digestive concerns? consider SIBO. A potential sequelae to a host of digestive concerns

September 27, 2016

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) was originally thought to occur in a small number of patients, however it now appears to be more prevalent, with those in older age at greatest risk, however cases in the 30's are not uncommon (1). There appears to be a link with SIBO and gastric acid production, overuse of antacid and proton pump inhibitor medication, intestinal motility, intestinal obstruction and others. People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) appear to have a higher rate of SIBO compared to healthy controls in some studies (2-3). In addition people with metabolic disorders such as diabetes, or gastro-intestinal disorders such as celiac disease, chronic diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel disease are at greater risk.


Fasting for 90-120min allows the digested food from the gastro-intestinal tract move through (intestinal motility). If this is impaired or blocked, the system does not evacuate at a consistent rate. Low stomach acid, which can occur with age or after infection with H. pylori, does not sufficiently get rid of bacteria that can pass into the somewhat sterile small intestine. These two factors can predispose someone to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.


Symptoms include but are not limited to (1):

            -chronic diarrhea


            -abdominal distention

            -abdominal pain or discomfort


            -loss of appetite

            -weight loss

            -fatigue or weakness


You can talk to your Medical Doctor about getting tested, or consult with your naturopath for help with these concerns.


For more information, see this article: 



(1) Andrew C. Dukowicz, MD, Brian E. Lacy, PhD, MD, and Gary M. Levine, MD (2007) Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2007 Feb; 3(2): 112–122.


(2) Shah ED1, Basseri RJ, et al. (2010) Abnormal breath testing in IBS: a meta-analysis. Dig Dis Sci. Sep;55(9):2441-9.


(3) Chu H1, Fox M2, et al. (2016) Gastroenterol Res Pract. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Clinical Characteristics, Psychological Factors, and Peripheral Cytokines. 2016:3230859. d

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