I have chronic SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and shared some insights – during an interview on the IBS & SIBO SOS Summit – on what helps me when I’m trying a new protocol or new food and get that awful and painful belly bloat.
It’s so bad that I’m in pain all night, tossing and turning and can’t sleep…. and Iberogast, enzymes and peppermint and lavender essential oil on my bloated belly help so much:
Because of the cellulose in one of the Candibactin products, I was getting the bloating. And the Iberogast taken at night just before I went to bed (together with a few other things) definitely helped with some of the bloating.
For me, the problem with the bloating is the pain (obviously), but worse than that is the lack of sleep. If I’m bloated, it just feels like I’m tossing and turning the whole night. And if I don’t get eight hours of sleep, I’m a mess. So, the biggest issue for me is the impact on my sleep.
But if I’ve got this huge, bloated belly which was happening a lot, I take enzymes that help with carb digestion. I will also rub peppermint essential oil on my belly. So I’ve got a little bowl of coconut oil with a dab of lavender (it’s calming and it helps you sleep as well) and a little bit of peppermint oil.
There’s a number of studies showing that essential oil or peppermint ingested in a capsule can help with IBS. And I’ve found that, topically, it can help too. So that works for me to help with some of the bloating.
I also share about my 2 favorite amino acids – you guessed it – GABA and tryptophan. They just have so many applications! In this instance of painful belly bloating they help with pain and sleep and improve motility:
The other thing that helps is GABA which is one of the amino acids. There is research discussing the role of GABA in stress-induced visceral hypersensitivity. GABA helps with reducing the visceral pain that is seen with IBS/SIBO because we have GABA receptors in various parts of the body, including the digestive system. GABA is amazing for physical tension/anxiety and it can ease that. I’m thinking that this easing of physical tension may be one of the mechanisms as to how it works for some of the pain issues.
I do want to mention something about GABA – it works most effectively when taken sublingually. I just chew a capsule and get the results. And it works within five minutes.
And then, the other one that I use at night is tryptophan. This really helps with the sleep as well by boosting serotonin levels. It actually helps with motility too – there’s research showing this.
If your SIBO causes increased anxiety, these two amino acids would help ease those symptoms too – GABA for the physical anxiety and tryptophan for the worry in the head anxiety:
And then, it helps with anxiety as well if that’s an issue – for many people with IBS and SIBO, anxiety is an issue.
Summit host, Shivan Sarna, shares how LDN (low dose naltrexone) has helped her tremendously (she also has chronic SIBO) and we discuss how too much can increase anxiety and impact your sleep. Since doing this interview I’ve had feedback from two people who successfully used GABA Calm to reduce their anxiety from too high a dose of LDN.
We also touch on some of the possible mechanisms of LDN, I share some of the benefits of berberine, and we discuss benzodiazepines which are so often prescribed for IBS/SIBO (for the anxiety, the insomnia and the pain) and why nutritional approaches are a safer option.
Have topical peppermint/lavender essential oils helped with belly bloat?
Has GABA or tryptophan helped you with the pain, poor motility or anxiety associated with SIBO?
Feel free to post your feedback and questions in the comments below.