I’m not pregnant, I’m bloated!

Small Intestinal Bloating (Microbial Imbalance)
I’m not pregnant, I’m bloated!

by Moses Nutrition
© June 2024



In modern times, digestion has become a weak area for many people. One of the more common problems that can occur is where “bugs” such as bacteria and fungus make a home in the small intestine — where they’re definitely not supposed to be.  This is usually the result of food poisoning, certain medications, poor eating habits, thyroid disease, or certain inflammatory conditions.  There are many types of “bugs” that can wind up there and sometimes the conditions are given fancy names like SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) or IMO (Intestinal Methanogen Overgrowth).  Because the handling for all types of “bugs” in the small intestine is the same, those names are not helpful.  For this reason, we coined the broader term “Small Intestinal Microbial Imbalance.”

The most common symptom of this type of condition is bloating immediately after eating certain foods. And despite the silly title of this article, this condition happens to women and men! This bloating happens because the “bugs” in your small intestine (which shouldn’t be there) eat certain kinds of fiber and digest them. This results in the “bugs” essentially farting! These gases then get trapped in the small intestine making you bloat.

While there are complicated and costly tests to determine what kind of “bugs” you have in there, the easiest way to check yourself is to load your first meal of the day up with lots of those specific fiber foods such as garlic, onion, and cauliflower and then see if you get bloating within 15 to 45 minutes after eating.

It’s worth noting here that there is a phenomenon in people with low stomach acid where they eat a meal, particularly a high protein meal, and feel it sitting in their stomach for hours, causing discomfort. While this is something we can help you with, this is not a microbial condition.  Also note that bloating or gas that starts more than 2 hours after eating is not in the small intestine and is also addressed with other protocols.

Although bloating is the only symptom most people notice, what is actually happening is far worse. The gases caught in your intestines cause inflammation and damage, and may even result in a condition referred to as “leaky gut”. Considering that 90% to 95% of all nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine, this can lead to all kinds of problems in your body over time.

Unfortunately, this is usually treated with antibiotics, and even months on these antibiotics usually doesn’t handle the condition — or the symptoms go away temporarily but then return.

A Small Intestinal Microbial Imbalance is one of those conditions that you have to address aggressively and with discipline to resolve. Fortunately, we have developed a protocol that works! It is an intensive protocol that usually takes six to eight weeks.

Handling a Small Intestinal Microbial Imbalance involves the following steps:

1) Low-FODMAP diet and intermittent fasting. Don’t get hung up on the name. FODMAP just means the types of fiber that “bugs” eat. Certain foods have a lot of these fibers (high-FODMAP foods) and need to be strictly avoided as they feed the “bugs” we are trying to eliminate. Other foods have very low amounts of these fibers and your diet should almost exclusively be these low-FODMAP foods.

The entire time you are doing this protocol, you must strictly follow the low-FODMAP diet. The more strictly you follow the diet, the more the “bugs” are starved and the weaker they get. Because there are so many different “bugs” that could be in your individual intestine, there is going to be some variance on what foods you react to and what foods you don’t. So there may be foods that are high-FODMAP that don’t cause a reaction in you. These foods are fine for you to continue to eat. There may be foods that are low-FODMAP that do cause a reaction for you. Do not eat these reactive foods while on this protocol.

Another helpful dietary aspect is intermittent fasting. The core principle of intermittent fasting is to allow at least 12 hours at night between when you finish your last meal of the day, and when you have your first meal the following day. This means that if you finish dinner at 8:00 p.m., you have to wait until 8:00 a.m. or later the following day to have breakfast.

A second (though less important) factor of intermittent fasting is to not snack between your meals. Designate two, three or four meal times per day and only eat during those times. Don’t have any caloric drinks, such as coffee with cream, outside of your meals. Between meals you can have water, unsweetened tea, black unsweetened coffee, etc.

