SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth. It is a common condition that is the result of having too much bacteria in the small intestine. It is normal to have some bacteria there. However, the majority of gut bacteria are usually in the large intestine. Once more bacteria starts to setup in the small intestine, that's when your symptoms tend to start.
Signs and Symptoms of SIBO
Symptoms of SIBO vary from person to person. However the most common things I see in office are:
A lot of the time, these symptoms will be diagnosed as IBS.
SIBO vs IBS
Most SIBO symptoms can commonly fall under the diagnosis of IBS. When comparing the two clinically, it is tough to differentiate the two conditions. The only way to confirm the diagnosis is the hydrogen and methane lactulose breath test.
The Most Common Root Causes of SIBO
An infection in the gut leading to changes in the natural gut bacteria over time.
POOR MOTILITY (movement of food through your digestive tract)
Lack of normal movement of gut contents along the tract allows for food stagnation and overgrowth of bacteria. The lack of movement of digestive contents allows bacteria to stay still, grow, and overpopulate. This then allows the bacteria to overgrow in certain areas where they normally would not be in such large numbers. When bacteria sit still, they will begin to eat and consume the digestive contents as fuel. This manifests as excess gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea.
HYPOCHLORHYDRIA (AKA LOW STOMACH ACID pH)
A less acidic stomach environment could lead to more bacteria and undigested foods passing through the stomach and ending up in the small intestine to fuel the growth of more bacteria.
How To Treat SIBO
Dr Landon McLean is a Naturopathic doctor accepting new patients in Whistler BC