SIBO May Be The Cause of Your Gut Problems

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Despite its name, the small intestine is actually a whopping 20 feet of very important business. Working alongside your stomach and large intestine, the small intestine has the important job of digesting food and absorbing nutrients to keep us in good health. As if that wasn’t significant enough, it’s our little intestinal friend is also a key contributor to a healthy immune system.

The small intestine plays host to specific beneficial microorganisms that help protect our bodies against bad (pathogenic) bacteria and yeast. These good bacteria also do their part to produce vitamins and nutrients like vitamin K and folate. They are the keepers of the small intestine, ensuring that it continues to do its thing, muscling waves of food through the gut.

What is SIBO?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO occurs when there is an increase of bacteria and/or a change in the type of bacteria present. The usual cause is from colonic bacteria backwashing into the small intestine.

SIBO is very damaging to the cell lining of the small bowel. This can lead to leaky gut, allowing large protein molecules to move through the intestinal barrier and escape into the bloodstream. As you can imagine, that can cause a number of problems, including general inflammation, immune reactions that cause food allergies, and autoimmune diseases.

These havoc-causing bad bacteria are also responsible for poor digestion, diarrhea, constipation, and malabsorption. Patients with SIBO may suffer from nutritional deficiencies, particularly iron, vitamin B12, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as unintended weight loss, and even osteoporosis.

How do you know if you have SIBO?

SIBO is considered an underdiagnosed condition as many physicians do not yet know about it or think of testing a patient for it.

Common SIBO symptoms include:

  • Bloating and abdominal swelling
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gas and belching
  • Weakness and fatigue

In the most severe cases, patients experience significant weight loss due to constant and significant intestinal symptoms every time they eat or drink.

Are you at risk for SIBO?

Surprisingly, younger people are more at risk of developing SIBO than older patients, but many people in their 40’s and 50’s have had symptoms for many years.   There are multiple risk factors that can increase your chances of developing SIBO. These include:

  • Gastric acid suppression medications or Low Stomach Acid (due to stress, medications, lifestyle factors)
  • Food poisoning
  • Post-surgical abdominal scarring
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Prior bowel surgery (especially loss of the ileo-cecal valve)
  • Abdominal Neuropathy
  • Genetic diseases or anatomical intestinal deformities

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above or think you might be at risk, then we encourage you to make an appointment to assess your symptoms and get tested. Specialized testing can be accomplished through a breath test. This breath test measures your hydrogen and methane gas levels produced by the bacterial metabolism and can be a very helpful indicator to determine if you are suffering from SIBO.

How can you treat SIBO?

Dr. Morstein is an expert in treating SIBO and has been a speaker on all three of the SIBO SOS SUMMITs.   She has lectured extensively on SIBO.

The third SIBO SOS SUMMIT is coming soon—Sept 3-10th, 2018.

You can sign up for Free HERE. 

The whole SUMMIT, with 44 speakers, is FREE. Dr. Morstein is speaking on September 8th!

SIBO is eradicated using prescription antibiotics, botanical antibiotics, or an elemental diet.

After SIBO is eradicated, a prokinetic must be administered long term to keep the small gut moving along well, so no more colonic backwashing occurs.  You will also be put on a certain diet, and supplements and hydrotherapy will be dosed to help heal your gut lining, heal your gut nerves, and aid your digestion.

SIBO is a complex condition that needs to be treated in a step by step way.

Tips for dealing with SIBO

  1. Work with a physician who is an expert in the condition.
  2. Be hopeful—people can heal from SIBO

Do any of the above symptoms or risk factors sound familiar? Do you think you might be suffering from SIBO? We can help! Please contact us, and we’ll get to the bottom of what’s going on and create a plan of action to bring your body back to good health.

Call us at (480) 284-8155

To your best health!

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099351/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22109896

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890937/

 

 

 

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