(Part 4 of 4)
We decided to sit down and have a chat with our practice owner and MD, Dr. Philip Oubre, and functional nutritionist, Aubree Steen.
Time to dive into the dysfunction of what happens when one part of the digestive cascade goes wrong. It’s a domino effect in the body causing system wide issues and chronic health problems.
We really wanted to breakdown the how the gut works, and the entire process from simply visualizing the food to eliminating it. It’s a pretty magical process, but there’s quite a lot of decisions our body has to make when breaking down and absorbing food. We broke this up into 4 different categories to touch base on the big picture in each segment. While this process is intricate in nature, we hope to breakdown into a really palatable and digestible picture. You see what I did there.
Feel free to watch the video, or read our transcript below.
Philip Oubre (00:00):
Okay. So in our last couple of videos we’ve been talking a lot about digestion and the upper GI, we’ve talked about function.
Aubree Steen (00:06):
Philip Oubre (00:06):
Lower GI, we talked about function. Then, we talked about dysfunction of the upper GI. So once again, just to remind you, this is a north to south process. So, we’re going to be talking about the lower GI, which is small intestine, large intestine, and anus. Pooping, my favorite topic. If you don’t understand the upper GI, or if you don’t fix the upper GI first, you can do whatever you want lower GI, but it’s just not going to work. You’ve got to start in the upper.
Philip Oubre (00:30):
So if you have not worked on the upper GI, ignore this video, go back, watch the other one. While you’re doing that, just go ahead and subscribe, like our channel, all that fun stuff.
Aubree Steen (00:38):
Philip Oubre (00:39):
You like how I worked that in there?
Aubree Steen (00:41):
It was good.
Philip Oubre (00:41):
So with lower GI dysfunction, we could talk for hours on all digestion.
Aubree Steen (00:46):
Philip Oubre (00:46):
That’s so much of what we do. Yeah, so we’re going to try to pare it down to a good 10 minutes.
Aubree Steen (00:50):
Philip Oubre (00:50):
So, the first thing I want to talk about in the small intestine is mainly the main goal that small intestine is to absorb nutrients. So, Aubree, you lead us off for the first dysfunction we want to talk.
Aubree Steen (01:00):
Yeah. So something I wanted to bring back to the upper GI is that if you are not breaking down your food right, we talked about carbs fermenting, proteins putrefying, and fats are incidifying. That’s all mostly an upper GI problem, right? Now that you have that food molecule not properly broken down, you’re going to have lower GI effects. Right?
Aubree Steen (01:18):
So one thing from that food that’s improperly broken down is that A, you’re going to feed intestinal overgrowth, but the wrong kind you’re going to feed yeast, fungus, mold, and pathogenic bacteria more than anything.
Philip Oubre (01:29):
Aubree Steen (01:29):
Yeah, they love it. They get the by-product of it, it’s fantastic. That makes them stronger, it makes us have more gas, bloating, systemic issues, you name it. But another thing is that that food isn’t broken down and it’s causing havoc in our body. It causes inflammation when it’s not broken down.
Philip Oubre (01:45):
Aubree Steen (01:45):
Think of like a bull in a China shop. If that bull was nice, he’d just walked straight through, right? But then you have all of this ricocheting damage effect, and it’s how those food particles act. They create inflammation in the intestinal lining itself, they damage the cell wall of the lining, and then they also increase intestinal permeability. That’s leaky gut. Yeah. Then when you have leaky gut, that’s when your susceptible to things like food allergies and intolerances. So with pro-
Philip Oubre (02:14):
Aubree Steen (02:14):
Right, autoimmunity, chronic illness, you name it. I mean, when you have that barrier that’s broken, you let in pathogens and toxic chemicals that aren’t supposed to be in your bloodstream, or systemically in your body, at all. So what happens, especially with food sensitivities and allergies, if you think of it, our proteins are supposed to be broken down into polypeptides, peptides, and then the amino acids. Our bodies don’t react to amino acids.
Philip Oubre (02:39):
Aubree Steen (02:40):
They react to polypeptides more than anything. So when you don’t break down that protein properly-
Philip Oubre (02:46):
Wait, wait. My favorite way to describe that is like a paperclip.
Aubree Steen (02:48):
Philip Oubre (02:49):
Okay? So if you eat, or if you eat paperclips that’s gross, but the idea is when you eat protein, you eat a structure, like a paperclip, and that protein is folded in very specific way to perform a very specific function. Your digestive process is supposed to unfold that paperclip and break it up into tiny little pieces. You’re supposed to absorb tiny little pieces of paperclip to where your body never even sees paperclips.
