The Bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine is one of those topics that a lot of people are embarrassed to ask. But this is a concern and one of those things that you really need to think about. You never really know what you can expect when it comes to bacteria in your small intestine. Normally it will be helpful, but there are obvious situations when there can be problems.
The small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, also known as SIBO, appears when you have too much bacteria in your small intestine. This will appear mostly due to the lack of small intestine movement. At first, this doesn’t seem that dangerous, but it can be and you must address it the best way that you can. What makes the bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine a problem is that too much bacteria will end up damaging your body. Yes, sometimes there can be too much of a good thing, and you have to handle this properly.
What are the SIBO symptoms?
One thing to note is that the symptoms can differ from one person to the other when it comes to intensity for example. But you can expect to have things like fatigue, nausea, bloating, increased flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you have too much bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, this can end up making your small intestine not absorb nutrients. When something like that happens, you will have anemia and even extreme weight loss.
Is SIBO dangerous?
While it’s not lethal, the bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine can affect a variety of systems in your body. It will also weaken your body, which is something that you want to avoid as much as possible. Since it also affects your gut and it brings in a lot of discomfort during the digestive process, it can become a problem. Obviously it’s not the most severe thing out there, but you need to treat it right away. A lot of people believe that SIBO is not a problem and the body will regulate that automatically.
The human body tries to repair things itself, but in this case, the bacteria can take over. So yes, it can end up being a problem which is why you must address it properly and see how you can tackle it without actively dealing with a major problem on your hands. The more focus you have on this, the better it can be and that’s the thing you want to pursue.
What is the cause of the bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine?
There’s still a lot of research to be done on the topic. A lot of scientists don’t really know how SIBO appears as it tends to differ in the case of most people. What we did notice was the fact that the pH changes in the human body, the muscular activity can sometimes malfunction and the immune system has issues due to health issues most likely. On top of that, the small bowel can have some anatomic abnormalities that end up causing this type of problem.
It’s also important to note that some health problems can also lead to this too. Viral gastroenteritis, celiac disease, gastroparesis, low stomach acid levels, gastric bypass procedures, cirrhosis, nerve damage, and many others can bring in severe problems. It’s definitely not going to be easy to deal with these problems, and with SIBO attached to them, it can get even more challenging. What you have to realize here is that going to the doctor becomes a priority. You need to assess and eliminate any issue as fast as possible, otherwise, there can be severe problems and that’s something you want to deal with sooner rather than later.
Known SIBO risk factors
In case you have a chronic condition or you had surgery related to the gastrointestinal tract, that can put you into the risk category. Of course, if you have any of the health issues above, diabetes, HIV, if you use narcotics, if you have Parkinson’s or scleroderma, all of these can bring in severe health problems and you want to assess that the best way that you can. It’s crucial to understand what leads to these problems and how to assess everything. You will be very happy with the results in the end, and that’s the most important aspect to focus on in a situation like this.
People that are older and females, in general, tend to be the most affected. If you drink alcohol often or had a course of antibiotics recently, all these things can be problematic. You have to tackle this with the utmost focus and attention, so talk with a professional before you attempt any kind of cure. It’s better to let an expert know about this instead of trying to self-cure this kind of stuff.
Diagnosing the bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine.
If you have any of the symptoms we covered above, it’s crucial to talk with your doctor as fast as possible so you can avoid any possible issues. He will conduct a physical examination and even require you to do some fecal or blood tests. Breath tests help here because that excess bacteria will lead to more methane and hydrogen in your body. That will change your breath quite a bit, so you do want to address the problem as fast as possible.
Doctors will also look at your medical history and your symptoms. There are many potential health issues that can connect to the bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, which can end up being a problem. All these tests and things the doctors do are required to pinpoint the source of this issue, and it’s exactly what you need to focus on more often than not. Once you use that to your own advantage, you will find that nothing is impossible and the payoff alone can be second to none in the long run.
How can you treat SIBO?
SIBO can be treated in multiple ways, but the most efficient one is antibiotic therapy. One thing to consider here is the fact that they will also require some dietary changes too. People that have malnutrition problems or which are dehydrated due to SIBO will require a good range of fluids and nutrients. Sometimes the doctor might even require you to do an intravenous drip. These things are common, and you can expect them more often than not.
The broad-spectrum antibiotics are required in order to stabilize the microbiota in your gut. This will help you lower the number of bacteria in your intestine. You need to realize that once you address these underlying conditions you will have no problem dealing with the issue itself.
Your doctor might put you on a diet, as these seem to work. Of course, it’s on a patient by patient basis, sometimes they might work and sometimes less so. As we mentioned earlier, if you treat any health issues you have and more specifically gut and intestine problems it will help you solve the problem adequately and with amazing results.
What foods should be a part of your SIBO diet?
Some dietary changes are required if you want to stay healthy here. The idea here is that your gut bacteria require a lot of carbs. Obviously a diet for bacterial overgrowth of small intestine requires you to remove as many carbs as you can. Instead, you want to eat soft cheeses, butter, yogurt, milk, legumes, onions, asparagus, legumes, wheat, fruits, onions as well as foods with added sugars, honey, and peaches, mushrooms, beans or apples.
These are only a few guidelines, but it’s important to avoid going too much away from these guidelines. The more you focus on results and value, the better the results will be. It’s a very important thing to know what you are getting into and what you can expect. Once you do that, it will be easier to adapt your diet and ensure that it works the way you want.
You will find people that go with the elemental diet in a situation like this. This one is a liquid-based diet that helps you deal with digestive problems. As the name suggests, the diet mostly focuses on liquids because they are easier to absorb and digest properly. However, the challenge here is that this diet can be complicated to sustain and rather expensive.
It’s important to understand the challenges that can appear and how demanding the bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine can be. You should try to visit the doctor as quickly as you can to prevent any possible issues. Make sure that you talk with your doctor and see what you can do. Of course, you can automatically start removing carbs from your diet, even something like that can make a difference. Addressing a professional is still the right way to go because he can diagnose you properly and let you know exactly what approach works for you!