Frequently Asked Questions: The Gut, SIBO, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, and Histamine Intolerance

Gut problems are common for those of us with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance (or both!).

About 80% of people I see in our Mast Cell 360 clinic have gut problems. Does that include you?

And gut problems can be complex. What works for one person may not work for the next person.

Lots of questions come up in my clinic around gut health. That’s why I wanted to cover some Frequently Asked Questions about gut health in this blog post.

And of course, we’ll also cover the connection between gut health and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance.

The blog post comes from an interview I did with one of the top gut health experts, Steve Wright.

Steve is not only a gut health expert, but also a dear friend of mine. He has helped me tremendously with my gut health.

Because he helped me so much, I wanted to have him share some of his knowledge with you.

Now, if you’ve been following my blog, you probably know that I had a hydrogen water machine that broke. And when I had it serviced, they said they’d sanitized it.

They hadn’t.

It was full of bacteria and candida. So gross! I drank water from it for two days before I realized there was a problem.

I already had a touchy gut. And then the contamination from the water machine gave me both Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO).

I tried everything that had worked for me before. But this time, nothing helped. Finally, I called Steve for help.

I said, “Steve, I’m so stuck.”

What he suggested wasn’t anything fancy.

Steve said, “Pull back. Go back to the basics.”

And it helped.

So that’s what we’re going to talk about today — in the context of SIBO. We are going back to the basics. Whether you have SIBO…or other gut issues.

First, let me tell you a little more about Steve.

Steve is a medical engineer. And he had his own pretty severe gut issues.

Nobody was able to help Steve with his gut. Kind of like me in the mast cell world. So he realized he was going to have to figure it out himself.

He enrolled in the Kalish Functional Medicine Institute to learn how to get at the root cause of his digestive issues — not just treat symptoms.

He spent $400,000 fixing his health. He figured out his gut health. He used everything from western medicine to herbs and supplements to do this.

He is now a gut health specialist and founder of healthygut.com. (Formerly SCDLifestyle) It’s the biggest gut health website on the internet.

So, we’re going to start off with a bit of Gut & SIBO 101.

But first, if you’d rather listen to the interviews (rather than read it), you can watch them here:

Live Q&A with Steve Wright on Gut Health and Digestive Supports with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance

SIBO, Gut Health and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome | Histamine Intolerance

The Gut & SIBO 101 – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance

woman's stomach

It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. 

So, we’re talking about SIBO as an overgrowth of bacteria. But it’s really more than that.

It’s really a microbiome that’s in the wrong spot.

The microbiome can also get imbalanced in other ways. One way is too much bad gut bacteria from issues like eating too many carbs and sugar.

Another way is the introduction of a species of bacteria which shouldn’t be present at all (like contaminated food and water.)

But in general, SIBO is a microbiome in the wrong location.

Basically, for the GI tract, we have our stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. And there are valves between them.

The majority of the microbiome is in the upper LARGE intestine. That’s where most of the bacteria are supposed to live.

The large intestine has about 100X more species of bacteria than the small intestine.

So, SIBO is a case of the bacteria making a home in your upper SMALL intestine.

Fungal overgrowth can also occur in the small intestine. That’s known as SIFO – Small Intestine Fungal Overgrowth.

Each of our digestive organs has its own ecosystem.

And in general, the small intestine should have a lot fewer microbes than the large intestine.

We’re learning more all the time about the microbiome. And it really goes back to the environment or the ecosystem of each organ. In other words: is the environment allowing bugs to grow in the wrong areas?

So, we really need to focus on the internal environment of our gut. In the next section, we’ll get into some of the causes of these gut imbalances.

Structural Causes of SIBO and Other Gut Imbalances – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance

Diaphragm and lungs

There are a number of causes behind gut issues like SIBO.

Structural issues are the most basic ones to check for.

For example, a locked up diaphragm. Some people get this due to stress or trauma. This can often present as a sway in the low back.

Valves between the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine are affected if the diaphragm is pulled up. If the valves can’t close properly, bacteria can back up. Or food can stay stuck in the digestive tract.

So, the underlying architecture of the gut needs to work correctly. The architecture is pretty delicate in the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.

Nerve damage in the abdominal area could also be a factor.

