FHP – Ep. 5 – “Functional Gut Health” feat. Bella Lindemann

FHP - Ep. 5 - "Functional Gut Health" feat. Bella Lindemann

Dr. Barter talks with Bella Lindemann, founder of the Functional Gut Health Clinic about the importance of a healthy microbiome.

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Intro [00:00:03] Welcome to the Fearless Health podcast with host Dr. Ann-Marie Barter. Dr. Barter is on a mission to help people achieve their health and wellness goals and help men and women live their best lives fearlessly. Dr. Barter is the founder of Alternative Family Medicine and Chiropractic in Denver and Longmont, Colorado.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:00:24] Thank you so much for joining us here on Fearless Health podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Ann-Marie Barter. And I’m so excited today because we have a very special guest. This is Bella Lindermann, who is the founder of the Functional Gut Clinic and is a certified functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner specializing in digestive health. And so she is so knowledgeable about everything gut health. But today we’re really going to dove into IBS, and I’m just so excited to have you here. Thank you for being here today.


Bella [00:01:01] Oh, thank you. I’m blushing now. I’m really thrilled to be speaking with you. I think I really admire the work that you do with the functional health space. So this is going to be great.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:01:11] And you too. I’m a fan of yours as well. So this is good both ways. Well, I would love if you would start out because your story is so incredible about how you ended up working in the functional realm. And I would love it if you wouldn’t mind going into that a little bit.


Bella [00:01:29] Yeah, absolutely. I think like yourself, we all have a story about how we got started in this area and mine started with IBS or digestive speaking.


Bella [00:01:41] I was pretty gut symptomatic from childhood. I was chronically constipated, basically from birth. I think I was taking stimulant laxatives for about five years of age. I was pooping or passing information, maybe once or twice per week if I was lucky using those stimulant laxatives. That was pretty much my norm right up into my teens. I very likely had food sensitivities and issues going on and that were, you know, just not really considered a thing. Back then, when we were growing up, because no one really saw the link between foods and symptoms. But looking back, it was pretty obvious that dairy did not work for my body. And then I think things, you know, you just stated they were never great and they do sort of deteriorated, you know, through university. I had lots of antibiotics, the urinary tract infections. And then I think the icing on the cake. I did a holiday. We went to Africa while I was studying at university, and that was well over a decade ago now. And that was sort of the turning point. I got this really bad bout of food poisoning from a dodgy pro, and I think you call them shrimp and shrimp. And that was sort of the beginning of the end. That was the turning point where my my gut stuff was now controlling my life. I came back from that trip and within about six months I had started seeing health professionals. I had started reaching out for support because I just couldn’t keep this, couldn’t keep the gut stuff under control anymore. And it was more than that. It was at my gut health symptoms started branching out into other areas of my life as well. I’d been to a lot of I started, obviously in the conventional medical health space, like most people do. Nobody within that space was sort of able to help me.


I got the classic IBS diagnosis, and I think the thing that hurt the most was that I was recommended antidepressants, and I always saw myself as super happy, upbeat kind of person. So that was the end of my journey at that point with the conventional medical pathway and the conventional medical space can do a better job. It was a while ago. So after that IBS label, I that that was that I was not satisfied. That was not good enough. And I sort of took it upon myself. I started to do my own research like, I think many people get symptoms and someone just can’t give them the answer that they want and they know there’s something wrong do. So I tried experimenting with everything online that I could find. So all the different diets. So I was experimenting with eliminating food allergens like the gluten in the dairy, and I have helped a little bit and that was great. Then I started delving into paleo and ketogenic diet, and then I went completely the opposite way and started it trying a vegan diet. They all kind of like, I got little bits of symptom improvement for a lot of those diets that they never really sort of stuck in and fixed the problem.


Bella [00:04:42] Then I started getting into more the gut healing stuff like the low FODMAP diet, diet, fasting juice detox is like all that kind of stuff. The exercise front, I was into that I was trying the heavy lifting in the high intensity interval training, and it just was getting worse and worse and worse. I was getting more and more symptomatic. I actually gained when I was eating at my healthiest and exercising at the most. I actually gained about 10 kilograms in about three months, which is impressive. I think my body was just so stressed because I was worried and stressed about the symptoms of a lot of mental emotional stuff going on because I felt like I was. The healthiest sick person I knew out there,


Bella [00:05:26] I was doing everything, and I was had this unexplained weight gain.


