Do you suffer from abdominal pain, gas, bloating and have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome? Have you tried to eat more fiber and take probiotics to help your digestion but your digestive symptoms are worsening?
If that is the case, you should consider SIBO as a potential cause of your symptoms.
So what is SIBO?
During certain circumstances, bacteria from the colon (large intestine) migrates and overgrows into the small intestine (which is supposed to be low in bacteria). Once this bacteria backs up into the small intestine, it can increase gas and fermentation. This conditionis called SIBO ( small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and it is more common than we used to think. If you are not tested for it, you will not know you have it. Actually, up to 70% of patients diagnosed with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) test positive for SIBO. There is a similar percentage of patients with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome who also have SIBO. If you suffer from diarrhea, constipation, food sensitivities and reflux (GERD), you might test positive for this condition.
The lactulose breath test to diagnose SIBO is done from the comfort of your home. It measures the 2 common gases involved, so we will know if you have the condition and how severe it is. Once we know the test is positive, a simple antibiotic might not be enough to get rid of this condition for good. Many of my patients have been treated once with the antibiotic Rifaximin and find the condition reoccurs.
Why is that? In Functional medicine we often see that one condition can have several root causes or imbalances that have to be addressed before the cure is achieved.
7 Conditions that predispose to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
- low hydrochloric acid production in the stomach,
- certain medications such as antacids (PPI’s) or opiods,
- motility issues due to stress, food poisoning or some medications,
- ileo-cecal valve issues and adhesions after abdominal surgeries,
- hypothyroid or diabetes, which slows the motility of the digestive tract,
- pancreatic enzyme deficiencies,
- nerve damage that affects vagus nerve.
Some patients with skin issues such as acne and rosacea, or chronic fatigue have SIBO. If untreated, SIBO can cause malabsorption of certain nutrients leading to anemia, low levels of vitamin B 12 and vitamin K and weight loss.
In our clinic we diagnose and treat SIBO with a comprehensive approach that addresses the underlining causes for SIBO. This includes suggesting dietary changes, specific botanicals and medications if needed, addressing motility disturbances and supporting the repair of your digestive system.
If you have SIBO or think you may have it, please reach out, we can help. We will develop a comprehensive plan tailored to you to identify and address the underlying causes of this condition and to prevent a re-occurrence.
Partner with us on your journey to health and wellness!