By Jeffery Roy, RPA-C
A healthy intestine is essential for immune function and overall wellness. Your GI tract is normally full of colonies of harmless bacteria. These bacteria, or microbiota, are responsible for the production of essential metabolites and nutrients that the human body needs to survive. Dysbiosis, or disruption of the normal balance of the microbiota has been found to be associated with multiple acute and chronic illnesses.
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when the normal bacterium in the small intestine becomes unbalanced. This can lead to loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, a feeling of fullness after eating, steatorrhea (loss of fat in the stool), flatulence, diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition. SIBO can also lead to carbohydrate intolerance, fiber intolerance, bloating after meals, as well as iron, vitamin D, and B12 deficiencies, disease of the intestine, food allergies, systemic inflammation, autonomic dysfunction, chronic fatigue, restless leg syndrome, atherosclerosis, depression, and rosacea.
The causes of SIBO are usually related to a motility disorder, immune disorders, anatomical defects, or enzyme deficiency.
If you are having symptoms of SIBO, we would recommend completing a special test for SIBO, which is done by taking breath samples over a 3-hour period. These samples are then evaluated to see if there is an increased presence of methane or hydrogen.
If you are found to have SIBO, we would work with you to help correct the underlying issue as well as treat the overgrowth through diet, nutraceuticals, and medications.