Nerve damage can happen from things like:

  • a car accident
  • getting kicked by a horse
  • a sports injury
  • anything else along those lines.

So, if you’ve been dealing with digestive issues for a while and nothing is working, you might consider getting an endoscopy and a colonoscopy.

If there is a structural thing going on, supplements alone won’t be able to fix that.

So, first consider: What are your major root factors in your gut? Do you have mold toxicity? That’s one of the biggest ones.

Then rule out major structural issues. Including spine issues. I’m working on getting my spine stabilized right now. My vertebrae keep shifting. And that’s putting pressure on the vagal nerve.

The vagal nerve has a huge
impact on the stomach, on digestion, and motility
(constipation or diarrhea).

Other structural issues are things like having a longer colon. It’s genetic and nothing to be alarmed about. But, it may lead to a greater likelihood of having constipation long term.

Once structural causes are ruled out, it’s time to look at motility. That’s the movement of food through the gut.

We’ll talk about poor motility and SIBO next…

Motility Causes of SIBO – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance

digestive tract

It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone.

I mentioned earlier that motility is the movement of food through the gut. With slow motility, food gets stuck in the gut. That can create an environment for bacteria to grow.

Peristalsis is important for motility. Peristalsis is the name for the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestines.

This creates wave-like movements that push the contents of the intestines forward. When I talk about waves, this is what I’m talking about.

We need peristalsis (the waves) to come in and clear out the debris, so to speak.

These waves are important for the migrating motor complex (MMC). The MMC is there to clean out the small intestine. It pushes everything through. And it needs those waves to do this.

Stomach acid is probably the #1 driver of those important waves.

If you have low stomach acid, those cleansing waves might not be working right. That means things aren’t being pushed through like they should be. And that can lead to bacteria growing where it shouldn’t be.

According to research data, 65% to 85% of IBS patients have low stomach acid.

So, getting the stomach acid to a good level is important. You can do this with certain supplements. I’ll go over that more in the next section.

So back to those waves that are needed to keep things moving in the gut. Another thing about those waves: they need 3 to 4 hours to kick in.

So another way to help make sure the MMC can do its job is having space between meals.

See, when your body is actively digesting food, it isn’t in clean-up mode. The MMC (clean-up mode) only kicks in once the body isn’t digesting.

So, if you can, longer time intervals between meals can be helpful. That means no calories between meals. That gives those waves time to kick in.

If you have adrenal fatigue, then spacing out meals may not be possible right now. It may take time to build up to that. That’s how it was for me.

Another driver of those waves is issues with nerves. For example, the vagal nerve.
This is a very common issue with the gut.

The vagal nerve plays a big role in motility.

Nerves give off all kinds of signals telling our bodies what to do and when to do it. They also give off chemical signals. Like for stomach acid.

And we know that the vagal nerve is key in Mast Cell Activation…and in the nervous system in general.

That’s why if you’re struggling with diarrhea or constipation, you may need to support the vagal nerve. That encourages good motility – not too fast or too slow.

A low histamine vitamin C, magnesium, and ParasymPlus may help with constipation. But they may not help enough if there are vagal nerve issues going on, too.

In those cases, addressing the vagal nerve can be the missing piece in SIBO protocols.

It can be a missing piece for almost anyone with IBS, too.

We’ve got to shift into that parasympathetic mode (rest, heal, digest) for proper digestion.

And that’s why the Mast Cell Nervous System Reboot can help if you have motility issues.

Even a gratitude practice like prayer or mindfulness can really help. A practice like this helps to move you out of the sympathetic mode (“fight or flight”) and into the parasympathetic mode (rest, heal, and digest.)

So now you have some background on the whats and whys of gut health and SIBO.

Next I want to share with you the advice Steve gave when he told me to make sure I wasn’t missing the basics.

Those basics include a few key supplements. We’ll cover those (and how to find good ones) next.

Betaine HCL Supplements for SIBO and Other Gut Issues – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance

HCL Capsules Mast Cell 360

This blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always work with your healthcare professional.

Unfortunately, the conversation around SIBO, dysbiosis, and other gut issues often ends with supplements which only address surface needs.

But the right supplements can help change the gut environment. They can make an inhospitable environment so these bacteria won’t thrive.

Microbes aren’t all that different from humans. If the environment/weather is bad, they won’t want to live in that place.

