Blogs & Recipes

4 Truths and Commonly Held Misunderstandings about Vegan Gut Health and Why You’re Bloating on a Vegan Diet.

Vegan gut health
Share

Gut health is such a hot topic; for anyone who’s struggled with gut issues you’ll appreciate just how much gut health can have huge implications for our mental health, cognitive health, immunity and autoimmunity, weight, and all round quality of life.

Whilst gut health is complex, and not one to self-treat with the aid of Dr Google, here are a few home truths you need to hear.

1) Gut troubles doesn’t mean you need to quit veganism, it means that you need to find a health practitioner who’s vegan literate.
If you keep up with the Youtube scene, you’ll know that there were many Youtubers who were vegan and introduced animal products back into their diets due to digestive troubles.

In many cases these youtubers were following very restrictive, unbalanced vegan diets, and did not have an educational background in health or nutrition. Some of them were also putting themselves on unsupervised one month water fasts, drank their own urine and stared directly at the sun; these are not people whose advice I’d recommend. Additionally, I didn’t hear of them receiving support from any vegan-literate health care providers, who instead recommended they reintroduce fish or eggs since rumour has it these food are necessary for adequate protein and must be the magic bullet to health. In many cases, when these youtube stars ate these food, they experienced a reduction in their symptoms, and here’s why:

The answer does not lie in the deficiency of these “magic” animal foods, but instead the fact that these foods are low reactive when somebody is dealing with certain underlying digestive health conditions. Usually unprocessed, high fibre plant foods are the healthiest foods on the planet, but for someone who’s struggling with a health condition such as SIBO, the body reacts poorly to these foods leading to pain and bloating. The problem is not with a vegan diet as such, and in fact it is possible to treat SIBO and its underlying causes, whilst still following a vegan diet- you just need the right health practitioner to work with.

2) The NUMBER ONE determinant of your gut diversity

My personal experience is that one of the MANY benefits of a plant based diet has been that my digestion has been incredible.

Anecdotes aside, if you’re looking for exceptional gut health you cannot beat a whole food plant based diet. The American Gut project is the largest international microbiome project, collecting over 15,000 microbiome samples from around the world. What did they discover to be THE most important determinant of your microbiome’s diversity? The number of different whole plant foods the person eats.

High microbial diversity of the gut is considered a good sign of a “healthy gut”, since lower bacterial diversity has been seen in people with inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease, type 1 and 2 diabetes, obesity, atopic eczema, arterial stiffness and psoriatic arthritis.1

This is just one of the ways in which a well-planned vegan diet promotes long term health. For those NOT suffering from any serious gut problems, challenge yourself to add as many different types of plant foods into your daily meals as possible. One good way to do with this is to experiment with herbs and spices; not only are these super antioxidant rich but they can make the most simple of meals totally delicious.

3) Restrictive diets may mask symptoms, rather than solve them, and are not for the long term.

Restrictive diets tend to be the first treatment for conditions such as SIBO. Whilst this is generally necessary, can minimise symptom, make life bearable and can starve off bacterial overgrowth, this alone is simply not a long-term treatment strategy.  Restrictive diets will naturally reduce microbial diversity in the gut, because when these microbes don’t have their usually food supply, they simply won’t stick around. In the case of animal foods this can be a REALLY good thing since they foster unhealthy bacteria, however, in the case of health-promoting plant foods this is not conducive to long-term health. These healthy foods NEED to be reintroduced, and they need to be reintroduced slowly to reintroduce the species that like to eat them, otherwise simply you’re selling your body short.

In the case of any gut problems we need to determine and treat the underlying cause.
Some of the many causes of SIBO, which drives around 60% of IBS cases include: antibiotic use, gastroenteritis, low stomach acid, coeliac disease, gut motility issues (this can be due to a thyroid condition), ileocecal valve disfunction, stress, poor diets, medications and type 2 diabetes.

Note: Whilst a high-fibre vegan diet can be extremely difficult for someone to tolerate whilst battling SIBO, it is not one of the causes

4) Antimicrobials are not for the faint hearted

It’s become fairly common for people to take herbal antimicrobials as the first response to any gut problems they may have. There’s a misassumption that because they’re natural, they’re harmless. This is simply not true. Not only is it quite possibly the wrong treatment for you, but it’s also going to destroy both good and bad bacteria (possibly making matters much worse) AND it’s not tackling why the problem exists in the first place.