Philip Oubre (03:13):
But if your upper GI doesn’t break down the paperclip, then that paperclip enters the small intestine, you try to absorb it, but now you react to it because it’s a foreign object. You can tell, “That is not supposed to be inside of me,” so your immune system attacks it.
Aubree Steen (03:26):
Philip Oubre (03:26):
As it attacks it, it feeds forward the cycle. Because as you attack your own lining, you have poor digestion, which means more paperclips are going to come down, you damage your shag carpet, which we talked about in the first video. If you don’t have shag carpet, you can’t absorb your nutrients. Even worse is you’re going to create leaky gut because those cells can’t hold on to each other. They’re supposed to be like Red Rover, Red Rover where they’re attached arm to arm, nothing can penetrate. But as they’re inflamed, they start letting go. As they let go, more paperclips start leaking across the barrier, triggering more immune system reaction and on and on, and you go spiraling out of control.
Aubree Steen (04:00):
That’s when you can have the forever immune reaction, right, where you’re reacting to everything. You’re a patient or you’re a person who’s like, “Everything I eat causes pain, gas, bloating, makes me tired, it makes me anxious, it makes me depressed, irritable.” You name it. Again, there’s so much that is involved in the small intestine. Yeah.
Philip Oubre (04:18):
Right. As far as dysfunction and treatment, this is a very complicated part of the process, obviously. Number one is you have to digest your food perfectly so, or not perfectly but better.
Aubree Steen (04:29):
Philip Oubre (04:29):
So, go to the upper GI, learn about it as a function and how to treat that. But second, so how can you improve this malabsorption, this leaky gut, all of this stuff going on in the small intestine is one that you do have control over is you can change what inflammatory foods you’re eating. So immediately, if you’re having any bloating, gas, indigestion, auto-immune, anything like that, remove the gluten, preferably remove all grains. That’s rice, oatmeal, all grains.
Aubree Steen (04:50):
Philip Oubre (04:50):
If you don’t know what grains are, just Google it, look it up. We don’t have enough time to talk today, and remove all dairy. Anything that comes from a cow udder or any udder or any kind of milk, complete remove it, butter included, any of it.
Aubree Steen (05:03):
Yeah, remove it.
Philip Oubre (05:04):
Those are the two biggest one. If you’re already a pro and already removing those but still having issues, then you need to go on AIP or autoimmune protocol, autoimmune paleo. You can look all those things that we’ve got documents and videos on that as well. So, you can change the food. Number two, you can take supplements to try to decrease the inflammation. We won’t talk a lot of time about them, but we can list a few, like SBI protect from orthomolecular.
Aubree Steen (05:27):
Yeah, Turiva from Ortho Molecular as well. Wonderful, full spectrum curcumin.
Philip Oubre (05:35):
Our favorites is UltraGI Replenish from Metagenics, which has some too.
Aubree Steen (05:39):
Philip Oubre (05:40):
We won’t get into the details. Then, probiotics are a big part that helped kill off some of the organisms. We look at probiotics as beneficial organisms, but they’re also competitors to the bad organisms.
Aubree Steen (05:50):
Philip Oubre (05:50):
So, good probiotics, especially a spore-based probiotic, like Proflora 4R from Bio-Botanicals.
Aubree Steen (05:56):
But inevitably, you’re going to have to remove the trigger, right.
Philip Oubre (05:59):
Aubree Steen (05:59):
So, digested food, but if you have overgrowth as well causing malabsorption or inflammation in the intestine, you’re going to need that taken care of and with a provider. But what you can do is take the supplements that he’s talking about, fixed nutrition, fixed digestion. Inevitably, you can add in some intestinal healing as well. If you have even just a little bit of aloe at home, don’t do it occasionally, but anything that’s really soothing to the gut, marshmallow extract. I really like intestinal repair co-
Philip Oubre (06:23):
Which is not marshmallows.
Aubree Steen (06:25):
It’s not marshmallows.
Philip Oubre (06:26):
You will be disappointed to find out marshmallow extract does not taste like marshmallows.
Aubree Steen (06:29):
Yeah, right. But, there are soothing elements as well. Yeah.
Philip Oubre (06:33):
Okay. So after you’re done with the small intestine, as far as absorbing nutrients and breaking down food, then you’re finally in the large intestine. The number one, well, I guess two huge dysfunctions we see in the large intestine or colon is, of course, constipation. That is such a common issue. Constipation, constipation, constipation. Then number two is not breaking down your fiber appropriately, or not even having enough fiber.
