EP 44 | Disordered Eating and IBS: How Restriction and Food Fears Can Cause Gut Problems Like SIBO and Vice Versa with Christy Harrison


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The vast majority of women (and many men) have gone through periods of disordered eating, whether that means crash dieting, emotional binging, calorie counting, over-exercising or a full-blown eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia. And yet, so rarely do physicians take into consideration their patients complicated relationship with food before prescribing a restrictive medical diet like those recommended as an adjunct to SIBO treatment.

In today’s episode, we are taking on the tricky topic of where IBS and eating disorders overlap. Joining me is registered dietician, certified intuitive eating counselor, and host of the uber-popular Food Psych podcast, Christy Harrison.

We talk about the very real physical ramifications that disordered eating can have on the gut and why the binge-restrict cycle can be a risk factor for SIBO. More importantly, we discuss the mental pitfalls around certain food groups perpetuated by wellness culture and further amplified by various elimination diets.

If you’ve felt unsure about whether a low FODMAP diet or food modifications are necessary to cure your SIBO, this episode offers an incredibly important perspective on why these diets should be approached with caution. Christy also offers some strategies for how to take one on without falling prey to obsession and food fear.

A quick taste of what we’ll cover:
  • What the current medical criteria is for disordered eating or an eating disorder (hint: you probably have fallen into this category at some point in your life)
  • How doctors can screen patients properly before recommending a restrictive diet
  • Why gut issues often heal when the disordered eating is addressed first
  • How untreated SIBO symptoms can lead to an eating disorder
  • Data-backed alternatives to the low FODMAP diet that are equally effective at reducing those symptoms
  • Ways to treat SIBO without igniting disordered eating
  • How to approach meals without food fear, even if you have SIBO
  • And so much more…
Resources, mentions and notes:

This episode is brought to you by SIBO Made Simple – THE BOOK! Part patient guide and part cookbook (complete with over 90 low FODMAP recipes), this is your trusty road map to become your own intestinal detective, gut problem solver, and critter-free kitchen crusader. Those who pre-order their copy will be able to do my Gut Heal Bootcamp for FREE. To find out more details about the pre-order bonuses and to submit your receipt, click here.

This episode is also brought to you by Higher Dose, whose sauna blanket is my new self-care obsession. The blanket has all the benefits of a normal infrared sauna—the detoxification, the increase in blood flow and circulation, and the lowering of cortisol levels—but in a much more compact package that you use every day at home. I’ve been using it 2x a week and have noticed a huge improvement in my mood, sleep, skin, and general inflammation. My face and body feel less bloated and puffy, and my pants are even fitting better. For more information and a special discount visit higherdose.com and use code SIBO100 for $100 off. Wishing you all a very sweet and sweaty holiday season!

Disclaimer: The information in this podcast does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, or treatment. The information discussed is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional care.

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