27-Dec-2016 Author: Krista Ostrom

As the holiday season is winding down, many of you may already be thinking about the new year, and your goals for 2017. Each year many of us make New Years resolutions, only to break them within a short amount of time. This can lead to feelings of failure or disappointment.

This year, I instead challenge you to be more gentle with yourself. Instead of approaching the new year from the perspective of “here’s what I’m doing wrong….” consider instead saying “this is my intention.”

Anyone familiar with yoga may have heard of the word “sankulpa.” A sankulpa is an intention or purpose that comes from the heart. It goes beyond the ego and logical mind goals, and instead gets to the heart and soul of who we really are as human beings.

So, for example, in the past we may have made a New Years resolution that went something like this: “I want to eat healthier next year.” or “I absolutely need to lose X number of pounds next year.” or “I really must drink less alcohol and coffee and more water and eat more vegetables next year.” While those all sound like great plans, they originate from a place of ego and logic, and therefore are very easily broken, setting a person up to feel like a failure, thereby leading them back to the unhealthy habit they originally set out to avoid.

With a sankulpa or intention, we are challenged to go beyond the ego. So, let’s say we start with the statement “I want to eat healthier next year.” Now we pray or meditate on that for a while, until we get to the place where our heart is speaking. Why do we want to eat healthier? What does it mean to us to eat healthier? Maybe there is some sort of fear attached to how we are eating now? Perhaps we do not feel healthy and that worries us? Maybe we are feeling a sadness attached to food? Maybe we feel addicted to certain foods? A fear of how we will be left feeling if we stop eating certain foods? This will be individual to each of us.

Once you have your sankulpa or intention for 2017, you can start visualizing yourself as being already there. What’s that you say? Yes! Yes yes yes! Instead of saying “I need to eat less junk food” you could instead try something like “I am healthy, and the food I eat is nourishing to my body, mind, and soul.” This subtle difference in approach means that instead of seeing yourself as needing improvement, you instead see yourself already there, where your heart wants you to be….. and we all know that an object in motion tends to stay in motion, right?

When we inevitably have a moment where we make a choice that is not what we wanted (think someone who resolves to quit smoking, and after two weeks gives in and has a cigarette), instead of feeling guilty, or throwing in the towel altogether, when we set a sankulpa or intention, we instead can take that moment and learn from it. Pray or meditate on it. “Why did I make that choice today?” and then go back and picture yourself making the choice you want to make, so that you reinforce in your brain and your heart the experience that you want to have happen. No judgment. No shame. Simply learning from the experience and moving on.

So why am I talking about all of this? Well, I recently found myself feeling very unwell again, after a couple of years of really good health. My logical/ego side was going through everything, trying to figure out what I did “wrong” to “cause” this to happen. But ultimately the answer came from intention (sankulpa).

“I am healthy, and the food I eat is nourishing to my body, mind, and soul.”

And so it was.

It has been one week since I started this process, and I feel like a new person in so many ways. And I am an object in motion, so when I wake up feeling well, and I go to bed feeling well, it’s easy to continue that way.

With that in mind, a few of us at Tailor Made are doing an “After the Holidays Reset.” (Or, in my case, it was more of a starting before the holidays reset!) We chose the word “reset” especially for this reason - because words like “detox” or “cleanse” imply that there is something wrong with us. A “reset” simply means we are just going inside, listening to our bodies, and hearing what it is that they need from us.

If you are interested in doing a reset with us, we have created a support group on Facebook for this purpose.


I asked my colleagues to share with you why they are doing a reset. Here’s what they had to say:

Michelle: “I want to reduce sugar and carb cravings, lose 5 pounds, and get rid of the sluggish feeling when I eat. I am going to take it slower… and basically clean house.”

Sonja: “I want to do the reset to help address SIBO, and do the elimination piece to help identify food sensitivities. It’s empowering to know your own body to better gauge how to make it feel better.”

As for me, I started simply with: “I feel awful. I want to feel well again.” and from there I looked inside, and I realized that eating things like sugar and GF pizza, too many FODMAPs, or having too much wine, was making me feel worse, but also beating myself up about these things was making me feel worse about myself, thereby leading me back to those things again (remember object in motion). So I am working on changing my way of thinking, not just my way of eating. I am working on eating with intention and purpose. “This food is nourishing to my body, mind, and soul.”