Aubree Steen (06:56):
Philip Oubre (06:56):
So, we can talk a lot about constipation. Even if you’re having daily bowel movements, you can still be constipated. If you’re only removing 80% of your stool every day, 20% is behind. If you do that every day for a long time, you’re going to be retaining a lot of stool, right?
Aubree Steen (07:11):
You got a lot of it. Yeah.
Philip Oubre (07:11):
So, just because you’re having daily bowel movements doesn’t mean you’re not constipated. Even if you’re having diarrhea, sometimes that can actually be from constipation. We call it encopresis. You’ll primarily see it’s in kids, but it happens many times in adults, believe it or not.
Aubree Steen (07:24):
Philip Oubre (07:24):
So as far as constipation, of course, if you start at the top of the digestive cascade, you can actually completely change constipation. So, just adding in stomach acid many times in the upper GI actually fixes constipation because you’re changing the whole way foods digest. You’re itching to say something.
Aubree Steen (07:40):
Philip Oubre (07:40):
Go for it.
Aubree Steen (07:41):
No. I know this. It may be a little gross, but you know how an animal, like a cat or dog immediately when they eat, they have to go outside to go to the bathroom?
Philip Oubre (07:47):
Aubree Steen (07:47):
Essentially, doesn’t mean that that food all of a sudden went through their entire digestive cascade, it means that their triggering response happened. Right? so when they started eating, they had that sight, smell, they had the digestive juices flowing. It shows you how connected everything is. The fact that them just eating triggered a bowel movement, essentially, that would be beautiful for us as humans, but sometimes it is. Sometimes I have patients who go, “Yeah, I eat breakfast, and then immediately have a bowel movement after.” The trigger-
Philip Oubre (08:10):
So, we should eat on the toilet is what you’re saying.
Aubree Steen (08:12):
Yes. Good one. Essentially.
Philip Oubre (08:17):
Don’t do that, that’s gross.
Aubree Steen (08:18):
Philip Oubre (08:19):
So yeah, so chronic constipation. We frequently use colonics as a way to catch people up.
Aubree Steen (08:25):
Philip Oubre (08:25):
When you’ve got so much backlog in your constipation, it’s hard to treat top-down with fibers and waters and all of that. Aloe Vera capsules, we like, and magnesium citrate is our other favorite laxative, but sometimes that’s not enough.
Aubree Steen (08:41):
Philip Oubre (08:41):
In order to catch up on the backlog, you’ve got to do colonics. If you don’t know what that is, that’s worth Googling.
Aubree Steen (08:46):
Yeah, totally. Not the images, but.
Philip Oubre (08:47):
It was basically where they stick a tube up and flush water in to get that old stool out. Once again, just like we talked about assisting digestion in the upper GI, this is not a permanent thing. You should not have to do this forever. If you can fix the root causes, then this is something that you’re using to get back on track. Once you’re on track, then your digestive system handles it on its own.
Aubree Steen (09:07):
Right. That large intestine, when he’s talking about maybe retaining 20% or more of it, that holds toxic bile, it holds overgrowth, that can make a home for overgrowth. You hold those toxic elements that your body was trying to remove and push out, now it’s staying in your body and you’re reabsorbing that.
Aubree Steen (09:23):
I can even tell you, I love the people that we send to for colonics. She will tell you that she can tell by what comes out how much toxic bile is in there, how many you’ll need, what your digestive system essentially looks like. So, it’s always worth going into. Never go to a self-one, by the way. Please see a certified practitioner.
Philip Oubre (09:42):
At least in the beginning while you’re working through it and so you know what’s comfortable. Because it is pricey, but it’s something that, if done right, you won’t need them forever. The self-ones just aren’t as effective. You’re right.
Aubree Steen (09:53):
No, no, no.
Philip Oubre (09:55):
So, the other thing I want to talk about as far as lower GI dysfunction in the colon is of course, fiber. We talk a ton about fiber. Just to remind you, humans don’t break down fiber. You eat fiber in order to feed the bacteria that break down the fiber for you. Those are the good bacteria, the beneficial bacteria. So if you’re not feeding them, they’re not there. So, the idea behind fiber is fibers are long chain fatty acids or those are chewy. They’re just long strings, basically.
