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Elemental & Semi-Elemental Diets (Guide For SIBO and GI problems)

Do you suffer from bloating? That dreadful feeling in your stomach...

I believe it's happened to all of us. You've just eaten your favorite dish ( not even much), and just after, you feel that your stomach is about to "explode". You feel as if you were pregnant, or as if you weighted 20 pounds more!

It makes your inside feel uncomfortable, which just makes you feel annoyed and frustrated. Very often it forces you to slutch, so after a while, you're suffering from back pain.

So how can you prevent it? And what causes it?

Bloating is often causes by digestive system diseases and imbalances like Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), Crohn's Disease, and Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).

In this article, however, we will focus on the most common ones in thyroid diseases i.e. SIBO and Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

SIBO stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Normally, there should not be lots of bacteria in our small intestine (in contrary to the large intestine, which is the "house" of beneficial bacteria to our body).

Sometimes, however, bacteria from the large intestine travel and overgrow into the small intestine and that's when the problems start!

If You develop SIBO, then it can lead to more issues like intestinal permeability, which only makes the autoimmune reaction of your organism worse and leads to problems connected with the thyroid gland and various gastrointestinal issues like bloating, gas, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, or sometimes both.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), on the other hand, is a chronic disorder that affects the large intestine with symptoms such as cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and either diarrhea or constipation, or both.

It is a common disorder, with an estimate of 20 percent of the global population being affected.

The symptoms of IBS tend to come and go and can be triggered by food intolerances, stress, and hormonal changes.

There is no definitive test for IBS, but it is usually diagnosed based on the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms when other conditions have all been ruled out. While the exact cause of IBS isn’t known, there are several possible reasons for this painful condition:

  • damage to your intestinal wall (from long term unhealthy diet or stress)

  • inflammation of the intestines (from stress, bacteria or parasites)

  • changes in the gut bacteria (like for example SIBO)

  • nervous system abnormalities

As You can see, both SIBO and IBS are kind of similar in terms of the symptoms and causes/triggers (infection, bacteria, stress, hormones).

The same applies to the treatment. Although a little bit different (SIBO protocol usually involves different herbs and supplements than IBS protocol), the diet, which can be used to heal is the same!

The most restrictive, yet the most effective (as high as 84%) diets are the Elemental Diet and Semi-Elemental Diet.

So what are these diets and which one should you choose? Let us explain it simply in the table below.

As you can see both diets are effective, with small differences like the taste, absorbability, and type of powdered formulations that you should use.

The powered formulation is usually prepared 3-5 times a day by dissolving it in water. It serves as a substitute for your meals.

What about homemade (DIY) Elemental Diet, how to prepare it?

A homemade elemental diet can be a good option for those who have more time and want to save some money.

Here is the DIY homemade recipe:


  • 1 jar Jo Mar Labs: Pure Form 21 Blend, 1000 gram size (

  • Raw Honey 80 oz Honey (5 pounds jar/2.3 kg)

  • 1600ml of Oil (fat), such as medium train triglyceride (MCT), coconut, olive, cod liver oil

  • 1 bottle Pure Encapsulations: Nutrient 950 Multivitamin, 90 capsules

  • 4 tsp of Himalayan Salt


Mix together in a blender with water in an amount to achieve a thick enough formulation (according to your preference).

Per meal Dose: (taken 3x day for 14 days):

  • 2 Tbs + 1 tsp Pure Form 21 Blend

  • 5 1/2 Tbsp Honey

  • 1 tsp Oil

  • 2 capsules Multivitamin

  • few dashes Salt


This Recipe has not been clinically testes so we still advise you to work with a doctor and to use already made formulations on the market.

Frequency Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Will I lose weight using elemental and semi-elemental diets?

A: These diets have not been studied and developed for weight loss, but rather for healing and helping to get rid of the chronic gastrointestinal problems. However, we've noted that if fewer formulations a day are used (for example 3 instead of 5), clients usually lose weight, because of the lower caloric intake. It all depends on your goals, preference and

medical history (should be discussed with a doctor before).

2. Are these diets safe?

A: If done correctly, and preferably, under the supervision of a doctor, they're completely safe.

3. Can Elemental and Semi-Elemental diets help with autoimmune disease?

A: Yes. A clinical trial has shown that an elemental diet was as effective as the anti-inflammatory steroid drug prednisone. It means that it can be used in conditions like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves' Disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and others. There is still not enough research about it, but the results are promising and scientifically, by supporting our gut, the autoimmune disease should improve, as very often autoimmune problem starts in our gut (gut health is essential for a healthy body).

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