Sunday, November 10, 2013

HOW TO CURE SIBO, Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth: Step #1 Eat Fermented Foods

Prior Animal Pharm:
Fermented Foods -- Korean Pepper Paste Burns Body Fat, Soil-Based Organisms (SBO), Gut Microbiota -- New Study 'Kochujang, fermented soybean-based red pepper paste, decreases visceral fat and improves blood lipid profiles in overweight adults'

The first step in Dr. BG's 7 step protocol is "Fermented veggies made the ancient way with organic dirt-covered vegetables, ex. kraut, kvass, kim chee, kefir, etc. Read Sandor Katz."

Fermented foods are a must for anyone serious about their gut health.  It is the first step you should get a grip on before proceeding with Dr. BG's 7-Steps Paleo* Gastro IQ SIBO Protocol. Eating a variety of fermented foods will ensure a healthy gut stays healthy and a troubled gut returns to it's healthy state.  Try to eat or drink something fermented at least once or twice a week, every day is even better!  

Art of Fermentation
Fermented foods are a cornerstone of the paleo diet.  Despite the fact that fermenting food as a means of preservation was a neolithic invention, those living during paleolithic times ate loads of fermented foods...overripe fruit, rotting vegetation, decomposed meat, and the contents of animals stomachs to name a few.  Later, as man became more civilized, he learned to control this fermentation process as a means to ensure a steady supply of food during times of scarcity.  

Just about any food item can be fermented:  Beans, grains, vegetables, fruit, honey, dairy, fish, meat and tea.  Every culture has its favorites, from the very familiar European sauerkraut to the not-so-familiar Japanese Natto and Stinky Tofu.  The Inuit were very fond of fermented foods.  They would bury fish, fish heads, sea-mammal flippers, seal oil, and whole birds in grass-lined holes in the summer and dig them up during the winter and next spring.  Another method was to stuff a freshly killed caribou's stomach with sea-birds and seal oil and bury for several months.  

Fermentation in food processing is 'the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions.  Fermentation usually implies that the action of the microorganisms is desirable...The term "fermentation" is sometimes used to specifically refer to the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol, a process used to, beer, and cider.  Fermentation is also employed in the leavening of bread; in preservation techniques to produce lactic acid in sour foods such as sauerkraut, dry sausages, kimchi, and yogurt; and in pickling of foods with vinegar (acetic acid).'  
For purposes of gut health, we like to focus on fermentation processes involving lactic acid as these generally recognizable foods are easy and safe to make at home or can be readily purchased.  Lactic acid fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchee, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha.  All of these foods, when properly prepared, will contain several strains of Lactobacillus, an important microbe for not only gut health but other bodily eco-systems as well.  

An easy homemade sauerkraut can be made following the lead of Dr. BG and her children, with their famous Hot Pink 'Kraut!.  

Another great resource is the website of Sandor Katz.  Updated frequently with new recipes such as Raw Black-eyed Pea Miso Paste and Fermented Radish you will have no excuse not to try some of these amazing fermented foods, made in your own kitchen.  

Traditional Russian Beet Kvass is easy and delicious.  We are told that "Beet kvass carries with it all the benefits of beets, marrying them with the benefits of fermented foods for a deeply cleansing tonic.  Rich in betacyanins – the pigments responsible for beets’ characteristic hue, beets possess strong antioxidant capacity with an ORAC value of 1,776 which may be why beets seem to help mitigate inflammatory states in the body which may contribute to cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes."  It is also probably one of the easiest fermented drinks to make.  All that is needed is a jar, water, and a beet.  Learn to love it!  

If you absolutely cannot prepare fermented foods at home due to space and time considerations, there are luckily numerous great products on the market that won't break the bank.  Kimchee, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha are in almost every supermarket.  Look for fermented foods that have not been overly processed, pickled, or heated in ways that destroy the probiotic bacteria.  Also avoid overly sweetened products like sugary yogurt and kombucha.  


Anonymous said...

Hello Dr BG,

Reading these posts with interest.

"Look for fermented foods that have not been overly processed, pickled, or HEATED in ways that destroy the probiotic bacteria."

There may well be benefits even from for example canned, heated kraut. See, e.g.,
The probiotic paradox: live and dead cells are biological response modifiers.
Full article available online.


Dr. B G said...

Hey Michael

Yes you are correct. Thank you so much for your comment and thoughts. Dead probiotics are better than nothing (usually).

But I think that is part of our health quandary and factor in our longevity as a planet. We as advanced hominids are so far removed and detached from the fertility and abundance of our soil and earth...

The soil where Big Agra grows Monsatan and Syngenta crops are dead -- mineral-raped, overloaded with deadening chemicals and life-removing... no longer life giving.

We eat it. We slowly gradually painfully wither and die. Each generation more dead and more demented.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you are right. And no amount of cherry-Googling pubmed will change that!
I feel more dead and more demented now. Thanks. :)

Dr. B G said...

Kiss kiss, I luv u ;)

Anonymous said...

A little confused from these last few posts. I get the resistant starch and (colon) dysbiosis connection, but what does that have to do with SIBO in the small bowel?

How does consumption of RS that is fermented in the colon aid SIBO? I don't believe SIBO has been shown to have anything to do with colon dysbiosis, has it?

