Could This Be The Cause Of All Your Digestive Issues?
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or SIBO for short. SIBO is essentially bacteria from the large intestine that have moved into the small intestines in great numbers and cause issues because they are not supposed to be there. It stops the small intestine from being able to absorb the nutrients and causes them to ferment and the bacteria eat the fermenting food and produce gas.
Signs and Symptoms
- Bloating -especially after meals, or it gets worse by the end of the day
- Alternating constipation or diarrhoea
- Food intolerances or food sensitivities
- Burping, gas and acid reflux
- Joint pain
- Iron and B12 deficiencies
- Acne rosacea
- Abdominal cramping pain
- Nausea or pain under the sternum
- Interstitial cystitis
- Coeliac disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease-Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Chronic prostatitis
- Skin rashes
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The causes are many and varied and to successfully treat the condition you really need to locate the cause and treat it as well as the SIBO.
- Gastroenteritis/food poisoning
- Antibiotic use
- Use of proton pump inhibitors(acid blockers)
- Surgical interventions-Crohn’s disease, gallbladder removal, appendix removal
- Overconsumption of simple carbohydrates
- Low Hydrochloric acid production
- High Stress
- Medications-Oral Contraceptive Pill, pain medication-opiates, morphine, narcotics and calcium channel blockers.
- Altered anatomy like malformation of the ileocecal valve and also surgical interventions.
Testing For SIBO
SIBO testing is not without controversy but I believe it’s better to test as there is a high relapse rate. It is an easy test that will take you 3 hours to complete and you can do it in the comfort of your own home. Some prior dietary restrictions are best done 24-48 hours prior to the test being completed.
During the 3 hours of the test – 10 breath samples are taken.
The first one is the control and the next test is taken after the ingestion of lactulose and then every 20 minutes after to that to see how quickly the lactulose is used by the bacteria as food. Once they eat the lactulose they produce hydrogen or methane gas which gets diffused into the bloodstream and exhaled via the breath.
It is not a fool proof test but with a thorough case history and the test result it is pretty easy to see if you have SIBO. My preferred test is www.sibotest.com.
Where to Then?
Diet and antimicrobial treatment are necessary if SIBO is found because it takes a multifaceted approach to resolve it.
Depending on the level of gas created and to how many cycles of antimicrobials are needed. Diet plays a huge part in the treatment plan as you are trying to reduce the available food for the bacteria but still nourish your body to maintain health. There are some well tested diets for SIBO but as everyone is different it is best to seek help here.
Finally SIBO is a very difficult condition to treat and it has a very high relapse rate – (45% of patients will relapse after 9 months) so there needs to be a lifestyle protocol put in place so all the risk factors can be reduced.
If you would like any more details about SIBO or would like to have a free 15 minute consultation with me if you think you have SIBO or SIBO like symptoms. Go to Book Now and I look forward to having a chat with you about SIBO.