Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth

What is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth?

Often abbreviated to SIBO.. As the name suggests its a bacterial overgrowth in your small intestines. It’s bacteria that is overpopulating the microflora.

We all have bacteria in the gut and as the above picture shows it’s just more than you need. So let’s take a closer look to the cause, symptoms and some of the ways of how to overcome this overgrowth.

As we know it the small intestines are not meant to be overpopulated by this amount of microflora so getting a diagnosis and treatment is key for your ultimate gut health.

Main Causes for SIBO

  • Can be found in people who have diverticula (small pouches) off the intestinal wall,
  • If there are changes in intestinal flow that may result from surgeries of the bowel
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  • Taking powerful antacids called proton pump inhibitors for long periods of time. These include  Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium prevents the stomach acids from naturally killing these bacteria and so SIBO develops.

The above is advised from Dr. McDougall in his link found the in the “further support links” section


Signs & Symptoms of SIBO

The things to look out for in SIBO are

  • Inflammation
  • Excessive gas production
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Belching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Abdominal distress

Diagnostic Tests

  1. Breath Test. Testing the methane and the hydrogen in your breath. This test can be unreliable
  2. Taking a sample from the small intestinal fluid – but this is complicated
  3. UBiome Testing – Click Here for more information. For a healthy gut you need a diversity score of 90 plus. It will tell if you are dominated by one or two species or if you have a nicely diverse gut.


  • Increased small intestine permeability
  • Autoimmune diseases,
  • Vitamin deficiencies – from malabsorption
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Rashes
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Asthma
  • Depression, and
  • Rosacea.
  • Nausea, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea are common results of SIBO according to Dr. McDougall.

Common Allopathic Treatments from your Doctor

Sadly anti-biotics are often used to treat which is not the most beneficial cause of action. If you take antibiotics or have taken them then you may be likely for a re-population, as the root cause will not have been addressed. Bacteria starts in from the moment you put food in your mouth. Then it is passed to the stomach where the bad bacteria is killed off with the Hydrochloric Acid. If these acids are low then some of the bacteria will start to enter the small intestine where most of your absorption takes place.

Complimentary Suggestions that May Help

  • Eat a diet rich in plants and complex carbohydrates that are rich in the good bacteria that the gut loves too much and then the gut flora can get back its balance. As Dr. McDougall highlights in his newsletter “An increasingly popular dietary theory is that carbohydrates make intestinal bacteria multiply in the small intestine. Only plants synthesize carbohydrates, therefore, in the minds of promoters of low-carb diets the solution is to avoid completely or restrict starches, vegetables, and fruits in an effort to starve the bacteria” See Here for the link
  • Cut out the foods void of fibre and nutrients like all animal products
  • Cut out the animal product that is high in inflammatory reactions to the body
  • Also by cutting out the animal product you also help to reduce your risk of colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity too.

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