Chris Woods said...

There's an easy (and tasty) cure for the over-surgary Kombucha. Leave it out at room temperature for a few days. A little more sugar is turned into alcohol. A nice side effect is a bit more effervescence too.

Dr. B G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. B G said...

Tim Woods ~ nice tip!!

Anon ~ SIBO is just the modern ailment because we have so many modern toxins, lifestyles and foods which predispose us to damage in the small intestines. The SI (small intestines) are not wrapped in tight thick muscles like the large intestines/colon, therefore bacteria and microbes can 'translocate' when they breach the small intestines' thin anatomical packaging.

This might help:

It comes down to anatomy and physiology. As humans (and other predator animals) our small intestines have mega unique roles in absorption. Unfortunately by having so many specialized absorptive functions and features, more things can be broken. Fancy cars require fancy mechanics, no? Not really we have sensational resilience but the small intestines may be our Achilles right now.
--n-6 pufa oils
--highly refined whole and nonwhole grains, starches
--trans fats
--lack of rest, respite, relaxation (cortisol + adrenaline jacked up)
--supertechnology... thus sedentary sit-our-asses lifestyles
--antibiotics by doctors and livestock/poultry sources
--lack of DIRT and dirt based organisms
--absence of fermented foods
--deficiencies of liver, marrow and other fat based nutrients which lead to gut and organ damage (ADEK2 B12 methylfolates)
--oxytocin boosting hugging and tribal sexxxx (ok kidding naught)
--lack of breastfeeding, reliance on formular particularly endocrine disrupting soy based ones
--blah blah blah

All the above are toxic to the SI and make us vulnerable to SIBO.

I like using animals as analogies. Long time ago 1889 there were lions at the London Zoo developing rickets despite plenty of meat and sunshine. They were given the typical 'zoo diet' of white bread and meat (no marrow, liver or organ meats). Subsequently each generation produced more sick and sicker lion cubs. Finally the moms were infertile. This is similiar to Pottenger cats and the cooked diet experiments.

Our guts are prone to modern toxins -- some genotypes and enterotypes more than others! Hope that makes sense...


Kate said...

Kefir, kombucha, and Miso provoke migraines for me. Sauerkraut and yogurt make my eyes itch. Actually, it was these intolerances that started me down the RS road. I've been doing PS for 5 months now. No problems except for gas. That seems to be getting better now that I've added prescript assist into the mix. Going to try the others listed in the previous post as well.

Tim said...

Another reason RS is not something to be abandoned when dealing with gut problems, especially SIBO, is that RS has a very unique ability to 'capture' microbes in the small intestine and get them to the colon where they belong.

RS is added to hydrating liquids and given to cholera patients. The cholera microbes (vibrio cholerae) will leave their attachment to the small intestine and re-attach themselves to the RS granule. In a petri dish, with v. cholerae happily growing in a growth medium, when RS is added (corn or potato starch), within 2 minutes 98% of the v. cholerea will leave it's growth medium and attach itself to the RS granules. We'll write more about this in Part 2 this week, with links to read for yourself.

I personally feel that a diet high in RS is what keeps SIBO at bay in the first place.

When consuming RS, whether from RS rich foods like dried plantains or green bananas or just taking straight raw potato starch, if you experience bloating, smelly flatulence, or pain of amy sort, it 100% means that you have poor gut flora--probably a lack of certain flora, known as 'keystone' species. Without the proper gut flora, all the RS in the world will not get the right microbes to magically appear. This is the place of probiotics--especially the soil based organisms. More to come on this subject in part 3. This is why steps 1 and 2 are so important!

Remember what I said about RS and how things like to hitch a ride on it? Remember that--it all ties in.

Dr. B G said...


I was eating a dosa yesterday with best paleo galpal in the world... the probiotics were dead... LOL

YOU ARE SO CORRECT and I am so glad...

Dosa is fermented ground rice and white lentils. The one I had was filled with the most delicious tomato based ground lamb... YURRRMMMY. Dead probiotics...

The common domestic practice of soaking beans not only makes the protein and carbs more digestible, but also involves fermentation because the legumes are covered in microbes. Upon cooking we still retain the benefits from DEAD PROBIOTICS. lol.

I luv u coz ur awesome.

Cowpeas are cool. They are the resistant starch that is added to instant ramen noodles... to give it a more chewy and sustainable texture. Isnt that funny?

Nahrung. 2002 Apr;46(2):92-5.

Effect of soaking, germination, cooking and fermentation on antinutritional factors in cowpeas.

Ibrahim SS, Habiba RA, Shatta AA, Embaby HE.

The present work deals with the study of efficacy of some treatments, namely soaking (in water and bicarbonate solution), ordinary and pressure cooking, germination and fermentation in reducing or removal of antinutritional factors usually present in cowpeas (protease inhibitors, tannins, phytic acid and flatus-producing oligosaccharides (raffinose and stachyose). The results showed that long-time soaking (16 h) in bicarbonate solution caused remarkable reduction in the antinutritional factors. Pressure cooking was more effective than ordinary. Cooking pregerminated cowpeas was most effective. Fermentation completely removed trypsin inhibitor, oligosaccharides and reduced remarkably phytic acid. However, tannins noticeably increased.


