At least fifty percent of our patients have a digestive disorder. Repairing the gut can help to resolve many conditions, so in some cases we use a protocol that includes supplements that can improve the lining of the intestine, promotes a heathy microflora, and boosts mucus secretion in combination with proven gut healing foods. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a very common condition where there are too many microbes such as bacteria, fungus, candidia, etc. in the small intestine leading to devastating problems throughout the body. Some symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain/discomfort.
- Bloating and abdominal distention especially with eating carbohydrates.
- Gas and belching.
- In more severe cases, there may be weight loss and symptoms related to vitamin deficiencies
- Any unexplained iron deficiency including anemia.
Our protocol is based on an herbal-antimicrobial studied at Johns Hopkins to be more effective than antibiotics. We also may use a particular diet, called the FODMAP diet, which has been studied to alter gut microbiota and improve SIBO symptoms. Each patient is unique. Treatment is tailored to each individual case.
The wide array of symptoms can range from debilitating digestive drama such as constipation and diarrhea, extreme and constant bloating, embarrassing gas, mounting food sensitivities, and even skin issues and other seemingly mysterious skin conditions.
To make things worse, SIBO is all too often misdiagnosed, which gives it the chance to compound symptom after symptom as destructive colonies outnumber your body’s natural defenses.
SIBO’s role in the IBS epidemic.
As I’ve often said, IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a diagnosis given to you by doctors, who in fact, have no idea what’s causing your symptoms. You see, SIBO is what’s called a diagnosis of exclusion.
Once your doctor has ruled out ulcers, Celiac Disease, autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s, or even cancer, they are left with no answers and apply a diagnosis of IBS.
Little do they know that the constellation of symptoms that they label as IBS are almost always caused by Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.
In fact, recent research has found that up to 50% of people diagnosed with IBS are actually suffering from SIBO!
How SIBO Makes You Sick
SIBO is one of the most common conditions I see in my office. Patients have often suffered with symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea, extreme bloating, terrible gas, food sensitivities that seem to come out of nowhere, rashes, and mysterious skin conditions for years without knowing the cause of their health problems or how to overcome them.
As is so often the case, the answer lies in the gut. Your gut contains hundreds of types of microorganisms, some of which are “good” and some of which are “bad.” In the case of SIBO, the delicate balance of microorganisms is disrupted, allowing bacteria to colonize areas of your digestive system that they normally wouldn’t.
The overgrown bacteria disturbs your gut’s normal activity, impacts brain function, and can allow your gut to become leaky, leading to chronic inflammation and perhaps even an autoimmune disease.
Fortunately, using simple and effective dietary changes and targeted supplements, you can restore your gut’s healthy microbiome balance.