So, how do you get that good environment?

We talked a little bit earlier about how stomach acid is one of the biggest drivers in keeping the small intestine clear. And how low stomach acid can affect motility.

Well, how does low stomach acid happen in the first place? This can happen for a number of reasons.

Stomach acid tends to go down as we get older. Particularly over the age of 50.

But acid also goes down when you pick up a chronic health condition. And that’s not dependent on age. So, if your health declines at age 12 or 30 or 70, your stomach acid can be affected, too.

I started getting acid reflux as a child.  This was from antihistamine medications I was on for terrible mast cell symptoms like chronic hives.

And that’s another cause of low stomach acid — medications.

Research from the last 20 years on Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) show that they have a major effect on lower stomach acid, too.

Now, many of us with mast cell issues have to take a very low level of an H2 blocker like Pepcid. That can lower the stomach acid somewhat. But it’s not the same as PPIs.

But in general, when we take drugs to lower stomach acid, it’s not good long term. So, ruling out low stomach acid is one of the first things to do when you’re dealing with digestive issues.

Whether your motility is too fast, like mine (diarrhea), or too slow, like Steve’s (constipation), low stomach acid is contributing to that speed.

So, how do you rule out low stomach acid?

Well, you could do a GI Capsule test. It’s called a Heidelberg test. It usually costs $500 to $800 a test out-of-pocket.

You have to swallow a capsule with a string attached to it to keep it in your stomach. It’s a bit invasive. Most people don’t like it.

Alternatively, one option you can consider is just trying a Betaine HCL supplement.

Steve’s HCL Guard+ is what I use in the clinic. It’s my favorite Betaine HCL. It also has ginger and DGL in it. These are really helpful for the Histamine and Mast Cell side of things, too.

Research has shown ginger:

  • has good antihistamine properties
  • is an H2 blocker in the gut
  • stimulates motility

And research has also shown DGL helps repair the mucosal lining of the gut.

HCL Guard+ also includes pepsin for breaking down protein.
And it has the intrinsic factor that helps absorb B12.

So you are getting a lot of assistance in just one supplement!

And the great thing about Steve’s HCL Guard+ is that if it doesn’t work for you, you can get a refund. That’s not the case for things you buy at Walgreens or CVS. Or even expensive supplement stores.

And supplements from those places usually have fillers. Like titanium dioxide and all kinds of other stuff. Things that are mast cell triggers.

So, what does HCL have to do with SIBO or dysbiosis? Basically, we’re correcting the speed of digestion (getting good motility). And getting a good stomach acid level is one way to do that.

With good motility, food doesn’t hang around too long. And without this food, bugs don’t want to hang around in the wrong place, either.

Hey, another thing about low stomach acid — it also contributes to how many nutrients you take from your food.

You could be spending $20 a pound for wild caught salmon. Frozen right after the catch. But you might only be harvesting 50% of the nutrients from that good quality food due to low stomach acid. UGH!

For us to absorb the nutrients, they have to be a very particular size.

If the pieces aren’t super small, they won’t get absorbed. They literally can’t go into the body. So they just hang out where they are. And then bacteria show up.

Steve gave this analogy about the bacteria in the gut:

It’s as if you threw a bunch of food waste out on the sidewalk. Then bears and raccoons started showing up.

You don’t like having bears and raccoons. But bears and raccoons love trash food! 

So to get rid of the bears and raccoons, you have to quit throwing food out onto the sidewalk. And you need to clean up the food that is already out there, too.

So this is how stomach acid links to SIBO, dysbiosis, and other gut issues.

You want to have that food well digested before it hits the small intestine. Otherwise you’re going to get the wrong bacteria feeding on it.

Kind of like attracting bears or raccoons with garbage.

Who Shouldn’t Take Betaine HCL – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance

NO HCL Capsules

You may not tolerate Betaine HCL supplement because of gastritis or an ulcer. Or if you’re on a long term steroid like Prednisone. These things thin out your stomach lining. That’s your mucosal lining as well as your stomach lining.

Also, if you have major overmethylation issues, you may not tolerate it well. I don’t see that too often, though.

Finally, if you are allergic to pork, you may not be able to take Betaine HCL with Pepsin.

So, let’s look at some FAQs around Betaine HCL supplements next.