Dr. B G said...

Int J Food Microbiol. 1989 Feb;8(1):35-46.

The microbial ecology of soybean soaking for tempe production.

Mulyowidarso RK, Fleet GH, Buckle KA.

Department of Food Science and Technology, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia.

Soybeans soaked in tap water for 24 to 36 h at 20, 30 or 37 degrees C underwent a natural fermentation that was characterized by the growth of microorganisms to 10(8)-10(10) cfu/ml (depending on temperature) and a reduction of pH from 6.5 to 4.5. Lactobacillus casei, Streptococcus faecium, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Streptococcus dysgalactiae dominated the fermentation but, significant contributions were also made by Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella ozaenae, Enterobacter cloacae, Enterobacter agglomerans, Citrobacter diversus and Bacillus brevis, and the yeasts Pichia burtonii, Candida didensiae and Rhodotorula rubra. Fermentation of surface-decontaminated beans in sterile water with pure cultures of these isolates showed L. casei, Strep. faecium and Staph. epidermidis to be the main species responsible for the pH reduction. Soybeans were the main source of microorganisms for the fermentation. Boiled beans did not undergo an acid fermentation.
PMID: 2518226

Michael said...


I'm still reading your and Tim's post and everyone's comments. All very interesting.

And I luv u too. You really are an adorable pooper. Or was that the kitten? Not sure.

Yes, I love this blog. And that is coming from what Richard Nikoley would call a dogmatic LC zealot. Not a proselytizing one though, thank God.

Is RS necessary for life? No. Could it be beneficial? Most probably yes! I benefited hugely from getting rid of carbs in general, but I may have thrown out the baby with the bath water.

So, thanks to you and Tim I am trying some new things. Have used potato starch at around 3 tbsp/d for the past 5 or 6 weeks. I haven't noticed anything different. In a way that's good because upping other carbs including vege beyond around a cup a day causes huge problems for me. I'm using potato starch from Flamingo agro tech ltd out of Bangladesh. Hope this is the right stuff. It's around NZ$3/kg. Apparently NZ does not manufacture its own potato starch - it's all imported.

The last few days I have been trying some legumes. Went to the Indian store to buy both Kala Chana (whole Bengal gram, or very small dark chickpeas - very mealy texture even after long cooking) and Chana Dal (split Bengal gram). Great as hummus or as a curry. Will try cowpeas (black-eyed peas) too. Used to eat them a lot in the olden days.

The Dosas sound yum.

Thanks for the papers on fermenting and cooking. All great stuff.

Michael said...

I will tell you my LC story...

I used to eat a 'healthy' diet. Michael Pollan would be proud: real food, mostly plants, not too much meat. You know what I mean. Didn't work out too well for me.

Long story short, 10 years of Crohn's left me deadly ill with heavily stenosed/strictured jejenum and ileum. Conventional drug therapies virtually did nothing. Over the years when things got really bad I self-medicated with... McDonald's! Two or three double cheese burgers a day, instead of my normal food, would leave me feeling a lot better. Over time I replicated this at home with real food, left out the buns, and hey presto, a LC diet was born. I found adding more starch, but even normal vegetables and fruit, would make things very much worse.

The past 2 years I'm virtually free from symptoms such as severe cramping and bloating. The stenosis is permanent scarring and so I can literally observe food moving through the small intestine. It builds up before a stricture before moving through. When lying down it's like watching half a tennis ball balooning up under my stomach skin before each stricture, and deflating after passing through. Looks amazing to someone who has never seen it. BUT, it's now painless and only causes slight discomfort. This was impossible to achieve with all the drug therapies I've tried over the years. Even fistulae (very unpleasant) have gone away. All without any medication whatsoever for 2 years running now. Real food now consist of beef, lamb, shellfish (daily), fish roe, eggs, lamb liver, high-fat dairy (mostly some butter, some cheese, sheep and goat yoghurt) along with vegetation more as garnishes (herbs and spices, garlic and onion, olives and the like).

However, what hasn't gone away are the Fibromyalgic, Arthritic and CFS-like symptoms that came and went along with my Crohn's. Possibly it may even have gotten worse. It is hard to say as my Crohn's was so overbearing and all-consuming, that I can no longer compare.

Anyway, it is interesting that my intestines don't seems to react to RS, especially when taken in the form of potato starch. Eating the same amount of RS using actual potatoes causes big problems. I will see what happens with the beans. I'm only taking small quantities at the moment, along with small quantities of kraut, keffir, etc.

I'm keen to tackle these other symptoms. After my success with Crohn's I was convinced that diet is everything. Slowly I'm coming around to the idea that there is so much more, especially after reading 'When The Body Says No' by Gabor Mate. He's at the other end of the spectrum believing diet is irrelevant. There may be a happy medium somewhere, probably with emphasis on the diet still. From my experience even diet alone CAN be very powerful, or certainly make the difference. Nevertheless, I do now realize why I got Crohn's when I did. It was immediately after finishing writing my thesis having worked till 4 or 5am every day for months and months on end. The moment it was finished I got the flu and never got better. Very telling me thinks.

Tim said...

Michael - Thanks for sharing your story. Wow! What an ordeal! Did you read the little blurb I wrote about leaky gut in the comments of the Fat Burning Beast blog? It sounds exactly like what you are going through now with Fibromyalgia, etc...