Back to the reset. All of the instructions that we put together are available in the Facebook group. This is the really important thing to remember, though - these instructions are intended as a basic template. YOU know your body better than anyone, and YOU know what it needs. (If you don’t, find your sankulpa/intention and your answer will be found somewhere in that.) So your reset can be modified/personalized to your individual needs, and we are here to help if you need it - just ask! My hope is that at the end of these 21 days, each one of us will be feeling so well that we won’t even notice that the 21 days have come to an end. There will be no mad rush to eat things we’re craving or missing, because we are no longer craving or missing those things - we will know and have everything that we need.

Because we are healthy, and the food we eat is nourishing to our bodies, minds, and souls.

That, my friends, is the good stuff.

Until next time, be well.

*Krista Ostrom is a “nutrition geek” with extensive knowledge about food intolerances, nutrition, elimination diets, and integrative health topics. When she’s not working at Tailor Made Nutrition, you can usually find her hiking with her family, practicing yoga, traveling, cooking her favorite meals, and working at her other job, placing international exchange students with host families. Krista is writing this blog for informational purposes only, and it should not be considered medical advice.

20-Nov-2016 Author: Krista Ostrom

Greetings, and a happy start to this holiday season from my family to yours.

Today I want to talk just briefly about something that is especially important this time of year - healthy digestion - and then I want to share some exciting news with all of you.

So when we talk about healthy digestion, let’s first talk about some signs that your digestive system may not be working optimally. Are you feeling bloated? Gassy? Are your pants fitting a little tighter than you’re used to? Skin not as clear as normal? Feeling fatigued? Not quite yourself? Are you bowel movements not as regular as usual? If so, optimizing your digestion may help.

First things first, let’s talk about gut flora. Gut flora is essentially the balance of “healthy” bacteria and “bad” bacteria. Bad bacteria would be any of the number of organisms that can make us ill. Healthy bacteria are the bacteria found in things like probiotics, fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir. Additionally, the fermentable fibers in foods like sweet potatoes, squash, yucca, yams, etc. can help build your healthy bacteria supply.

There are many other issues - lifestyle, stress reduction, exercise, water intake, infections like SIBO (which I discussed in more depth in a previous blog post), candida, etc. that can play a role in unpleasant GI symptoms. If you have tried all. of. the. things. and still have found no relief, it may be time to work with a healthcare provider (we have some great providers here who are happy to help!) to see what else may be going on.

Lastly, though in my opinion, most importantly, let’s talk about diet. Here at Tailor Made, we pride ourselves on being 100% gluten free, but sometimes a gluten free diet is not enough. Ultimately we can be intolerant to any food, but the most common culprits (aside from gluten) are: dairy, eggs, corn, soy, certain sugars, artificial sweeteners, and beans/legumes.

If you have eliminated gluten, or gluten plus a couple of other things, and are still struggling, you might be a great candidate for an elimination diet. Essentially, you start with a highly hypoallergenic diet and gradually introduce foods, one at a time, while logging any symptoms/adverse effects. For example, I never thought I had an issue with dairy until I removed it and tried adding it back. Then it became quite obvious that it was contributing not only to my GI issues, but to some skin issues that I was having.

The exciting news that I mentioned earlier is that we here at Tailor Made are bringing classes back by popular demand! The first class we will offer will be taught by me (Krista) and Sonja (Tailor Made employees), and will cover how to do a 21-day “reset” elimination diet after the holidays are over. You will learn everything you need to know to customize a plan to eliminate potentially problematic foods and then reintroduce them.

If you are interested, we would love to see you at either of the two December classes, which will be held on the evenings of Thursday, December 1, and again on Tuesday, December 6. Sonja and I will be there to provide you with information, to answer your questions, and help you get ready to start. (We will also be doing this 21-day reset ourselves, as are several other Tailor Made employees, and we are really looking forward to it!)

Oh, and did I mention that this class is FREE? Yep. We want 2017 to be a great year for all of us, so please just come and learn and bring your questions. There is a sign-up sheet at the register in the store, or feel free to call us at 651-702-2522 for more information and to RSVP.

Until next time, be well.

*Krista Ostrom is a “nutrition geek” with extensive knowledge about food intolerances, nutrition, elimination diets, and integrative health topics. When she’s not working at Tailor Made Nutrition, you can usually find her hiking with her family, practicing yoga, traveling, cooking her favorite meals, and working at her other job, placing international exchange students with host families. Krista is writing this blog for informational purposes only, and it should not be considered medical advice.

31-Oct-2016 Author: Krista Ostrom

It’s that time of year again: cold and flu season! At home, school, and everywhere we go there are people around us coughing and sneezing. So what can we do to stay healthy and avoid the germies? And what to do when we do end up coming down with something?



