WHAT IS SIBO?
Simply put, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth is a chronic bacterial infection of the small intestine. The infection is of bacteria that normally live in the gastrointestinal tract but have abnormally overgrown in a location not meant for so many bacteria.
The bacteria interfere with our normal digestion and absorption of food and are associated with damage to the lining or membrane of the SI (leaky gut syndrome, which I prefer to call leaky SI in this case). •They consume some of our food which over time leads to deficiencies in their favorite nutrients such as iron and B12, causing anemia.
•They consume food unable to be absorbed due to SI lining damage, which creates more bacterial overgrowth (a vicious cycle).
•After eating our food, they produce gas/ expel flatus, within our SI. The gas causes abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea or both (the symptoms of IBS). Excess gas can also cause belching and flatulence.
•They decrease proper fat absorption by deconjugating bile leading to deficiencies of vitamins A & D and fatty stools.
•Through the damaged lining, larger food particles not able to be fully digested, enter into the body which the immune system reacts to. This causes food allergies/ sensitivities.
•Bacteria themselves can also enter the body/bloodstream. Immune system reaction to bacteria and their cell walls (endotoxin) causes chronic fatigue and body pain and burdens the liver.
•Finally, the bacteria excrete acids which in high amounts can cause neurological and cognitive symptoms.
The main symptoms of SIBO are those of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). SIBO has been shown to exist in up to 84% of IBS patients and is therefore theorized to be the underlying cause. It is associated with many other disorders as well, as an underlying cause or as an aftereffect of the pre-existing disease.
Symptoms may include: abdominal bloating and gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, heartburn,
fatigue, skin issues such as eczema or rashes, leaky gut, malabsorption, fatigue, headaches, joint pain and mood symptoms such as low mood, associated with IBS and more.
The Lactulose Breath Test (LBT) identifies if you have small intestine bacterial overgrowth. After digesting lactulose, levels of hydrogen and methane are measured in the breath. Humans can’t digest or absorb lactulose. Only bacteria have the proper enzymes to do this. After they consume lactulose, they make gas. If there is an overgrowth, this will be reflected in the levels of Hydrogen and/or Methane.
We over this test to rule out SIBO as a cause of your IBS, chronic GI symptoms, fatigue, or symptoms of unknown origin. This is a treatable condition and we are here to assist you in proper treatment.
*Reference for the above information is from www.siboinfo.com