You need to get those Tight Junctions tight as a nun's ass, as some would say. Probiotics, Prebiotics, and good food will do it.

Michael said...

Thanks Tim,

Yes, I saw that. My issue is that what I consume is directly restricted by a mechanistic issue (stricturing) that's hard to circumvent. So I was advised 3 years ago to remove these sections and resection the bowel. I've been warned I will get a serious obstruction or perforation. Changing my diet was my last-ditch effort to avoid surgery, which imo is undesirable. What I eat now is not what used to be my idea of a healthy diet. However, a search of the literature at the time showed me my ideas were patently false nonetheless. Mark Nathan Cohen's 'The Food Crisis in Prehistory' is still a classic, and comes to a conclusion somewhat different from yours.

But anyhow, whether (all) our ancestors always ate the foods you advocate or not doesn't really matter. I believe you when you say they can help us. For me it's a matter of quality over quantity. And that's where I like potato starch: volume-wise a small amount goes a long way. I have to figure out a way with other pre and probiotics of not overburdening my intestines in a literal, mechanistic sense - some very narrow passages there. Meat and fat are digested effortlessly. This has been reported by others, too (see, e.g., ). Potato starch, kefir, and the like are also ok. Have to very careful with pulses or even kraut. I found this by trial and error. Wish it wasn't the case, but it is what it is.

Anyway, the potato starch was a genius idea. Thanks again, Michael.

tim said...

Michael - I wish you well, bro! You are playing by your own rules--that's the best way. It looks like you have PubMed and Google figured out, so I'm sure you've seen all the pertinent studies on what you are going through. Keep us posted on how you are doing--both good and bad--the bad is actually more important than the good in some respects.
Thanks again,

Dr. B G said...


Thanks for seeing my comments and your thoughtful responses. I'm sorry to hear of the harrowing ordeals you seemed to go through but it is so heartening for me to hear your incredible journey and story of recovery. Does the Crohn's affect the ileocecal valve? Are the strictures only in the small intestines? How is the gallbladder and pancreatic digestive enzymes?

I haven't read enough on Crohn's but it definitely fits a certain enterotype and genotype. My kids and I did 23andme testing which was fun. This is what they say about Crohn's... 'The three SNPs in CARD15/NOD2 were the first to be found associated with Crohn's disease. Each occurs in or near a part of the protein that binds to sugars found only on the surfaces of bacteria. Scientists don’t know for sure, but they think that the riskier alleles of CARD15/NOD2 make proteins that fail to bind bacterial sugars. This failure may cause changes in chemical signaling in the immune system, leading to inflammation. It’s also possible that the riskier versions of the SNPs cause CARD15/NOD2 to bind to new kinds of bacterial sugars. Encountering these new sugars [and modern refined grains and packaged junk] could be the environmental trigger that sets off CD.

The study whose data we report as applicable to those of "European" ancestry confirmed the association in samples primarily from France.'

Do you happen to know if you are FUT2 (-/-)?'s

Are you blood Type A? I am both and this precludes to many small intestinal and colon problems, autoimmune disorders and high accumulation (low detox) of modern environmental toxins. There are less GI protective factors like IAP and decreased secretion of fucose into mucus and blood cells.

It's possible IMHO our ancestors consumed a high fat, high protein, high RS diet that was extremely low in lectins? Our small intestines are super quirky.

I think you are very lucky to escape the blade of surgeons and made so much sensational progress. It sounds also that the damaged collagen/scarring has improved a little. Do you juice? Some of the enzymes can improve collagen. I take pycnogenol and grape seed extract which improve skin tone, pigmentation and scarring. Grape seed extract actually lowers my BG (blood sugars) so I have to make certain I eat enough.

Pollan is definitely a SECRETOR. I slightly want to vomit when I see his new book (SO MUCH bread fermentation -- the rest is fine). His 'advice' is fine for healthy scretors but most of the sick/ill will just get sicker and sicker without a high fat, higher protein, more personalized diet based on ancestral evolution and current health status.

I see how the mental stress with the dissertation may have triggered a cascade of problems. I can relate. I was working in a toxic pharmaceutical career and had adverse reactions to every pharmaceutical (antibiotics, oral and IUD synthetic hormones, vaccines, amalgams and finally the titanium dental implant). I hope you are finding peace and serenity now and alignment in all of your life activities, fulfillment, innermost desires and empowerment. Personally I find these even more healing despite all the diet and blah balh blah we talk about. Maybe perhaps our guts are precisely synchronous with our roots and root chakras?


Dr. B G said...


Yes that's the feline pooper where I got my parasite I think. Salads in the states and China is probably another potential source for either the Morganella or parasite or BOTH.

Have you considered getting evaluated or just treated empirically? It can make huge differences. With clay/charcoal and kraut 98% of my symptoms improved but after a single round of herbal antimicrobial/parasitic regimen, I can tolerate previous food allergens. The overgrowths physically and immunologically degrade the small intestines and trigger the immune system for further assaults like CFS, fibromyalgia and joint inflammation.

The regimens I did are all anti-fungal too. I added extra bio-curcumin (NOW Food) to give it extra kick.