FAQs about Betaine HCL – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance


This blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always work with your healthcare professional. 

QUESTION: With other supplements, Mast Cell patients usually open the capsule and start slow. Does that work with Betaine HCL? 

ANSWER: No. With Betaine HCL, you don’t want to open the capsule. You don’t want to sprinkle it on food or in water like we normally do with supplements.

That’s because it’s acidic. It’s a stomach acid replacement.

And you don’t want to have acid on your hands or touching your mouth. So, if you’re going to try it and need to start slowly, here’s one way to consider doing that.

Put on gloves to transfer contents into empty capsules. Transfer just a portion of the HCL Guard + to the empty capsule.

You absolutely must have the contents in a capsule. If you don’t, the acid will irritate your mouth and throat.

The tissue in your mouth and throat are sensitive. But your stomach is made to handle stomach acid. So once the contents get to your stomach, that’s fine.

QUESTION: “What’s the best way to determine how much betaine HCL to take?”

ANSWER: You could consider a Betaine HCL challenge. You can search the internet for exact directions.

If you have any known contraindications, don’t try this challenge at all.

And before you consider the challenge, you’ll want to make sure that the product you are testing is an HCL specific product. If it includes only 200 mg of HCL plus other herbs and enzymes, the challenge won’t really work.

The challenge works best with at least 400 mg of HCL in a capsule.

So if you decide betaine HCL might be right for you and you’d like to try the challenge, this is how it generally works.

To start with, you’d take just 1 of these pills with your normal meal.

Then look for a change in your symptoms.

  • If you take 1 and notice hotness, burning, or warm sensations, it’s likely that an HCL product is not for you. You likely have enough stomach acid. If this happens you can neutralize the extra acid. One way to consider neutralizing is putting a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in about 4-6 oz of water and drinking it.
  • But if you don’t notice anything, then you could slowly increase the amount of pills you take each day. Until either:

1) You get a change in your symptoms (bloating gets cut in half, loose stools get better, constipation improves, etc)


2) You feel that warmth or hotness sensation. In that case, you would go back down by 1 pill. Say you get to 5 capsules on Day 5,  and you have some warmth in your stomach. You might want to take the baking soda to neutralize the acid. Then, this would tell you that 4 capsules is your ideal dose.

However, say you get to 5 capsules and notice that your constipation is improved. And you don’t have any warmth in your stomach. Then you might stay at 5 capsules for a while. And you might try adding one or two later down the road.

QUESTION: What if I’ve taken Steve’s HCL Guard+ (or another Betaine HCL product) and get to a really high dose. Like 8 capsules. But I never feel warmth or any other symptoms. Does this mean it’s not having an effect?

ANSWER: There are some people that rarely feel it. Steve is one of them. One time, he took 15 Betaine HCL pills before feeling anything. Around 25% of the population will never feel that warm sensation.

For those people: pay close attention to your symptoms. Even more so than this “warmness” or “burning sensation.” The overall symptoms are a better signal than whether or not you have a “burning” sensation.

Always be sure to work with your healthcare professional as well on finding your optimal amount.

QUESTION: What is meant by a “burning in the stomach”?

ANSWER: Basically, while doing the HCL Challenge, if you take too much (over-supplement) it might feel like hotness in your chest. Or, it might feel like burning or tingling in the stomach area. Once you get to that point, one way to neutralize that is taking some baking soda.

Note – if you have high blood pressure, talk to your medical professional before using baking soda.

QUESTION: For taking HCL, it should be taken with protein, right?

ANSWER: Yes. Either animal-based protein or vegetable-based protein will work.

QUESTION: Can you take HCL Guard+ if you have Alpha-gal Syndrome?

ANSWER: No you wouldn’t take HCL Guard+ or Tributyrin-X . Alpha-gal Syndrome is a rare allergy to products from mammals. The gelatin capsule would create problems for Alpha-gal. So would the pepsin, which comes from pork.

HoloZyme™ are 100% vegetarian. This would be a better choice to consider with Alpha-Gal.

QUESTION:  How do you support the stomach if you can’t take HCL Guard+? 

ANSWER: HoloZyme™ are 100% vegetarian. You could consider taking extra HoloZyme™ maybe 4 capsules at a time instead of two. That may help you overcome a pepsin deficiency. Because HoloZyme™ will start working on your stomach right away.

