Do you experience bloating after eating a meal? While many people may not experience this symptom, it’s important to understand that any amount of bloating is generally abnormal and it can be a sign of gut inflammation. If you regularly experience bloating, or you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), there’s a chance that you may have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). In the following article, we will discuss the top 10 red flags of SIBO.
What is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a digestive health issue that happens when there is excess bacteria in the small intestine. The bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract plays a fundamental role in the immune system and overall health and wellness. As a matter of fact, research studies have shown that the gut microbiome has tens of trillions of microorganisms, including more than 1,000 different species of bacteria with over 3 million genes.
Most of the gut bacteria are found in the large intestine and colon, where they ultimately help break down food, synthesize vitamins or minerals, and eliminate waste. However, if the healthy bacteria commonly found in the large intestine and colon start to grow excessively in the small intestine, SIBO can occur. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth can also be caused by an excess growth of “healthy” bacteria found in the small intestine itself.
With SIBO, the excess bacteria may start to consume the undigested food in the small intestine, causing it to ferment and produce hydrogen. Moreover, hydrogen can “feed” single-celled microorganisms commonly found in the small intestine, known as archaea, which may then produce methane. Patients with SIBO have increased levels of hydrogen and/or methane in their digestive system. This formula can cause a variety of digestive health issues.
Furthermore, patients with SIBO may also develop a variety of symptoms depending on which type of gas is predominantly produced in their gut. Hydrogen-dominant SIBO, by way of instance, generally causes diarrhea while methane-dominant SIBO, by way of instance, generally causes constipation. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth doesn’t simply cause a variety of digestive health issues, SIBO can also cause a wide array of symptoms, including:
10 Red Flags You May Have SIBO
- Gas, bloating, and/or diarrhea
- Abdominal pain, discomfort, and/or cramping
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Food sensitivities and/or intolerances (gluten, fructose, casein, lactose, and histamine intolerance)
- Chronic conditions and/or diseases (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases)
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies (vitamins A, B12, D, and E)
- Fat malabsorption (pale, bulky, and malodorous stools)
- Rosacea and/or skin rashes
- Leaky gut or intestinal permeability
Because there are many symptoms that can show that you may have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, occasionally showing none of the red flags listed above, SIBO may frequently go undiagnosed. Approximately 6 to 15 percent of “healthy”, asymptomatic people, and about 80 percent of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), may actually be suffering from SIBO. If you experience any of the previous symptoms, make sure to see a doctor immediately.
What Causes Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?
When enzymes start to break down the food we eat, our gastrointestinal (GI) tract depends on the proper function of nerves, muscles, and neurotransmitters to move the food accordingly throughout our digestive system, from the stomach to the small intestine and to the colon. In a healthy gut, bacteria pass through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract together with the food we eat into the colon. Symptoms and health issues may start when this process is affected.
Damaged or injured nerves and/or muscles in the gut can ultimately cause leftover bacteria to stay longer in the small intestine, increasing the risk of SIBO. By way of instance, diabetes mellitus and scleroderma are two health issues that can both affect the muscles in the gut, causing SIBO to develop.
Physical obstructions in the gut, such as scarring from surgeries or Crohn’s disease, can also cause excess bacteria to grow in the small intestine. Diverticuli, tiny pouches that can develop in the wall of the small intestine, can also start to collect bacteria instead of passing it to the colon.
Drugs and/or medications that can affect or interrupt our healthy gut microbiome. This can include antibiotics, acid-blocking medicine, and steroids. In addition, it’s essential to mention that one of the most common causes of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a poor diet that is high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol. If you suspect you may have SIBO, make sure you talk to a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a serious health issue which usually occurs because of an underlying chronic health issue. Several common symptoms may ultimately help determine the presence of SIBO. Several red flags may ultimately suggest the presence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth but, because some people may not experience any symptoms, it can often go undiagnosed. Proper diagnosis is fundamental. SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is treatable. Patients should contact a healthcare professional immediately if they suspect they have SIBO so that they can begin treatment right away. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
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Do you experience bloating after eating a meal? While many people may not experience this symptom, it’s important to understand that any amount of bloating is generally abnormal and it can be a sign of gut inflammation. If you regularly experience bloating, or you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), there’s a chance that you may have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). In the article above, we discussed the top 10 red flags of SIBO.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
- Myers, Amy. “10 Signs You Have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).” Amy Myers MD, 12 Nov. 2019, www.amymyersmd.com/2018/04/10-signs-small-intestinal-bacterial-overgrowth-sibo/.
Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic Pain
Sudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient’s mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.
Neural Zoomer Plus for Neurological Disease
Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate neurological diseases. The Neural ZoomerTM Plus is an array of neurological autoantibodies which offers specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus is designed to assess an individual’s reactivity to 48 neurological antigens with connections to a variety of neurologically related diseases. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus aims to reduce neurological conditions by empowering patients and physicians with a vital resource for early risk detection and an enhanced focus on personalized primary prevention.
Food Sensitivity for the IgG & IgA Immune Response
Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate health issues associated with food sensitivities. The Food Sensitivity ZoomerTM is an array of 180 commonly consumed food antigens that offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Utilizing an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs.
Gut Zoomer for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate gut health associated with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The Vibrant Gut ZoomerTM offers a report that includes dietary recommendations and other natural supplementation like prebiotics, probiotics, and polyphenols. The gut microbiome is mainly found in the large intestine and it has more than 1000 species of bacteria that play a fundamental role in the human body, from shaping the immune system and affecting the metabolism of nutrients to strengthening the intestinal mucosal barrier (gut-barrier). It is essential to understand how the number of bacteria that symbiotically live in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract influences gut health because imbalances in the gut microbiome may ultimately lead to gastrointestinal (GI) tract symptoms, skin conditions, autoimmune disorders, immune system imbalances, and multiple inflammatory disorders.
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