Crohn's of course has an overlooked fungal component. Candida is parasitic. It seeks niches to exploit after the antibiotics have wreaked ecological havoc, a huge niche opens up for candida and other pathogenic growths to converge on like piranha to prey...

This perhaps why VLC works for you because there's less carb substrates for candida but on the flip as you are seeing the maintenance of poor immunity causes rheum, CFS and musculo/FM problems. These are related to auto-antibody immune complexes because the gut is still totally permeable. Edible clay is cool. It lowers the burden quite a bit. I drink the liquid every once in awhile. Have you seen Planet Earth? every animal eats clay... LOL

I appreciate all of your lovely comments. Thanks for taking the time.


Michael said...

Hi again,

You and your blog are amazing. Definitely up there with Hyperlipid and Cooling Inflamation as the most original blogs on the net.

To answer your questions, the ileocecal valve and distal ileum are fine. Colonoscopies were always all clear. I wouldn't recomend these procedures now though. Unfortunately I did too many, as well as too many CT scans. It's the entire jejunum and proximal ileum that are severely affected. The duodenum less so. Too many enteroscopies also.

Can't answer any questions with regard to genetic testing, but I like the mention of France. I'm of French Huguenot ancestry.

Some very interesting leads you provide here. Will investigate. I used to read a lot of Crohn's studies, mostly drug trials, but gave up and switched to nutrition about 3 years ago. I've very recently started to investigate Crohn's studies once again coming from a totally different perspective that I've now developed over the past few years.

"Pollan is definitely a SECRETOR."

LOL, very funny.

"I hope you are finding peace and serenity now and alignment in all of your life activities, fulfillment, innermost desires and empowerment. Personally I find these even more healing despite all the diet and blah balh blah we talk about. Maybe perhaps our guts are precisely synchronous with our roots and root chakras?"

More LOL. A few years ago I would have thought you're completely nuts. Now I think you're a very smart cookie. You are totally right, as always. Watch out with the chakras though, I'm a Vedist/Indologist by training.

Thanks for all the pointers with regard to clay and charcoal, etc. I'll keep on reading these recent posts and comments and try to implement some of these ideas. I'll probably try and buy some of the 'supplements' overseas, as they're very expensive locally. Some things may not be allowed into the country though. Will have to check.

Never seen Planet Earth, but totally aware animals eat clay. Our dog medicates with greens as well at times. He's very particular as to which leaves he'll munch on, mostly hairy leaves.

Thanks again for your wonderful insights!


The Natural said...

Dr. B G,
Your mentioning of the clay and charcoal in the comments above caught my attention. A while ago, I followed a protocol that recommends fiber + charcoal + bunch of supplements.
The idea behind the protocol was to get rid of any excess estrogen with the help of DIM (an extract from cruciferous veg like broccoli) then flush out the free estrogen and other toxins from your system with 1T x 3 a day + lime juice and charcoal before bed. After this phase 1 for a week, super saturate your body with some vitamins and minerals. I felt very good within the first week and the first positive sign was the my eyes stopped hurting and vision improved. However, I could not tell if the positive effects were due to caffeine elimination or fiber increase or activated charcoal so I never repeated this protocol as it was quite an ordeal to drink a lot of fiber and charcoal before bed time.

Anyway, I was just wondering how you used charcoal and to treat what? What were your results? Were you able to pin point any of your results specifically to charcoal?

I have a lot of charcoal sitting around and would love to put it to good use!

PS: I will email you in a few days about the GI FX and ONE testing. Like I said, I will have to wait until after Thanksgiving to move forward with that.


Anonymous said...

Fermented foods are very high in histamines. I (and others) have histamine intolerance (and other major food intolerances). I first figured out about this when I hit a brick wall trying to eat sauerkraut regularly. Am I just out of luck on this angle? Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Fascinating information! Would this protocol be safe for a 10 year old child? I suspect that my daughter's gut flora has been compromised (exposure to antibiotics while nursing and then later, formula).

Anonymous said...

Where are the posts from November 27th and after?

Dr. B G said...


Histamine can be released from the stomach (gastric H2 receptors) and this typically indicates food intolerances and food allergens and SIBO. Consider the value of RS + SBO probiotics and the merit of slowly adding fermented foods as the colonies recede from the small intestines and pathogens are crowded/eradicated out.


Most can be done by children. Autistic, ADHD, spectrum and children with gut issues do these and similar GAPS protocols.


perhaps you posted on a diff post? I'm getting them all mixed up too Steps #1-7 are easy to confuse.

Anonymous said...

I check all the other blogs and couldn't find the original posts I sent you.


Anonymous said...

Anyway, I was the one you said had endocrine disruption from the testosterone overdose. I realized that on top of the virus I had contracted that my progesterone levels had gone way up. I cut back on the progesterone and the bloating and gas has pretty much gone away. What I had asked was if the protocol you recommend here would help my hormone balance as well? I know you said you were messed up by some hormone you were given. I have been doing the potato starch, psyllium and amazing grass. I ordered the Prescript Assist and should have it this week. I have sauerkraut, but was waiting for my stomach to settle down to add that. Tolerating goat yogurt fine. Just trying to gain weight right now, but eating much better and feeling better already today. I think we are getting closer to getting my hormone system back in balance.


Dr. B G said...