Ideally, the goal is to prevent illness in the first place. Fortunately, there are some very simple and natural things that can help with this.

Diet - What we eat can directly affect our immune systems! By limiting sugar and processed carbohydrates, and adding plenty of fresh produce, quality protein, and healthy fats, we give our bodies the best chance at fighting off viruses and bacteria that come our way.

Supplements - A couple of things that are worth considering just for general health maintenance any time of year are a good multivitamin, a quality probiotic (I am a big fan of either the Klaire Labs brand, or Tailor Made now offers its own 100 billion CFU probiotic), and an omega supplement (either a fish oil or cod liver oil).
During cold and flu season, I like to add a little extra zinc (this can be done through supplementation or through diet), extra vitamin D (it’s good to get a baseline lab through your healthcare provider, if you haven’t had one - a lot of people in cold winter climates are deficient, but it’s a smart idea to find out for sure so that you know how much you should be supplementing, if any).
When our family is actively trying to fight off or avoid a virus, we add elderberry and some sort of immune support like ImmuniVir by Wise Woman Herbals. Just a little anecdotal story: a couple of years ago there was a week when over half of my daughter’s class was out sick with influenza. This was right before the holiday break, and I was very concerned that she would come down with the flu right before Christmas. Every morning I gave her elderberry, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, a multi, and probiotics, and I made her a nourishing smoothie for breakfast, and then I would send her in. I felt like I was sending her into battle, and in a way I was! She did not get sick - at all. Such a relief! We are obviously just one family, but this is what has been working for us.

Hygiene/Hand-Washing - This is something that can be especially difficult with little kids, but it’s so important. We need to use good hygiene during cold and flu season. Most importantly, washing our hands with simple soap and water whenever we use the bathroom, sneeze, blow our nose, cough, etc., and then remembering to cover our coughs and sneezes.

Sleep - Another lifestyle piece that often gets missed is sleep. Sleep is SO important! We need to sleep, and our kiddos need to sleep. I always tell my daughter that this is when our bodies fight the germies, and it’s true. Sleep is crucial to a healthy immune system.

Misc Lifestyle - A few other notable things would include getting some fresh air (even when it’s cold, just a few minutes makes a big difference) every day, exercising regularly, and avoiding harmful substances like tobacco or excessive alcohol, which can weaken our immune systems and leave us more susceptible to infections.

But What If I Still Get Sick?

So that’s all great, you say, but what happens when we get sick anyway? Well, we can’t avoid every illness, so here are the things I’ve found most helpful for our family when one of us does manage to catch a virus.


Most importantly: STAY HOME! Yes, please, stay home if you are sick. Keep your kiddos home if they are sick. When we are sick, our bodies need to rest, and staying home also greatly reduces the chances of spreading the illness to others.

All of the things I discussed above can be helpful, but the natural product that has received the most attention for flu treatment is elderberry. If you Google “elderberry flu” you will find all sorts of articles (many from very mainstream news sources) that discuss the effectiveness of elderberry for shortening the duration of flu symptoms. I have personally seen it work! When anyone in our home starts feeling sick, we all hit the elderberry!


Some other things to consider are bovine colostrum (available in powder or capsule form), which is the “pre-milk” and is loaded with antibodies that may help fight viruses and bacteria. Many people have reported great success with this option.

Beta glucan is another popular immune support supplement. At the store we sell this supplement in both adult and children’s doses.

Additionally, there are many herbs and plants that can be beneficial in supporting the immune system: echinacea, goldenseal, astragalus, cat’s claw, ginger, garlic, turmeric, licorice, and of course elderberry, to name a few.

For specific symptom relief, I have found a product called XLear to be especially helpful for nasal congestion. It gently relieves symptoms and in my experience it does wonders to help clear up or prevent secondary sinus infections. XLear contains xylitol, which has antibacterial properties (it is also used in a lot of toothpastes in place of fluoride, for those who wish to have a non-fluoride alternative).

For aches and pains, turmeric is great, as is arnica. I am also a huge fan of epsom salt/magnesium soaks.

For coughs, I go way old school and just use raw honey. (Not for infants, however.) A teaspoon of raw, local honey at bedtime works better for stubborn coughs than anything else I’ve ever tried, including prescription cough medicines.

Finally, for icky sore throats, I am in love with slippery elm. You may also know this stuff as an ingredient that soothes inflamed digestive tracts, but it also does wonders for an irritated sore throat.