Bella [00:05:29] My skin was getting really bad. The guy stopped the bloating and the gas and the stomach pains and constipation was getting worse. I had lots of fatigue, and at that point I was working in a in a position where I needed to think on the spot and use my brain really, really well. And I was getting tons of brain fog and struggling to put together sentences in important meetings. And that was that was that was a bit of a blow. So it was kind of like this Energizer Bunny version of myself had just lost her batteries. And I was, as I said, I just felt like this really healthy, sick person. So at that point, I was sort of coming to the end of my own experimentation journey. So I think I remember it was like two o’clock in the morning. One morning I was up, got pains as usual on Google, looking, trying to find something, and I came across this webinar that mentioned SIBO. The symptoms that they were listing pretty much fit exactly what I was experiencing at that point in time. So I booked an appointment with a practitioner in London because we were living time who specialized or knew about what CBD was at that point, got myself an appointment straight away and she was amazing. She was from the functional health space. She got me to do a whole heap of lab testing, not just the CEO, but for other IBS root causes. And that’s sort of where my my understanding of the functional health space began. We basically she diagnosed me or told me that there was a whole heap of imbalances within my gut, says she talked about the multiple parasites that we found there was C. diff bad bacteria. Candida leaky got all that increased intestinal permeability. There was this thing. I had this thing called dysbiosis, not enough good gut bacteria in my gut. Lots and lots of food sensitivities who did like one of the standard food sensitivity profiles and lots of oil showed up. And it was such a relief, I think, to have a list of stuff that you could actually work on to fix after nobody, you know, nobody at that point could sort of give me anything, but I could try and work on to fix it. I was. I just remember being really relieved and very grateful to her, and I think that was when I sort of went, OK, if I have these issues and I talk to my friends and they have a lot of symptoms that are similar to mine, you know how many other people are out there suffering with this as well.


So I worked with her for about six months, got better and better and better on the protocols that we did together started. You know, I wasn’t my exact normal self, but started heading towards my normal self again, felt really, really good. And I then sort of felt like I’d maybe found my calling, maybe something that I could do in the world as well to help people, because I’ve found that lots of family and friends are starting to reach out to me with questions about what was going on with their health journeys. So that was the beginning. And then from there I started doing my own study, got really into it, fell in love with the whole seaboard, got healing IBS kind of space because that was my own personal experience and it was pretty much onwards and upwards from there.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:08:34] Here you are. That’s amazing story. And I think a lot of people can relate to that because. You know, we’re told that, you know, not having a bowel movement every day is normal and so how much do you believe it’s appropriate to have a bowel movement?


Bella [00:08:57] Yeah, OK. That is such a good question.


Bella [00:09:00] So I believe based off clinical experience and client reports and just self experience, I believe it is very important to be able to have a bowel motion, a well-formed, complete bowel motion every single day. So it needs to be complete. It needs to feel like you’re evacuating your house completely.


Bella [00:09:20] So I have a lot of clients who say that they go to the toilet and they pass like a little bit every day, but they never feel like they’re evacuating completely. So I think it’s really important to say a complete omission every day to eliminate all of the waste and toxins and stuff that’s built up in the system.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:09:34] Yes, you have to take out the trash every single day. Absolutely. And in your story, you talked about having UTIs. There were pretty chronic. Do you believe that there was a contributor with the gut infections to the UTIs?


Bella [00:09:53] Yeah. So a lot of the a lot of the gut infections or the IBS related symptoms, the root causes of those IBS related symptoms were the same root causes of my urinary tract infection. So I found as I healed my gut, as I improved the bacteria balance and the yeast balance within that gut environment, I found that had that had a direct flow on effect to an improved urinary tract system as well. Absolutely.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:10:22] Very important. Very important. So you mentioned SIBO. So in IBS. So let’s back up a little bit. And can you define what IBS is? First off,


Bella [00:10:35] yes, OK. So IBS, I personally believe, is IBS diagnosis. Basically, it’s a bit of a it’s just this term that they gave to a group of symptoms that they can’t they haven’t been able to define because they’re looking for one specific definition. And I believe IBS is not one thing, it’s an accumulation of multiple things happening within the body. So the way I define IBS is that there is probably five key imbalances going on within the body. Number one is gut infections. So I believe that one of the most common root causes for IBS is clients having things like parasites, bacteria, yeast, viruses, worms, any sort of infection within the GI tract. And that can be anywhere from the stomach, sometimes even the esophagus in the mouth all the way down through into the colon. That’s number one.


