Ten Warning Signs You May Have SIBO: (Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth)
- Abdominal Bloating and/or Gas
- Chronic Constipation and/or Diarrhea
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Food sensitivities
- Feel worse when you eat fiber or fermented foods
- Feel worse when you take certain probiotics
- Low iron stores
- Joint Pain
- Auto-immune disease
- Celiac- little improvement of symptoms after following a gluten free diet
What is SIBO?
SIBO is an acronym for Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth. It occurs when the bacteria that resides in your colon has made its way into the small intestine. (A healthy small intestine should house very little bacteria).
When bacteria moves upstream into the small intestines, it causes a lot of abdominal discomfort. Foods we normally eat feed this bacteria, especially foods high in fiber or fermented foods that would normally be beneficial.
When the bacteria is fed, it produces either a hydrogen or methane gas which can cause incredible abdominal bloating, gas, diarrhea and or constipation and inflammation.
Causes of SIBO:
- Hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) Read moreon this here
- Stress-often the cause of low stomach acid and decreased/increased bowel motility
- Radiation of the small intestine
- Infections- (a bout of stomach flu)
- Ileo-cecal valve resection
- Pancreatic enzyme deficiency (determined w/stool testing)
- Decreased motility of intestine (causing constipation)
- Decreased bile acids (produced in liver and stored in gallbladder)
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Testing for SIBO: (A simple breath test)
This year I’ve begun testing and treating my clients for SIBO and so far 90% have tested positive. This is often great news for my clients because it ends the painful uncertainty and places us on the road to recovery.
The test consists of a simple breath test measuring the amount of hydrogen and methane produced by bacteria in the small intestine over a 2 hour period after drinking a solution of lactulose. The test is completed at home and sent to the lab. Results are usually obtained within a week.
Treatment of SIBO: (The Road to Recovery)
There are highly effective herbal treatments as well as pharmaceuticals available to eradicate SIBO. Dietary modifications during and after treatment also play a role in efficacy of treatment and prevent re-occurrence.
Just as important as killing the SIBO is treating the underlying causes. Treating low stomach acid, lack of enzymes, constipation, infections, parasites, reducing stress, healing the gut lining are all part of the healing protocol.
The Connection Between IBS & SIBO
Clients come to see me after being diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). IBS, is basically, a catch all diagnosis given when your doctor agrees that there’s something wrong with your digestive system but doesn’t know why or what to do about it. Nice to have the label but frustrating that there’s often little help following the diagnosis.
The first order of business, once diagnosed is to get to the root cause of why there is an unhappy, irritated bowel. Dr. Pimental, of Sedar-Sinai Medical Center suggests the root cause of IBS is most often SIBO.
Please share your experience with IBS, SIBO or other digestive problems in the comments section below.
Schedule your Free 15 Minute Consultation to discuss any questions you might have regarding SIBO.