What is SIBO?
SIBO stands for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. 20% of patients with IBS-like symptoms actually have SIBO.
SIBO is a condition in which bacteria, that are normally found in the large intestine, are able to colonize in the small intestine. These bacteria produce toxin compounds that cause digestive inflammation and disease symptomology. Untreated, SIBO can cause long term damage and becomes more difficult to treat.
Symptoms of SIBO
The symptoms of SIBO mimic IBS, in fact, SIBO can be a CAUSE of IBS.
A common SIBO scenario is symptoms that WORSEN with high fiber diets, fermented foods, and probiotics.
How Does SIBO Happen?
There are MANY different causes of SIBO, but there are some that are more common than others.
Many cases of SIBO begin after a food poisoning episode. When the body is exposed to bacteria that cause food poisoning, there is damage to the cells that control peristalsis. When this mechanism is slowed, food stays in the small intestine longer than it is supposed to making a perfect home for bacteria to feed and colonize. If the exposure is severe and the bacterial overgrowth not treated, extensive damage can occur, leading to lingering symptoms.
Another common scenario is post cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal). Bile is an important part of our digestive system and has many functions. The gallbladder does not make bile, but it stores and concentrates it before releasing it into the small intestines. One of the functions of bile is to promote peristalsis. Thus, if the bile is no longer concentrated, and at optimal function, it can cause the maldigestion of food as well as the slower movement of the small intestines. Again, making a wonderful home for bacterial overgrowth.
How Do I know If I HAve SIBO?
The most effective way to know if your symptoms are due to SIBO, is to do a very simple breath test.
The bacteria that cause SIBO produce toxic compounds, Hydrogen and Methane. These gases migrate into the lungs for expulsion. We are able to do controlled breath tests for these gases to accurately diagnose SIBO in patients.
If you suspect you may have SIBO, call today and talk to our practitioner