Eight Symptoms of SIBO

Eight Symptoms of SIBO

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Have you ever realized that a few hours after you’ve eaten, your stomach is so bloated that you can't button up your pants? Or perhaps you wake up with a flat belly and by the end of the day, your abdomen has expanded to resemble a pregnant belly? Have you had your food sensitivities tested but adhering to your customized elimination diet resolves only 50% of your symptoms?
 
Any amount of bloating is not normal; it can be a sign of intestinal inflammation. If you're having gas and/or bloating regularly, you may have an imbalance of bacteria, called Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

 

What is SIBO?

SIBO is a chronic bacterial infection of the small intestine. However, these bacteria are ones that we are meant to have in our digestive system, however they have overgrown in a location that is not meant for higher levels of bacteria to live.

 

Top 8 Signs that you may have SIBO:

Bloating
Gas (both odorous and non-odorous)
Diarrhea
Constipation
Digestive or abdomen pain or cramping
Nutrient deficiencies (i.e. B12 or iron deficiency)
Difficulty digesting fatty foods
Diagnosis of chronic illnesses (i.e. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, fibromyalgia, autoimmune conditions)

 

How to Test for SIBO?

A three-hour lactulose breath test that measures hydrogen and methane gases is a very effective and non-invasive evaluation to detect SIBO. Breath samples are collected at 20 minute intervals after a specific 12-hour dietary preparation followed by a 12-hour fast. After the first baseline breath sample is collected, the patient will drink a lactulose solution and then continue to collect another nine samples. Lactulose is key as is a preferred fuel for the bacteria to feed off of.
 
So, essentially, you will starve the bacteria for 24-hours prior to the test, and then give it a feast the next day!
 
If there is an overgrowth of these bacteria present, these bacteria will consume the lactulose which results in the production of methane and hydrogen gases. These gases are then captured and measured from the breath samples taken.

 

How do you treat SIBO?

SIBO can be tricky to treat. The process to eliminate the bacteria can involve different types of antimicrobials. After this bacteria is eradicated, then it is key to not only prevent a subsequent infection, but also address the root causes of the overgrowth.
 
If you suspect that you may be dealing with SIBO, talk with your naturopathic doctor at Grassroots!
 
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