Sounds like you are on a fantastic track for optimal gut health ;) Thanks for your insights.

Your posts are here

I think your results are far faster than the endocrine disruption that I had. I was on a strong synthetic progestin which accumulated over 3yrs. I hope those books that I recommended you consider provide some insight for you.

When I used to work in BioHRT pharmacy, we often would see people getting overdosed on P cream. It's unfortunate. These have to be monitored and titrated based on symptoms like yours, labs and other metrics because hormones are so strong even the bioHRT ones. They are endocrine optimizers or disruptors depending on context and dose, no?


Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. B.G.,

I read your last posts and don't recall what books you were referring to. Can you repost those for me?

Thank you for your input. So you are saying that you think I am on the right track with the progesterone? Is that easier for the body to clear than the synthetic in your opinion?

Thanks for all your help!


Anonymous said...

P.S. I did not see my older posts at the link you provided so I can't find the information on the books you mentioned.



Dr. B G said...


I love u - no problem. Here's my whole response from the BURNING FAT post.


Hang in there. I hear you and I've been precisely where you are. After almost three years of the mirena IUD (levonorgestrel) I later lost two years of my life from the endocrine/adrenal/gut disruption caused by the potent birth control. I think you are having similiar EDC (endocrine disruption).

Read how bad misoprostol -- fake prostaglandin/hormone analog is. The consequences are similar with steroidal chemicals actually. Birth control is know to cause vitamin B12 deficiencies due to gut disruption.

BMJ Case Rep. 2012 Oct 9;2012. pii: bcr2012007005. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2012-007005.

...Literature review revealed that misoprostal can cause overgrowth of clostridial organisms by decreasing the macrophage function and thus can lead to developmental gangrene of reproductive tract and gastrointestinal tract.

PMID 23047999

Have you read the 7 steps?
Did you read my story here?

For me, these are the things that I did, after gradually the chemical eventually had a biological half-life out of the body (after two years of fatigue, mood, edema). Please read how to remove fat soluble chemicals and toxins safely and effectively out of our body. Everyone should do this. These below are from the experts in the field. These will change your life -- I wish I had them 5 yrs ago! But when youre tired and depressed, too hard.

Marchese '8wks to women's wellness' (her supplements are excellent and a good deal fyi imho)
Crinnion 'Clean Green LEAN'

Please don't hesitate to contact me offline sweetie. Email on the left.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. B.G.

Thanks for re-posting those links. I am doing most of the stuff they recommend already. How long does it take to get progesterone out of the body? I cut the dose the last few days and felt better yesterday then today I can barely eat again I'm so bloated and having hot flashes again.

Is it best to taper slowly, or can I can drop the dose every few days until the symptoms go away? I have had about all I can take with this stuff. It has been one thing after the other for the last three and a half years.

Can you help me with the dosing? I am at 225 mg. The reason they brought it up was to help with the withdrawal symptoms of the diazepam I am slowly coming off of. I have not had any overdose symptoms until I came off the estrogen, I'm guessing I may not need as much progesterone since I am no longer taking estrogen. I went off the estrogen due to a fibroid doubling in size from a estrogen pellet. Would never recommend those to anyone. I almost bleed to death last year coming off that pellet. I am in menopause so my estrogen was low until the testosterone converted. I am waiting for my new labs to come in this week.



Dr. B G said...


I like to be very hands on when it comes to hormone consults so as an international consult, it is probably in your best interest to seek a LOCAL integrative medicine practitioner who can provide intense, hands-on value for you.

Have you considered the merit and relevance to track the Estronex 4OH, 16OH and 2OH estrogen markers? Ask your practitioner about these.

Sarah said...

Hi Dr. BG,
I've recently seen a couple of functional med practitioners recommend avoiding fermented foods (and sugar, obviously) to combat yeast/fungal overgrowth. What are your thoughts on this?
Another recommendation I've seen is to not leave leftovers in the fridge for more than 24hrs. Do you think this (extremely inconvienient) recommendation has merit?

Thanks so much for all of your research and effort to help educate those of us who don't (yet) have the ability to read the research ourselves!

Dr. B G said...


Functional medicine is all about finding the root causes of health issues. We live in a moldy world. Normally our immunity can handle it but when our gut microbiota are messed up (which = 80-90% of our immunity) then we cannot handle event the tiniest of mold because we are producing and making the mold internally.

So, no. I no longer agree and think it is totally unsustainable.

We are all toxic. Also we are all different in our susceptibilities to toxins.

I suspect if you have fungal overgrowth, you have either toxins or a bad gut or both. Work with your functional med practitioner to figure this out.

The 7 steps takes care of a bad gut but if there are deeper problems -- mercury, pthlalates, PCBs, BPA -- working with a professional will alleviate these burdens faster so that the gut and immunity can heal faster and take care of the fungal overgrowths.

What probiotics have you tried? Any work?