I hope you will find some of these tips helpful. As always, check with your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns. Here’s hoping you and your family stay healthy this winter!

*When not working at Tailor Made Nutrition or the Tailor Made Smoothie Shoppe, you can usually find Krista hiking with her family, practicing yoga, traveling, cooking her favorite meals, and “geeking out” about integrative health topics. Krista is writing this blog for informational purposes only, and it should not be considered medical advice.

25-Oct-2016 Author: Dr. Katie Corazzo

5 Foods Needed to Balance Your Hormones: 

Did you know that your diet can impact your hormones?! And I am not just talking about hormones like estrogen and testosterone, this includes thyroid and adrenal hormones too. The thyroid produces T3 and T4 to help regulate your metabolism. The adrenals are responsible for dealing with stress (cortisol) and blood pressure (aldosterone), but they also produce progesteroneDHEA, testosterone, and estrogen. A poor diet, stress, lack of sleep and a sedentary lifestyle can cause your endocrine system to be off balance.

Alternative Women's Health Treatments

Why do I feel…?

  • Tired and unmotivated?
  • Easily overwhelmed?
  • Sleepy after lunch?
  • Very sensitive to cold or hot?
  • Dizzy when going from sitting to standing?
  • Stressed? (doesn’t everyone?!)
  • Insomnia or un-refreshing sleep?
  • Like you can’t kick your carb cravings


Do you ever notice…

  • Excess hair falling out?
  • Weight gain around your abdomen?
  • Heavy or painful menses?
  • PMS?
  • Irregular cycle?
  • Hot flashes?

If you answered “yes” to 3 or more of the items listed, your hormones could use a nutritional boost! Here is the list of foods that help support your ovaries, adrenals, and thyroid.

Naturopathic Doctor, holistic health care, hormone balance, natural medicine, healthy eating
Cruciferous veggies - Broccoli and brussel sprouts
  1. Broccoli and his cruciferous cousins

Your liver is the powerhouse behind all hormones, working behind the scenes to allow your hormones to express themselves when needed. Your liver also has to power through junk like sugar, processed foods, toxins, alcohol, excess fat, and even medications. Our liver needs all the help it can get and cruciferous veggies, also known as Brassica, are just the answer.

Broccoli and his other green friends contain sulphur compounds that support the detoxification pathways and fat metabolism. Glucosinolates which are metabolized to form  indole-3-carbinol or I3C and DIM in theses green veggies may help also prevent cancers like breast, cervical, colon, and prostate. But, not only are your liver and endocrine systems supported by these veggies, your bones benefit from the calcium and they lower homocysteine levels to protect your heart. Wow! So, which veggies do you need to include in your diet? Swiss chard, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, watercress, radish, rapini, arugula, spinach, turnip, kale, and bok choy.

Tip: Cook them to destroy goitrogenic effects that can slow down an already sluggish thyroid. See this veggie recipe and this one too.

Hormones, thyroid, hypothyroid, hashimotos, natural remedies, naturopathic medicine
Seaweed salad and sushi rolls
  1. Seaweed!

For those of you in Minnesota, I am not talking about the seaweed from your favorite lake. This is seaweed from the ocean that you might find wrapped around your favorite sushi roll, seaweed salad at a Japanese restaurant or in one of my favorite snacks – roasted seaweed.

Thyroid hormones production requires iodine and seaweed is very high in iodine. A deficiency can cause thyroid problems, goiter, and stunted growth in children.

Tip: Iodized salt and fish also contain iodine. Do not take an iodine supplement without checking with your doctor first.

Selenium, thyroid hormones, twin cities, alternative doctor, wellness
Brazil Nuts
  1. Brazil Nuts!

Brazil nuts are loaded with selenium. 6-8 brazil nuts (1 oz) provide 10x the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults. Wow! But, why is selenium so important?

Remember our friend iodine from #2? Selenium helps attach iodine to the thyroid hormones. The thyroid has the highest concentration of Selenium in all the organs in the body. Selenium also protects the thyroid and aids in thyroid hormone metabolism. Anti-body (anti-TPO) levels in those with Hashimoto's disease have been improved with Selenium supplementation as well.

Tip: You can also find our friend and antioxidant, Vitamin E in brazil nuts. 4 nuts per day is plenty.

Adrenals, fatigue, Edina, doctor of naturopathy, holistic healing, stress, cortisol
Citrus Fruits - Grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime
  1. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit.

