Episode 131: Is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (aka SIBO) the Cause of Your IBS?

In this episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni are discussing a potential root cause for digestive symptoms like bloating and gas called Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, otherwise known as SIBO. 

SIBO = Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

-abnormally large numbers of commensal bacteria are found in SI

-bacteria is fed by carbohydrates and produces excess amounts of gas – hydrogen, methane, hydrogen sulfide

-bacterial overgrowth interferes with proper digestion and absorption of nutrients

-gas interferes with proper bowel motility, resulting in constipation and/or diarrhea

Up to 84% of people with IBS also have SIBO, so it’s thought to be an underlying cause 

Symptoms of SIBO can include:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal pain/cramps
  • Constipation, diarrhea or alternating
  • heartburn/reflux
  • Nausea
  • Food sensitivities
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Brain fog
  • Malabsorption issues like anemia, chronic low ferritin (iron stores), fat soluble vitamin deficiency like vitamin D deficiency
  • Skin issues like eczema, rosacea
  • Inflammatory conditions like pancreatitis, interstitial cystitis, prostatitis

What causes SIBO?

  • Conditions affecting intestinal motility and damage to MMC (migrating motor complex), including thyroid issues, concussions, head injuries, chronic high blood sugar
  • Acute gastroenteritis from food poisoning or “stomach flu”
  • Use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) acid inhibiting medications
  • Low stomach acid, pancreatic enzyme and bile secretion
  • Ileocecal valve dysfunction, resulting in reflux of colonic bacteria into small intestine
  • Complications of abdominal surgery, including gastric bypass for obesity and gastrectomy to treat peptic ulcers and stomach cancer, postoperative loop, stricture or fistula

How do you know if you have SIBO?

  • IBS symptoms get worse when you take a probiotic, especially with a prebiotic
  • IBS symptoms might get better after antibiotic treatment for another infection
  • Symptoms worse after eating more fibre – veggies like broccoli, fruit like apples

How can you test for SIBO?

  • Breath test = most common method of testing for SIBO

-fasting after fibre restricted eating day before

-provocation with lactulose non-absorbable sugar

-breath sample every 20 minutes over 3 hours, tested for levels of hydrogen, methane, hydrogen sulfide in the gas in the sample tube

  • Small intestinal aspirate culture = currently the gold standard test for bacterial overgrowth. To obtain the fluid sample, doctors pass a long, flexible tube (endoscope) down your throat and through your upper digestive tract to your small intestine. A sample of intestinal fluid is withdrawn and then tested in a laboratory for the growth of bacteria.
  • Possible alternative: a course of specific antibiotics to see if you’re successful in reducing your symptoms may also be a way to assess if you have SIBO

Comprehensive Approach to Addressing SIBO:

  1. Liver and gallbladder support eg. NAC, dandelion, artichoke, beets, green tea
  2. Herbal or specific prescription antibiotic to lower bacteria levels eg. rifaximin, specific garlic, oregano extracts, berberine, myrrh, thyme, goldenseal, enteric coated peppermint oil
  3. Digestive support for stomach acid, pancreatic enzyme, and bile production, leaky gut eg. bitters like gentian, L-glutamine, NAG, lemon water or D-limonene, topical castor oil pack
  1. Motility support – prescription or nutritional eg. prucalopride, ginger, 5-HTP, acetyl L-carnitine, Iberogast, spacing at least 3+ hours between eating

Mindful raisin-eating exercise 

Other treatment options: 

Elemental diet – liquid diet for at least 2 weeks to starve and kill off bacteria

Biofilm disruptors like NAC, black cumin, ALA

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Dr. Lisa loves using apple cider vinegar before meals, as well as adding lemon and lime zest to salads, coleslaw and in water to support her digestion.

Dr. Toni is a big fan of the wet sock treatment to support immune health, especially at the first sign of a cold. 

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety to support their natural instincts around labour and birth is happening this summer. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Join Dr. Lisa’s new Meetup group Wild Woman Adventures Toronto if you want to get out in nature, connect with other women and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Activities include: sunrise/sunset SUP, tree-top trekking, a new moon workshop and more!

