IBS is a life altering, frustrating condition. Most people with IBS have had every type of testing done and it’s usually all normal.
Most doctors don’t know anything about IBS and give old or outdated advice. And they certainly don’t know much about nutrition for IBS.
In this episode we talk about the causes of IBS and more importantly, how to naturally fix it.
We share our exact 3 step protocol that we use in our clinic to help.
We talk about how to eliminate symptoms, lower inflammation and rebuild the gut.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Dr. Martin Jr.: Hello. I’m Dr. Martin Jr.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And I’m Dr. Martin Sr.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And this is The Doctor is In Podcast, and this is Episode 149. Now, today we want to talk about [00:00:30] IBS. Now, you and I are working on a kind of an on-demand training. What we’re doing, and we’re excited with it, is we get a lot of the same type of issues. And everybody’s different, how they get those issues. Everybody’s different, but we do deal a lot with hormonal stuff, for example, a lot of digestive issues. And one of the problems that we see a lot or we get a lot of questions is on IBS. So what we’re doing is we’re creating these on-demand trainings basically. You’ll be able to go to our website, watch [00:01:00] a training video, in a sense, for lack of a better word, a training video that will basically outline exactly what’s going on and how we in our clinic treat it. So you’ll be able to watch this from home, and we’re going to tackle some of the bigger things. We got one coming out on thyroid. We got one coming out on brain and a whole bunch of stuff like that.
We’re just in the process of finishing up the one for IBS, and we thought we’d kind of give a little bit of a, I guess a highlight just for the listeners [00:01:30] on IBS and just talk a little bit about it because IBS is extremely common, and it’s extremely frustrating because … First of all, I’m coming at this from a personal history because back when I was in college, I started running into all these digestive issues, and like most people, they couldn’t figure out what was going on. I had every test done. I was down in the States. Every test. They ran every test on me. I was getting a ton of real [00:02:00] bowel pain, just really sore. It’d come and go, but when it came, I mean, I looked pale, I didn’t feel good. I remember a few times the pain was so severe it almost knocked me out. That’s how bad it was, just the cramping. There’s a lot of people that can-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Identify with that.
Dr. Martin Jr.: They can identify with that. And then it affected everything. It affected my energy a little bit, and it was a miserable time. I mean, I can vividly remember going to the hospital a few times because of pain and them not really knowing anything about it. They [00:02:30] would check everything. One doctor, I remember, he thought I was lying to him in the sense that he thought I was suffering from alcohol poisoning, which I don’t drink, so that’d be a real miracle if that was the case. But it was a frustrating experience. I mean, I had a barium swallow. I mean, every test that you can think of, they did. And basically, every time they came back, said, “We can’t see anything. There’s nothing there. We can’t find anything.”
And that is a typical process that a lot of people with digestive problems go [00:03:00] through. They get every test done, and they show nothing. And that doctor then looks at them with skepticism. I mean, again, a lot of people resonate with this because we hear this all the time. Their doctor just doesn’t … I mean, they say they believe them, but you could tell that they just don’t quite believe them that there’s something going on, and it’s affecting their life the way that it is.
It’s a big issue, so we want to talk about IBS, what we’ve done for IBS. And really a lot of the stuff that we do now comes from also [00:03:30] kind of personal experimentation in a lot of ways. I think, honestly, we have one of the best IBS protocols on the planet because we see it a lot. How many people have you helped with IBS? I mean-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Thousands.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. We get emails all the time. That’s what we’re going to talk about. But before we go, like anything else, we really should kind of reverse engineer what IBS is. We kind of reverse engineer a little bit of what’s really going on with IBS.
Now, if [00:04:00] you’re listening, let’s just start you off with a normal gut. A person is normal. They have a healthy gut. They’re not getting any digestive symptoms at all. Everything’s good. And then something comes along and changes that, and it doesn’t change it overnight. It’s a slow process because what’s happening is … One of the interesting things that’s happened over the last few years, and you’ve been talking about this forever, is your microbiome. Now, if you don’t know what a microbiome is, that’s fine. [00:04:30] We’ll kind of explain it to you right now.
Basically, a lot of researchers are starting to think … Well, they’re treating your microbiome as another organ. That’s how vital it is. So really, a microbiome is just the collection of bacteria, basically, that lives in you and on you that has massive important roles on everything from your immune system to digestion to protecting your brain. I mean, your microbiome is [00:05:00] everywhere, and it protects everything.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It is as important as your DNA.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, that’s right. And they never understood that before. They never understood the importance of your microbiome. Now, they always knew you had a lot of bacteria on you because, I mean, as soon as you die, your bacteria in your body starts to feed on your body, and very quickly. So that’s the same bacteria that does that kind of stuff is the same stuff that basically keeps you alive, but once you’re not alive no more, it’ll eat you up. I mean, it’s kind of a crazy thing when you think about it.