Stress on your body triggers the adrenals to produce more cortisol. This is caused by  emotional (work, relationships, worry, anxiety, etc) or physical stress (illness, injury, exercise), lack of sleep, caffeine, and alcohol.

When there is excess or chronic stress, cortisol and sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone, progesterone) become imbalanced. Adrenal hormone imbalances can also contribute to weight gain, osteoporosis, weakness, weakened immune function, and irregular menses.

So, why citrus fruits? The adrenal glands and brain have more vitamin C than any other tissue in the body. During stress more vitamin C is used or lost. See the correlation between stress – lower vitamin C – greater susceptibility to infections? Citrus fruits, especially oranges are known for their high concentration of vitamin C.

Tip: eat the whole fruit including the skin (not the peel, but the fibers around the pulp) to gain the most nutrients and fiber from your fruit.

blood sugar, protein, nutrition, holistic healing, alternative health care
Protein - salmon, eggs, beans, spinach
  1. Protein

More protein and less sugar! The adrenal glands help with blood sugar regulation. When your body is stressed it makes more glucose (sugar) to give your body the energy it needs to cope with the stress. Because you already have enough glucose, you do not need to consume more, but need protein for energy. In fact, consuming too much sugar during times of stress puts even more stress on your adrenals, not to mention the rest of your body. Think about it...excess stress --> poor dietary habits and more sugar --> weight gain --> more stress. Stop the cycle by cutting out the sugar and increasing your protein intake.

Tip: Protein includes animal protein, but also beans, lentils, veggies like spinach, nuts, and seeds.

Thank you for reading and we wish you balance in your life and your hormones!

~ Dr. Katie Corazzo

Dr. Katie Corazzo, Naturopathic Doctor
Dr. Katie Corazzo

Nutrition is essential to our health. If you continue to have hormonal imbalances and would like to seek out natural therapies with naturopathic medicine, call your local Naturopathic Doctor or Dr. Katie for a complimentary 10 minute consultation. She practices in Edina and at Tailor Made Nutrition in Woodbury Minnesota, but patients come from all over the twin cities. Dr. Katie uses alternative medicine and holistic care to uncover the root cause of imbalance. We hope to hear from you soon! 612-564-2218 or email Dr. Katie directly atdrkatie@balancedcarend.com.


03-Oct-2016 Author: Krista Ostrom

Hi everyone! The Lyme Blog has been on a bit of a hiatus while I enjoyed the summer with my family, and this fall we welcomed an exchange student from Germany into our home as well. So lots of excitement and fun in our house, but sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything! Today I want to talk a bit about Brain Fog. It’s one of the most common and most troubling symptoms of not only Lyme Disease, but many other diseases and conditions as well.

So what is Brain Fog? Well, it’s essentially a feeling of confusion, or being in a “fog” while trying to think, concentrate, or recall information. People may describe Brain Fog as feeling “spacy” or forgetful, or they may have more debilitating symptoms where they forget where they are driving, or have trouble recalling important information or details. Certainly any new symptoms like this should warrant a discussion with a physician or other healthcare provider, but if these symptoms are an ongoing result of a chronic condition, there are some things that you may be able to do to help.

Brain Fog is frequently described as a symptom in patients with Lyme, Fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s (thyroid disease), gut dysbiosis/SIBO/Candida, and sometimes in cases of PTSD. Often times these conditions may overlap as well.

There are several things that may contribute to the feeling of Brain Fog. In Lyme Disease, the most obvious culprit would be the Lyme bacteria (spirochetes) in the brain tissue. But there are several other contributing factors as well, like inflammation, sleep quality issues, stress, and even the way we think.

The good news is that there are some things that we can do to help. First and foremost, SLEEP! As a person with chronic illness, I can’t stress enough how important it is to sleep - good, quality, refreshing sleep, and plenty of it. Please make sleep a priority. Your body needs it.

Exercise is another thing that is extremely important. Now I know that when a person is sick and in pain, exercise can seem like a very daunting prospect, but it really is hugely important. You see, different exercises affect our brains in different ways, and the brain body connection is an important one, so taking care of our physical bodies also affects our brain health in a positive way. I have found that a mix of walking, bicycling, yoga, and light weights is incredibly beneficial for me. I feel better both physically and mentally when I exercise regularly.

