Everyone gets a little bit of gas and bloat now and again, including me – it’s really nothing to worry about.
Heck, you can walk through a pasture full of perfectly healthy cows and they’ll be farting away quite happily ‘til, erm, the cow’s come home!
It’s not the occasional gas, bloat, burp or fart I want to talk about because even the healthiest people have a bit from time-to-time.
No. It’s much worse than that.
I want to discuss chronic, long-term gas problems we frequently see in our clinic and teleclinics, and how they can cause some really nasty situations.
Regular gas and bloat – and all the symptoms that go along – can be signs of deeper trouble, the trouble being related to the underlying causes.
Gas and bloat are caused by three main factors:
First, food intolerances such as lactose and fructose intolerance can lead to gas and bloat.
Just try removing all cow’s milk products from your diet, and reducing your fruit/juice and grain intake for 2 weeks and see how you feel.
If you feel better, you might have hit the jackpot. If not, then something else is going on.
Second, the overgrowth of unwanted microbes in your gut: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and Candida, which is a fungal organism.
These microbes ferment the carbs and sugars you eat, producing large volumes of gas, which blow you up like a balloon and make you look like you’re 7 months pregnant (even if you’re a bloke).
But these “bad bugs” can be much more damaging than just a bit of gas and bloat in the long run. In fact, they can cause depression, memory problems, fatigue, skin problems and even autoimmune diseases.
Third, gas can be result from a lack of digestive resources that help you digest food, namely your stomach acid and digestive enzyme levels.
When foods – especially carbs, sugars and alcohol – aren’t digested properly, they become food for the bacteria and fungi mentioned above.
Fermentation leading to gas, bloat, burping, pain, cramps, loose stools, constipation and the whole gamut of common digestive symptoms.
If these underlying problems aren’t identified and dealt with, the consequences can be severe and incapacitating.
They can seriously pull down quality of life and make you feel miserable.
They can also contribute to chronic diseases, including autoimmune diseases characterised by chronic inflammation.
Trust me, it’s not advisable to ignore gas and bloating if you have it on a regular basis.
These symptoms are telling you that something is wrong.
Bloating is caused by the accumulation of gas in your small or large intestine, or both parts of the intestine.
Imagine your intestine blowing up like a kid’s balloon at a birthday party. It expands in size and pushes out in all directions.
As the gas level increases, it can cause these common complaints:
If you suffer and struggle with any of these symptoms on a regular basis, you need to get them looked at.
As I said above, the underlying reasons for gas, bloating and other digestive symptoms listed here are twofold:
Let’s look at these in turn…
Also known as SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is a beast of a condition, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
To put things in perspective, SIBO is believed to be the most common cause of IBS, and IBS is the most common digestive disorder in the developed world.
You’re supposed to have super-high bacteria levels in your large intestine, but if you’re not careful they can migrate backwards and up into your small intestine.
Furthermore, they can migrate down from your mouth and oral cavity, or proliferate after food poisoning, stress or surgery in the digestive tract.
Whatever the cause of SIBO might be, your small intestine gets overloaded and overwhelmed with bacteria, which ferment your carbs/sugars and product lots of gas.
But it can go way beyond your gut.
In the scientific literature, SIBO is associated with all these conditions, too:
If you have any of these symptoms in addition to gas, bloat and other GI symptoms, it’s really important you do some investigation into what’s going on.
You cannot afford to allow something like SIBO to develop and become too chronic. The longer you leave it, the worse it gets.
But it’s not the only reason for gas, bloat, burps and farts…
Candida is a yeast organism. It has the ability to convert into a fungus.
YUK – fungi overgrowing in your gut?
Yep. It is very, very common. In fact, we’ve run thousands of stool tests over the last decade and Candida is definitely the most common finding.
When Candida overgrows in your gut, it causes the same symptoms as SIBO – gas, bloat, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
What’s more, Candida can grow little roots – called hyphae – into your gut lining, irritating and inflaming your intestinal wall and making it more prone to leakiness.
This diagram shows how the yeast produce their hyphae, which can penetrate your intestine and cause havoc.
It’s no surprise that Candida can lead to a leaky gut, which is one mechanism by which it makes you feel tired, changes your mood, and so forth.
Candida produces its own chemicals, which can leak into your blood from the damaged gut and affect your energy, mood, skin, etc.
Like SIBO, Candida is also associated with potentially serious conditions such as autoimmune disorders like arthritis.
Incidentally, Candida isn’t the only type of fungal bug that can cause problems in your GI tract.
Others can overgrow and cause problems, with fancy names like Geotrichum, Trichosporon and Aspergillus.