So [00:05:30] you have this microbiome, and it’s always in balance. It’s always in balance between the good side and the bad side. If you’re a Star Wars fan, it’s the dark side and not dark side. So you have these good bacteria, you have these bad bacteria, and these good bacteria have a lot of very important roles. I mean, one of the roles they have is that … Imagine if you were to take your bowels out of your system, and you were to flatten [00:06:00] them out. They would cover a tennis court.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. People don’t realize that.
Dr. Martin Jr.: That’s how big and how complex our bowel system is. So you can imagine, if you flattened it out, it would cover a tennis court. All along that bowels, you have little, tiny, microscopic pores. Little holes. And basically, it makes sense because on one side, you have your digestive system, you have your food and everything. On the other side of the bowels, you have your blood system. And everything [00:06:30] you eat and all that kind of stuff gets broken down, digested, and then it has to be broken down to the point that it can go through that little holes and get into your blood, and then your blood brings them everywhere, feeds your body, gives you nutrients, and does all those kind of things. And your probiotics are the guards.
Dr. Martin Sr.: At those little holes.
Dr. Martin Jr.: That’s what they do. Your good bacteria is like security at a nightclub. They decide who comes in and who doesn’t. That’s one of their important roles. So when you start to lose good bacteria or you [00:07:00] start to get a lot more bad bacteria, all of a sudden those holes aren’t being protected the same way. And as a result, everything starts to get through it — undigested food, bacteria, fungus like candida-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, candida. Big [crosstalk 00:07:15].
Dr. Martin Jr.: … viral, and it creates-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Parasites.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Parasites. And it creates a massive amount of problems in people, and it’s different for everybody. Some people will have brain problems because the probiotics also plug the holes in your blood-brain barrier, so they may start to run [00:07:30] into some brain issues. Other people, joint issues because the blood goes to the joints, and it creates an autoimmune response. So there’s another one, autoimmune disorder. Skin. I mean, think about it.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Eczema. Psoriasis.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It can affect everything, so what happens is … And that term that they give for when your bad bacteria starts to outweigh your good bacteria, it’s a term they call “dysbiosis.” It’s just an unbalance. You have more bad than good bacteria. And then what happens is, when that food [00:08:00] starts to get through the bowels or that bacteria, they call that leaky gut syndrome. And you and I talk a ton about leaky gut.
One of the first things that happens in a normal gut is something comes along and starts to kill that good bacteria and allows the bad bacteria to take over, and then you end up with leaky gut. And that’s really when things start to go wrong for people’s digestive system. And if you think of all the things that kill the good bacteria, I mean, you talk about-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Well, let’s talk about [00:08:30] you. Let’s talk about you because-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yes. Well, yeah, and it’s interesting because-
Dr. Martin Sr.: … you had a classic history that hit you when you were in your late teens at university, early 20s, and look at your history. Look at your mother, my wife. As a kid, [Rosie 00:08:48] lost her kidney, on antibiotics for six years, every day, seven days a week. Now, those antibiotics saved her life, by the way. [00:09:00] I mean, without those antibiotics, you wouldn’t be here.
Dr. Martin Jr.: But it came with a cost.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. It came with a major cost. And for your mother, her cost came in the 40s, big time. And yours came earlier. Well, actually, what you don’t remember, and I don’t know if we’ve ever mentioned this on a podcast, so can we talk about you?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Sure, why not? They can’t see me.
Dr. Martin Sr.: When you were a little boy, it’s vivid like it was yesterday for me because it [00:09:30] was so dramatic. I went in in the middle of the night and … Maybe your mother went in, but she called me in.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Now, she was on antibiotics also when was-
Dr. Martin Sr.: The whole time.
Dr. Martin Jr.: … when she was pregnant with me.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Because they were always worried about that kidney. She only had one kidney, and so they were worried about her, and she was starting to get edema, and she was retaining fluid, and they were just-
Dr. Martin Jr.: One kidney.
Dr. Martin Sr.: They were worried about her, and they were worried they were going to lose the baby. Anyway. Long, long history of bad stuff. Well, you [00:10:00] weren’t even six weeks old, I bet. Colicy, gut bad, just very restless. And one night in particular, really bad. I remember going in there. Again, your mother might’ve gone in first, called me in. I went and looked at you, and you literally sent, seems to me, like a quart of blood. You vomited it. Blood, like red as a tomato. Blood. So you can imagine.