Another factor to consider is hormones. Thyroid, sex hormones, and adrenals are all part of this trifecta of hormones that can wreak havoc on our health if they are out of balance. I have found working with an integrative physician to be extremely helpful for my issues in this regard. Depending on the severity of the problem, there may be some natural solutions to consider for balancing hormones: maca is one that is amazing for thyroid, adrenal, and especially sex hormone balancing. It’s an adaptogen, meaning it brings balance without drastically altering or introducing outside hormones to your body. Maca can be a great starting place for a lot of people with minor imbalances.

Stress reduction and relaxation is another extremely important piece of the puzzle when we are talking about Brain Fog. Things like meditation/prayer, yoga, and taking time to “decompress” at the end of the day, can all be helpful.

Reducing inflammation can be helpful in just about any situation, but especially for anyone dealing with a chronic illness and Brain Fog. When we talk about inflammation, the key areas of focus are typically:

  1. Diet - reducing potentially problematic and pro-inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, and sugar, and introducing probiotic-rich foods can often be helpful, and may go a long way in promoting GI health.

  2. Curcumin/turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory used by many to reduce pain and inflammation in the body.

  3. Nettles, boswellia, quercetin, oatstraw, green tea, ginger, tart cherry, pineapple…..the list of nature’s anti-inflammatories goes on and on!

I also want to touch just briefly on the power of positive thinking. At my sickest, I recall being unable to work, drive a car, brush my own hair, or even walk without holding onto something. It was absolutely horrible. But I refused to give up! I refused to believe that I wouldn’t get better, and slowly but surely I have regained my health. I still have good days and some bad days, but I try hard to not let the bad days get to me, to not get “stuck” in the bad days, and to really appreciate the good. When we become our illness - when we spend all day every day thinking about our illness - it’s very hard to not get “stuck” sometimes. Trust me, try not to get “stuck.”

Lastly, I have some exciting news that I want to share. Our very own Tailor Made Smoothie Shoppe is now offering Wellness Shots and Wellness Boosts (a small serving of coconut water mixed with beneficial herbs and plants, or the same mixed into a smoothie) in the following options: Immune Support, Stress Reduction, Memory, Inflammation, Master Cleanse, and Liver/Gallbladder Support. I wanted to mention this because some of these things (especially the Inflammation and the Memory shots) may be helpful in alleviating some of these Brain Fog symptoms. For example, the Inflammatory herbal blend contains several of the natural considerations I mentioned earlier, including ginger, turmeric, tart cherry, pineapple, and green tea. These boosts are made using an herb brand that I love and trust called Eclectic Institute, and the products may also be purchased at the smoothie bar or in our store. Stop by and try one sometime soon!

Until next time, be well.

09-Jun-2016 Author: Krista Ostrom

Hi, everyone! I hope you are enjoying this glorious spring we’ve been having so far. I know I am! I’ve been out planting and hiking and biking, and our community recently opened its pool, so I have even been down there with the kiddo a couple of times.

Today I want to chat a little bit about a topic that isn’t directly Lyme related, though it seems to be very common among Lyme patients, especially those who have treated with a number of antibiotics: SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).

SIBO, like its name states, is basically an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, which, unlike the large intestine, is usually quite free from bacteria. When any number of possible factors cause bacteria to populate there, a number of unpleasant symptoms can occur.

The symptoms of SIBO can be very similar to those of something like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and, in fact, it’s common for IBS patients to test positive for SIBO. Typically with SIBO patients may experience abdominal bloating, gas, pain, distention, along with diarrhea and/or constipation.

Testing for SIBO can be a bit tricky, but it is typically confirmed with a breath test. The test involves the patient drinking a solution of some sort of sugar (typically glucose or lactulose) and then blowing into a tube that measures the levels of hydrogen, methane, and other gasses produced as a result of the ingestion of this substance. If a person has SIBO, typically their levels will rise dramatically.

A GI physician may also be able to diagnose this condition if it is found during an upper endoscopy procedure. (My understanding is that not all GI doctors look for it, so it may be something you would want to discuss if you are going to be having that procedure anyway.)


There are a number of predisposing factors that can contribute to or make you more susceptible to SIBO. They include:

  1. Antibiotic use, especially long-term antibiotic use that is frequent with Lyme patients.

  2. Hypochlorhydria (primary or secondary to use of acid blocking medications)

  3. Food not digesting properly (due to a lack of digestive enzymes, bile, etc.)

  4. Malabsorption disorders

  5. Autoimmune disease

  6. Hepatic disease and/or heavy alcohol use

  7. High carbohydrate, high sugar diet

  8. Ileocecal valve dysfunction


Unfortunately, the recurrence rate with SIBO can be quite high, although there are several things that can be done to help lessen the chances of this happening.