Number two is SIBO. SIBO is a small  intestine bacterial overgrowth that’s specific to the small intestine environment. But we know it has huge amount of IBS related symptoms, and they’re actually finding that somewhere in the vicinity of about 80 percent of IBS might actually be from SIBO. Number three is a dysbiosis, so it dysbiosis is not having enough of the good gut bacteria. So the good gut bugs mostly live in the colon or the large intestine, and we need lots of them like trillions of them. We need good abundance and good diversity. So lots of different species, lots big high numbers and these guys look after us. They help us synthesize vitamins and minerals and nutrients. They help with regulating digestion, protein, ussery, vitamin and mineral absorption, all things like that when they get out of balance. And that can be another contributor to IBS. And in the last, you kind of go to get us through the last two increased intestinal permeability or a leaky gut, and that’s your small intestine. Gut lining can become leaky, and if it does become leaky, then we can start to develop food sensitivities as food proteins that we eat pass through our gut lining into our bloodstream where they’re not supposed to be. And so that can be another root cause for IBS and within the clients that I see. I find that it’s very uncommon for clients to have one of those five things. It’s more common for them to have two or three or more. And I think that’s why IBS is really tricky to diagnose and define in within the conventional medical space, because it’s probably not one thing for any person. It’s probably an accumulation of things that are malfunctioning within the body.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:13:17] And do you with the SIBO, what are you seeing symptom wise when people are coming in to see you? What are you noticing, symptom symptom wise with them?


Bella [00:13:31] Yeah, I think I think that’s kind of like three categories of symptoms that I’m looking for, say, like the traditional Seabury symptoms are really like classic IBS stuff.


Bella [00:13:41] So like bloating, gas belching constipation or diarrhea or both abdominal cramping, nausea. There’s obviously there’s different types of Seabury. There’s a hydrogen dominant Seabury, which is produced by a bacteria overgrowth, and then there’s a methane dominant SIBO, which is produced by RKO, which is a different species overgrowth, and they have slightly different symptoms. The hydrogen dominant type has more of like a diarrhea profile, and the methane type has more of a constipation sort of profile. But that’s the first category. The second category is like the other related symptoms, so a lot of clients with SIBO have unexplained weight loss, resistance or weight. Yeah, restless legs is actually another big one.


Bella [00:14:25] Joint pain, mood changes, multiple food sensitivities, acne and skin rashes. Fatigue is huge. Memory issues the foggy thinking stuff that I was talking about earlier. Iron and B12 deficiencies, difficulty sleeping. That’s sort of the not classic IBS symptoms that like associate the symptoms, but the third category is like the category that I use. That is not a specific symptom related, but I find clients who have worsening digestive symptoms that find if they use supplements like digestive enzymes and they feel like it helps them break down their food better or helps with motility. They take antibiotics for unrelated issues, and they feel better can be another indicator that you might have fever using fiber supplements or praying probiotics like the big blends of prebiotics and probiotics and feeling worse. So trying to do stuff to improve they got health, then actually feeling worse is another big indicator that they might have SIBO as well.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:15:25] Definitely. And are you feeling like you’re treating much better with herbals because that’s what I see with SIBO versus the antibiotic picture, if you wouldn’t mind going into how effective circles actually are even more effective than antibiotics, or at least that’s what I’d say.


Bella [00:15:46] Yeah, that is such a good question. So within the natural health space, I use Havel’s. I don’t I can’t prescribe medications. A lot of clients come to me having used

medications to help with treating their SIBO, and they’re obviously seeing me because it didn’t work.


Bella [00:16:02] Basically, the natural antimicrobials are very, very good at getting reducing numbers of hydrogen and methane overgrowth. But they not only do that, they also work in all the areas of the GI tract and have positive benefits there as well. So when you use the herbal antimicrobial, not only do you get rid of the SIBO overgrowth that you often get all the health benefits in the literature. There’s lots of literature to show the effectiveness of antimicrobials. Whenever I do a round of antimicrobials with a client, I generally do it for 30 days because there’s just there’s this vague rule that we use that for every 30 days of antimicrobial use, we can get rid of about 30 parts per million of hydrogen or methane gas reduction. So I can actually look at a client’s lab results, and I can sort of estimate like, how much antimicrobial am I going to need to use for how long? The tricky thing with antibiotics is that you’re very limited with the amount of time that you can use them because you can’t use a lot of these products ongoing for really long periods of time because they close a lot of collateral damage to the good gut bacteria or is a natural antimicrobials. If you use them really carefully, they won’t have that same collateral damage. So there are really nice, safe, effective intervention.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:17:17] And I think you’ve mentioned in the past that a lot of your SIBO cases end up to be on a couple months protocol, really. But it just it’s really dependent on the lab tests what you see. And just to be clear, I think some people I have heard in the past, I don’t know how many people think this, that they think they can run a stool test and see what’s going on with SIBO. And I just want to reiterate that that is not correct. You have to do what you have to do a breath test.


