Gut Bacteria & SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Gut Bacteria & SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a serious gastrointestinal disease that affects the small intestines.  The gut is full of bacteria.  Some good bacteria and some bad bacteria, as long as the ratio of good and bad bacteria stays balanced there is no trouble.  It’s when there becomes an imbalance that trouble can occur. 

SIBO happens when bacteria that isn’t supposed to be in the small intestines starts multiplying out of control.  This can happen after you have stomach, or intestinal surgery or can even happen if you have an underlying condition.  A main factor of SIBO is when the food slows down through the digestive tract.  This allows bacteria to increase.  

 

Causes

Lots of things can cause an imbalance in your gut bacteria.  Some causes of SIBO can be from medication.  This can be from taking prescription drugs, or antibiotics that affect the bacteria in your gut.  Other causes can be low levels of stomach acid or even a weakened immune system.  If you have a digestive tract disease such as IBS or lactose intolerance your risk of getting SIBO can increase.  Other risks are being female, or older adults.  

 

Diagnosis

SIBO is largely underdiagnosed.  It could be up to 80% of people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) have SIBO as well.  While only 6% of people without an underlying condition can get it.  The diagnosing process can sometimes be very difficult because the symptoms mirror so many other things.  At first your doctor will want to take your medical history and hear your symptoms that you are having.  If you have an underlying condition you will want to make sure your doctor knows all the history so that he can diagnose you appropriately.  If your doctor suspects SIBO he will have you do a breath test.  The breath test will measure gas levels in the body.  It measures the levels of hydrogen and methane in the body.  Blood, urine, and intestinal fluid tests can also be performed to confirm diagnosis.  

 

Symptoms

There are a lot of symptoms that go along with SIBO.  The main one that you may at first experience is stomach pain.  You can also experience bloating, cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation.  You can also have indigestion and gas.  In more severe cases you can experience malnutrition and unintentional weight loss.  So many of these symptoms overlap with other intestinal diseases that it can be hard to diagnose.  

 

Treatment

Once you have been diagnosed the treatment process can be lengthy but it is curable.  The first treatment you can do is taking antibiotics.  The antibiotics can help control bacteria growth.  If you are malnourished you may need an IV to get you the nourishment you need.  In the case that you have another disease such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, lactose intolerance, or Celiac’s disease treatment for that will be a priority first then you will be able to use one of these other methods to help heal the SIBO.  Diet changes can be key to fixing SIBO.  Making sure to have a nutritional balanced diet is key.  If you are lactose intolerant a lactose free diet will be helpful in controlling the risk of getting SIBO.  Same goes for if you have Celiac’s disease and you are Gluten intolerant making sure you have a Gluten free diet is helpful as well.  Having small nutritional meals more frequent during the day can help aid the digestion process so food doesn’t get slowed down in the intestinal tract.  Other options are taking probiotics, which some people think is more effective than taking antibiotics, or switching to an elemental diet.  

 

Takeaway

SIBO can be very serious.  It can cause severe harm to someone who has it.  SIBO can be completely cured though.  All you have to do is get your gut bacteria back into balance.  SIBO can happen to anyone; it doesn’t have to be someone who suffers from an intestinal tract disease.  Taking a daily probiotic can cut your risk at getting SIBO as well as having a healthy diet.  

 

Taking a daily probiotic and eating a healthy diet can cut your risk of getting SIBO!



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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.

Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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