  1. Dietary changes - it’s important to look for things in the diet that can be contributing to the problem, specifically certain carbohydrates, starches, and sugars, as those things tend to feed the bad bacteria.

    1. A limited carbohydrate diet like paleo, SCD, GAPS, or Whole30 can often times be helpful.

    2. A low FODMAP diet may also be helpful, either on its own, or in combination with one of the above diets, as FODMAPs are foods that some people have difficulty digesting, and these foods then stay in the GI tract longer and can cause fermentation.

    3. It’s also important to eliminate, or at least limit alcohol, as this can definitely contribute to the problem.

Natural Considerations

Dealing with SIBO can be tricky, as it seems to be a very individualized thing. Typically, a GI doctor will prescribe antibiotics, which may alleviate symptoms. The trick would then be to help your body replenish the good bacteria afterward.

Some people opt for trying any number of botanical protocols, many of which have been shown to be as effective, if not more, than antibiotics. Some of these options might include:

  1. Biocidin

  2. GI Microbix

  3. FC Cidal + Dysbiocide

  4. Tanalbit (plant tannins)

  5. Berberine

  6. Oregano

  7. Lauricidin (monolaurin)

  8. Olive leaf

  9. Garlic

  10. Neem

With any of these things, you will be altering gut flora, so a good probiotic supplement can be helpful. Personally, I have found a good across the board probiotic, along with an S Boulardii (beneficial yeast) to be the most helpful.

Along with all of this, it’s also important to address GI tract motility, if this is an issue for you. There are some products on the market, like Iberogast, that are intended for this purpose. Other options would include ginger, or a prescription compounded Low Dose Naltrexone. Also, making sure any underlying disease process like thyroid, diabetes, or other autoimmune disease, is being treated optimally.

We have a naturopathic doctor (ND) here at Tailor Made, Dr. Paul Ratte, who is able to assist you with both testing and treatment of SIBO, if suspect you might be dealing with this condition.

I have had SIBO a few times myself, but with the things I’ve outlined above, I now manage to keep it in check most of the time, and I’m no longer asking why my tummy hates me!

Until next time, be well.

About the Author

Krista Ostrom

Krista Ostrom is a Lyme Disease patient who has extensive knowledge about Lyme, its many co-infections and co-conditions, nutrition and supplements, food intolerances and allergies, and specialty diets. When she’s not working at Tailor Made Nutrition, you can usually find her hiking with her family, practicing yoga, traveling, cooking her favorite meals, and “geeking out” about integrative health topics.

28-May-2016 Author: Krista Ostrom

Hi everyone - I have some exciting news to share! Here at Tailor Made Nutrition we are pleased to now offer a great new product called TIC-KIT™. TIC-KIT™ is a tool to keep on hand in the event of a tick bite.


The kit includes all of the following:

  • Tick removal device for easy collection
  • Storage container
  • Tick identification card
  • Laboratory testing of the tick for four tick-borne pathogens (twelve sub-species):

    -Borrelia (B.afzelli, B. garini, B. sensu stricto)

    -Bartonella (B. divergens, B. microti, B. sp. EU1)

    -Babesia (B. henselae, B. quintana)

    -Ehrlichia/Anaplasma (E. chaffeensi, E. ewegni, Anaplasma phagocytophilum)

*Online results in days

Be prepared for an unexpected bite.

Purchase the TIC-KIT ahead of time and activate online so it is ready when you need it.

  1. Purchase a TIC-KIT
  2. Activate your kit online
  3. Collect and ship tick
  4. View results

Before you’re bit, get a TIC-KIT.
Lyme and other diseases carried by ticks are on the rise in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 90% of Lyme disease cases go unreported. The symptoms and effects of Lyme disease are severe and may become chronic if not treated.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.
The TIC-KIT provides peace-of-mind with a safe and effective tick removal tool and a highly accurate laboratory assessment of the tick.

These kits are available for purchase here at the store for $44.99, which includes the cost of the laboratory fee.

09-May-2016 Author: Krista Ostrom

Why is Lyme Disease So Confusing Banner

Hey everyone, I hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather we have been having! This week I want to talk a little bit about some of the different thoughts surrounding Lyme Disease. You may hear one thing on the news, another thing from your healthcare provider, and another thing altogether from a friend or colleague, and it can all be very confusing at times.