Gut health treatment, like ALL health treatment, should be individualised, based on the best balance of evidence with appropriate investigations, and aiming to deal not only with the symptoms but the cause, so that the problem does not keep resurfacing. Blindly, obliterating the gut with an antimicrobial grenade does not seem like the best possible treatment for something as sensitive, and as critical to all facets of your health as the gastrointestinal tract.

If you’d like help tackling your IBS from a plant based practitioner, book in for a consultation, otherwise read The Power of The Gut to find out more about WHY we should LOVE our guts.

References
Valdes AM, Walter J, Segal E, Spector TD. Role of the gut microbiota in nutrition and health. BMJ. 2018;361:36-44. doi:10.1136/bmj.k2179

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

For a happier, healthier you, and a happier, healthier planet.
Camilla Clare Naturopathy
5.0
Based on 25 reviews
powered by Google
L Bratty
L Bratty
09:14 30 Nov 21
I cannot thank Camilla enough for her support and guidance helping me discover my health issues and setting me on the... path to getting my health back on track. I am so thankful I sought her advice, as I have seen drastic changes within a fortnight. I am looking forward to continuing my health journey with Camilla and would highly recommend for those seeking to improve their health in a natural way.read more
Emma Fabricius
Emma Fabricius
22:56 11 Sep 21
I cant ´t describe how grateful I am to have got in contact with Camilla! She really has an amazing knowledge about the... body and how it all works together on a different level than anyone I´ve ever worked with. I came to her to get help with my headaches, migraines and fatigue after years and multiple visits/treatments with different doctors, experts etc. without any luck. Instead of just recommending me a "quick-fix", she worked with me to find the underlying issues.I've been working with her for a couple of months now and she never fails to give me the highest quality treatment in all aspects. She is also super quick to respond to any question or concern I might have, which I really appreciate.She is also one of the kindest, sweetest and most understandable people you will ever meet. It is so comforting and calming to finally have found a person who truly cares about your health as she does (AND is vegan!!). I can´t recommend her enough!! Thank you Camilla :)read more
Punam Mann
Punam Mann
02:02 06 Sep 21
Camilla has been absolutely amazing and I highly recommend her. She understands and respects my vegan dietary choices... which I have struggled with other doctors and naturopaths. She patiently listens and created a thorough treatment plan for me. I have been on the treatment plan for a few weeks now and my symptoms have greatly reduced and I’m already feeling much better. I’m highly impressed by her prompt response to my emails. She is very knowledgeable and helpful and has made my healing journey extremely comfortable.Thank you Camillaread more
Fabiana Loddo
Fabiana Loddo
23:10 20 Jul 21
In the past, what I found difficult with doctors was the fact that they did not listen to me; they literally finished... the sentences on my behalf all the time, rushing a diagnosis!Camilla is such a great listener, she really took all the possible information from me, she studied my case meticolously and came up with a cure which makes a lot of sense...and she explained it to me! Some other practitioners just prescribe lots of things and do not even explain what is cointained in those supplements/herbs and what they are specifically for.I highly recommend Camilla to all the ones who want a "same-level" relationship which their practitioner and not a "yes, I trust you, you are the expert" kind of relationship.Thank you Camilla!read more
Julien Fouquet
Julien Fouquet
11:31 19 Jul 21
I'm so glad I went to see Camilla, being vegan it's nice to find a naturopath who shares the same values.She asked me... a lot of questions during the initial consult, I felt that she was genuinely trying to help. After a few weeks and some tests done, she made a very detailed treatment plan which was very thorough and well explained.After only a few weeks following the treatment plan, the symptoms greatly improved as my gut health got better.I'd highly recommend Camilla as she has great knowledge combined with a caring and effective holistic approach.read more
Charlene G
Charlene G
02:35 18 Jul 21
I truly wish I found Camilla earlier and I HIGHLY recommend her to anyone looking for a naturopath! I've been seeing... her for a few months now and I'm constantly impressed at how thorough, knowledgeable and passionate she is. I've had gut and hormonal issues for as long as I can remember, and from the get-go, I felt Camilla was truly invested in finding the underlying causes and helping me resolve them. She is also the warmest, kindest person - an absolute joy to work with.I've already seen such vast improvements in my health, and for the first time in my life, I'm confident that my issues can well and truly be resolved. I also really appreciate working with a fellow vegan who not only understands my values, but is equally passionate about them too.Thank you so much, Camilla! I cannot recommend her enough!read more
