Small Intestinal Bacterial Growth
What is Sibo?
SIBO is a condition in which colonic-type bacteria (resembling bacteria normally found in colon) proliferate in large numbers in the small intestine.
- Abdominal bloating and pain
- Gas and diarrhea
- Indigestion and constipation
- Nausea and fatigue
- Weight loss and anemia
Conditions associated with SIBO include diabetes, scleroderma, and Crohn’s disease, and lupus. The muscular activity that occurs in the small intestine is important for the digestion of food, but it also is important because it limits the number of bacteria in the small intestine. Anything that interferes with normal muscular activity through the small intestine can result in SIBO.
Hydrogen-predominant SIBO: antibiotic rifaximin
Methane-predominant SIBO: rifaximin plus neomycin
Recurrent SIBO: low-FODMAP diet
Tests For SIBO
Hydrogen Breath Test
- Individuals fast for at least 12 hours
- Samples of breath are analyzed for hydrogen and methane
- Antibiotic and probiotic treatment
The treatment for SIBO includes controlling and treating any underlying associated illness. The goal is to control the symptoms of small intestine bacterial overgrowth since it may not be possible to “cure” the disease.
Antibiotics are one of the treatments that are helpful in controlling the excess bacteria. It is important that not all the bacteria in the intestine are eradicated, since some are required to help with normal digestion.
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