SIBO: The “New” Digestive Disorder

SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is a condition that is growing in recognition as a cause of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. Or in other words, it can be a cause of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal bloating or discomfort.

Think about the following questions for yourself or maybe those closest to you: Does your belly get so bloated that you feel 6 months pregnant at the end of the day? Did you get food poisoning and have just never felt the same since? Do you experience chronic diarrhea or constipation? Have you been using acid blocking medications for a long time? Are you being treated for IBS and feeling better, but not all the way better? Did you have abdominal surgery and now your have digestive issues? All of these are risk factors for or symptoms of SIBO.

Most of the bacteria in your digestive tract (or your gut microbiome) should be living in your large intestine. In SIBO there is an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine, the part of your gut that usually is low in bacteria. There are many different causes of SIBO and it can happen at the same time as other health conditions. SIBO is not life threatening in the short term and it can range from annoying to debilitating. Diagnosing and treating SIBO can improve your long term health and quality of life. Long term untreated SIBO can lead to malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies and osteoporosis. SIBO can sometimes look like other diseases including cancer so it is important to talk to a knowledgeable doctor about your specific situation, health history, and risk factors. Naturopathic doctors have great tools for diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal problems. We can prescribe many pharmaceuticals but also use diet and lifestyle changes, supplements, herbs and IV therapy as treatment. We also sometimes order lab tests that are not commonly used by conventional doctors. Lactulose breath testing, food allergy testing, and comprehensive stool analysis are supported by research and helpful in diagnosis and treatment of GI disorders.

At Revolutions we have doctors familiar with diagnosing and treating SIBO and other digestive problems. As naturopathic doctors we are always considering the whole person and the root cause of dis-ease as we develop a treatment plan specifically for you.