This is actually the healthiest way to eat because it allows your small intestine to clean itself out properly between meals. You need to do this the whole time you are on this protocol, but ideally, this becomes your regular eating pattern for the rest of your life.

2) No minerals.  One of the steps later in this protocol is to break open biofilms. Biofilms are little forts that “bugs” make in your body to protect themselves from your immune system. One of the reasons other protocols fail is that they don’t address biofilms! Biofilms allow “bugs” to hide away while a person is taking antibiotics (or even antibacterial herbal supplements).  Then, once the threat is gone, the “bugs” come out of the biofilms and the infestation begins again.

To get the “bugs” out of their biofilms (so we can eliminate them), we need to break apart these biofilms. Biofilms are made of protein and minerals. We don’t want to give these “bugs” the materials they need to build biofilms, so temporarily, only while on this protocol, you will be taken off mineral supplements. This includes calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, boron, etc.

3) “The Cleaners.”  We have an arsenal of herbal supplements that are very effective at eliminating the various types of “bugs” that can settle in a small intestine and cause Microbial Imbalance. We will work you up to very high doses of these supplements over 2 to 3 weeks. You will then stay on these high doses the whole time you are on Step 4 below. One very cool thing about The Cleaners is that they don’t just clean “bugs” out of your intestines. These will go throughout your body and eliminate viruses, bacteria, fungus, and other bad things everywhere!

strong>3a) Digestive Support and Binders. In addition to The Cleaners, we usually have to include additional digestive support such as Betaine HCl (digestive acid). If a person winds up with constipation at any point on this protocol, we will add supplements for that. It’s very important to have at least one bowel movement everyday while on this protocol. Sometimes a person has a hard time — or even gets loose stool while working up on The Killers. In these cases, we have to work up more slowly on The Killers and add a binder supplement to help make it easier to work up.

4) Biofilm Buster! Once you have worked up to your full doses of The Cleaners, you will start to work up to full doses of a Biofilm Buster!

This is one of the most crucial and complicated steps of this protocol in terms of dose and timing. Remember that the Biofilm Buster is going to open the biofilms where all of the “bugs” are hiding. This releases them into the body so The Cleaners (and your immune system) can eliminate them. If you take too much Biofilm Buster at a time, you can make yourself sick because you have released more “bugs” than your immune system and The Killers can immediately deal with. We only want to break open as many biofilms as can be cleaned out of your system immediately.

So once you are at your full dose of The Cleaners (step 3 above), you will then slowly increase the Biofilm Buster. If at any point you get any symptoms of illness, such as a sore throat, runny nose, or anything else, you need to stop the Biofilm Buster but continue The Cleaners. This is so we can eliminate all the “bugs” that the Biofilm Buster released into your system. Once your illness symptoms are better, you can start to work up on the Biofilm Buster again.

Once you have been at your full dose of Biofilm Buster for one week, you can discontinue the Biofilm Buster. Remember, you will be on your full doses of The Cleaners for all of Step 4!

5) After you stop the Biofilm Buster, you will finish one more week at full doses of The Cleaners, then you can stop, or just finish up what you have left.

6) Challenge Meal.  Once you’re done with the full protocol, choose a day to have a challenge meal, ideally a breakfast. This means you are going to have a breakfast full of the foods that normally bloat you (high-FODMAP foods).

If it bloats you, we will get you back on your full doses of The Cleaners and work you very quickly up to your full dose of the Biofilm Buster again. Then we repeat steps four, five and six until your challenge meal doesn’t bloat you.

If it doesn’t bloat you, you’re done!  If you had a severe Small Intestinal Microbial Imbalance (or had a mild to moderate case for more than a couple months), your intestines have probably been quite disturbed. In those cases, we do recommend you now do the Gut Restore Protocol for at least 3 months.  Also, if you are not already doing a full Nutritional Balancing (Hair Mineral Analysis) protocol with use, consider it!  It’s one of the best ways to strengthen and balance your body all around, which increases your health, immune system and resilience!

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