Skip to main content
 SIBO Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth 

Good gut health starts with supporting greater diversity and numbers of 'good' gut bacteria in the large intestine.

In the small intestine, however, an overgrowth known as Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a sign of a digestive disorder. In this part of our gastrointestinal tract, we want less, not more bacteria.

Due to the fact that it is often a secondary disease, SIBO is difficult to manage and can take years to eradicate, if ever.

The primary cause is suspected to be a combination of decreased small intestine motility (muscular movement), bile acids and pancreatic enzymes. 

There are disease states that we know can lead to SIBO (secondary disease) and can be treated: 

  • Active small bowel inflammation (e.g. Coeliac, Crohn's)
  • Adhesive disease
  • Collagen vascular disease
  • Diabetic enteropathy
  • Gut dysmotility
  • Small bowel diverticular disease
  • Small bowel structuring disease (e.g. Crohn's, NSAIDs)

Common symptoms overlap with those of IBS and include:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Malnutrition
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Vitamin (esp. A, D, E, K & B12) & mineral (esp. calcium, iron, magnesium) deficiency
  • Weight loss 

In addition, because of brush border inflammation, fructose and lactase (enzymes that break down fructose and lactose respectively) deficiency may develop as a result of SIBO.

Diagnosis is usually via the non-invasive Hydrogen Breath Tests where patients drink a lactulose or glucose solution. The resulting hydrogen or methane, which can only be produced by bacteria present in the small intestine, is measured. Your GP or gastroenterologist will interpret the results.

We know the following increase your risk of developing SIBO:

  • Aging
  • Alcoholism
  • Chronic antacid/PPI use (leads to gastric achlorhydria)
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Gastroparesis (slow emptying of the stomach)
  • GI infections 
Treatment is with antibiotic therapy for 14 days, followed by a repeat breath test and some dietary changes to address possible nutritional deficiencies and minimize symptoms.
The low-FODMAP diet is clinically proven to help manage IBS in around 70% of sufferers. Carbohydrate intolerance is common among patients with SIBO, and the Low-FODMAP diet may, therefore, be very helpful. Other possible treatment diets are based on anecdotal evidence and include GAPS (Gut & Psychology Syndrome diet) and SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet).

As with all diets, the choice of which is best suited depends on the patient and should be personalized by your nutritionist.

Stay blessed with good health…always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Brain Boosters
Wait…er…er…now what was I going to say? I forgot…Just give me a minute…it’s at the top of my head…or the tip of my tongue!!!

Does the food we eat have a bearing on our memory? If so, how can we increase our memory with food? Turns out that brain foods matter …especially for our grey matter 😊

In a culture based on overstimulation and multitasking, it’s no surprise that many of us have a hard time remembering things. Well, if you can remember to eat them, there are several memory superfoods that will keep you sharp as a tac! Here is a list of a mix of fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods, oils and even chocolate…yes, you read that right... there is something to please everyone !!!

Fatty fish like salmon, rawas, rohu, katla, tilapia, mackerel/bangda, kingfish/surmai, hilsa, pomfret, sardines, and sea bass
Egg yolksAvocadosBroccoliCeleryBeetrootsDark green leafy vegetablesBlueberriesOrangesPumpkin seedsSunflower seedsWalnutsGreen teaTurmericRosemaryThymeCoconut oil Olive oilC…
Snoring When asked if they snore at night, most people say they don’t…and then the spouse pipes in “YES!!! Loud enough to wake the neighbors”. Snoring is a natural occurrence – something that happens when you can’t move air freely through your nose and throat during sleep. Plenty of people are the victim or the culprit of sawing logs all night long.

Just about everyone snores occasionally, and it’s usually not something to worry about. But if you regularly snore at night, it can disrupt the quality of your sleep—leading to daytime fatigue, irritability, and increased health problems. Snoring can lead to irritability in both the snorer and the one lying awake because of the snoring. It has been the bane of many a happy marriage.
Snoring and sleep apnea are NOT the same thing.

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition that should receive medical attention. Sleep apnea is typically caused by a breathing obstruction, which awakens the sleeper, at which point the person begins br…
Listen To Your Body
New and contradictory findings in the field of nutrition, health, and wellness can be puzzling and overwhelming! Veganism is in! NO, it’s not! Coffee is good! Coffee is bad. Keto diets are a blessing! Yes, but what about keto flu, libido changes, bone density changes and the fact that in medicine, a keto diet is primarily used to treat epilepsy in children? Red wine is healthy. No, it’s not! The truth is that science is constantly evolving and things are rarely black and white.

The fact that there are so many unqualified people dishing out ‘gems’ of nutritional advice for free, makes the process of knowing what foods, diets, and health plans are the right ones even more difficult. These quacks have no real education in nutrition and health. They simply collate random bits of information from the internet, put it together and come up with skewed and absurd versions of scientific facts.

The best way to choose which plan is working for you is by listening to your own bod…