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SIBO - Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Symptoms and Treatment of SIBO

SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. It is a condition characterised by an abnormal increase in the number of bacteria in the small intestine. Normally, the small intestine has a relatively low bacterial count compared to the large intestine. However, when there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, it can lead to various digestive symptoms and other health issues.

Key points about SIBO:

Bacterial Overgrowth

SIBO occurs when bacteria from the colon (large intestine) migrate into the small intestine, where their numbers become excessive. This can interfere with the normal digestive processes and nutrient absorption.

SIBO Symptoms

The symptoms of SIBO can vary but often include abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, and excessive gas. These symptoms can overlap with those of other digestive disorders, making it challenging to diagnose based solely on symptoms.

Nutrient Malabsorption: The overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can interfere with the absorption of nutrients, leading to nutritional deficiencies. This can result in fatigue, weight loss, and other health issues.

Underlying Causes

Several factors can contribute to the development of SIBO, including anatomical abnormalities in the digestive tract, impaired motility (movement) of the small intestine, and certain conditions that affect the immune system or disrupt the normal balance of gut bacteria.

Diagnosis & Testing for SIBO

 SIBO is typically diagnosed through breath testing. This test measures the levels of hydrogen and methane gas produced by bacteria in the small intestine. Elevated levels of these gases can indicate bacterial overgrowth.

Treatment of SIBO

The treatment of SIBO often involves antibiotics to reduce the bacterial overgrowth. However, addressing the underlying causes and promoting overall gut health is also important. In some cases, dietary changes, such as a low-FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) diet, may be recommended.

Management of SIBO

Managing SIBO may involve a multidisciplinary approach, including dietary modifications, antimicrobial therapy, and addressing any underlying conditions. Additionally, maintaining good gut health practices, such as consuming a balanced diet, managing stress, and promoting regular physical activity, can be beneficial.

It's important to note that SIBO is a complex condition, and its management should be supervised by healthcare professionals

SIBO Testing at The Menopause Specialists

We offer SIBO breath testing to diagnose SIBO

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