Having gas and being bloated can certainly make you feel like you’ve gained abdominal fat, but does it mean you actually have? Recent evidence indicates yes. The connection is a condition known as SIBO, or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. SIBO can cause gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, or both. Recent studies have been published correlating SIBO and being overweight or obese. And, most interestingly, after treating SIBO certain evidence has shown the ability to boost metabolism via lowering cholesterol and improving blood sugar levels.
What might this look like in the real world? In this video, I sit down with one of my patients who we recently treated for SIBO and who experienced fairly dramatic weight loss and improvement in her cholesterol levels in addition to vastly improved digestion. This is probably not the next weight-loss panacea, but I believe if handled the right way this may garner welcomed weight loss for those who have troubling digestive problems.
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Dr. Michael Ruscio: So hi, this is Dr. Ruscio. I’m here with Chris, and this is my first remote patient conversation. So thank you, Chris, for taking a moment. You had a really interesting case that ties in with something that has recently been published regarding SIBO.
We diagnosed you with both methane positive and hydrogen positive SIBO. And we had been treating you for that. And we had to do two rounds of treatment to fully eradicate it. And we still don’t know yet if we fully eradicated it because we’re just about to do some retesting. But based upon your symptoms which are really, really, really improved, I think we’re probably clear.
But there was one improvement, in particular, I wanted to kind of showcase for people that I think will be interesting. But before I jump into that, can you kind of share what changes you noticed as we’ve treated your SIBO?
Chris: Well, part of the problem was that I was on Prevacid for ten years.
Chris: That was a hard one to wean off. I think that might even be the cause of having the SIBO in the first place.
Chris: So I went through a weaning off period of the Prevacid. And actually, I didn’t have too many problems with any acid reflux or any gas issues that came up from that. But you had put me on a treatment to kill off some of the SIBO or control the numbers of bacteria. And it seemed to help just control some of those gas symptoms.
DrMR: Yeah, so some of your typical gas, bloating. And I believe you were more so on the side of constipation. Is that—?
Chris: Yeah, my whole system seemed slow.
Weight Loss Results
DrMR: Right. Yeah, and then not to get too graphic. But a lot of people I’m sure are dealing with these same symptoms. So it’ll be interesting for people to hear. And there was one other symptom, in particular, you didn’t mention which is weight loss. And you had lost—was it 53 pounds at last?
Chris: Yeah, since we started, I guess the middle of April, I’ve lost 53 pounds.
Chris: And part of that is from using the autoimmune paleo diet which helps too.
DrMR: Yeah. And so certainly I wouldn’t attribute all this to SIBO.
DrMR: The autoimmune paleo diet is extremely helpful for weight loss. We’ll see in the clinic, this initial weight loss from the diet. And then people kind of level out in terms of, okay, they’ve kind of exhausted how much weight loss they can get from a diet. And you seemed to start going through that deceleration of weight loss.
Improved Metabolism & Cholesterol
DrMR: But then we started treating SIBO. And you got another boost. And where that ties in with everything and what I wanted to discuss briefly is it has been published recently that people who have hydrogen and methane SIBO together actually correlates with increased weight gain. And treating the hydrogen and methane mixed-type SIBO has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and improve metabolism.
And so I think that was exactly what happened with you because 53 pounds—that’s a good amount of weight to lose. And that’s more than I typically will see with the paleo diet alone. And especially with your frame, you’re not a super large gal. So on your frame, that’s a lot of weight loss. And so, yeah, I thought that was interesting.
And that definitely correlates. As you achieved that additional weight loss, you also saw your digestive symptoms get a lot better too.
Chris: And my cholesterol levels are now in normal range whereas before they were above normal.
DrMR: Right. Right.
Chris: So they had brought those down too.
DrMR: Yeah, so you were a perfect case for this recent finding. So yeah, just wanted to kind of get a moment with you to share that with people. And that’s pretty much all I wanted to chime in. Is there anything else that you noticed that you think is worth mentioning?
Chris: Regarding SIBO?
DrMR: Yeah, or anything you’ve noticed over your treatment.
Chris: Well, I’ve noticed great changes. I’m able to sleep better, got my thyroid levels more in the optimal range.
DrMR: Right. Right.
Chris: Since I have Hashimoto’s, that has been a challenge. I think I’ve boosted up my metabolism to finally working again. I think it was completely stalled before.
What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.
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