Advice Needed Please


#1

Hello all,

Thanks in advance for reading this and providing advice. I know the best advice should come from my doc but after visiting a few nutritionists the best advice I keep hearing is to go on a liquid diet for the majority of my meals.

I am 100% gluten free, so I was thinking of trying the Huel GF shakes to replace Breakfast and Lunch meals but I have other gastro issues that plague me. I have SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth. In short, my stomach does not open when I eat, and the pre-digestion that is supposed to take place in the stomach occurs in the small intestine. My small intestine runs at about 22% of the normal speed which means food rots in my intestine quickly. The harder the food to digest the more likely I will get very sick. The doctors and nutritionists tell me to go on a FODMAP diet, but that diet goes against the basic foundation of a diabetic diet.

So here comes Huel. I need the high protein, but normally high fiber slows down digestion. I fear that even though this is a liquid that it will slow down my digestion too much and cause me to have more SIBO problems.

Anyone want to take a stab at this. How regular are you with Huel as a primary source of nutrition. Do you find you are more regular or less. I see that this would be great for the Diabetic part of my diet, but wonder if it will hurt more than it will help. As you can imagine, I am always in stomach pain and discomfort so liquid might be the best solution but is Huel that solution?

Thanks in advance

Bernard


#2

Everyone’s body processes things differently. That said, I am on a 66% Huel diet and visit the restroom 2-3 times daily. In contrast, I would go once per day before starting Huel. I find the high fiber cleans me out quite well. My wife equates it to Roto-Rooter for the digestive tract.


#3

I think you have it the opposite. It actually speeds it up and it makes your transit time shorter. As far as food rotting in your intestines, I don’t know although I think this could be a serious issue because you might not be able to absorb nutrients. I haven’t really heard about this condition, so I don’t really know.


#4

Gastrointestinal “transit time” can be complex. Not only the type of food but quantity. In general, I think fiber tends to help speed up transit time, not slow it. But it can effect people differently.

Also, the damage to the autonomic nerves from elevated blood sugar is believed to be the cause of this “Diabetic gastroparesis”, or slow emptying of the stomach and slowed GI transit time. We see this in some of our diabetic patients and sometimes the doc prescribes a drug like Reglan (metoclopramide) to help increase transit time. It’s one of the more frustrating complications seen in some diabetics. We do know that improving blood sugar and A1c levels can improve a lot of the diabetic complications. So perhaps a diet low in saturated fat, low in sugar, and a moderate glycemic index (such as Huel) will help with the diabetes and thus end up helping the gastroparesis.

I think a lot of the response to Huel will depend on what your dietary fiber intake is now. If it’s low, then the normal recommended amounts found in Huel may be a shock to your intestines at first. For me, it took a little getting used to Huel. And eating Huel once a day makes me go regular.

Huel already in liquid form either as the RTD or the powder reconstituted should help. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. For the powdered Huel, make it ahead of time and let it sit. It allows more time for the fiber to get dispersed into the liquid.

  2. Dilute your Huel a bit more than recommended. I personally prefer the taste of my Huel with more water/milk to make it dilute. For you, it may help make the fiber easier. I know for me when I consume high fiber foods without adequate water, that’s when I have a problem.

  3. Get some old fashioned oats and make a hybrid Huel + Oats mix for your first few days to see if that helps ease you into it. That will help “dilute” out some of the flaxseed and reduce some of the fiber at first, while still letting you get enough total energy. (Huel is 60% oats by volume anyway.) So, instead of a full Huel dose, do like 2/3 of your intended volume as Huel and 1/3 as oats. You’ll need to blend this if this is not an oat powder. Also, it will dilute the sweetness down a bit. You can easily supplement with a small bit of the Huel caramel flavor additive which has a little bit of stevia and tastes great. Or you can supplement some of the total energy with a banana or a lot of berries which don’t have as much fiber. I make most of my Huel doses with only 350 to 400 calories of Huel and then add my own stuff.

As a side note, let me just praise the benefits of oats. They are a fantastic food for a diabetic to eat. They are relatively moderate glycemic index with no fructose or saturated fat to aggravate the insulin resistance. They will fill you up and allow you to go longer in between meals. Oats, to me, are mother nature’s super food.

[Q] Have you ever been on a mostly plant-based diet? The reason I ask is that some people’s cause of SIBO may be some of the meat or dairy sitting in their GI track. Plant based diets may actually promote better bacterial gut health since they may be less inflammatory on the gut lining and contain more fiber and resistant starches to help promote proper normal gut flora in its proper anatomical location. You might find Huel helps with your condition just simply by the fact that it lacks some of those inflammatory food components. Just a thought.

I say give Huel a trial run. You’ll know within a few days if it’s helping or not.