I remember driving down. We [00:10:30] grabbed you and driving down. We were in Toronto in those days. I was still in school. And we drove down the Don Valley. Not the Don Valley parking lot because it wasn’t Don Valley, but it was the Don Valley road. On the way to the hospital in which you were born, by the way, and I bet you I was doing 100 miles an hour because we were in such a panic. And I remember telling your mother, “Look, we’re going to have another baby.” Because all I could think of is you ain’t making it. That’s how much projectile vomiting of blood, [00:11:00] occult like a real dark … no mixture to that blood. We got you to the hospital. You settled down by then.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Did I make it?
Dr. Martin Sr.: You made it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: But yeah, I mean-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Good story, eh?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, well-
Dr. Martin Sr.: But think of that, okay?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, now especially. You’re so big now into histories and asking so many questions. I mean, it really makes sense why not too long after I really started to develop real IBS, real digestive inflammatory bowel issues. And they couldn’t find anything, and [00:11:30] I remember just being frustrated all the time because-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. And you were in the States.
Dr. Martin Jr.: I was in the States, and it was … Yeah. And I was young, just had a hard time figuring out what’s going on. Anyways. Fast forward a little bit after. We came to our own diagnosis, and we started to look at things and started to treat it from a completely different perspective. Now my digestive system is night and day, you know?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: But again, I say this, if I have a kryptonite … People [00:12:00] who’ve listened to this podcast, it’s like the third time I’ve talked about Superman. I like Superman. But if I have a kryptonite, it’s my digestive system. I always have to be careful, and I still to this day have food sensitivities. They are so much better than they were, and I can tolerate things way better than I ever could because you’ve-
Dr. Martin Sr.: But you don’t want to overdo it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: No, I just won’t do that. I just will not test it that way. Again, so when we talk IBS, we understand a lot of what’s going on here. You have a normal gut, and you had mentioned that a lot [00:12:30] of people run into problems because of antibiotics. Antibiotics, like you said, it saved a lot of people’s lives, but it’s like dropping a massive bomb on your bacteria. It doesn’t care if it’s good or bad. It just destroys them all, which is good because those bad bacteria at that time-
Dr. Martin Sr.: That’s carpet bombing.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, that’s right. It’s just taking out everything. So what happens is the antibiotics … But then what happens is, amazingly, the bad bacteria tends to grow back faster than the good bacteria, [00:13:00] and it proliferates quicker, and that’s when people start to run into problems. So that’s one reason why people end up with their good bacteria getting killed.
Another common reason that you see today, over-the-counter pain medications. A lot of them kill your good bacteria.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. Especially the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. They’re vicious. They act like antibiotics.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And they kill your good bacteria.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. And birth control pill.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. That’s another one. That’s right.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Changes the flora in your gut.
Dr. Martin Jr.: A lot of sweeteners [00:13:30] also have a little chlorine effect that kill the good bacteria. So there’s a lot of reasons why. Plastics is another one.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Fluoride in the water.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Fluoride. So a lot of things happen in life that will set the bowel up for problems, so you end up-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Sugary diet.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. Processed vegetable oils, like crazy. A high vegetable diet affects the permeability of your gut, so it creates leaky gut, kills your good bacteria. So all these things leads to a dysbiosis. It leads to leaky gut syndrome. And then what happens next [00:14:00] is interesting because then you end up with inflammation. You end up with leaky gut, then you get inflammation.
Now, you and I always mention this, and it’s important to understand that inflammation can show up anywhere. Some people with leaky gut will get inflammation and end up with brain issues or joint issues or skin issues. Name it, you can get it. But some people end up with inflammation of the gut lining, and then that’s when all that pain starts, all those symptoms start. Really bad.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Constipation.
Dr. Martin Jr.: When then have dysbiosis, leaky gut, [00:14:30] they may already have change of bowel habits and stuff like that, but once they start to get inflammation of that lining, then they run into all their symptoms. Pain, all those things that go along with IBS. So that’s what happens.
So in order to fix the gut, you have to address those areas. You and I always kind of talk about our … We like to simplify things quite a bit. You and I, we like to look at things, and let’s get to the nitty-gritty. So we have kind of a three-step, if you will, [00:15:00] program that we use to help people with IBS or, really, any digestive disorder.
