What Is SIBO?
SIBO is the acronym for “small intestinal bacterial overgrowth,” defined as excessive bacteria in the small intestine. While bacterium naturally occurs throughout the digestive tract, in a healthy system, the small intestine has relatively low levels of bacteria; it’s supposed to be at highest concentrations in the colon.
The small intestine is the longest section of the digestive tract. This is where the food intermingles with digestive juices, and the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. If SIBO is indicated, malabsorption of nutrients, particularly fat-soluble vitamins and iron, can quickly become a problem.
When in proper balance, the bacterium in the colon helps digest foods and the body absorb essential nutrients. However, when bacteria invades and takes over the small intestine, it can lead to poor nutrient absorption, symptoms commonly associated with IBS, and may even lead to damage of the stomach lining.
When you have SIBO, as food passes through the small intestine, the bacterial overgrowth interferes with the healthy digestive and absorption process. The bacteria associated with SIBO actually consume some of the foods and nutrients, leading to unpleasant symptoms, including gas, bloating and pain.
Even when treating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth with antibiotics, relapse rate is high. This is because reducing bacterial overgrowth is just one part of treatment. You need to change the environment of you small intestines (things like pH and bacterial balance) and support your digestion to prevent SIBO from occurring again. This is a chronic condition that can be cured, but it takes patience, perseverance and a change in diet. In fact, SIBO treatment includes a healing diet, and some foods should be avoided until the gut flora is back in balance. (source)
- Alternating constipation and diarrhoea
- Food sensitivities
- Belching and flatulence
- Heart burn
- chronic digestive complaints
- Abdominal cramping and pain
- Joint pain
- Skin Symptoms
- Iron and B12 deficiency
- Respiratory symptoms (eg: asthma)
- Mood symptoms e.g.: depression and anxiety
What does it do?
Instead of allowing the villi and the microvilli in your small intestine to absorb nutrients from the food, the bacteria digest it instead, causing it to ferment. A bi-product of the bacteria’s digestion is methane and/or hydrogen gas, which is only produced by the bacteria and not our bodies.
This causes bloating, flatulence, cramping, diarrhea and more. It is also believed this gas can cause leaky gut syndrome where the cell wall of the gut becomes more permeable (‘leaky’) and allows food particles through to the blood stream, creating inflammation.
Working with a SIBO-savvy practitioner is very important
We can recognise and organise testing for SIBO, teach you about the foods to avoid and the foods to replace in your diet, and which specific supplements to take for your specific case of SIBO. We inform and educate you, along with inspiring you to make easy changes to improve your health.
Our SIBO treatment is designed around the 5 pillars of health.
1: Awareness – being aware of your symptoms is the first step in your recovery
2: Nutrition – nutrition is vital to a healthy gut life and essential to recovery
3: Movement – our gut responds positively to movement
4: Mindset – positive beliefs will support you to achieve wellness
5: Lifestyle – the way you live your life is fundamental to recovery.
If you are concerned about your health or would like to talk more.
Your Wellness Matters