Bella [00:17:48] So, yeah, that’s a really good point. Actually, the especially with methane dominant SIBO, a lot of clients come to me with lab testing still testing that shows that they have methane over back to Smithee or the Misano back duration. Family on there still test, but all that tells me is that they have that species or their family in their large intestine. It doesn’t tell me anything about their small intestine where the overgrowth is, how much the overgrowth is. It doesn’t give me any clues about how long I need to address the methane zeeuw force. A breath test as a diagnostic tool for SIBO is really, really helpful.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:18:26] Yes, I agree. And so if we go into stool test because you’re also running stool tests on these patients as well, just to also get a whole overview of what’s going on with their gut. So when we’re looking at a stool test and you mentioned earlier, you know about yeast. And so I’d like to just touch on this a little bit and what you’re seeing if this is pretty common in your IBS with constipation patients. Is that a pretty common finding for you on that stool testing?


Bella [00:19:02] Absolutely, yes. So the most common findings that I have on still tests are parasites, bacteria, bad strains of bacteria and yeast. They’re probably equally I see them all equally as much yeasts are incredibly opportunistic. They will over grow because they can. The second you have a parasite or a whole heap of bacteria overgrown upstream, you will very likely have a yeast overgrowth as well. It’s like yeast would just take any opportunity again. So it’s super common


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:19:36] in what are you seeing symptom wise if somebody has a yeast overgrowth?


Bella [00:19:43] Yeah. So with yeast, I think the number one most common symptom that I see with yeast is actually fatigue.


Bella [00:19:50] Clients are fatigued and a lot of brain fog, a lot of brain symptoms because you set off a lot of toxins that can impact the brain. Constipation is huge. Sometimes we’ll even see clients with diarrhea with yeast as well. Sometimes they’ll have the other fungal kind of symptoms, like the white coating on the tongue. Or, you know, female clients might have lots of vaginal discharge. Then noticing maybe athlete’s foot is another one or like fungal stuff on their nails. Skin changes are really common as well. So like lots of like eczema, psoriasis, those sorts of things we’ll see as well. I think yeast is a really tricky one. It can cause so many symptoms that they’re probably the key ones that I see in clinical practice


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:20:36] and boy killing those off the pitch. I feel great. I mean, when you do use die off, it is legit. Yes, but I would say


Bella [00:20:47] yes, I always leave, I leave. You still get lost because it’s so opportunistic and I address everything before the yeast, but I always warn my clients, I know you’ve gone through all of these protocols and you’ve done all this great work, but you’re probably still going to get terrible die offs from the system. I just remember it’s not


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:21:05] fun, is not fun. And so the so going up higher on the food chain of things to treat parasites are a big hit for you early on. If I’m not mistaken, is that correct?


Bella [00:21:21] Yes. So I have a bit of a hierarchy that I follow, and it’s kind of like the hierarchy that a lot of practitioners within the functional health space use. So it is this I start with parasites and then I do bacteria that include SIBO and then I do yeast. So the most common parasites that I would probably see are things like Giardia. A lot of people have had a giardia before, but the other ones that I see really commonly that within the general medical health space don’t get a lot of attention that are in clinical practice. I see cause a lot of symptoms are things like blastocyst is humaneness and down to me, but fragile is those two. I see them all the time together, too. I feel like they’re best friends. They always show up together blaster and down to me where I think and I think this is the reason why they don’t get the acknowledgment. As you know, causing a lot of symptoms that they should is that they’re actually finding that there’s probably 10 or more different types of blaster. And depending on what type of blaster you have, you can get different symptoms. So, you know, a doctor might test one client and find that they have blast, but they have no symptoms, whereas the next client who has Glasto does have symptoms. And then all of a sudden blast within the general medical community has ended up as one of those bugs that a lot of practitioners will say, Oh, blast day doesn’t matter. It doesn’t cause symptoms because X, Y and Z Client didn’t show any. I really feel like the main blast ondine to me, was the combination that I had, and that was basically the feedback that I got from testing that I had done with a medical practitioner as well. It was kind of like, Well, you don’t need to do anything about it because we know they don’t cause symptoms. However, there is a lot of literature out there now and lots more coming out as well. That’s linking Blast and to me, but to specific symptoms.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:23:13] Wow. Yeah, we read I every stool panel I run, I rarely find parasites. Isn’t that interesting? I get crazy bacteria, but rarely find parasites. It happens in a really interesting, different parts of the world. You know what we see differently? It’s so I mean, we have a ton of SIBO here, but it’s just fascinating to see that that’s variable because I think before I started running lab testing my personal opinion were parasites were a lot more common where I was than they actually are. But it’s interesting you’re seeing that very commonly. That’s fascinating. So it’s just something I just I never rule it out until I run the lab test. So. It’s really, really important, but that’s really interesting.