First of all, eliminate symptoms because that’s all that matters to the person, first. You have to address the symptoms because you can say to them, “Hey, listen, we’re going to fix your gut, which we will, but you’re going to have to suffer through these symptoms for a long time first as you’re healing.” People are in bad shape. They want to-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. They need results.
Dr. Martin Jr.: They need results, so we always address the symptoms. [00:15:30] Then we lower inflammation because that’s going to help them in the long term. And then we also then proceed to help rebuild their gut, which, again, we have very specific ways of doing each and every one of those things. Let’s talk quickly through those. If somebody’s listening, they can get some good practical advice on how to approach fixing your gut. Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So let’s talk about eliminating symptoms quickly. Somebody comes in, and you and I, we kind of laugh about this a little bit because it’s something that [00:16:00] I went through exactly. There’s kind of three stages of symptoms that happen in IBS. It’s funny. We took a cruise last year, and there’s that old sailor saying, “Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.” Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: When somebody has IBS, the first stage of symptoms is what I like to call “red sky in the morning.” They think everything’s okay right now, but [00:16:30] take warning because it’s coming. Because they’re in between boats, so they’re not healed. They think they are, but in the distance there’s red sky. It’s going to get bad. They woke up that morning, it’s red sky, and you know it’s going to be a rough day coming. So that’s the first stage. They got IBS, but they message us or they say, “Hey, listen, I was having real bad symptoms for a while. They seem to be a little bit better right now.” Trust me, they don’t go away on their own. It’s just you’re in that … the calm between the storms type thing.
And then the second stage, what happens [00:17:00] is that the symptoms start to become an annoyance in a way. It’s just starting to every once in a while-
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s irritating.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s irritating. They might get pain that goes away. Bowels may change a little bit.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. You get stools that are softer. Maybe some off and on between diarrhea and constipation back and forth.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, and it’s just of an annoyance yet. It’s not really-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Lots of gas.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s affecting them, and it’s affecting their daily activities, but it’s not to the point, which is the third stage, which is I like to call the angry [00:17:30] uncle stage. What happens is the bowels are angry, and at this point … And this is what happens. It’s mad at everything. I always just picture your bowels as angry. It’s irritated, and everything irritates it now. So at this point, it’s like it doesn’t matter what you eat, it’s sore. People can’t figure out what’s going on. It’s just always angry. It’s always sore. Every time they eat, something’s going on. And that’s the stage that people are in bad shape. And then it kind of reverts again. All of a sudden, it’s the calm between the storm, [00:18:00] and they go through those stages again. And it’s an ongoing thing, and it can go on for years and years and years.
So the first thing we like to do is eliminate symptoms. Now, if you’re in that third stage where it’s angry at you, you have to actually, at that point there, you have to give it a rest. Meaning you have to incorporate some form of fasting into your routine. You have to shorten your eating window. You have to fast.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Almost nothing.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Almost nothing.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Almost no food.
Dr. Martin Jr.: I remember sometimes even water bothering it [00:18:30] when it was really irritated. Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: So sometimes you just got to fast.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You keep stuff out of … keep it out of the gut. Let the gut just settle down.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, you just try to fast a little bit. Give it a break. Get rid of that spasm. Get rid of all that kind of stuff. You do it that way. This is where at this stage here … We like to rest the gut. We like to give it a break, and a big part of that is digestive enzymes. Huge. You’ve got to give … Digestive enzymes help you assist in breaking down food, and when you’ve got IBS, you need enzymes. [00:19:00] And now, what’s cool is that we’ve developed our digestive enzymes specifically to help people with leaky gut because we threw in a few things in there that actually kill the bad bacteria, some great things in there, and we designed it for that purpose. But you definitely need a good digestive enzyme.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And it’s very healing.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Very therapeutic.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And sometimes you need to take an enzyme before and after a meal, depending on how bad your stomach is at that time. And then you get on probiotics right away. Now, probiotics will also help eliminate some of the symptoms, but [00:19:30] you got to get the probiotics into the system. And then we also have a formula specifically for this called IBS Formula, and it’s got a lot of-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Mucilages.
Dr. Martin Jr.: … mucilages. Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: People are asking, “What’s a mucilage?” Just think of it as a coating. If something is really irritated, and it’s like putting a hose on something that’s hot. It just cools it right down. So you got these slippery elm bark and marshmallow root extract. They’re mucilages. They calm the-
Dr. Martin Sr.: L-glutamine.
