About SIBO

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition where a bacterial overgrowth takes place in the small intestine.

Why SIBO can be a problem:

Bacteria in the small intestine will impair normal digestion due to them processing in transit food in the small intestine. This can lead to:

  • Malabsorption of saccharides, amino acids, vitamins and minerals
  • Fermentation of carbohydrates and proteins, their derivatives producing hydrogen methane and hydrogen sulphide
  • Produced gases can effect digestive processes (causing bloating, burping, gastric reflux, changes in peristalsis, constipation, diarrhea)

List of possible SIBO symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea, constipation, alternating constipation and diarrhoea
  • Bloating, burping, wind
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Gastric reflux
  • Food intolerances
  • Joint pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Iron and B12 deficiency

Predisposing (risk) factors to SIBO:

  • Infectious gastroenteritis
  • Proton pump inhibitors, opiates, narcotics, and other drugs
  • Depression within the last year
  • Poor colonization at birth, e.g. caesarean birth, bottle feeding
  • Conditions associated with hypochloridia (reduction in stomach acidity), this is necessary to predigest proteins, activate enzymes and control bacteria population
  • Conditions associated with “poor vagal tone” (this will lead to hypochloridia and influence gut motility, e.g. Chronic stress)
  • Conditions associated with low output of bile acid into the small intestine (liver and bile duct inflammation, fibrosis and scarring)

Several conditions have been associated with SIBO:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), SIBO is the leading cause of IBS
  • Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Acid reflux
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Acne Rosacea
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Chronic prostatitis
  • Liver fibrosis and cirrhosis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Several autoimmune conditions, e.g.
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Coeliac disease
    • Scleroderma
    • Hypothyroidism