If you have been suffering from bloating and gassiness and don’t seem to be able to figure out why, the answer may be SIBO. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition in which large numbers of bacteria that are supposed to be found in the colon are present in the small intestine. This overgrowth wreaks havoc on the digestive system. Given that one of the main functions of the small intestine is to digest and absorb food, any interruption in this process will affect absorption of nutrients and potentially lead to numerous nutrient deficiencies.
SIBO is often an overlooked condition as its symptoms do overlap with other conditions. For instance, many patients with IBS test positive for SIBO which may be the underlying cause for their symptoms and often these symptoms are eliminated with proper SIBO treatment. Some of the symptoms of SIBO include bloating and distention, excessive gassiness, indigestion, abdominal pain/cramps, and diarrhea/constipation.
What are some of the conditions associated with SIBO (as cause, effect, or coexisting):
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Hypochlorydria (low stomach acid)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Interstitial cystitis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
How do I get tested for SIBO?
SIBO Breath Test measures the levels of hydrogen and methane, which are two gases, produced by bacteria in response to glucose or lactulose (sugars). Humans do not produce these gases. These gases are a result of fermentation of these sugars by bacteria. If the levels of these gases increase to an abnormal level, then SIBO is diagnosed. Complications from untreated chronic SIBO can range from mild vitamin and mineral deficiencies to severe malabsorption and consequently major nutritional deficiencies and even weight loss.
For further information on SIBO testing, contact Wellness Naturopathic Centre 604.987.4660
Wellness Naturopathic Centre, North Vancouver, BC
The information on this website is for education purposes only. It does not substitute for proper assessment and treatment by a licensed health care provider.