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SIBO

— Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth —

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

People who struggle with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or celiac disease often also struggle with SIBO. In SIBO, bacteria that normally occupy the colon (large intestine) migrate up to the small intestines where they feed on the carbohydrates that we eat and multiply. This leads to inflammation, bloating, slow motility and many other symptoms all over your body.

Can you relate to any of these?

  • I am often so bloated I feel 5 months pregnant
  • My bowel movements jump back and forth between constipation and diarrhea
  • I’ve been given a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • I wake up with a flat stomach that progressively bloats throughout the day
  • I often feel fatigued after eating
  • I struggle with fibromyalgia
  • My digestive issues went away while I took antibiotics
  • Food tends to sit heavy in my stomach 
  • I often have excess gas and belch a lot 
  • I’m tired of my digestion ruling my life
If you struggle with 2 or more of the above, consider SIBO.

Common SIBO Symptoms

  • Mood issues
  • Reaction to carbohydrate rich foods
  • Reaction to prebiotics or probiotics
  • Leaky gut (which can lead to other symptoms)
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy feeling in stomach
  • Stomach or intestinal pain
SIBO and IBS symptoms are often intertwined, but there are a few key differences to look for!

Common Causes of SIBO

  • Slow gut motility (genetics, diabetes, meds, diet…)
  • Ileocecal valve issues
  • Diverticuli that don’t clear out
  • Food poisoning
  • Adhesions or other anatomical abnormalities
  • Inadequate digestive juices (stomach acid esp)
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Gallbladder removal: bile drip may not coincide with food appropriately

Did your digestive issues start after a bout of food poisoning or after a few rounds of antibiotics?

SIBO Testing

SIBO is typically either hydrogen dominant, methane dominant, or hydrogen sulfide dominant. To determine which bacteria or archaea is overgrown, a lactulose breath test is typically performed. 

You can make diet and lifestyle changes before SIBO testing if SIBO is suspected as they are low risk, but SIBO testing is always helpful for figuring out the best treatment protocol.

SIBO Treatment Basics

  • Reduce symptoms through diet (often low FODMAP, SCD/ low FODMAP, or AIP/low FODMAP (also consider oxalates, histamines, salicylates and other food chemicals/sensitivities)
  • Work to improve the migrating motor complex
  • Use natural antimicrobials or antibiotics to remove the overgrowth (can also use elemental diet)
  • Consider treating biofilms
  • Support digestion and detoxification (enzymes, betaine HCL with pepsin, charcoal, bentonite clay etc.)
  • Keep bowels moving well — address constipation
  • Repopulate the good bacteria in the gut (probiotics and prebiotics)
  • Heal the gut lining
  • Replenish nutrient deficiencies
  • Consider prokinetics

*I had test after test to attempt at figuring out my digestive issues, only to come up with a blanket diagnosis that offered no solution. Leslie worked with me and I was able to improve back toward normal and feel great! She is so easy to work with, makes you feel very comfortable and is really understanding when it comes to the craziness of life! She really works with you to find a solution that can fit within your life, and solutions to heal and not just hide symptoms. She also offers a multitude of other resources that really help you reach your goals! I have already sent multiple people to Leslie and I'll only continue to do so! She's the best!

Kimberly B.

I need help figuring out a plan for my digestive issues.

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