Bella [00:24:05] I think I think parasites are very good at hiding as well because I mean, I used to run CDC, which is like a microscopy stool test I saw very few was until I started running PCR, which is like that DNA analysis of the stool that I started seeing more. And the other thing that I’ve been doing to help is getting my clients to take a biofilm buster for a couple of weeks before I do a stool test just to try and release. Because I think, like you said within this trial, you they’re obviously hugely prevalent. So I’m always trying to do everything I can to try and release them on the stool test.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:24:36] And I think that’s a really good point on the biofilm buster. And when you talk about breaking up a biofilm and for for everybody out there that doesn’t know what that is. It’s kind of like having an antibiotic or a strand or some bacteria that’s resistant to antibiotics. And so you’re like on round and round and round of antibiotics, well, viruses, bacteria, yeast, we all do the same thing and they can they can create a shell around themselves that you have to do a biofilm buster. So if you’re having chronic issues, make sure you get with someone that actually knows about biofilms because they’ve been written up in the literature over and over again. It’s very, very powerful and in systemic conditions as well as got very, very powerful. So that’s great. Awesome. So what would you say would be like a simple with simple dietary recommendations? Do you make do run? Do you run food sensitivity tests or are you just making low-FODMAP recommendations on the diet?


Bella [00:25:45] Yeah, sure. Okay. So depending on what I find or recommend different things, and I really, really believe in bio individuality, so I believe that no one diet is going to be the same for any two clients. It’s it’s just not possible. There’s way too many variables within the body that mean that, you know, a specific diet for one person is going to be brilliant before the next person would be a disaster. So I’m trying to look at the client’s health history, look at also just taking it out of foods that they know sit well for them and foods that I know don’t. And then I’m using that information and trying to do some form of a lower carbohydrate diet. The main reason behind that is because a lot of these gut infections are parasites, SIBO, bacteria, yeast etc carbohydrate on their primary fuel source. So that could be something from maybe a modified paleo style diet through to a low FODMAP diet to a SIBO specific like the seaburg biphasic diet, the CD diet I’ll use sometimes the clients to have like really bad diarrhea. There’s there’s a lot of options out there, but really, it kind of comes down to which carbohydrates cause these clients the most amount of problems, and they’re the ones that we’re wanting to reduce to help with reducing symptoms. I think it’s really important to note and always say this to my clients is that not only will no one diet work for everyone, but also it’s a lot of experimentation and problem solving with diet. So you know, you yeah, you need to try stuff. You need to see if it works. If it doesn’t, then you try the next thing. You’re probably not going to get it right straight away. So that’s my general approach.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:27:30] You’re doing more of an elimination diet, right? Is that kind of the bottom line?


Bella [00:27:34] And I used to go, Oh, yeah.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:27:36] And I mean, I think that that’s a really important point, just because everybody reacts differently when you put them on an elimination diet, everybody reacts differently. If you can’t, I don’t know how you feel about this, but I feel like if you can’t get the help with an elimination diet, then it’s really maybe important to run some sort of food sensitivity test to also see what could be causing problems. But everybody is different on all these food sensitivity tests. It’s very, very, very individualized. So I think you made an incredible point with that.