For me, nothing worked for sibo/sifo until I had both the titanium and mercury removed. For others, it's far easier.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the response!
Unfortunately, I don't have the funds to work with a functional medicine practitioner right now. The recommendations I mentioned above were just things I've been hearing on podcasts and in blog posts. I will be getting health insurance come Jan. 1, courtesy of the Affordable Care Act and am hoping to find a doctor I can convince to order the GI fx test since it looks like Metametrix takes insurance. From everything I've read though, alternative care practitioners will not be covered by insurance (at least, not in California.) I have been seeing a Naturopath since she offers a sliding scale but it hasn't helped much. I did have a food sensitivity test done and of course it came back listing sensitivities to most of the common food allergens as well as things like lettuce and bananas.
So, yes, my gut is definitely pretty screwed up. I actually only had minor gut issues (well, except for the whole gallstones and gallbladder removal thing a couple of years back) until I went Paleo in March. Then I started getting a lot of IBS symptoms like diarrhea, constipation and really painful bloating. The bloating is better now if I avoid sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados and dried fruit but my stomach is definitely not healing. Other things that have gotten worse since going Paleo include, acne, particularly along my jaw, my energy levels are still low, brain fog is worse, and my eye lids are pretty puffy every morning which makes me feel even more tired. On the plus side, I have lost about 45 pounds and seem to have much better insulin sensitivity now. Anyway, these are the things that make me suspicious of some sort of microbial/fungal/yeast overgrowth. There's also some... err... itching that makes me suspicious of parasites.
I started doing the potato starch, psyllium husk, ORAC green powder and SBO about two weeks ago. Haven't noticed much difference except for the occasional farts. I'm up to 2 Tbsp/day with the potato starch since I was a bit worried about possible bloating. Seems okay so far. However, if there are bad critters in my gut, I want to address them so that the potato starch will work! I'm going to look into some of the anti microbials and anti-fungals you've mentioned in other posts, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't possibly making things worse by eating fermented foods and drinking kombucha (very sour, low sugar kombucha).

One other question I have is about interpreting the 23andme results. I've seen people talking about detox pathways and methylation bases on their 23andme results but I don't understand most of it. Are there any tools or resources you recommend for learning more about that?

Sorry for the long essay. I'm pretty frustrated at this point.


Dr. B G said...


I understand your financial situation. For every penny I/my work paid and spent on modern healthcare, I lost thousands from my own out-of-pocket spent on functional and integrative medicine to fix... FUN HUH.

" I just wanted to make sure I wasn't possibly making things worse by eating fermented foods and drinking kombucha (very sour, low sugar kombucha)." When I was ill and had CFS, all fermented things made me ill. OTOH charcoal and bentonite clay improved this and built up some tolerance. I believe these were easy solutions for me to 'sweep up' some of the nasties growing in the small intestines.

Have you met my good buddy Christian? I love love love Christian and what he does. He is a 23andme expert and fiend among many other things...! Please pimp him for questions!!

Stink Flipper said...

Dr. B.G., you have written a fantastic series of gut articles in the past few months. Thank you.

If you have any ideas about it, could you talk more about the dental implant that triggered your ill health? How might a Ti implant affect the immune system, and how might that affect the gut? What is happening in a Ti implant situation to affect gut flora? Is it the result of a reaction of oral bone/tissues with the Ti, or is it something else, like the removal of the periodontal ligament that might allow bacteria to enter the implant site from the mouth? Is this a similar situation as seen in a root canaled tooth? Would a ceramic or zirconium implant be equal cause for concern? Are the gut issues in a situation like yours what is causing the fatigue & sleep isues, or are there other factors? Could the gut potentially be healed without the removal of the implant?

Thanks again,
Stink Flipper, Esq.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering, how big is the difference between commercial yoghurt vs homemade yoghurt or commercial kefir vs homemade kefir? Is commercial so bad it isn't even worth buying?

Thanks, Tim

peter said...

Hi, thank you for your articles. Iam curious about your explanation for the question: why do you think the stuff you recommand works? you basically suggest the exact opposite of the things all the other sibo experts suggest (for example Dr. Allison Siebecker or scd lifestyle). they all suggest that the best way to combat sibo is to do scd, avoid all starch and only increase fermented veggies when the sibo is mostly cleared through starving the bacteria or yeast. they suggest hcl and enzymes and low foodmap. you say to take probiotics right from the beginning and suggest potatoe starch, fibre and gluten free grains and legumes, which is a no-go with the scd fraction. so why do you have such a detrimental approach and why do you think it works better? thank you. peter

Unknown said...

Hi Grace,
I really liked this article and I plan on including lots of fermented vegetables in my diet to reap their many health benefits. However, I don't think I saw any mention of why these fermented foods are beneficial for SIBO. I thought SIBO can be caused by an overgrowth of either good or bad bacteria, so why does eating food with lots of bacteria help? Thanks for your time.

Dr. B G said...


Good to hear from you!

YES! The end goal of treating overgrowths is to
--restore the microvillie
--restore the gut microbiota
--restore normal digestive functions

These occur in stages but our ancestral core microbiota help in each one.

Here's an example. Rats had 90% of their livers cut out (acute liver failure) which is highly stressful. Overgrowths immediately occur. Same thing as in stressed humans or poor diets or antibiotics.

Taking probiotics (L reuteri here in fermented oatmeal) prevent the overgrowths of adverse buggers.

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1995 Feb;30(2):180-5.
The role of oral administration of oatmeal fermented by Lactobacillus reuteri R2LC on bacterial translocation after acute liver failure induced by subtotal liver resection in the rat.