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2022: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 130: Lose Your Cool Less: Parenting with Educator Tara Gratto

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa discusses everyday tools for feelings and kindness with educator Tara Gratto to support parents. As parents, we have a whole range of feelings and our patience is tested over and over. Social and emotional intelligence is a skill like learning a language – it needs to be practiced! Listen in to learn more.  

Tara Gratto M.S.Ed, MA, OCT is the founder of Raising Resilient Children. A long time educator and former preschool owner, she supports parents with tools and skills for feelings, kindness and everyday mental well-being. Her signature framework, the Language of Kindness makes parenting easier while fostering connection and building essential life skills with children. Tara focuses on supporting busy parents with tools for today, tomorrow and life. 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How to lose your cool less
  • What you can do in the moment when you are losing your cool
    • Awareness of triggers (where and when?)
    • Breathe and counting backwards from 10 or 5 (model tools for emotional regulation to your kids)
      • Five Finger breathing, Butterfly breathing or Dragon breathing
    • Name it to Tame it
  • The principles of the Language of Kindness
  • kindness to self (your inner voice and self-confidence)
  • kindness to others (how we treat each others in calm and conflict)
  • kindness to the planet (to encourage thinking about food and consumption)
  • Setting yourself up for an action plan to deal with big feelings

Connect with Tara and access her free workshops for parents HERE.

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of having a public library card to get books and DVDs 

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening this summer. Join her by registering HERE.

Join Dr. Lisa’s new Meetup group Wild Woman Adventures Toronto if you want to get out in nature, connect with other women and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Activities include: sunrise/sunset SUP, tree-top trekking, a new moon workshop and more!

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2022: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 129: What You Need to Know About Hair Loss in Women

In this re-release episode from January 2021, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni discuss: the different types of hair loss, causes, lab tests to consider and solutions that can work for women in perimenopause who are experiencing hair loss. It’s important to recognize that some hair loss is normal but unfortunately, abnormal hair loss is common. Up to 50% of women will experience significant amounts of hair loss in their lifetime.

What is Normal?

  • Loss of 50-100 hairs on average per day
  • No change in hairline/scalp you can see; pony tail still same size
  • 3-4 months postpartum: 
    • you don’t lose hair during pregnancy; make up for it at this time
    • normalizes at around 6-12 months postpartum

The Stages for Hair Follicles:

  1. Anagen – active growth phase lasting 2-7 years
  2. Catagen – brief transitional phase where fibre stops growing
  3. Telogen – rest phase lasting 3 months where old hair pushed up to skin surface then shed

What is Abnormal?

  • Losing more than 100 hairs per day when not postpartum
  • Change in your hairline with more scalp visible
  • Telogen effluvium: temporary hair loss after stress, shock or traumatic event

Type of Hair Loss:

  1. Genetic – progressive gradual reduction in your hair volume, can make your hair follicles more susceptible to reactive hair loss
  2. Reactive – also known as telogen effluvium, temporary hair loss

Causes of Hair Loss:

  • Nutrient deficiencies: low iron, vitamin b12, protein intake
  • Low thyroid function: Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis
    • Your thyroid gland helps to regulate your body’s metabolism by controlling the production of proteins and your tissue use of oxygen. Any thyroid imbalance can therefore affect your hair follicles. 
    • If hypothyroidism is left untreated it may result in anemia or iron deficiency
  • Stress, shock or traumatic event
    • Can negatively impact your estrogen levels which can impact hair loss
    • Raises your androgen levels, disrupts your scalp health causing dandruff, negative impact on your digestion
    • Can negatively impact your thyroid function
  • Leaky gut, celiac disease and eating gluten – see Episode 8 for more info on gut health
  • Damaging hair dye or other hair care products that weigh your hair down
  • Traction alopecia: caused pulling hair back tightly (eg. ponytail, bun or braids) and weakening hair follicles
  • Hormone changes and imbalance
    • Perimenopause with lower estrogen
    • PCOS with high androgens and insulin resistance
  • Caloric restriction:
    • Excessive fasting
    • Cleanses with low protein intake
    • Eating disorders
    • No or low carb intake

Laboratory Testing You Can Consider To Determine The Cause of Your Hair Loss:

  • Nutrient testing
    • Iron panel – hemoglobin, ferritin, iron and transferrin saturation levels
    • Vitamin B12
  • Celiac screen
  • Food sensitivity testing
  • Thyroid panel (TSH, free T4 and T3 plus thyroid antibodies) – see Episode 42 for more info
  • Autoimmune testing
  • Hormone testing
    • adrenal/cortisol
    • hormone panel with estrogens and androgens
  • Blood sugar testing
    • Insulin and glucose levels when fasting
    • Hemoglobin A1C
    • Glucometer or continuous blood sugar testing at home

What you can do about it?