Dr. Martin Jr.: L-glutamine. And they calm the bowels down. They help repair. [00:20:00] They help heal. But they’re very good for symptoms. So you incorporate some fasting, some enzymes. You incorporate the IBS Formula or some of those things in there, and that helps you with that first stage. Then you want to reduce inflammation. So at this point, you have to also identify if you have a food allergy. And we have some great episode on food allergy if you want to go back and listen. Because most people with IBS have what we call “delayed hypersensitivity,” so they eat a food today, and it bothers them hours from [00:20:30] now or days from now, so it’s very hard to pinpoint. But there are some common denominators out there for people with IBS. Dairy’s a big one.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Eggs.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Eggs are a big one as well.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Gluten. But more gluten the carbohydrate.
Dr. Martin Jr.: More the high carb diet.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. The high carb, and you just-
Dr. Martin Jr.: High processed. And for a lot of people, this is where we get controversial, but it’s not really because it’s been highly overrated. Fibre. Too much fibre. So if you’ve got IBS, and this is another thing, you’ll find out the hard way, [00:21:00] if you get too much fibre, your stomach’s a mess. That’s just the reality of it.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You can’t break it down.
Dr. Martin Jr.: No. So people are like, “Oh, I’ll just go eat a ton of fibre.” It’s like, no. Well, you can, but you’re going to go into that angry uncle stage pretty quickly. So that’s-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. And that’s why even some of the lectins that are found in legumes-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Exactly.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Mostly legumes and stuff like that. Sometimes you got to watch. Even the cruciferous vegetables can really irritate the bowel.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Oh, yeah. They can-
Dr. Martin Sr.: I get people to be very, [00:21:30] very careful with that because-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, they have to simplify their diet in a lot of ways. They have to really simplify their diet.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I always say, “You got to rope it in.” Rope it in. You don’t just … “Oh, I’m used to variety, Doc.” Yeah, but not if you have IBS. Just really … In the first stage, we’re trying to fix it. We need symptom control. You’ve really got to rope in your food. Just figure out, “Okay, I’m all right with this. I can do this. But I don’t do well with this.” So you got to figure yourself out. Look for [00:22:00] antigens. Look for things that come in and bother your gut and, “Oh, yeah. I found out I can’t eat that.” Hello? Yeah, stop eating it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Then another big thing about lowering inflammation is actually lowering cortisol because cortisol will destroy your gut. Will destroy it. That’s a big one, which is why we started using a lot of times now our Cortisol Control with people with IBS because it really helps, again, to just lower the cortisol, but then it just … Again, stress will [00:22:30] kill your gut. Just kills it. All right, so that’s lowering inflammation. Then you rebuild the gut, and we do that, of course, with probiotics. Probiotics is a great way to rebuild the gut.
Dr. Martin Sr.: L-glutamine.
Dr. Martin Jr.: L-glutamine is a great way to rebuild the gut.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Bone broth. You see, bone broth is very good because we just find it to be very effective. Very easy on the gut. Full of L-glutamine. It just soothes the gut. Actually, we often send people home in the first stage and say, “Look, all we want you to have is bone broth.”
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. And just see, again, like anything else, [00:23:00] how you tolerate it. Because one thing is when your gut’s irritated, it will let you know. I remember when it was really bad, I knew very quickly that my body just says, “No. Now I’m going to give you a couple hours of pain just because you decided that you were going to try that, as a thank you.”
But that’s kind of our kind of a quick outline. Again, we are putting together a training that’ll be on our website in the next little … Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks we’ll have it out on our website. And we’ll go into a lot more detail, and we’ll really give you a nice little idea [00:23:30] what we do in our clinic for IBS.
Again, we want to thank you for listening. If you have any questions, you can email us at email@example.com. You can go to our website. We have live chat on our website. We have great staff that are there. They’re more than happy to answer your questions.
If you’re not a member of our private Facebook group, you can go to our website, you can join from there. And in that group, that’s where we go and … For example, this past weekend, the study came out on low carb, and we went into the group and just obliterated [00:24:00] the study on why it was terrible start to finish. So we address things very quickly in our group. And people ask us a ton of question. We got a great community in there. It’s so much fun. The questions are great. So you could do that. Every Thursday morning, you do a Facebook Live, so every Thursday morning you can go there, ask you questions, and you’ll be more than happy to answer them. So there’s a lot of ways to connect.
And lastly, if you’re not a newsletter subscriber, you’re missing out on all this information that we put out there a few times a week. You can go, again, [00:24:30] martinclinic.com and sign up for our newsletters. And that’s everything. Again, thank you for listening, and have a great day.