Aspergillus is actually a mold organism – it’s the one I had growing in my gut when I was under the weather.
For the remainder of this article, I’m going to refer to yeast/fungal overgrowth as small intestinal fungal overgrowth, or SIFO.
So now we have SIBO, which is bacterial overgrowth, and SIFO, which is fungal overgrowth.
Studies have been done to see if you can tell whether people have SIBO or SIFO just by looking at symptoms.
There’s no way of knowing which issue is underpinning gas and bloating without doing lab tests.
The chart shown below is from a study by Drs. Jacobs and Rao at the Gastrointestinal Health Foundation in California.
They took 124 patients with mixed digestive symptoms and showed that it’s impossible to predict whether a specific symptom is being cause by a specific underling issue.
There is simply too much overlap – the same symptoms are being caused by either SIBO or SIFO, or by a combination of the two.
You have to uncover the cause by running appropriate tests.
You might be asking yourself, “Well why should I care?”
I don’t blame you – isn’t there a magic pill or wonder drug to remove all that gas and bloat?
Optimal treatments for SIBO and SIFO are massively different.
SIBO needs antibiotics and/or herbs, whereas SIFO requires antifungals and/or herbs.
Importantly, a combination of pharmaceuticals and herbs usually works best (for example studies have shown that antifungal meds combined with herbs are more effective than using either on its own).
Unless you know which of the two underlying causes are relevant to your specific case, you can’t possibly know how to cure yourself.
Of course, you may also have a combination of SIBO and SIFO, in which case you may require a combination of treatments.
Parasites, H. pylori and other stuff
If it didn’t seem complex enough, we have to throw in the possibility that H. pylori and intestinal parasites might also be contributing to your symptoms.
For example, H. pylori and Candida (SIFO) are very commonly seen together in stool test results.
Again, the specific treatments you would use in these respective situations can differ quite a lot.
How to move forward – get tested!
In my experience, all this information can get a little bit overwhelming, especially when doctors are not really speaking the same language when you complain to them about your gas, bloating and other symptoms.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The path to freedom with your digestive health is to get the right tests done.
You can do a breath test at home for SIBO – it’s dead easy.
You can also do urine testing to check for SIFO and mold overgrowth, again at home.
The most comprehensive digestive test by far, however, is a stool test, because it checks for:
A myriad of bad bugs:
And also the function of your digestive system:
All in all, there are over 70 pieces of information in stool test like this – that’s 70 possible reasons why you’re not feeling well.
It gives you an unbelievably detailed view of your digestive system and gives you the understanding of what’s going on.
Once you’re armed with this information, you can follow a laser-focused plan to restore balance in your digestive system using the 4R protocol:
Now, you can’t do this overnight and it’s really difficult if you don’t know what you’re up against.
You’re really shooting in the dark if you don’t take the time to uncover and reveal the true underlying cause.
But when you do, the rewards are outstanding.
How long the process takes depends on how out of balance your digestive system is to begin with.
There’s a reason why so many people have digestive symptoms like gas and bloating, and it’s simply because they don’t do the right tests.
I don’t want this to be you.
By running the right tests, at the right time, you can get the results you’ve been looking for.
Or, you can get by each day hope things will improve as the months go by.
Personally, I wouldn’t choose the latter option again. I already chose it once and battled on for four years feeling crappy when I could have had myself tested long before.
A lot of people as why I took so long to get tested and the answer is simple.
At the time, it was more important for me to blow my money on stuff I didn’t need – I spent a fortune on clothes, my social life and expensive holidays.
It took a complete health crash for me to wake up to the importance of investing in my body, and it cost me a lot more to fix my body by waiting for the crash to happen!
When it comes to you body and health, I can attempt twist your arm all I want, but ultimately the decision lies with you.
I realize it’s really hard to place a financial value on your health. Nobody ever teaches us to do it.
But I urge you to try, and I don’t want you to feel like there’s a big risk involved
So how about this…
Take the plunge and get a stool test now.
We can send it anywhere: UK, Europe, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa – location is not a problem.
I’ll refund every cent or penny if your stool test doesn’t uncover why you haven’t been feeling yourself – no questions asked, and no catch.
You have my personal guarantee – we gain absolutely nothing if we can’t help you feel better.
The stool test comes with a detailed health history and case review, as well as a 60-minute phone consultation once your results have been released.
With the money back guarantee, you cannot lose.
If this seems fair – and I hope it does – let’s get moving and take back your health, starting right now.
PS, remember: this is a risk free investment. If nothing helpful shows up on the test, you get your money back.