QUESTION: What about using the baking soda test to test stomach acid?

ANSWER: The baking soda test is not very accurate. But if you do try it, you should repeat the baking soda test at least 3 days in a row if you’re going to take any conclusions from it. But it’s better for most people to stick with the HCL challenge.

QUESTION: When is it best to take Betaine HCL or HCL Guard+?

ANSWER: Most people do best taking the pills with a few sips of water right before eating.

However, you also may do fine taking it at the end of your meal. You can see what works for you.

Some people may find they prefer to take these in the middle of the meal even.

QUESTION: Is there anyone else who shouldn’t take this supplement?

ANSWER: If you have ulcers or gastritis, your stomach is irritated. So you will likely not do well on more acid. Also, if you have salicylate intolerance, the HCL and pepsin may not work for you.

QUESTION: What about digestive bitters? Like Swedish bitters?

ANSWER: Bitters can help stimulate stomach acid and can be very helpful. But those of us with Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance generally have to stick with dandelion root only. That’s because most bitters have clove and orange in them.

Magdalena over at Hormones Balance just came out with a pre-digestion bitter that I’m trying. I’m really excited about it. And it’s mast cell friendly, so we’ll be talking about that in the future.

Now, we mentioned earlier about enzymes breaking down food particles into smaller pieces. We’ll go more into the importance of enzymes in the next section.

Enzymes for the Gut and SIBO – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance

woman holding abdomen

If you have low stomach acid, you have a really high chance of having low enzyme function, too. 


It has a lot to do with pH levels and gets a bit complicated. But in a nutshell:

Whatever you eat goes into the stomach. It’s mixed with all the stomach acid, pepsin, and intrinsic factor.

But digestive enzymes may only function at 20 -50% if the stomach acid and pH was off to begin with.

So if your stomach acid is off, your pancreatic enzymes are unlikely to work as designed.

So that’s one of the reasons why you want to consider looking at supporting good levels of stomach acid AND digestive enzymes.

And here’s why enzymes are important.

There are two types of enzymes: Pancreatic enzymes and brush border enzymes.

Pancreatic enzymes are like the big guns. Pepsin, a stomach protein enzyme, is another. They do a lot of the heavy lifting.

And then the brush border enzymes come in. Brush border enzymes are the enzymes made in the small intestine to finish off that job of breaking down food particles.

And they clean up all the junk that’s left. They make it totally usable by the body. And not very usable for the bacteria.

So you need both pancreatic enzymes and brush border enzymes.

HoloZyme™ is Steve’s groundbreaking enzyme supplement. It includes both pancreatic and brush border enzymes. He included both because HoloZyme™ is meant to work for whatever your issue is.

Pancreatic and brush border enzymes are super important.

So, it starts with the Betaine HCL and pepsin breaking down the protein. And that’s going to affect our pH for the activation of the other enzymes.

And then the digestive and the brush border enzymes that happen in the small intestine are going to do the rest of the digesting.

Enzymes taken within 10 minutes before a meal or up to 45 minutes after a meal are always going to end up being digestive enzymes.

If you take them without food they will most likely end up working like a systemic enzyme.

We have an enzyme blog post that is going to have a lot of this information in more depth. So, you can also check that out.

The HoloZyme™ product has a combination of pancreatic and brush border enzymes. This supplement does have a little citrate. In the mast cell world we try to stay away from this.

But this magnesium citrate is one of the key ingredients that makes HoloZyme™ different. This is because digestive enzymes need minerals to activate.

This means if you are low in minerals, other digestive enzyme supplements won’t really have the full effect.

In testing, magnesium citrate had the best activating effect. And the citrate gets used up in the activation. I’m finding that it’s not a problem for most people in our Mast Cell 360 practice.

Except for those who are in the super-super-sensitive category.

Let’s look at a few FAQs about enzymes, next.

FAQ on Digestive Enzymes – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance


This blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always work with your healthcare professional.

QUESTION: With many supplements, mast cell patients usually open the capsule and start slow. Does that work with HoloZyme™?

ANSWER: Yes, if you’re super, super sensitive, you can definitely open the capsule on this supplement. You can sprinkle it onto food or water. Start slowly if you’re sensitive.

QUESTION: Once I find my ideal amount of enzymes, do I stay on that amount?

