Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO is attributed to many irritable bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome yet it is very under-diagnosed. It’s not an infection but rather an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine which proliferates due to a slow metabolism. 

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The vast majority of our gut bacteria should live in the large intestine and only a small portion should be living in the small intestine. But with SIBO, your intestinal bacteria expands and colonizes in your small intestine which damages the cell lining. This is what can lead to leaky gut and allow large protein molecules to seep into the bloodstream. This stimulates inflammation and immune reactions which is how food sensitivities and autoimmune diseases begin. They aren’t kidding when they say “all disease begins in the gut”. 

 

The small intestine is extremely important as it’s responsible for nutrient absorption. It breaks down the food you eat using pancreatic enzymes and bile from your liver. With SIBO, its not uncommon to have nutritional deficiencies like iron, B12 and fat-soluble vitamins; A, D, E and K. If escalated, it can lead to a carbohydrate intolerance, malnutrition, anemia, anorexia and/or hormone imbalances as the bacteria can change the way hormones are metabolized and excreted. 

 

Common Symptoms: 

 

Bloating/Abdominal Swelling (this is the main one) 

Abdominal Pain 

Diarrhea/Constipation 

Gas/Belching 

Fatigue 

Weight Loss 

Nausea 

Heartburn 

 

As always, test don’t guess! We offer the GI Map test which gives clues to whether SIBO is present or not as well as insight into the rest of the GI tract to see what might have caused the SIBO. We do offer SIBO breath tests as well in certain cases where we need to decipher the type. However, we do not diagnose. 

 

If you suspect SIBO, it’s time to check out our 1:1 membership. We need to eliminate the bacteria in your small intestine and restore your metabolism to create a healthy digestive system with properly colonized beneficial bacteria. This doesn't always mean eating pro-metabolic right away.