It’s all too common for SIBO patients to experience unwanted weight loss. It is important to address any possible issues before they become acute. Here are six ways to support SIBO patients in maintaining a healthy weight.
Address Diarrhea Symptoms
Those with hydrogen dominant SIBO and a diarrhea symptom picture will be more likely to lose weight. Make sure they are rehydrating and maintaining pH with a homemade electrolyte drink. Address diarrhea medically and nutritionally when needed. Diarrhea may be related to diet if they are eating too many hard-to-digest foods such as raw fruits or vegetables, nuts or coconut.
Pinpoint Intolerances & Malabsorption Issues
Someone may have fructose malabsorption, fat malabsorption, histamine intolerance, or other dietary intolerances or issues that may make them more symptomatic and less able to digest well. The more these issues are identified and mitigated, the more likely someone will be able to maintain their weight.
Add an Elemental Diet Formula
Add the Integrative Therapeutics Elemental Diet or a similar formula in addition to meals to support a person’s current weight. Elemental formulas are easy to absorb and don’t cause symptoms in most people if taken properly. It’s also helpful for those who are on the go to use as a meal replacement if they get into a situation where they don’t have anything to eat that they will tolerate. The dextrose-free version of the Integrative Therapeutics formula will be best for those with candida issues.
Avoid Overly Restrictive Diets
Don’t assume that diet is one size fits all. If patients are severely symptomatic then they may need to be on a restrictive diet to start with, but they should tailor their diet over time. See this post on what to consider before recommending a SIBO diet or have the patient seek help from a SIBO literate nutritionist.
Support Weight via Caloric Intake
It’s important to make sure that patients are getting enough calories, but simply telling them to eat more is not enough. Many people experience food fear or don’t know what to eat because their diet has changed so radically. Make sure they are eating fat/carb combinations, drinking higher caloric drinks when possible and snacking if needed because of malabsorption issues. Refer patients to a nutritionist or eating disorders specialist when needed.
Address the Whole Picture
Getting a negative SIBO test is a major step but it doesn’t mean the work is done. Most patients will still need to be on prokinetics for a period of time, the underlying cause will need to be addressed, gut healing will need to take place, and food will need to be reintroduced over time. Make sure your patient has the support they need after a negative SIBO test.
NUNM’s SIBO Center offers analysis and results for the SIBO Breath Test to physicians and patients throughout the United States. In addition, NUNM’s team of naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists and student interns are available to serve patients and their individual SIBO needs with a holistic approach.