Restore Your Gut Health with the Physician’s Elemental Diet: A Comprehensive Approach to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome and SIBO

sibo intestines

The Physicians’ Elemental Diet is a medicinal food that is used to treat moderate to profound impaired gastrointestinal (GI) function, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). This medical diet is available in two versions – one without dextrose and one with. This diet is intended to be the only source of nourishment for patients under medical supervision.

The Physicians’ Elemental Diet is a well-balanced combination of macronutrients enriched with vital micronutrients and electrolytes to provide comprehensive support as the sole provider of nutritional intake for short periods of time. All of the nutrients are in their most basic form for easy digestion, and the product was developed with a pleasant flavor to promote patient adherence to the regimen. There are no intact proteins, polypeptides, maize, gluten, soy, or dairy in this hypoallergenic formula.

How does the Physician’s Elemental Diet help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

IBS is the most prevalent gastrointestinal condition, affecting almost 10-15% of the global population. Women account for almost two-thirds of the world’s IBS patients. The condition might be moderate or severe varying from person to person, with diarrhea alternating with constipation. Cramping and bloating are also frequent. Chronic IBS is so severe that it frequently affects people’s everyday lives.

Conventional medical therapy focuses on managing the symptoms, such as the administration of drugs for diarrhea, pain, and constipation. Some IBS patients can reduce their symptoms by altering their diet, managing their stress, consuming probiotics, or taking other dietary supplements.

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Key elements in elemental diet powder provide full nourishment in an easily digestible form, allowing the gut to rest and recover while patients recover comfort and control. Among the postulated mechanisms of action, an elemental diet for IBS is supposed to minimize digestive effort, decrease aberrant intestinal permeability, lessen food antigens, reduce inflammatory cytokines, and affect the gut flora in a positive way.

Clinical studies

Physician’s elemental diets have been found in studies to be useful for the nutritional control of IBS. In clinical research, 93 individuals with IBS who had hydrogen breath tests that were positive for SIBO were given an elemental diet formula as their sole source of nourishment. After two weeks, 80% of individuals’ breath tests returned to normal. Those who had abnormal tests after two weeks stay on the elemental diet for another week. After three weeks, 85% of patients had normalized breath tests and a very significant reduction in IBS symptoms as compared to controls.

How can we use the Physician’s Elemental Diet for SIBO?

SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, is characterized by an overpopulation of specific bacteria that typically exist in the large intestine in the small intestine.  Antibiotic treatment to kill the invading bacteria is now the most researched and widely used therapy for SIBO. Clinical studies have shown that the elemental diet for SIBO has high efficacy in decreasing gastrointestinal symptoms and establishing normal lactulose hydrogen breath tests (the preferred test for the diagnosis of SIBO), with an 80-84% rate of efficacy.

Patients with SIBO frequently utilize a medically supervised elemental diet because, while the nutrients in an elemental diet are easily taken into the body, the bacteria in the gastrointestinal system are hypothesized to have limited activity and proliferation — basically “starving” them. Elemental diets should not contain any dietary fiber or prebiotics that might boost bacteria growth, which can be troublesome for those with SIBO. Furthermore, the elemental diet for SIBO has to be fully hypoallergenic, free of plant and animal-derived proteins and peptides, and free of gluten, wheat, yeast, maize, and other difficult-to-digest substances. Protein is provided in the form of 20 necessary and non-essential individual, free-form amino acids in the Physician’s Elemental Diet.

Meals are substituted with a powdered blend of nutrients in predigested, readily absorbed form for up to four weeks.  The formula of the elemental diet for SIBO is intended to be taken as a person’s sole source of sustenance for a limited time, with no additional foods or supplements ingested.  For patients who are unable or unable to accept the complete elemental diet, a half-elemental diet can be used, in which the elemental diet meets half of the patient’s nutritional demands and the rest are fulfilled with well-tolerated foods.

Clinical studies

Elemental diets have been proven to be useful for managing SIBO nutritionally. In a 2004 research, 93 individuals with irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and abnormal lactulose breath tests suggesting SIBO were given an elemental diet formula as their sole source of nourishment for two weeks. Subjects were retested after two weeks, and those who still had aberrant results were given an extra week of the elemental diet. After three weeks, 85% of individuals had normalized breath test results, which was associated with symptom alleviation.

What are some other benefits of an elemental diet?

  • Rest your bowels– Elemental diets supply all of the required nutrients without requiring any additional effort. Limiting the amount of work your colon does can help decrease inflammation while providing your digestive system some time off from processing all of the food you eat on a regular basis. Your bowels will have time to recuperate and repair. 
  • Less inflammation– Many acute and chronic illnesses induce transient inflammatory flare-ups that impair digestion and overall quality of life. Reduced irritants in your digestive tract allow the inflammation to diminish.
  • No more bacterial overgrowth- The gut bacteria that create issues when they proliferate rely on undigested food in the lower digestive system to survive. The elemental diet stops food from entering the lower digestive system, starving the hazardous bacteria and restoring equilibrium.
  • Better nutrition– If your GI troubles keep you from eating, an elemental diet can help you eat better. Proteins, carbs, vitamins, lipids, and minerals are all included in the Physician’s elemental diet formula to assist your body acquire the nourishment it requires.

Final Thoughts: 

The Physician’s elemental diet is highly beneficial for those who suffer from digestive problems such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or irritable bowel syndrome. If you have digestion or absorption issues, such as celiac disease or any food allergies you can consume it as an elemental formula. If you are thinking about the Physician’s elemental diet, you should consult a doctor first to confirm that it is the best option for your health. Visit nutriessential com to shop online. 

FAQs on Physicians Elemental Diet:

Is it okay to eat an elemental diet during nursing?

While breastfeeding, you can follow an elemental diet, although physicians do not encourage it.

How is an Elemental Diet different from a SIBO Diet?

The elemental diet is a low-fiber liquid meal replacement program, whereas the SIBO Diet is elemental-based but allows for more diversity in food kinds. The Elemental Diet emphasizes nutrients like protein, carbs, and fat, whereas the Sibo Diet incorporates low-carbohydrate and low-fat meals.

Can I eat or drink anything while on the elemental diet?

You don’t consume anything else on the entire elemental diet. The goal of the diet is to replace meals while reducing intestinal activity. Following the diet precisely helps your intestines to relax and repair. You may be permitted to consume tea without any additional ingredients.

What is the purpose of the elemental diet?

The elemental diet is typically suggested by a doctor for persons who have serious gastrointestinal disorders or are recuperating from gastrointestinal surgery and need to rest their digestive systems in order to recuperate.