s a relatively new concept in the field of gastrointestinal health and the study of the microbiome (all the bacteria in your microbiome.

 

What is SIBO?

It’s an acronym for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. It means there is excessive amounts of bacteria in your small intestine and the type of bacteria present is normally found in your colon. That means, it’s migrated into your small intestine and is taking over!

 

When you have excessive numbers of bacteria in your small intestine, it can interfere with normal digestion and your ability to break down and absorb nutrients. When you aren’t able to digest and break food down normally because of SIBO, it produces IBS-like symptoms and sometimes leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Dr Axe puts it succinctly:
“The indications of SIBO mirror the symptoms of other gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS. According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, there’s good reason for the similar symptoms — there’s a definite association between IBS and SIBO. Researchers suggest that physicians give consideration of excluding SIBO before giving a definitive diagnosis of IBS.”

Common symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Malnutrition
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Rashes

What causes SIBO?

The cause of a bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine is complex and likely to involve more than one mechanism going awry. Some well known risk factors are:

  • Some medications
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Motility disorders
  • Low stomach acid
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Previous history of bowel surgery
  • Uncontrolled diabetes (types I and II)
  • Rosacea (interestingly, research shows that once SIBO is eradicated, the Rosacea symptoms disappear!)

So by now, you’re probably thinking that SIBO and IBS sound pretty similar. What’s the difference between SIBO and IBS?

They are associated with each other and researchers suggest clinicians exclude SIBO as a cause of your IBS symptoms before diagnosing IBS. After all, IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion – meaning that after exploring all possible causes for your digestive troubles, if they can’t find another reason, they will diagnose with IBS… luckily, the treatments are similar too!

 

How do you test for SIBO? Unfortunately, doctors are largely unaware of how common SIBO is. It is estimated that 6-15% of the healthy population have SIBO but have no symptoms and that up to 80% of people with IBS have SIBO (read study here). Breath tests are usually used to diagnose SIBO but there’s still some false positives and false negatives which indicates there’s further refining to be done before the tests are fully reliable.

 

SIBO treatment

To get rid of the excess bacteria, the best treatment is a combination of dietary and herbal medicine. This re-balances your bacteria levels in your small intestine… and makes sure they are where they are supposed to be! I recommend using Parastrike as the herbal treatment of choice for cutting down numbers of bacteria in the small intestine.

 

Why Parastrike? Research shows that antibiotics are not massively effective when it comes to killing excess bacteria and re-balancing the microbiome in SIBO but herbal remedies like oregano oil, berberine and wormwood are very effective. You’ll find all these ingredients and more in Parastrike, which is why I like to use it for treating SIBO.

 

Making some short term changes to your diet is absolutely crucial to getting SIBO successfully under control. This study found those who used only herbal anti-microbials or antibiotics were likely to experience a relapse in symptoms. 🙁

 

I go into detail on the most effective dietary changes in the diet guide and treatment action plan that arrives with your Parastrike order but I’ll share the two step process with you now so you can get started! It’s two-fold:

  1. Your first goal is to starve the bacteria that are already in your small intestine so you can reduce their numbers even more. You do this by reducing carbohydrates because gut bacteria thrive on starches, carbohydrates and insoluble fibre.
  2. Once the balance of your gut bacteria has been re-balanced, you can begin re-introducing those carbohydrates and feeding the bacteria that’s supposed to be in your gut! This step also involves introducing fermented foods and probiotics to re-establish the right balance of gut bacteria!

 

What does that mean exactly you ask? Well it means you’ll be enjoying low starch vegetables, higher protein and good fats for a few weeks followed by a course of probiotics (like this one) to help further reduce numbers of bacteria that shouldn’t be there and re-establish the balance of good bacteria. Think, slow cooked casseroles (minus the crusty bread and mashed potato), soups and stir-fries… and add in a couple of homemade vegetable juices if you’re really keen!

 

Other key strategies you should include in your action plan are:

  • Hydration is important for bowel regularity, feeling energetic and relieving symptoms like nausea and bloating.
  • Adding coconut oil (is antimicrobial) and apple cider vinegar (improves digestion and regulates stomach acid) to your daily routine.
  • Bone broth is very nutritious and easily absorbed when digestion is compromised.

 

If you suspect SIBO might be a problem for you, click here to buy Parastrike now and get your bonus diet guide and treatment action plan.

 

Remember, don’t wait another day to start feeling better. You deserve a healthy gut.

Kate x

 

Image credit: iStock photos