Are you one of the thousands of people in Australia who suffers from IBS? (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Have you tried to treat your IBS to no avail?
Do you have digestive issue?… pain, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea… ?
Do you find that you feel bloated and uncomfortable after the consumption of starchy carbohydrates?
The leading cause of IBS is SIBO and it is estimated that greater than 60% of IBS cases are caused by SIBO.
Just attended the first conference held in Australia for SIBO (small Intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
What is SIBO ( Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)
Simply put, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth is a chronic bacterial infection of the small intestine. The infection is of bacteria that normally live in the gastrointestinal tract but have abnormally overgrown in a location not meant for so many bacteria.
The bacteria interfere with our normal digestion and absorption of food and are associated with damage to the lining or membrane of the Small Intestine (leaky gut syndrome)
- They consume some of our food which over time leads to deficiencies in their favorite nutrients such as iron and B12, causing anemia.
- They consume food unable to be absorbed due to SI lining damage, which creates more bacterial overgrowth (a vicious cycle).
- After eating our food, they produce gas/ expel flatus, within our Small Intestine. The gas causes abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea or both (the symptoms of IBS). Excess gas can also cause belching and flatulence.
- They decrease proper fat absorption leading to deficiencies of vitamins A & D and fatty stools.
- Through the damaged lining, larger food particles not able to be fully digested, enter into the body which the immune system reacts to. This causes food allergies/ sensitivities.
- Bacteria themselves can also enter the body/bloodstream. Immune system reaction to bacteria and their cell walls (endotoxin) causes chronic fatigue and body pain and burdens the liver.
- Finally, the bacteria excrete acids which in high amounts can cause neurological and cognitive symptoms.
Unfortunately there is no perfect test. The small intestine (SI) is a hard place to get to. If we want to see or sample the SI, endoscopy only reaches into the top portion, and colonoscopy only reaches into the end portion. The middle portion, which is substantial (about 17 feet) is not accessible, other than by surgery. And stool testing predominantly reflects the large intestine (LI).
Luckily, there is a non-invasive test which is commonly used in SIBO research; the Hydrogen/Methane Breath Test.
Commonly, treatment involves the following strategy..
- Reduce the bacteria. Options include, Antibiotics, Herbal Antibiotics and Diet
- Improve digestive motility, the natural expulsion of bacteria in to the large intestine.
- Heal the Small Intestine lining. Occurs on it’s own with bacteria reduced, assisted by diet and optional supplements.
- Prevent relapse.
If this sounds like you, there is much that can be done to assess, treat and maintain your digestive health.