Previous experimental studies showed that a disturbed ecology of the enteric bacterial population might contribute to the occurrence of bacterial translocation from the gut in acute liver failure (ALF).
In the present study the effects of oral administration of exogenous Lactobacillus reuteri R2LC and oat fiber on bacterial overgrowth and translocation and on enterocyte protein contents were investigated in rats with ALF induced by subtotal liver resection. The oatmeal soup base was anaerobically inoculated with L. reuteri R2LC and fermented for 15 h. The animals were then fed with fermented or unfermented oatmeal or saline daily for 6 days before the experimental procedure.
The incidence of bacterial translocation to the systemic circulation was nil and 17% in rats subjected to sham operation with saline or 90% hepatectomy with fermented oatmeal, respectively, and 80-90% and 34-50% in rats subjected to hepatectomy with saline or unfermented oatmeal. One rat treated with fermented oatmeal had positive bacterial growth in mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN), which was significantly lower than in hepatectomized rats with saline or unfermented oatmeal (80-100% and 50-67%). No significant differences was demonstrable between hepatectomized animals with oral administration of fermented or unfermented oatmeal as compared with sham-operated rats. The number of anaerobic bacteria, Gram-negative anaerobes, and Lactobacillus decreased significantly, and the number of Escherichia coli increased in the distal small intestine and colon in hepatectomized animals with saline or unfermented oatmeal, as compared with animals subjected to sham operation or hepatectomy with fermented oatmeal.
The occurrence of bacterial translocation from the gut in 90% hepatectomy-induced ALF could be prevented by fermented oatmeal, which implies possibilities for biologically balancing the enteric bacterial ecology.

Unknown said...

Awesome! Thank you so much. I hope you know you're a lifesaver in the literal sense of the word. I think I'll start my fermented foods journey with kefir made with milk from grass-fed cows.

Dr. B G said...


I luv u and ur feedback ;) when I did the scoop on your poop mini livecast, Kombucha Mamma, Hannah put out a free gift for people. She sells the dairy kefir cultures/grains, as well as water kefir and scobies for kombucha. You're on the right track for all fermented foods and bevs! We just started drinking a boatload of kombucha (made with love from friends!) and it's definitely made a difference in our health and happiness.

Here's a study (hat tip Pal Jabbek)
Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry

Kombucha is really awesome stuff! Recently John Durant drank some and felt instant mood improvements.

From Hannah's website:
These same 1000 people reported an average of 6 benefits derived from drinking Kombucha. The most common Kombucha benefits were:

85% experienced constipation or digestive relief
83% reported a "feeling of well being"
51% claimed relief from arthritis type symptoms
32% report relief of ulcer pain & digestive problems
30% had better sleep patterns
28% experienced weight loss
24% reported improvement in skin conditions & tone
18% had better eyesight, less floaters & sharper vision
17% experienced reduced sugar cravings
17% reported relief from PMS symptoms
17% had lower blood pressure & lower cholesterol
16% enjoyed allergy relief
13% reported better concentration

Anonymous said...

This is remarkable to me. I have SIBO, and I've found out the hard way that fermented foods and probiotics are the LAST thing you want to put in your body (it makes SIBO worse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

How can so many people be unaware of this???

This is SIBO 101: Fermented foods and probiotics FEED the VERY bacteria you want to STARVE and kill (you're not supposed to be feeding the bacteria in your small intestine - it's not even supposed to be there in the first place!!!).

How can such misinformation be believed by so many people???

Unknown said...

Hey Anon,

I know it can seem counter-intuitive, but the problem with SIBO is usually that the wrong types of bacteria are present in the small intestine, which leads to inflammation, leaky gut, overgrowth, etc. If you consume enough fermented foods, the correct kind of bacteria will colonize your small intestines (eventually) and will make things run much more smoothly. I had SIBO for quite a while and didn't get much relief until I started consuming homemade kefir every single day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Alexander, but doesn't this miss the point completely:

That the bacteria are supposed to reside in the LARGE intestine. (Even "good" bacteria in the Small Intestine is not the objective because a healthy Small Intestine has inconsequential amounts of bacteria).

To get rid of SIBO, ANY bacteria risks feeding ANY bacteria misplaced in the small intestine.

Unless the dysbiosis is in the Large Intestine (where you DO want the bacterial), the approach should be to KILL ANY bacteria in the Small Intestine, then heal the intestine (not populate the Small Intestine with bacteria that shouldn't be there).

Anonymous said...

The correct probiotics (SBOs) will act as predators in your small intestine, helping to clear any overgrowth.

The incorrect probiotics will do as you describe.

Fermented foods should be ok in a dose dependent fashion as long as they are made from soil covered plants.

I agree to avoid the typical dairy ferments and aged dairy products as they do not contain enough strains to be useful, and usually lead to an excess of lactate in the patient.

Simply nuking the small intestine and/or avoiding fermented foods and SBOs does not work as it does not fix the root problem, and will invariably lead to remission. You may find relief from symptoms but you will never cure yourself this way.

I wouldn't force fermented foods into your diet though. Simply introduce them to your tastebuds and then eat as the craving arises.

As health improves, digestion will do the same. Improved digestion will improve transit time which decreases SIBO, and the increased immunity from higher health should take care of the rest.