SMALL INTESTINE BACTERIAL OVERGROWTH (SIBO)
SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) is a condition that presents differently in each individual based on their unique microbiota and life experiences. SIBO is characterized by an overgrowth of commensal bacteria in the small intestine.
Commensal is characterized by a symbiotic relationship in which one species is benefited while the other is unaffected. In the large intestine bacteria create essential vitamins and short chain fatty acids.
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth usually occurs due to a disruption in the cleaning action wave known as the migrating motor complex (MMC.)
When bacteria (and/or archaea) either do not properly move through the small intestine or they might ‘reflux’ from the large intestine into the small intestine. The bacteria may then overpopulate and produce gas/es that lead to the multitude of unpleasant signs and symptoms of this condition.
Common digestive signs and symptoms present as changes in bowel function such as constipation, diarrhea or mixed stool consistency. It may also be unexplained mild to severe abdominal pain and / or abdominal bloating and distention, passing gas and / or burping or even very minor gastrointestinal distress.
- Abdominal Pain
- Abdominal bloating and distention (visible or nonvisible)
- Acid Reflux (GERD) or Neutral Reflux
- Bad Breath
- Brain Fog / Difficulty Concentrating
- Cyclic Vomiting
- Easily satieated / Feeling of fullness
- Excessive Hunger or Thirst
- Gas – Passing Wind or Foul Smelling ‘like rotten eggs’
- Weight Gain / Inabilty to lose weight
- Weight Loss / Cachexia
SIBO is associated with a variety of common chronic conditions such as gastroesophageal relfux disease (GERD), elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and / or blood sugar levels.
It is also associated with chronic conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (previously known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), Diabetes, Hashimoto’s, Lyme, Autoimmune conditions and many more.
Allergies, asthma, eczema, food sensitivities and ‘leaky gut’ are also associated with SIBO.
The staggering increase in cesarean section births has lead to an increased propensity to develop SIBO in both the mother and child!
A variety of associated conditions are commonly present in individuals with SIBO and/or risk factors for having an altered migrating motor complex (MMC.)
Although patients typically come to me with digestive complaints as their primary concern, they are often pleasantly surprised by the resolution of other conditions post SIBO and continued MMC risk factor management.
Below you will find a list of some of these associated conditions that can be improved or resolved by addressing SIBO.