A Brief History of Lyme Disease

In the early 1970s, in a town called Lyme, Connecticut, a group of children started coming down with some strange symptoms. It was initially thought to be Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (which is fairly rare), but some very observational moms in town noticed that the number of new cases of JRA was much higher than statistically normal, and they began to question whether something else might be going on.

By about the mid 1970s scientists had surmised that this was in fact a new disease, and they called it Lyme Disease, after the town’s name, but they were still unsure of what was causing this illness.

It wasn’t until 1981, when a scientist named Willy Burgdorfer discovered the bacterial spirochete that causes Lyme Disease, and the bacteria was then named after him: B. Burgdorferi. Understanding that Lyme was in fact a bacterial disease, treatment with antibiotics became the norm.

Be prepared for tick season

We are excited to offer a unique tick repellent developed by Stephan Buhner a expert and author specializing in Lyme disease called Lyme Armour. This is the same formula he has written about in his latest book called Healing Lyme. We now offer this in a spray and a rub on salve. protect yourself and your family this summer with this simple spray or salve.

Fast Forward to Today

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are 300,000 new cases of Lyme Disease in this country each year, and those are just the reported cases. This number does not reflect any people who may have undiagnosed Lyme, or who have Lyme and have been misdiagnosed as having something else.

Typically, treating Lyme Disease, there are a few main schools of thought.

  1. The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) has published guidelines that are currently being reworked, but their general position seems to historically have been that patients who have been diagnosed with Lyme using the standard, two-tiered test (ELISA, and then if the ELISA is positive, then a Western Blot) should receive a 2-4 week course of antibiotics, and any remaining symptoms are the result of Post Lyme Disease Syndrome or something else entirely. They express concern about the overuse/misuse of antibiotics in our society.
  2. The International Lyme And Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) provides education to medical professionals and to the general population about Lyme and its common co-infections. The ILADS recommendations for diagnosis and treatment offer much more leeway to the treating physician to look at the “big picture,” so to speak. Diagnostic tests, clinical symptoms, and how the person is responding to treatment are all tools that can be used. So while one patient may respond well to continued antibiotic treatment, another may do much better on an herbal protocol (more on that below). They seem oppose a one-size-fits-all treatment approach for Lyme patients.

Different Treatment Modalities

When we talk about treating Lyme Disease, there is the treatment of acute, very early-stage Lyme Disease, and there is treatment of late-stage, chronic Lyme and/or post-Lyme symptoms.

Early Lyme usually responds well to a course of antibiotics (typically 2-4 weeks). I personally know a handful of people whose Lyme story goes just like that. They got bit, got sick, took the antibiotics, got well. End of story. That’s definitely the best case scenario.

On the other hand, when Lyme is not diagnosed early, treatment gets much more tricky. When you hear someone with persistent Lyme symptoms talking about treatment, they may be talking about several different things.

  1. Antibiotics - sometimes people with Lyme may respond well to that initial course of antibiotics, but their symptoms return when the treatment is stopped. In this case, they may opt, in conjunction with their treating physician, to continue with antibiotics for a longer period of time.
  2. Herbals - there are several herbal protocols that are commonly used among Lyme patients. Stephen Buhner (who I have mentioned in a previous post) has written extensively about this. Byron White and Cowden are a couple of other popular protocols. These are typically intended to address any remaining Lyme bacteria, co-infections, fungal issues, remaining symptoms, and detoxification assistance. Patients who have either tried and failed the antibiotic treatments, or who don’t wish to use or continue antibiotics, often find these protocols very helpful. Many LLMDs or LLNDs support the use of some of these herbal protocols, either on their own, or in addition to antibiotics.
  3. Nutrition and supplements - it’s not at all uncommon for Lyme patients to develop nutritional deficiencies, GI issues, malabsorption problems, and food intolerances. Identifying and addressing problem foods, and ensuring that nutritional deficiencies are corrected can go a long way toward regaining health.

Lyme is a difficult disease. Like other “hidden” illnesses, its patients are often presented with multiple opinions about how best to treat the disease and its many symptoms. We are learning more every day, and my hope is that one day there will be a much better understanding of how best to treat this complex illness.

Until next time, be well.

About the Author

Krista Ostrom

Krista Ostrom is a Lyme Disease patient who has extensive knowledge about Lyme, its many co-infections and co-conditions, nutrition and supplements, food intolerances and allergies, and specialty diets. When she’s not working at Tailor Made Nutrition, you can usually find her hiking with her family, practicing yoga, traveling, cooking her favorite meals, and “geeking out” about integrative health topics.