Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that often underlies chronic gastrointestinal symptoms of maldigestion and malabsorption, including bloating, gas, diarrhoea, irregularity, and abdominal pain.
Bacterial concentrations in the small intestine are normally kept to a minimum. When excessive, the delicate mucosal lining is disrupted, including the microvilli that facilitate absorption. As a result, bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine can inhibit nutrient absorption and lead to the following serious health problems.
Testing can help identify this condition
Once bacterial overgrowth has been detected, intervention strategies involving diet, digestive support, probiotics and in some circumstances antimicrobials can be used to treat the condition.
Successful eradication of SIBO has been shown to reduce bloating, gas, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain in poeple more effectively than many other treatments for IBS.
Bacterial overgrowth may manifest silently, without overt clinical signs. Patients without clear symptoms of gastrointestinal distress may benefit from testing, especially those with a history of chronic constipation, hypochlorhydria (including use of acid-blocking drugs), or maldigestion.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Unexplained abdominal symptoms
Gas and bloating
The inability to tolerate sweet or starchy foods, fibre, or friendly flora supplements