Digestive pain? Bloating? Too much wind? Too much burping? Diarrhea & constipation? Your life is miserable without a normal and healthy digestive function!
But maybe it’s not IBS, but SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth!
Here’s how SIBO works and how I can help you with my advanced functional medicine strategy for SIBO!
WHAT IS SIBO?
SIBO is a condition where normal colonic bacteria migrate and overgrow within the small intestine causing excess hydrogen and methane gas production leading to very uncomfortable and even painful digestive problems, and also other health problems elsewhere in the body, like:
• Join pain
SIBO is unfortunately largely under-diagnosed mainly because most people don’t seek medical care for their SIBO symptoms but for their IBS symptoms, and because most conventional doctors aren’t aware of how common SIBO actually is or of how to treat it. Once more, going to the Gp hoping to find solutions for your health problems is not the ideal course of action and it can cost you years and years, or even a lifelong, of unnecessary pain and suffering.
A fairly common trigger for SIBO are parasites or digestive infections. You can get these after food poisoning, from living with pets (especially cats and dogs that lick your face and eat from your hands, your fork, your plate, your glass, with you), from not washing your hands properly after going to the toilet, from not washing or poorly washing your fruits and vegetables before eating them, from eating at restaurants, from not washing your hands after handling objects used by other people, from drinking contaminated water, from travelling to countries abroad, etc.
Also, various toxins produced in your own gut (this occurs when your diet is poor in antioxidants, poor in good quality proteins, high in starches and sugars, when you drink alcohol frequently, when you smoke, when you have high levels of heavy metals in your tissues, etc.) can disrupt your gut flora and affect peristalsis (the intestinal activity that pushes the food bolus down the tract).
On top of these causative factors, another factor that promotes overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria in your upper intestines is digestive insufficiency (poor bile production, poor hydrochloric acid production, poor pancreatic enzymes production, etc.). This can occur in people who are chroniccally stresses, people over the age of 35, people having poor diets, low fat diets, and under certain hormonal imbalances involving high cortisol levels and high levels of other hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
Please note that other factors also cause SIBO. Here they are:
• Chemical toxins
• Pesticides (eating a non-organic diet)
The waste products of SIBO are methane and hydrogen gases that lead to gas, pain, excessive bowel movements, bloating, or constipation. These gases can be reabsorbed by the body leading to symptoms outside the gut like brain fog, joint pains, headaches, anxiety, depression, etc.
Methane causes constipation.
Hydrogen causes loose stools and diarrhea.
In some people there are both high methane and high hydrogen levels simultaneously.
In general, with SIBO, there will be malabsorption of nutrients leading to co-morbidities (other health problems).
SOME DISEASES TYPICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH SIBO
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Restless legs syndrome
• Acid reflux (heartburn)
• And more!
IF YOU HAVE IBS AND PRESENT WITH THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS… YOU ALSO HAVE SIBO
• Improvement of symptoms after taking antibiotic
• Worsening of symptoms after taking probiotics
• Increasing fiber in the diet makes you constipated
• Constipation after opioid use
• Your Celiac Disease doesn’t really improves with a gluten free diet
If you have leaky gut syndrome and your gut lining is porous, you will easily develop SIBO as well.
Gram negative bacteria like E.Coli, Helicobacter Pylori, Klebsiella, Proteus, Pseudomonas are all in the stomach and small intestine. With an unhealthy gut lining that cannot neutralize them, they will over-colonize various areas of the gut and distal body organs and tissues like the heart, the vessels, the joints, the brain, etc., leading to the development of other diseases.
In Functional Medicine we treat SIBO either with some unique antibiotics that don’t harm the microbiome (we don’t require a prescription from the Gp to get them, but from a specific lab in London), or with botanical antibacterials. The diet must be adapted as well and drinking and strenuous exercise, totally avoided.