Philip Oubre (10:22):
So, you absorb, I’m sorry, you eat these long chain fatty acids or fibers, and they go through your entire intestinal tract until they get to the large intestine, which is where the majority of beneficial bacteria is supposed to be. Then, they break down long chain fatty acids into short chain fatty acids. We’re finding more and more data that these short chain fatty acids are the key to longevity and health and brain function.
Philip Oubre (10:47):
There’s so much, which is just absolutely fascinating, because we don’t digest fiber, the bacteria do, but it is an essential element of our living and being optimal. So if you haven’t seen anything on butyrate, butyrate is wonderful. Butyrate, you don’t make. Well, you technically make. There’s an asterisk there, but in your intestines, you don’t make butyrate.
Aubree Steen (11:06):
Philip Oubre (11:06):
You eat fiber, and that fiber feeds beneficial bacteria, and the beneficial bacteria make butyrate. Now, there’s a supplement, and it’s getting more popular, butyrate. So, we encourage you to get the oil version of the butyrate.
Aubree Steen (11:17):
Yes, the liquid.
Philip Oubre (11:17):
We like SunButyrate, and do a tablespoon. Well, it depends on the type, but do a dose of SunButyrate two or three times a day to start feeding those beneficial bacteria. The butyrate also feed your intestinal cells, but that butyrate is especially good for your noodle up top. We don’t know why, but it is extremely powerful in the dementia world, and the brain fog world, and just brain focus in general.
Aubree Steen (11:39):
Philip Oubre (11:39):
Butyrate feeds your brain. Same idea of ketogenic diet. You make butyrate when you’re in ketogenesis, and ketogenesis is good for the brain. We think it’s because of the butyrate connection.
Aubree Steen (11:49):
Yeah. They’re essentially different types of butyrate, but we’ll dive into a video about that later, but they have a beautiful synergistic effect, obviously. So if you could produce ketones at the same time as you’re eating a ton of fiber producing butyrate, that is the best combo for brain function by far.
Philip Oubre (12:01):
Yep. But then convergency in the dysfunction world, there’s actually bad bacteria that can metabolize your fiber into bad components, like propionic acid.
Aubree Steen (12:10):
Philip Oubre (12:10):
So, propionic acid, they’ve linked to anxiety and OCD and overweight, obesity. If you’ve got the wrong bacteria, you will make the wrong components out of your fiber. So, how do you fix that? Well, you eat the right food, you take the right supplements, you feed the good bacteria. They will rise to power, and then there’ll be able to take over the bad bacteria.
Philip Oubre (12:29):
We do a lot of biocidin and other supplements to kill certain bacteria, kill certain fungi and mold, because sometimes they just have some, I shouldn’t say sometimes, almost everyone.
Aubree Steen (12:39):
Too much power.
Philip Oubre (12:39):
Yeah. They have a strong hold.
Aubree Steen (12:40):
Philip Oubre (12:41):
The only way to take over that strong hold is you got to knock it down. That’s not a fun process, but we walk people through it.
Aubree Steen (12:47):
Philip Oubre (12:49):
I think that’s kind of all we wanted to focus on today in this video with lower GI dysfunction.
Aubree Steen (12:53):
Yeah, right. We wanted to simplify it. Essentially, we created four videos because we could talk about it all day, every day. Every single person is completely different.
Philip Oubre (13:01):
Aubree Steen (13:01):
But, these are things that you can look at at home, how to get started, what can you do?
Philip Oubre (13:06):
Aubree Steen (13:06):
Always feel free to watch anything else that we do. We will always put out techniques of how to help digestion and what to do moving forward. Essentially, everything you do and feel and taste, or whatever it may be, affects digestion. So best suggestion: try to lower stress, chew your food, eat highly nutritious foods, and remove the inflammatory ones, essentially.
Philip Oubre (13:29):
So, like our channel, subscribe to our YouTube channel, hit the little bell so you get notifications.
Aubree Steen (13:34):
Philip Oubre (13:34):
Eventually, we’re putting together an online course. You should see a link in the description once that’s published on how to heal yourself without even seeing a functional medicine practitioner.
Aubree Steen (13:43):
It will be insanely extensive. So, everything-
Philip Oubre (13:45):
Extensive, not expensive.
Aubree Steen (13:47):
Extensive, that’s what I said.
Philip Oubre (13:48):
She said it, just wanted to clarify.
Aubree Steen (13:49):
Philip Oubre (13:49):
Aubree Steen (13:50):
Philip Oubre (13:51):
We’ll see you next time.
Aubree Steen (13:51):
Philip Oubre (13:52):