SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth which is the presence of excessive or non-typical bacteria in the small intestines. Typically, in a healthy individual, the gut bacteria mainly stay in the lower intestines but for individuals with SIBO, these bacteria make their way into the upper part of the digestive system and become particularly problematic.
Science is just starting to understand pieces of this SIBO puzzle. It has been a belief that SIBO is less common and occurs after things such as surgery or injury, causing a stagnation in the digestive process however newer research is opening up a whole new world. In fact, researchers have recently contemplated the mind-gut connection in correlation to SIBO. They believe that stress can actually cause a paralysis of the Gut, leaving food undigested and easily taken over by migrating, large intestine bacteria.
It’s also been a common belief that SIBO will present often in diarrhea, weight loss and Crohn’s symptoms but as information grows, SIBO may actually be present in many overweight individuals and particularly those with autoimmune conditions and metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. There is still question as to which comes first, the chicken or the egg, the disease or the SIBO because autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis have been observed to slow fecal motility (poop movement) and potentially lead to bacterial overgrowth.
SIBO disrupts the absorption of nutrients and may cause symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Brain fog
- Weight loss
The estimation on quantity of individuals with SIBO range greatly from 12% of the healthy population to 80% of those with IBS and even still, SIBO remains a hard thing to diagnose.
Treatment for SIBO is currently reliant on usage of antibiotics in order to kill off the bacteria however only 4 in 10 individuals are seen to have success with this plan. A newer approach this growing condition is the usage of strategic, clinical grade probiotics and prebiotics. The technique of inoculating the gut with powerful, good bacteria may prove far more effective in the treatment of SIBO and without the ill side effects of commonly prescribed antibiotics.
Much like virtually everything else, properly tending to the homeostasis of the GUT ecosystem may be the ticket to SIBO as well as many chronic conditions plaguing humans today.
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