Bella [00:28:11] Yeah, I I don’t use food sensitivity testing as much now as I used to. I think just because I know my my the clients that I work with a little bit better. But early days I did a lot of food sensitivity testing to help me with trying to work out like the most common allergens for these clients and interestingly, eggs. I basically got all of the food sensitivity testing that I ever did with all of my clients, like hundreds of tests, and I found the eggs actually came up as the most common food sensitivity for clients with IBS wasn’t even I mean, gluten and dairy came second and third, but I was shocked that X is number one,


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:28:44] so I agree with that. I think that that’s very true. It even eczema type complaints. I’ve seen eggs be a big, big trigger with that, and that’s what I ran a food sensitivity test the other day. This patient had been doing eggs and. And didn’t want to come off of it, so I needed to show them. And it was just poultry was just off the charts for everything. Case? Exactly. I mean, I found the same thing that’s really interesting, really like crazy. So what would be a. What would what would you give some tips for people that are struggling with IBS? What would you say? Hey, these these are some things that I would recommend potentially doing.


Bella [00:29:34] Yeah. Four IVs, so obviously step one is if you’ve got IBS symptoms, step one is you probably need to test, you need to figure out what’s going on in your gut  because you know, you can throw a lot of random interventions at yourself and you might  get it right. But at the end of the day, you need to fix the root cause of why you’re getting those symptoms in the first place. Symptom control is good to a certain point, but you need to address the root causes, so no one would be test. Number two would be fine. Like, figure out the diet that works best for you. For controlling symptoms, you need to put a lot of work and time and effort and problem-solving into that, as we said before. And then number three would be lifestyle stuff.


Bella [00:30:18] So I think it’s really important to acknowledge that things like rest, it’s imperative to get enough sleep and good quality sleep as well. I think we’re all in the sleep deficit and that’s having a major impact on our health. Exercise is an important piece of the puzzle too, right? Especially with things like chronic constipation. If you’re not moving your body all that much, you can. Also peristalsis isn’t being activated. You just you’re not getting that motility happening and then so excess stress reduction is the next big one. So managing our stresses, we live hugely stressful lives, and I think it’s imperative that we always have approach around dealing with the stresses that we have, whether the mental emotional stuff and it can be simple stuff like just the everyday stress of your, Oh, I’ve got to get up at this time, I got to get to work. By this time, I got to do these 10 jobs before I start work. While I’m at work, I have to do this on my lunch break. I need to make sure I do this for the kids when we get home. And then, you know, and you know, all of those little things that we just see is everyday life that we just have to handle in combination can be hugely stressful. So there’s the mental emotional, the everyday mental emotional stuff is there’s also the physical stresses, you know, things like having a sole chronic so backs and other physical sort of stuff going on can be another big burden on the body that can contribute to symptoms. And then the final one is like the hidden internal stuff that we’re speaking about that you look for in lab tests. And then, you know, the next two is looking at your other therapies like natural supplements, chiropractic kinesiology, all of these other additional therapies that you can use to help with addressing the root causes.


Bella [00:32:00] And I feel like all of that encompassed, say, in sorry in combination that lifestyle change is how you really need to go about the healing journey.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:32:08] And we address something else. We are talking previously. You brought up a point that I thought was really also good in lifestyle, which was visceral manipulation in the abdominal region for some of the scar tissue and surgeries that will decrease motility in the gut and things like that. So you’re using that modality or referring out for that modality actually quite a bit as well, if that’s yes.


Bella [00:32:36] Yeah, absolutely. So any clients you have abdominal adhesions from surgeries, I’m referring out to get that address because the second, there’s lack of motility in the intestines because of those adhesions, you know you you’re at crazy risk of SIBO and all sorts of other stuff.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:32:52] Right? Exactly. Because it can’t move through the gut. So the interesting thing was when you were initially going to the traditional medical world and you were recommended in anti-depressants. It’s interesting now. You know, that is being. Recommended for gut issues, for the motility issues now that we’re full circle on that. So I mean, there’s definitely natural alternatives other than doing an antidepressant to increase natural motility, both with all the things that you’ve spoken about, but also with natural herbs as well to help move things through. So I think it’s a really important point to make that you don’t necessarily need to do an antidepressant. There are other other herbs that actually works so much better than, say, an SSRI and much easier to stop for the motility issues going through which most IBS patients actually do have motility issues in a big way, right?


Bella [00:33:58] Yes, absolutely. And motility, I think, well, motility issues is a cornerstone of SIBO. You know, if you don’t have motility in the small intestine, that’s how you get this build up of this bacterial overgrowth within that environment. I really like gut hypnotherapy. My clients are having really good responses to gut hypnotherapy.


