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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

What is SIBO?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO in short, can be defined as excessive bacteria in small intestines. Unfortunately, SIBO remains poorly understood as it overlaps with multiple other diseases and disorders. SIBO develops when our gut microbiota are disrupted, especially when gastric acid secretion is reduced, weakening of the gut immune system, and anatomical change in intestinal tract.

SIBO: How Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Impacts the Microbiome – Bio-K+ US

Overgrowth of bacteria would cause inflammatory responses in our gut which result in chronic diarrhea, indigestion, bloating or excessive gas, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Complications from SIBO and its symptoms would cause weight loss, fatty stool, poor nutrient absorption which leads to Vitamin deficiency (A, D, E, K, B12), iron and folate deficiency  However, that does not mean that having the previous symptoms would indicate that you have SIBO.

 

What are the symptoms?

SIBO symptoms mainly affect the gut. They may include:

  • Pain in the stomach, especially after eating
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Regular feeling of fullness
  • Gas
  • Weight loss.

 

What are the risk factors for SIBO

Having surgery on the gastrointestinal tract may increase the risk of developing SIBO as well as having chronic diseases/conditions such as:

This is because co-morbidities could affect the inflammatory response in our body and if its autoimmune related, it could further enhance the inflammation process.

 

Causes of SIBO

SIBO is not yet well understood. According to research, it can occur when:

  • Your small bowel has anatomic abnormalities
  • The pH changes in your small bowel
  • Immune system isn’t working properly
  • The muscular activity of the small intestine malfunctions, which means that food and bacteria aren’t removed from the organ

 

How to manage SIBO

The common method of treatment of SIBO by doctors are antibiotics. It is the most straightforward and first line of treatment. The common antibiotics used would be ciprofloxacin (Cipro), metronidazole (Flagyl) or rifaximin (Xifaxan). Antibiotics could only reduce the number of bacterial overgrowth in your intestine but could not address the underlying cause of SIBO until determined by the doctor and treated.

Alternative management of SIBO could be:
  • Nutrition therapy, by giving balanced, nutrient dense, diet with small meals throughout the day while receiving antibiotic treatments.
  • Probiotic supplements, where research found to be effective in balancing back the gut microbiome. However, more research are still required to further understand the mechanism of this management method.

Hence, having a balance and healthy gut microbiota are important. Probiotic can be a supplemented treatment for SIBO in restoring and improving gut microbiota. It also helps in preventing SIBO as well by reducing the bad bacteria infection. Hence, with YourGutt Instant Probiotic, it contains prebiotic, probiotic, and postbiotic to replenish your gut microbiota in no time! (probiotic supplements are not a treatment method hence, consult your physician for SIBO treatment procedure)

 

References

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

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21381407/

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