Libby Penney
Libby Penney
07:09 05 Jul 21
I am so grateful I have found Camilla. We hit it off straight away and she understands me. Her knowledge is second to... none. She goes above and beyond and has helped me so much, so quickly. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without her. Thank you Camilla.read more
Matt Gussin
Matt Gussin
16:41 22 May 21
I've had a pretty horrid time with gut and fatigue problems for over two years and in this time, I have seen countless... doctors, naturopaths, gastroenterologists, Chinese medicine practitioners and so on...Some of which told me to stop my vegan diet, so this was when I searched for a vegan Naturopath and found Camilla.Camilla has been nothing but outstanding since our first contact. She is the first person in my health journey who I feel is genuinely invested in my health and has worked tirelessly to help and provide answers. She is always quick to reply to my lengthy emails and although currently at the early stages of my treatment, every piece of advice and treatment given has been based off facts and logical reasoning.I really recommend Camilla. I have felt very comfortable with her from day one and you will get someone who is knowledgeable, passionate but most importantly, will do her utmost to help you through any problem.read more
Sophie Smith
Sophie Smith
02:36 22 May 21
I would without a doubt recommend Camilla to anyone looking for a naturopath. She is so warm, caring, knowledgable and... helpful. I sought Camilla’s help to work on my severe PMS, heavy and painful periods and PTSD and mental health. From the moment I saw her she went above and beyond and is always there to help whenever I have any questions or concerns. I have just started my treatment plan and feel confident that I will see an improvement with my concerns.Thank you so much Camila xread more
Laura Harper
Laura Harper
02:59 07 Apr 21
I have been working with Camilla for a couple of months now with the aim of treating and managing hair loss, stress,... and anxiety. Camilla's process is incredibly thorough and informative and it has been amazing to not only feel better, but learn SO much in the process. My treatment plan has been very manageable, and Camilla has always made sure I understand why we are doing things rather than just telling me. This ​has really helped me to feel more in control and kept me committed to the lifestyle changes. Prior to working with Camilla, I felt a pretty overwhelmed with information, none of which I could be certain was true or even relevant to my symptoms whereas Camilla's process is so personal, and completely tailored to the individual.Camilla has been so kind, and understanding and has made the whole experience as comfortable and easy as possible. I have been shocked by how quickly I began to feel positive changes, and cant wait to see them continue!read more
Millie Guest
Millie Guest
02:45 04 Mar 21
Camilla is an incredible naturopath. I was recommended by a friend. I was struggling with my energy levels and needed... help to figure out why. The consults were thorough and in-depth and camilla made me feel super comfortable the whole way through.I had bloods done which confirmed i was low on iron as she had predicted. She wrote me an amazing in depth treatment plan, which included when and how to take my supplements with loads of tips & tricks on how to get the most out of them and include more into my diet. She also gave me loads of great recipes to cook to help with my iron intake.It has been over a month into treatment and i feel super energetic and full of life again. It was exactly what i needed to help get back to myself.I couldn’t recommend her enough. If you’re struggling with anything her in-depth knowledge in her field will help you.Thankyou camilla.read more
Sophie Farrelly
Sophie Farrelly
03:42 29 Dec 20
Camilla is very knowledgeable, helpful and has a wonderful nature. She’s caring and goes above and beyond to help. I... can’t recommend her enough. Thank you!read more
J D
J D
02:07 06 Nov 20
Highly recommend. Camilla is a delight, very passionate and committed to getting clients back to their best!
Vivian Ruth
Vivian Ruth
09:03 28 Oct 20
I’m so grateful for the treatment that I received from Camilla. My results improved within a month!! She is very... attentive, knowledgeable and caring. I highly recommend her for everyone!!read more
Chloe Compton
Chloe Compton
10:20 24 Sep 20
I had several online consultations with Camilla. She was a pleasure to work with and very knowledgeable. Her treatment... plan has really helped me and improved my skin condition. Highly recommend.read more
Lilla Magyari
Lilla Magyari
11:16 01 Sep 20
Camilla is an amazing Naturopath! Her knowledge and enthusiasm is absolutely fantastic! She helped me a lot in the past... and still does whenever I need. You can count on her 100%. I only can recommend her!!! 💚 🌱 💚🌱💚🌱💚🌱💚read more
Next Reviews
js_loader