ANSWER: Not necessarily. Your gut health is going to change (and hopefully improve!) over time.

At first, you might need 6 enzymes per meal to really digest. And as your gut heals, you might only need 2 enzymes per meal.

When we took my enzyme levels up, that really helped. But then we added short-chain fatty acids I didn’t need as much HoloZyme™.

And those short-chain fatty acids were a game changer. We’ll talk about that next.

Butyrate for Gut Health and SIBO – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance

Capsules pouring out of bottle

Short-chain fatty acids are critical for gut health. Butyrate is one kind of short-chain fatty acid. And it’s a good mast cell stabilizer!

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including butyrate, help because they feed the good bacteria.

This is a huge help if you have to be low FODMAP. This is because high FODMAP foods feed your good gut bacteria. It’s why they’re so important.

I’ve taken different kinds of butyrate. I’ve tried the sodium butyrates. I’ve tried the liquid butyrates.

I was spending a lot of money on these and not noticing any difference. 

Then I tried Steve’s product. And this was a game-changer for me.

So, Steve’s supplement, Tributyrin-X™, is a way to start feeding good bacteria without FODMAPs. The tributyrin compound actually helps increase FODMAP tolerance and food tolerance over time.

It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. 

Let’s look at some FAQs around butyrate supplements:

FAQ Butyrate for SIBO – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance


This blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always work with your healthcare professional.

QUESTION: With other supplements, mast cell patients usually open the capsule and start slow. Does that work with Tributyrin-X or other butyrate supplements?

ANSWER: No, you don’t want to open that capsule. Butyrate naturally has a strong smell.

If you opened a capsule and put a couple drops in water, you probably would never go back to take it again. So don’t open that capsule.

QUESTION: Do different people need different amounts of Tributyrin-X?

ANSWER: Yes, if you suffer from constipation, you might not need as much. Maybe 1 or 2 capsules per day. If you suffer from diarrhea, you might need more. More like 3 to 6 capsules per day.

QUESTION: Once I find my ideal amount of Tributyrin-X, do I stay on that amount?

ANSWER: Not necessarily. Your health is going to change (and hopefully improve!) over time.

So, someone might at first need to take 3 to 6 capsules per day. But as their gut heals, they might only need 1 or 2 capsules per day.

That’s because they’ll be able to make short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) from food again. Including high FODMAP foods.

QUESTION: Can kids take Tributyrin-X?

ANSWER: Steve’s Tributyrin-X has not been specifically tested on kids. So, we can’t say that this is 100% safe. Definitely work with your healthcare provider.

However, some customers have worked with their providers. They have tried Tributyrin-X for kids who can swallow the gelcaps. They’ve had positive results.

So, why are we talking so much about digestion on a mast cell website?

Because our digestive system has a huge impact on our mast cells. We’ll talk a bit about that in the next section.

SIBO, Gut Health, and Mast Cells – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance

mast cells under microscope

So, how does SIBO relate to mast cell issues? Well, anything that’s causing inflammation in the digestive tract can set off mast cells.

That includes an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.

Bacteria produce their own kind of toxins. So they’re going to create inflammation. Or, we have mold toxins coming in and producing lots of inflammation.

Related Article: How To Gently Detox Your Body from Mold with MCAS

The whole GI tract is lined with mast cells. And that’s really important for us to remember: What’s happening in the GI tract is happening to the mast cells. And then that’s going to affect our histamine levels.

And then when we have leaky gut, that creates other issues.

The cells in the gut should be really tight. They’re called the tight junctures. But inflammation and other things cause them to start opening. Then you’ve got spaces between the cells. And that’s how you can get food particles into the bloodstream.

And if you get more histamine, you get more mast cell mediators into the bloodstream. So it’s all related.

Recap on the Gut FAQs – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance


Here’s a recap on what we covered:

Structural issues
Check for structural issues:

  • Chiropractic check up (upper cervical specialist)
  • Endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy

Motility issues
To tackle motility issues, consider these:

  • Eating patterns – Check how often you’re eating. If you’re snacking, consider going without. Then see if your digestion improves.
  • Low stomach acid = high stomach pH
  • Check vagal nerve signaling (see the Mast Cell Nervous System Reboot)

Supplements Options – What to Know if You Have Mast Cell Activation or Histamine Intolerance

road signs

It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always work with your healthcare provider.

