Have you ever considered or heard about SIBO?
SIBO is an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine. The problem is with the location! The majority of bacteria (good, beneficial bacteria and bad, pathogenic bacteria) are found in the large intestine (also known as the colon). Here they help in the final stages of digestion preparing to remove all the waste matter. The small intestine on the other hand is where your food is broken down, digested, and absorbed into the bloodstream.
These unwanted bacteria in your small intestine can often damage your intestinal lining leading to systemic inflammation, food sensitivities, histamine intolerance (the enzyme that is naturally present in the microvilli that helps us breakdown food born histamine can be damaged) and sometimes it can lead to autoimmunity.
The bacterial overgrowth leads to issues with digesting foods and with the absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins, B12 and important minerals such as magnesium and iron.
When you eat carbohydrates (e.g. bread, pasta, rice, vegetables, fruit, foods with added sugar), these bacteria ferment the carbohydrates and can produce excess quantities of gases: hydrogen (H), methane (CH4) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas. Your small intestine wasn’t designed to withstand the build-up, and it tends to get trapped or released through burping, or out the other end. You can also experience nausea from slowed stomach emptying due to the traffic jam, and you can have the classic irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as constipation or diarrhoea.
The symptoms can vary depending on the following type of gasses present:
- Methane Gas can trigger constipation, nausea, belching
- Hydrogen Gas often triggers diarrhoea or alternating diarrhoea and constipation, abdominal cramping, muscle pain, fibromyalgia
- Hydrogen Sulfide gas can lead to: diarrhoea, foul gas, bladder pain, body/joint pain
Commonly seen in my clinical practice
SIBO is something that I see commonly in my clinical practice. It manifests differently in different people from mild to extreme symptoms. My clients with SIBO report everything from mild digestive discomfort to painful bloating that they describe as making them look “eight months pregnant”. They also report everything from looser or sluggish bowel movements to the throes of an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) flare, indigestion to extreme acid reflux. You might look “normal” to everyone, but I totally get that you are suffering in silence behind closed doors. I have also seen it affect anxiety levels in my clients as much as the stomach.
There are many underlying causes which I review. For example, a common cause can be impaired motility as a result of damage to the Motor Migrating Complexes, another cause could be impaired digestion as a result of ongoing chronic stress or a lack of stomach acid, bile or digestive enzymes all needed to help breakdown and absorb food. I explore many areas during a consultation to try and get to the root cause.
The SIBO-Candida Connection
You may have gone through SIBO treatment but yet you’re only feeling about 40% or so better, so you retest and discover the SIBO is gone. Yet you still have the symptoms of chronic bloating, belching, nausea, diarrhoea, and gas. Unfortunately, many times, a few coinfections are in play. And one of the most common overlaps is a yeast or fungal overgrowth, also known as candida. This can be treated on my 90 Day Gut Restore Programme.
There are also some conditions highly associated with SIBO. These include
- Interstitial cystitis
- Restless leg syndrome
- Acne Rosacea
There are others like IBS, IBD and Coeliac disease where a person doesn’t improve much on a coeliac diet.
You should also consider the following:
These are indicators where it is worth investigating if you do have SIBO.
- Do you feel worse when taking prebiotics or probiotics?
- Did your symptoms start after a bout of gastroenteritis (food poisoning)
- New research has shown that many patients develop IBS as a consequence of acute infectious gastroenteritis. Common bacterial causes include Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. Coli, and Shigella. This is called SIBO-PI (post-infectious).
- Have you noticed your symptoms improve while on antibiotics for an unrelated problem?
- Does fibre worsen your constipation?
- Do your symptoms worsen with xylitol and other sugar alcohols?
The most reliable way to test for SIBO is through a breath test which you can do in Ireland at https://gastrolife.ie/ Once you have your test results you can book in on my highly personalised 90 Day Gut Restore Programme. I have completed a SIBO Mastery Programme with the SIBO Doctor (Dr Nirali Jacobi) and can offer much needed support with personalised dietary and lifestyle advice. Specific supplements are also recommended dependant on the type of SIBO gases present.