  • Biotin:  does it really work? 
    • Found in eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower
    • Can impact accuracy on certain lab testing like thyroid hormone tests 
    • Too much can worsen cystic acne and affect your absorption of vitamin B5, which is needed for skin health
  • Your hair is made of protein, so adequate intake of protein rich foods is essential 
    • Palm sized portion with lunch and supper
    • Aim for a total intake of 1 gram per kilogram of body weight daily
  • Complex carbohydrates provide your hair with the energy it needs to grow
    • Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, greens
  • Other minerals and vitamins: iron, copper, zinc, selenium, vitamin C, B12, D3, essential amino acids l-lysine and l-methionine 
  • Supporting scalp circulation 
    • Head/scalp massage
    • Exercise, yoga, headstands
  • Essential oils applied topically to scalp
    • Thyme, rosemary, lavender, cedarwood in carrier oil of jojoba and grapeseed has been shown to support hair growth in people with alopecia areata
  • Hair oils can make your hair stronger and protect hair follicles and strands to prevent breakage
    • Ayurvedic oils and herbs like amla, ashwagandha, brahmi and dashmool can be applied to dry hair for a pre-wash treatment
  • Work with naturopathic doctor or other medical professional to support hormone and blood sugar balance, improve digestion and leaky gut
  • Reduce stress: sleep, say no, rest, get help…

After you start a treatment plan, the more you can be calm and patient, the better. Due to the nature of your hair growth cycle, it takes at least 6 weeks to see an improvement. Do your best and give your body some time to regain balance.

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni has been using her bullet journal to get thoughts and to-do lists out of her head so she isn’t thinking about them in the middle of the night! See Episode 11 for more info.

Dr. Lisa loves Cheeks Ahoy unpaper napkins and reusable paper towels to reduce her use of single use products to clean up spills. 

Upcoming Events:

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening this summer. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Join Dr. Lisa’s new Meetup group Wild Woman Adventures Toronto if you want to get out in nature, connect with other women and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Activities include: sunrise/sunset SUP, tree-top trekking, a new moon workshop and more!

Get on the waitlist for Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective Fall 2022 enrollment: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Thanks for joining us today!

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook and Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 128: Using Astrology to Align With Your Soul’s Calling with Spiritual Mentor Renata Taravski

In this episode, Dr. Lisa speaks with Dr. Renata about how you can get into alignment with your life. Whether you are a Virgo or an Aquarius, we break down how your limiting beliefs, where and when you were born and other factors can impact how you can live out your soul’s purpose. 

Renata’s a straight-talking astrologer, spiritual mentor, reiki master and naturopathic doctor who cuts through the “spiritual fluff,” to deliver the sassy cosmic wisdom you didn’t even know you were searching for. But what makes Renata a true master of her craft, is her commitment to helping empaths, spiritual entrepreneurs, healers and seekers confidently service the world the way they were born to do. So if you love a no-BS approach, with a lil’ woo-woo from someone who’s already walked the path, to tell you exactly what you need to do to make that happen, she’s your girl!

In this episode, we cover:

  • The ways your body can tell you that you are not in alignment
  • How you can get into alignment with your soul’s calling
  • What astrological patterns and factors influence your strengths and how you can live out your purpose

If you liked this episode???

You can connect with Renata at https://www.renatataravski.com/ and on Instagram @alignwithrenata

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of some fun family activities, like the board game Sorry, a mini basketball net and soccer net for the backyard.

Renata loves Smart Sweets snacks and playing with bubbles in the summertime.

What’s Else is Happening:

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening this summer. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Join Dr. Lisa’s new Meetup group Wild Woman Adventures Toronto if you want to get out in nature, connect with other women and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Activities include: sunrise/sunset SUP, tree-top trekking, a new moon workshop and more!

Get on the waitlist for Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective Fall 2022 enrollment: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Thanks for joining us today!

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook and Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.