This is my Mast Cell 360 Functional Gut Lineup that I use both for myself and in the practice. It covers the 3 important areas to support in the GI tract:

  • stomach
  • small intestine
  • large intestine

So you’re giving each organ the building blocks to get its job done and to support healing.

These are the best quality supplements in this category I’ve every found. They’re each unique and cutting edge.

>>> $15 off HCL Guard+ – Top stomach acid support with Ginger, DGL, Intrinsic Factor

>>> $15 off HoloZyme™Top small intestine digestive
enzyme support, including brush border enzymes

>>> $15 off Tributyrin-X™ – Top SCFAs support for the large intestine

Steve has a good refund policy because he took so many things that didn’t work. He doesn’t want to be that company that keeps money when products don’t work.

But he still only very few refund requests. But if you have ordering issues or if you have questions about these products, just email them at support@healthygut.

You’ll also get access to Steve’s Facebook group if you purchase. I often find myself there, grabbing all kinds of new information. There’s so much good info there.

If you have further questions, you can email Healthy Gut at support@healthygut.com. You can also call and talk to them at 1-888-612-5997.

What if you can’t take those supplements? Other options for the gut if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance.

If you have salicylate intolerance, you may not be able to take HCL Guard+. Or you may not be able to start with these supplements because of sensitivities.

If that’s the case, check out this blog post with some alternative, simpler options. They aren’t quite as effective as the Healthy Gut line, but they’re a starting place:

Enzymes, Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA’s) and Gut Health in SIBO, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance

If you have significant supplement sensitivity, you may not be able to take a full softgel of the Tributyrin-X or handle multiple ingredients in the others. If that’s the case, the Mast Cell Nervous System Reboot is a great next step.

It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always work with your health care provider.

For Further Reading

*Some links in this website are affiliate links, which means Mast Cell 360 may make a very small commission if you purchase through the link. It never costs you any more to purchase through the links, and we try to find the best deals we can. We only recommend products that we love and use personally or use in the Mast Cell 360 practice. Any commissions help support the newsletter, website, and ongoing research so Mast Cell 360 can continue to offer you free tips, recipes, and info. Thank you for your support!


  1. Emily

    In one of your articles, there was a link to the empty capsules that Beth recommends, however now I cannot find the link or the article. If you could share the link, I would really appreciate it!

  2. Denise Abrams

    Ok this is interesting .. but I didn’t see a web site for steve to order his supplements. I def have MCAS and histamine intolerance going on a year now. At first, nothing was working bc we were treating the wrong dis-ease. I have spent the year researching symptoms and finally have landed on MCAS. It makes the most sense and I def have some gut issues as well as I was living at my dad’s last winter in Louisiana where he still has carpet. I remodeled the bedrooms but not the carpets yet, but that is the next move. MOLD and mildew are not my friends. I live in Colorado so much drier climate thankfully, although my skin will dry out faster here and hence, more itching. But, I feel like I have def found the culprit being too much histamine and MCAS. Knowing that really helped me approach it naturopathically. I have tried some supplements, high doses of vitamin C and D have helped, but these supplements that Steve has sound like the real deal. So, if I missed his website sorry, but I would be interested in ordering all 3 of the ones you recommended.

  3. Larina


    If I take Parasym Plus along with the following, is this the best order? I’m not sure where the Parasym Plus fits into the equation and if it can be taken first thing in the morning with no food, or needs to follow the enzymes and create the “shake” in your gut as things move their way down

    Thank you so much for everything, I am thankful every single day for the information you share and how much you’ve helped!

    1. Dandelion – acidity
    2. Tributyrin-x – prebiotic
    3. HMF Forte – Probiotic
    4. Holozyme – Enzymes
    5. Parasym Plus – take last?

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Larina,
      This is really case by case in terms of when to introduce, but that order in general looks ok. It is usually taken in the morning without food, but some people may do better onboarding it first with food, and then shifting to without food.


  4. Linn Rivers

    Hi there! I am very appreciative of all of this information. I have a question in regards to salicylate sensitivity. Why would one not be able to take HCL Pepsin? I would love to understand this. Thanks so much! 🙂

Add A Comment

Recipe Rating

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.