Bella [00:34:16] It’s that I don’t even use Oh, it’s it’s mind blowing. So they’re basically it’s a practitioner who is using guided meditations to help move clients through basically the symptoms that they get from the big. They got health conditions. So I’m finding a lot of clients who have excessively bad bloating, especially like really resistant methane, SIBO clients who have the really slow motility, crazy bloating, constipation, that kind of symptom profile. They’re getting huge amounts of support from gut hypnotherapy.


Bella [00:34:55] Definitely something to have a look into, yeah.


Bella [00:34:57] If you need it, you ever heard of it, you know? Yeah, it’s I came across it at one of the Seabury symposiums. They mentioned it and so I started having a look and I found a practitioner in Australia who is amazing. And I’ve been referring a lot of my really tricky or stubborn Seabury resistant severe cases onto her, and it’s been hugely supportive.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:35:19] Wow. Yep.


Bella [00:35:20] Yeah, there’s is another intervention to have a look at.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:35:24] Collaborative care is really, really important, but it doesn’t replace what you’re doing because you know you have to get it together.


Bella [00:35:29] Yeah, definitely.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:35:32] So I have to I have to dove into the age old question, which is so you have a gut infection and a patient is taking probiotics because they’re told that they’ve looked online and they’ve said, you know, this is very healthy and and probiotics are safe then. And oh, and now I’m taking probiotics. Do you have any comments on that?


Bella [00:35:55] Yes. How long have we got? So basically, I am all for, so I’ll just start with saying I am all for pre and probiotics. They are amazing interventions and their practitioners out there who are working on gut infections and doing amazing things, using very specific strains of pre and probiotics to bring about change in the gut environment. So the problem is when we go and we buy a big blend of probiotics, so like a probiotic supplement with one billion C, if you is all of these different strains in it is that all of those different strains do different things. So if you’re taking a massive blend, you know some of those those individual strains as they move through the system could be doing really good things or positive things. Some may be contributing to your symptoms because they’re not the right strains for you.


Bella [00:36:50] So it’s really important to actually look at the literature for each of the individual strains and look at, you know, what? What can they do within the body? So one really good example is that there is a Beefeater lactis. The H1N1 nine strain like this is how specific you need to be before lactis. The H1N1 nine strain is really good at helping with motility normalizing motility. So if you have constipation, it helps slow things down. If you have diarrhea, it helps a sari all the way around. If you have diarrhea, it helps slow things down. If you have constipation, it can help speed things up a bit. Normalizes motility. There is another strain out there Lactobacillus retary another individual strain. You need to use the DSM. I’ll probably get this no wrong. It’s like one nine, seven, three, eight or something. It’s probably completely wrong, but a really individual specific strain that in the literature has been shown to reduce methane numbers, right? So you can actually reduce methane numbers using this individual strain. So if you’ve got those two strains and you’re taking them individually, then you know what positive benefit to getting from the body. Whereas if you blend with a whole heap of other stuff, they might be doing great things those individual strains. But these alga strains in there could be contributing to your bloating or your gas or your brain fog or muscle aches and pains. Even I’ve had clients  who have got worsening muscle aches and pains of a probiotic blend, and the same sort of applies to probiotics.


Also, with probiotics, I think it’s really dosage specific. So whenever I add in prebiotics for clients, we’re being really careful about not only the product, like the type of prebiotic that we’re using, but also the quantity of it, because you may find that and partially hydrolyzed collagen, let’s use that for an example. Partially hydrolyzed collagen is another really good prebiotic that helps with normalizing transit time. Most of my clients, if I put them onto five grams, they’ll get huge amounts of bloating and gas and feel miserable. Whereas if I start with a pinch and build up really, really slowly, they’ll tolerate it really well. And over time, their microbiome will adapt and change. Use up that prebiotic and they’ll get a good, positive improvement in their motility. So probably my biggest feedback untrained probiotics,


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:39:06] and that definitely is really a great important point. And that goes back to this dysbiosis discussion because when you’re measuring this on stool tests, you actually get a good idea of what’s going on with individual bacteria. And that’s what’s really important because you can have some overgrown and somewhat grown enough. And so I think just going out and having any probiotic or as as as much as you can isn’t really the fix. And I think that that’s a really important misconception that’s going on out there that I think you just stated so eloquently about why you really need to measure some of these things just so that you have an idea of where you’re where you are before just going and randomly taking something at the. Store that maybe has a better packaging label or a better counter or whatnot, so I’ll see tremendous changes when I run a store test and then actually put in the right amount or the right bacteria that they’re missing. Tremendous changes versus, yeah, the probiotic might be working or, yeah, I’m still bloated or I know it was on sale, so it makes a big, big difference. So I think you said that very, very eloquently. Thank you for stating that. So what do you do to keep yourself healthy?


