We decided it was a good time to put together some resources for you on digestion!

For starters, we have received several calls from friends and clients who currently have the stomach bug!

Viral gastroenteritis, or the tummy bug, is one of the most highly contagious illnesses and we often see transmission across multiple family members or close contacts. The symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes fever.

We want to make sure that you know that there are things you can do to prevent catching it (and know how to quickly treat it) when the tummy bug is spreading throughout the community, your workplace or kids’ school, or even your household! We ALWAYS have these supplements on-hand for our family!

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Treating the Tummy Bug: Prevention, Relief & When to Seek Medical Attention 

In this post we share our tips for treatment, recovery and prevention of viral gastroenteritis, or the tummy bug. We also talk about how to assess dehydration and when it is necessary to seek medical care.


Secondly, April is IBS awareness month. IBS is a condition affecting 45 million people in the United States alone and is something we have a lot of knowledge about and experience with, both professionally and personally.

IBS FACT #1

Did you know that while IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) are separate medical conditions they commonly coexist and can be connected?

If a person has been diagnosed with IBS, there is a strong likelihood they may have SIBO.  In fact, recent studies have shown that approximately 70-80% of IBS patients also have SIBO. 

SIBO can be easily diagnosed through at-home breath testing kits that you can get through our office.

We are now able to test for three gases: hydrogen (H2), methane (CH4) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). By measuring all three microbially produced gases, we can distinguish if someone has SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), IMO (Intestinal Methanogen Overgrowth), or Excess Hydrogen Sulfide. 

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SIBO: The Pros & Cons of 3 Treatment Options 

There are three effective ways to treat SIBO and we outline the pros & cons of each approach from our experience. We use all three treatments at our office, assessing which is most appropriate on a case-by-case basis.


Using an Elemental Diet to Treat SIBO & IBS

This post discusses how to test for SIBO and interpret the results. We also present two case studies from our practice to illustrate how SIBO can be helped by an Elemental Diet within a short time frame and with dramatic results!


The Elemental Diet Program

Debbie has taken over 75 people through a step-by-step individualized elemental diet program over the past few years with fantastic results. You can read more about the elemental diet in this post – and be sure to check out the success stories at the bottom of the page.


IBS FACT #2

Did you know that food poisoning is the leading known cause of IBS?

It’s true. And there is a simple blood test that can detect it. The IBS blood test measures antibodies against the bacterial toxin Cytolethal Distending Toxin B (CdtB) and the small intestine nerve protein Vinculin.  It detects IBS which develops after bacterial food poisoning through an autoimmune process.

A significant volume of research shows a clear link between food poisoning and IBS, especially diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D). A recent review conducted at the Mayo Clinic of over 45 studies showed that one in every nine patients who experience food poisoning develop IBS. 

Certainly no one wants to get food poisoning, and we do not yet understand why some people who get it develop post-infectious IBS while others do not. However, knowing how to treat food poisoning seems like it would only be helpful!

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5 Tips for Treating Food Poisoning Quickly & Naturally

Food poisoning feels very “primal” because it is quite literally your body trying to save you from harm by expelling the poisonous substance as quickly as it possibly can. In the event that you or a loved one consumes something tainted, this post teaches you what you can do to treat yourself—quickly, naturally and effectively.


IBS FACT #3

Did you know that people used to believe that IBS was a psychosomatic illness that was “all in your head?”

While we now understand that IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that is not “all in your head,” IBS is linked to your brain! However, the brain’s involvement in IBS does not mean that it is a psychological disorder.

The highway between our emotions and our digestive system is called the gut-brain connection. Chronic stress leads to prolonged sympathetic activation which sets the stage for unhappy digestion!

While stress has been shown to contribute to and increase the severity of GI symptoms, it is the damage that stress causes to the structure and functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and the microbiome that actually leads to IBS symptoms. Stress impacts our motility, enzyme, bile and stomach acid secretions. It leads to intestinal permeability, as well as compromises the diversity of the microbiome.

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The Gut-Brain Connection: How Stress Affects Digestion

This post will explain how stress affects digestion and teach you a few simple ways to improve digestion by utilizing the gut-brain connection in your favor. It also discusses why people exposed to stressful events, especially in childhood, tend to have more symptoms of IBS.


Is Your Body Speaking to You in Metaphor?

Through the symptoms we experience—and sometimes even the specific words we use to describe our symptoms—our body may be trying to communicate a message. This message is often a doorway to the areas in our life that we need to take a look at, a key to unlocking the ways that we can assist our bodies in healing.


IBS FACT #4

While diet can improve IBS symptoms, there is not one diet that works for everyone! 

(Bonus IBS Fact: The only diet that can eradicate SIBO is an elemental diet; all other diets simply minimize symptoms.)

Because the symptoms of IBS can vary greatly between individuals, sometimes dietary needs will vary greatly as well. For example, someone with IBS-C may need a lot of insoluble fiber to help their bowels move regularly, while that would put someone with IBS-D in the bathroom all day!

Some people can only find relief from more restrictive LOW FODMAP or SIBO diets, while others may need to avoid only a few trigger foods.

It is important to individualize diet to each person and also understand that dietary needs can change over time.

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20 Things I’ve Learned from 20 Years in Practice

In this post written in 2020, Debbie reflects on some of the observations she’s made over the 20-year span of her career, particularly around how nutrition philosophy has changed, how people have become increasingly more afraid of food, how your feelings about your diet can effect your outcome, and more.


IBS FACT #5

Did you know that IBS is a B.S. diagnosis?!

IBS is oftentimes referred to as a “waste basket” diagnosis, which means that doctors can’t find a physical cause for your GI symptoms through testing (colonoscopy, endoscopy, etc.).

We jokingly say B.S. understanding that the symptoms of IBS are VERY real. However, being diagnosed with IBS itself doesn’t lead you any closer to finding relief.

In our experience, the cause(s) of IBS are varied and are often different for different people? And yes, most people have more than one!

Besides the causes we mentioned already (SIBO—which in itself has many possible causes, food poisoning, and stress & nervous system dysregulation) there are other factors that can contribute to IBS. These include food sensitivities, intestinal dysbiosis, motility disorders and visceral hypersensitivity, amongst others. See this comprehensive study here.

Oftentimes Stool Testing and Food Sensitivity Testing may be helpful. Our office regularly orders these tests when we see gastrointestinal symptoms in both children and adults.

For some people, acupuncture, biofeedback, meditation and body work may provide relief. Castor oil packs, abdominal massage, yoga, and epsom salt soaks are some of our personal favorite at-home treatments!

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Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs are used to promote healing and reduce inflammation. They also improve circulation and elimination. Castor oil packs benefit kidney stones, fibroids, ovarian cysts, swollen joints, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders, liver & gallbladder disorders, and more.


Abdominal Self Massage

Massaging your abdomen can help to move stool along the inside of your colon. It may help relieve symptoms of tightness, pressure, cramping and bloating.


Yoga for Digestion

Yoga may help relieve digestive issues by decreasing stress, increasing circulation, and promoting healthy gut motility.

About Dr. Roy & Debbie Steinbock

Mindful Family Medicine is the practice of Dr. Roy Steinbock, M.D., Board Certified & Holistic Pediatrician, and Debbie Steinbock, HHC, Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor. Mindful Family Medicine combines science and evidence-based medicine with a holistic and integrative approach.

The information on our website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitution for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions.

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