Our bodies are not meant to have so much trouble with their normal human functioning. If you’re suffering from digestive issues such as abdominal swelling, bloating, diarrhea, and maybe even fatigue you might want to ask yourself,
“Do I have SIBO?”
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, can cause a lot of symptoms, discomfort, pain, and stress. It can even cause other conditions if not treated.
Unfortunately, most conventional doctors have never heard of SIBO even though it may account for most people diagnosed with IBS. SIBO may have actually caused their IBS in the first place.
In this article, I will share what SIBO is, what causes it, the symptoms, and other issues SIBO can create if left untreated.
What Is SIBO?
SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, is a condition where our good gut bacteria grow in the small intestine where they don’t belong.
Our gut contains trillions of bacteria that are vital to our health and well-being. The friendly bacteria in our gut microbiome aid us in digestion, the absorption of nutrients, vitamin and neurotransmitter production, and immune system functions.
So really, they are important to not only our physical health but our mental wellbeing.
These bacteria actually belong in the large intestine.
When bacteria set up shop in the small intestine instead of the colon, they chow down on the food you eat and create gas such as methane and hydrogen. If they are creating methane it’s more likely that you will have constipation, and if they are creating hydrogen you’re probably experiencing diarrhea. Diarrhea is much more common in SIBO than constipation.
What Are The Symptoms of SIBO?
To help you figure out if you’re dealing with SIBO or something else, I created a list of symptoms that you may be experiencing. These are the most common symptoms of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth:
- constipation (less common)
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- vitamin deficiencies
- feeling uncomfortably full after eating
- skin rashes
- food sensitivities
SIBO seems to show up more often in people who have autoimmune disorders, diabetes, diverticulitis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or those who’ve already been diagnosed with IBS or IBD – Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
What Causes SIBO?
SIBO can have a variety of causes.
Very often the cause is low stomach acid or the pH of the stomach acid is more basic and less acidic. Low stomach acid is actually a very common problem and can also be the cause of heartburn.
In the case of SIBO, the absence of stomach acid or the imbalance of the pH of the stomach acid prevents the killing of bacteria in our food. This means that not only does low stomach acid hinder our ability to digest food properly, the bacteria that are let through find a new home in your small intestines.
Here they feed on your food and emit the gases that cause painful bloating.
Another way SIBO can occur is from the other side. Bacteria from your large intestine may have traveled back up into your small intestine.
These bacteria love sugar and refined carbohydrates, and this could possibly be why those who have type 2 diabetes have higher incidences of SIBO. So it’s probably a good idea to cut out the sugar and refined carbs.
What Problems Does SIBO Create?
Because the small intestine is filled with hungry bacteria, they get first dibs on the food you eat. This can lead to malabsorption of nutrients and vitamin deficiencies.
- kidney stones
- weight loss
- imbalance of electrolytes
- poor absorption of carbs, fats, and proteins (due to intestinal damage)
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
It’s important that you address your digestive issues as soon as possible to avoid other health risks. I will be writing on how to treat SIBO in a future article. If you’re looking to try something right away I’d recommend this program.
Still Don’t Know If You Have SIBO?
There are tests that can be done and you can even order them and do them at home! However, they are somewhat complicated so you need to fully read the instructions and keep a timer handy. The test will require you to fast for 12 hours beforehand.
Another way to go is to visit a functional doctor or a naturopathic doctor. These medical professionals have studied SIBO and can work with you to find out if you do have SIBO or something else and help you to treat and heal the condition in a holistic way. Antibiotics may be needed in some cases.
I will be writing an article in the near future if you would like to heal from SIBO and would rather treat yourself. I will also be writing another article explaining the differences between SIBO and Candida, which is what I had. Candida is a fungal overgrowth. I chose to follow an online program and now I have my Candida under control.
There is a program similar to the Candida one I went through that treats SIBO and I’ve seen others have a lot of success with it. Make sure to stay tuned to my future review on that!
*If you do choose to buy any of those programs make sure to use my promo code GUTSNEEDLOVE10 to get $10 off! Every little bit helps.
Please let me know in the comments if you think you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and what you are currently experiencing or if you have tried remedies that have worked for you!