What exactly is SIBO?
8th September 2018
What is SIBO?
SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. It is a bacteria growing and living in the small intestine where it should actually be situated in the large intestine. It’s not necessarily “bad bacteria” it’s just in the wrong place.
For good gut health it is vital that Microbes (gut bacteria) are in the correct place because not only are their studies showing they can help your body to manage your weight, they help you to retain a strong immunity overall.
They can help us feel happy and motivated (around 95% of our Serotonin is produced in the gut. Serotonin = our happy hormone)
So what process should be happening in the small intestine?
It’s where the majority of the breaking down of our food happens. Fats and Carbs are broken down in the Small Intestine, but protein gets broken down in the stomach. The small intestine is also where we ABSORB most of the nutrients from our food from the digestive tract and into the bloodstream.
If you have SIBO your body doesn’t absorb the vitamins and minerals properly from the food you eat and certainly doesn’t break the proteins and carbohydrates down effectively. Therefore you can actually end up malnourished even if you are the healthiest eater you know! I am a proven case of this after I received the results of an organic acids test I had done where I was low on many minerals and vitamins that I have always eaten in vast quantaties.
The migrating motor complex (MMC) acts as a house keeping operation, acting like a big pump that pushes and sweeps the food along the small intestine. For different reasons this may be sluggish which results in the food not being swept through which in turn ferments and feeds the bacteria lurking in there. The MMC consists of four stages that switch on and work in between meals, with a cycle lasting approximately two hours
What causes SIBO?
Good question! It’s different for everyone. Stress, poor cephalic response, sluggish digestive system, stomach adhesions (scar tissue) that hasn’t been broken down, eating too many grains, too larger portions of vegetables, too much sugar, eating too regularly not allowing your MCC pumps to switch on…the list goes on.
What are the symptoms of SIBO?
Where do I start! Brain fog, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, mood swings, stomach cramps, back pain, anxiety, depression, weight loss and severe tiredness. These symptoms can be severe or mild. Everyone is different.
How do I test?
Find a Practitioner who offers SIBO testing. It is a breathe test. Conventional medicine does not recognise this condidtion but it is becoming more commonly spoken about. You will be able to come and see me for a consultation very soon regarding gut health once my new website and business is up and running.
What are the consequences of having SIBO and not being diagnosed?
You can end up with leaky gut, which is where food particles leak into the blood stream that shouldn’t do resulting in inflammation. This can lead on to auto-immune diseases one common one being hashimoto.
If left undiagnosed, SIBO can result in mitochondria dysfunction, digestive problems, hormonal imbalances or even inflammation within the body.
What foods do I need to avoid if I have SIBO?
This will depend on the individual but as a general rule fibre has to be considerably limited so grains (apart from white rice) are best avoided. Cruciferous vegetables can be a big problem for some people. Sugar, dairy and gluten all need to be avoided as all these foods feed the bacteria that we want to get rid of and are quite inflammatory on the gut lining.
So how do you kill the bacteria and how long does it take?
Now that depends firstly on whether you have methane or hydrogen based sibo. Every protocol alters depending on the individual. It depends on how high your levels are as to how quickly you get rid of it. It can take two or three series of treatment and some people struggle to ever get rid of it and have to learn to manage it.
It’s important to follow a very strict diet which stops feeding the bacteria before you go in and kill the bacteria. I’m a fan of the by-phasic diet.
Treatment can vary from herbs to herbal antibiotics to some stronger antibiotics that are currently more wide spread in America.
.Does bloating always indicate SIBO?
Not necessarily! It could just be that you possibly have a food intolerance and are reacting slightly to that particular food.
How long after eating do you bloat?
1-20 minutes after eating – suggests there’s something going on in your stomach acid
1-3 hours after eating – Some possible discomfort in the small intestine.
3 hours after eating – You could have possible dysbiosis (imbalance) in the large intestine.
So do you want to ignore SIBO and just “put up” with the annoying symptoms or would you like to test and eliminate sibo. I will be able to test for this at the beginning of next year so if you can wait till then I will happily help you. Meanwhile if you are looking for a Practitioner make sure you find one that has a good reputation and with a great deal of knowledge regarding the subject. A good relationship with your Practitioner is vital as the treatment can take a while, so you need to resonate with them.