Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a gastrointestinal condition affecting the small intestine. It occurs when bacteria that normally grow in other parts of the gut start growing in the small intestine. Unlike large intestine, small intestine is supposed to be free of bacteria to facilitate absorption of nutrients. Overgrowth of bacteria in this region leads to a variety of additional symptoms.
SIBO symptoms may include:
Pain in the stomach, especially after eating
Feeling of fullness
Lack of response to probiotics
Lack of response to IBS treatment
Several things can contribute to SIBO. A few are listed below:
Anatomic abnormalities in the small bowel
Abnormal pH changes in the small bowel
Dysfunctional immune system
Malfunction of the muscular activity of the small intestine, which means that food and bacteria aren’t efficiently removed from the area
Ileo-cecal valve defect
Additionally, SIBO is associated with various conditions which directly or indirectly affect motility or promote migration of bacteria from large colon to small intestine, such as:
Diagnosis is based upon
Above mentioned symptoms
Blood, fecal, or other tests.
Breath test (a breath test is a common test for diagnosing SIBO. Excess bacteria in the small intestine can lead to the release of the gases hydrogen and methane, which can be identified through a breath test. This test is noninvasive and can be performed at home or in a doctor’s office.)
NATURAL WAYS TO MANAGE SIBO
Antibiotics are used to treat SIBO and are found to be approximately 50% effective according to some studies. There are other, more natural methods to try before or in addition to antibiotics. Here are some at-home solutions for healing the gut and improving the microflora balance.
1. Choosing the Right Foods
Low FODMAP Diet
A low FODMAP diet avoids it foods that might feed the bacteria
(like fructans in wheat or sorbitol in fruit). The only problem with
this diet is that it also requires the restriction of many fruits,
vegetables, and foods that are otherwise healthy and full of
nutrients like beets, cauliflower, mushrooms, shallots, berries, and avocado.
There is some debate about whether fermented foods will make SIBO
worse, or help heal it. However, some people do benefit from these foods.
Try adding fermented foods like sauerkraut or kiwis' in slowly, along with
a meal, for a small dose of helpful probiotics.
2. Avoiding Wrong Foods
It has been proven through numerous studies that carbohydrates and sugar can fuel SIBO growth, while fiber protects it. Instead of bread or cookies, load up on salads, roasted veggies, greens, and healthy smoothies.
Sometimes SIBO is caused by undiagnosed celiac disease and severe lactose intolerance. These foods are also common culprits in causing inflammation in the body, so its best to eliminate them while you heal.
3. Proper Chewing of Food
With any type of intestinal ailment, chewing food thoroughly can
relieve some pressure on digestive system and prevent large pieces
of food from passing through the gastrointestinal tract and inflaming
body. Chewing food enough until its mostly all liquid—can especially
help if you suffer from intestinal permeability along with SIBO.
4. Herbs & Supplements
Certain herbs, like oregano oil, wild garlic, or berberine,
can help keep the overgrowth at bay naturally, without
the use of antibiotics.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is helpful in boosting digestion and raising
hydrochloric acid in the body, which breaks down food. Add a tablespoon
to an 8-ounce glass of water before a meal, or use it as a dressing on your salad.
6. Gut Motility Agents
Several gut motility agents can improve intestinal motility
and prevent gut sluggishness.
A few are
b. Magnesium citrate
c. Buffered C powder
7. Intermittent Fasting and Timing of Meals
Intermittent fasting might be beneficial for some with SIBO, since consuming
any food might fill the body with fermentation byproducts, causing symptoms.
Short-term bone broth fasting can also starve the bacteria, lessening the
8. Ileocecal Valve Release
Researchers studying SIBO have found that patients with the condition often
have a dysfunctional ileocecal valve, which connects the small intestine to
the large intestine. If the valve is dosed, you may struggle with constipation.
If is stuck open, you can experience diarrhea and malabsorption. But in terms
of SIBO, an open valve might also allow various bacteria to enter the small
intestine and proliferate. Self-massaging the area could help.
9. Avoidance of Constipation
Improving the frequency of bowel movements is helpful for overall detoxification.
Incorporate fiber containing foods, fiber supplements and fluids and exercise into daily routine.