What is SIBO?
SIBO is the acronym for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. It is essentially the same condition that I have been referring to for years as Intestinal Dysbiosis. Intestinal Dysbiosis means that there is an overgrowth of pathological organisms (including bacteria) throughout the entire GI tract. SIBO refers to a condition where the predominance of the overgrowth of pathological organisms (including bacteria) are in the small intestine.
Like all other chronic digestive disorders, SIBO is completely correctable and easily prevented from future occurrences. If and only if you eliminate the root causes and if and only if you become more proactive in your own self-care.
The most common symptoms of SIBO are gas, bloating, cramping, abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements, sometimes loose bowel movements, sometimes sluggish or constipated bowel movements, weight loss or weight gain, inability to focus or concentrate, fatigue, lethargy, anxiety, depression and generalized weakness throughout the body. Other symptoms include:
- weight loss
- weight gain
- loss of appetite
- loss of nutrients (mal-absorption of nutrients)
- sinus congestion
- lung congestion
- skin problems like psoriasis and eczema
- skin lesions
- joint pain
- mood swings
- growth failure (especially in children)
- bad breath
- belching, bloating, gas
- acid reflux
- weak bones (osteopenia, osteoporosis)
- irregular bowel movements
SIBO is a condition of the Small Intestine
The most common cause of SIBO is a recent round of antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics alter the balance between healthy and pathological organisms in the gut. And, as with all other digestive disorders, the root causes of SIBO consist of one or more insulting habits and influences over time in seven key areas: mindfulness (the lack of) hydration-dehydration, micronutrient deficiencies, macro nutrient imbalances, intestinal dysbiosis, oxidative stress and redox molecules deficiencies. A list of contributing causes, all habits, and influences in our diet and lifestyle include:
- poor diet in general
- gluten, mostly from processed grain products
- too many processed foods, not enough whole foods
- chronic unintentional dehydration
- broad spectrum micronutrient deficiencies
- an overgrowth of bad bacteria and other pathological organisms (dysbiosis)
- eating too many acid forming foods
- eating too fast
- not chewing enough
- eating too many cold foods
- drinking cold or iced beverages
- too much negative stress
The remedies for SIBO include making changes in all seven of the root cause areas…but no progress will be made until the condition of Intestinal Dysbiosis is effectively addressed and resolved.
The remedies for SIBO begin with your willingness to pay attention to and become more mindful of your entire digestive system. SIBO is totally preventable and the remedies are completely within your control by making changes in your diet and lifestyle. Most likely you will need to pay attention to and make corrections in all seven root cause areas to be effective.
You will need to get properly hydrated and stay properly hydrated. You will need to slow down at meal times and learn to chew your food completely before swallowing. You will need to address micronutrient deficiencies. You will need to eliminate junk foods. You will need to minimize processed foods and learn to integrate more fiber-rich whole food recipes. You will need to address intestinal dysbiosis and learn about the importance of periodic colon cleansing. You will need to understand the importance of specific organic quality whole food supplements including superfoods, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and antioxidants. You will need to learn how to restore your “redox potential.” And most importantly you will need to learn how to manage your emotions and all the other stress factors in your life more effectively.
Like all other digestive disorders, SIBO is completely correctable and easily prevented from future occurrences. If and only if you eliminate the root causes and if and only if you become more proactive in your own self-care.
My book, Healing Digestive Illness will teach you how to do all this. If you want specific step by step guidance and detailed personalized instructions contact me directly by phone: 413-536-0275 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated in August, 2017