Bella [00:40:33] OK. What do I do I I eat incredibly well, but I love food, and I don’t find that hard, so I think my diet is probably I would call it a diverse Whole Foods diet. I eat as

naturally as I can, and I eat as big a diversity as I can. I’m always trying to aim for like 40 different plant foods every week, and I got that. I pulled that from the literature. So there’s a ton of a whole heap of literature that Dr. Jason Horlock. He’s a researcher in the University of Tasmania in Australia. He’s a big proponent for this, and I find I feel really good when I do it. So 40 different plant foods, I’m having good quality proteins and making sure I eat lots of healthy fats because I think it’s really important for your hormones of your brain to get lots of healthy fats. I drink water. I don’t drink many other liquids except for water and some natural teas and things like that. I take supplements because I know they make me feel better, and I also know that there’s gaps in my diet and I travel a lot, so I need to put my body supplement. And I’m also really, really careful with restful sleep. I prioritize getting some movement every day, or that’s probably that’s probably my biggest downfall. Mostly just because of the travel that we do. It’s, you know, sometimes it’s a bit I don’t prioritize. It’s not hard. I don’t prioritize it. And I’m also really careful with the amount of stress that I allow within my life. And if I do get those stresses, I’m always trying to do something about it. So it’s sort of like my foundation to me to talk through the supplements that I take. Would that be helpful? Sure.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:42:10] Yeah, yeah. Want to? Yeah, great. Okay.


Bella [00:42:13] So I don’t believe I get enough omega 3s in my diet. So we take a fish oil supplement or a called liver oil or whatever I can get my hands on at the time. I often find I don’t have enough greens, so I’m taking a grain supplements.


Bella [00:42:25] I also take vitamin D3 with K2 because I know I don’t see enough sunshine. I’m very, very pale skinned and I try and get. I always try and get some sunlight in the morning, but I know I don’t see enough throughout the day, especially in winter months, especially in the northern hemisphere. It’s really hard to get enough sunshine. I also take a What else do I take? There’s something else. I take probiotic supplements. So at the moment I’m using because we’ve just been traveling. We’ve just been in Iceland for a week and that’s sort of messed up the flying and everything sort of messed up my back a little bit. So I’m actually taking that into a nice way to be left this one moment with a couple other individual strains that I’ve coached in the literature and put together for myself. And that’s pretty much it.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:43:13] That’s great. Well, thank you so much for sharing everything today and just being so helpful on the treatment of these conditions. It’s just been so educational. Where can people find you if they want to get in touch with you?


Bella [00:43:28] Yeah, sure. So I have a clinic, it’s called the functional health clinic. There’s myself and two other practitioners, and we work with adults who have IBS and digestive health conditions. We work online and we work with clients in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand, mostly because that’s where we can access labs and testing and  supplements and our website so you can access us via the website. It’s WW Bella Lindemann dot com. And we we’ve just we’re actually just about to release a course too.


Bella [00:44:00] So we just found that there is a lot of people out there who weren’t quite ready to work with the practitioner who may have chronic constipation, a symptom that we see so well. It’s the client struggling with chronic constipation that weren’t quite ready to work with the practitioner. Say about early to mid-October, we’re going to release a chronic constipation course where we basically go through six modules of like everything that I would do except the lab testing piece of the puzzle with clients to help with getting things moving. And if that’s helpful to anyone, if you sign up to our newsletter via the website, we can put you on the newsletter list for when that course is released in October.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:44:38] Awesome guys, sign up. It’s going to be awesome. And if you want to find Bella, I’m her information. Will people low? And yes, of course. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you.


Bella [00:44:54] I really thank you. It’s been incredible talking with you so well.


Dr. Ann-Marie [00:45:01] If you want more information about Fearless Health podcast, please find us at Fearless Health podcast dot com. We have all the information. Maybe when Bella’s course is released, we can have that up on the website. We’ll see. We also need to keep doing what we’re doing. We need your support. Five stars. Please comment. Please share it with your friends and family. We really appreciate you being here. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed learning with us today, please give us a five star review. Comment like and share our podcast with your friends and family. As always, if you’d like to learn more information about today’s guest, please head over to FearlessHealthpodcast.com For links to their site and other educational resources.

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