If you’ve experienced gut issues such as SIBO or IBS, you’ll likely relate to my story. It all starts about 2 ½ years ago when I was diagnosed with Leaky Gut. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’re likely aware that the gut is central to maintaining overall health.
The Asthma and Leaky Gut Connection
I first noticed asthma symptoms in my early 50’s when I ate a Bavarian pretzel, my guess was that there was probably a lot of gluten in it. This was my first awareness and it went downhill from there. So many things affecting my breathing I couldn’t keep track. Until about 2 ½ years ago it was way out of control.
My Naturopath tried heat treatments and vitamin A, but really had no clue on the correlation between my gut and my breathing. What I mean is an inflamed gut.
Then a miracle happened. I happened to meet Dr. Jeff Horacek at the Farm Stand in Hood River. Dr. Jeff is a functional medicine doctor at Healthy Connections. He saw my bone broth logo on my truck and said he had just moved to town and wanted to connect. I was giving samples of my bone broth at his open house and just happened to ask him if could help me with my asthma.
That was when the light bulb went off. He said, “If your gut is not in balance and is inflamed, it can affect any other organ in your body. They all have linings that can become inflamed, like your lungs, your brain, etc.”
Oh my gosh…That made so much sense to me.
So, with his guidance, I worked fastidiously on my gut. I went on a Paleo Reset Diet, removed the bad foods, added digestive enzymes, pre- and probiotics, repaired my gut with nutrients and bone broth and rebalanced with lifestyle changes.
In time, I got the leaky gut under control. Bone broth became a staple in my nutritional program. My breathing returned to normal. I was amazed.
What The Heck is SIBO?
SIBO stands for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. So, I find out that this SIBO could have been there all of the time, but camouflaged by my leaky gut. I may have even had it for years!
SIBO isn’t easily diagnosed, but diagnostic tests have improved over the years, allowing doctors to better identify this disease and they’re finding it’s far more prevalent in the population that they originally thought!
For me, the bacteria associated with my SIBO gave me a sour stomach, usually at night. I’d eat a full meal and in the middle of the night I’d wake up and think I was hungry. I just thought this was the way my body was wired. Could I have been wrong? Did I have this bacteria in my gut since I was young?
Was SIBO tricking my brain?
What I now know is that if you have a leaky gut, there’s a good chance you could have SIBO, or you’re more likely to get it. That’s because SIBO causes excess bacteria in the small intestine to feed on your nutrients, often leading to malabsorption.
It can also begin to breakdown the mucosal barrier of the bowel resulting in Leaky Gut and inflammation. It can cause a host of symptoms such as bloating, distension, gas, pain, and diarrhea.
Treating My SIBO With Bone Broth and a Low FODMAP Diet
To help with the sour stomach of SIBO, I was encouraged to follow a specific diet. I was also told to consume Iberogast and bitters. Iberogast is a liquid extract containing nine different herbs. This really did help. So when I woke up in the middle of the night I just drank my water with bitters, which really helped.
In addition to that, I was encouraged to drink bunches of bone broth to help nourish and coat my tummy. Since I produce a lot of bone broth, this was the easy part. However, I soon learned that the bone broth with onion and garlic is problematic for SIBO. It was for me at least.
While bone broth has a lot of soothing fat and collagen that can bind a leaky gut, it wasn’t exactly compatible with my new diet, my low FODMAP diet prescribed by Dr. Jeff.
I won’t go into too much much detail about this diet, other than the fact that it involves removing specific carbohydrates that are high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs). It was designed by researchers at Monash University to improve IBS symptoms and is also helpful for SIBO because foods that are high in FODMAPs will ferment and feed bacterial overgrowth in the gut.
Bone Broth For An Upset Gut
The bone broth I produce can be customized for those on a Low FODMAP diet. Both my pre-mixed spice kit and prepared bone broth contain delicious vegetables and herbs, including celery. For those following the FODMAP plan, I will remove the onion and garlic, but the flavor will still be delicious.
My bone broth also has maitake mushrooms, and turmeric, which are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting.
A factor to consider when consuming broth on a Low FODMAP diet is the cartilage often used to make bone broth. As my friends at Healthy Connections informed me, broth that uses cartilage-containing bones, is actually a high FODMAP food! Drinking conventionally made bone broth can therefore cause digestive symptoms for those with SIBO or IBS.
Why is this? The cartilage in the bones will leach polysaccharides into the broth, making it a high FODMAP food. Check out our blog post at Beth’s Bountiful Bone Broth for more detail on this.
The best way to avoid these symptoms is to drink beef bone broth made from marrow bones (not cartilage bones). I sell marrow bone beef broth at Beth’s Bountiful Bone Broth. My broth’s can be special ordered to eliminate the garlic and onion, so you can enjoy a low FODMAP broth.
Treating my SIBO is an ongoing process. I recently had to have a colonoscopy, which only made matters worse! The bone broth is keeping me sane and functional. It has proven to be a real blessing in the midst of gastric turmoil.
Supporting Your SIBO or IBS With Bone Broth
If you’re seeking help for your SIBO or IBS, please feel free to reach out to me at Beth’s Bountiful Bone Broth so I can make you a specialized package of bone broth or pre-mixed spices. The spice kit is perfect if you have beef marrow bones. Many of my customers enjoy having this shelf stable pack of mix to make their own broth at home whenever it’s needed. See how easy it is here.
Once you’ve made your SIBO/IBS-friendly bone broth, try incorporating it into a nourishing soup. I’ve included a fantastic recipe below!
Here’s my message to you all: Trust me when I say, You’re never really out of the woods even if your symptoms are gone Unfortunately you can never go back. What you can do is if you need to venture off your plan, do it in moderation.
You will be much happier for it.
Low Fodmap Recipe
Root Vegetable Soup with Bone Broth:
This low FODMAP Root Vegetable Soup is nourishing and creamy. It includes bone broth, made without onions, garlic, and cartilage. This recipe is adapted from a soup made by Dédé Wilson at FODMAP every day.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 4 Servings, about 7 total cups
Calories: 289 kcal
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup roughly chopped scallions, green parts only
- 4 medium carrots
- 4 medium parsnips
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
- 3 cups low FODMAP Bone Broth (We recommended Beth’s Bountiful Bone Broth, either the beef version or a homemade version without cartilage using her spice mix.)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Garnish – fresh parsley, sage, thyme
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over low-medium heat and add the scallions. Sauté until softened then add the peeled and chopped carrots, parsnips, potatoes and broth. Pour the broth until it covers the vegetables. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.
You then need to blend it, either with an immersion blender right in the pot or by transferring it to a regular blender in batches. Make sure it’s smooth. Be careful as the soup is hot.
Finally add the almond milk and blend until smooth. Feel free to adjust seasoning to taste. You can also garnish with fresh herbs if you like, but it is not necessary because the earthy flavor of the root vegetables is lovely. This No FODMAP Root Vegetable Soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. Enjoy!