Could your "IBS" really be SIBO?

SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is a very common digestive issue and the symptoms are very similar to IBS. SIBO occurs when there is too much bacteria in the small intestine which overgrows from the large intestine. This is usually due to slow motility of the intestine which allows for bacteria to grow very quickly and can be caused by food poisoning, low stomach acid, frequent antibiotic use and IBS.

The symptoms are mainly bloating, gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea and these are usually made worse if you take probiotics, eat probiotic foods or high FODMAP foods which include onions, garlic, beans, pulses and dairy.

How do you know if you have it?

Usually a good indication that you have SIBO would be an intolerance to high FODMAP foods and the symptoms becoming worse with probiotics. FODMAP is a term given to a group of carbohydrates which are absorbed in the small intestine to feed your bacteria and causes gas which can be very uncomfortable for people suffering with IBS and SIBO. There is also a test that you can take called a SIBO breath test which measures the amounts of gas that is expelled in your breath over a period of a few hours and can indicate that you have SIBO if you are producing a large amount of gases.

Can you get rid of it?

It is a long process but it is possible to be free of SIBO. You can achieve this by using anti-bacterial herbs such as oregano, wormwood and berberine to reduce the bacteria, eating a temporary low FODMAP diet to reduce the symptoms while you are working on fixing the issue, improving on your bowel motility to ensure that it is functioning effectively and to prevent a reoccurrence and lastly including healing foods to repair the gut and probiotics if you can tolerate them.

It is important to find out the cause of SIBO as well, for example if it is due to food poisoning then it would be a good idea to make sure there are no pathogenic parasites still in your body which may cause a relapse in symptoms.

If you think you may have SIBO and would like some support in the best course of action to take then feel free to contact me for a free discovery call where we can discuss your health concerns and see what the best course of action would be.