In recent years, there has been more and more evidence linking small bowel overgrowth (SIBO) and irritable bowel syndrome. Anyone suffering from chronic constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating should look further to rule out SIBO. It has been shown that SIBO is an underlying factor for those patients with fibromyalgia.
The majority of our microbiome resides in the lower part of the large intestine. SIBO is an increase in the number of bacteria in the small intestine. It isn’t an infection or too many “bad” bacteria, but rather too many bacteria in the wrong part of the digestive tract. This bacterial migration is often due to low stomach acid production or a pancreatic enzyme insufficiency and sub-optimal function of our internal migrating motor complex (MMC).
Other symptoms not listed above can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Brain Fog
These symptoms are often worse after eating simple sugars and carbohydrates. This is due to bacterial fermentation of the sugars and failure of the MMC to fully sweep the undigested food particles from the small intestine. These bacteria can also produce toxic by-products that can be damaging to the mucosal lining of the intestine. If not addressed, it can lead to permeability issues.
There are several testing options to detect the presence of bacteria in the small intestine. The best is a 3-hour breath test. There is also a stool test that is more comprehensive and looks further at digestive function and inflammation as a whole. Both are available through Age Management.
SIBO won’t go away on its own, and takes a little more than just adding in some probiotics. We need to decrease the amount of bacteria in the small intestine. This can be accomplished with antibiotics and a rotation of antimicrobials. The final step is to complete the 17 week GI Repair program here at Age Management. If you think you may have SIBO or any of the symptoms, please reach out, don’t suffer another day.