Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea and Bloating: Is SIBO the Cause?

SIBO or Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth is an all too common condition that can have profound health effects. It is a problem that many people have, but very few have even heard of.  The symptoms of SIBO include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating and gas, especially after eating starch or sugar
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Many of these symptoms are associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  In fact, some studies have shown that almost 80% of IBS occurs as a result of SIBO.  Also associated with SIBO are the following conditions:

  • 53% of people who use an acid medication
  • 66% of people with celiac disease with persistent symptoms
  • 15% of the elderly population
  • 33% of people with chronic diarrhea
  • 90% of alcoholics

So, what is SIBO?

SIBO is a condition where the bacteria that normally live in your large intestine, and are very beneficial there, have migrated into your small Diarrhea, Abdominal Pain, Gas caused by SIBOintestine. Unfortunately, they are not beneficial in the small intestine and will begin to cause digestive problems when they take up residence in that area.  When we feed these bacteria the wrong foods, which include starches and sugars, it increases their metabolism and they give off various gases causing many of the symptoms that are listed above.

The treatment for SIBO requires two things. First, one must nutritionally support the small intestine and its terrain. This involves the use of nutrition supplements but, more importantly, the avoidance of certain foods, particularly refined carbohydrates.

The second thing that needs to be done is that one must address the underlying mechanisms or the causes of SIBO. Those include such things as:

  • Neurodegenerative disease, particularly Parkinson’s syndrome.
  • Brain trauma/concussion
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Hypothyroid disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Post intestinal surgical alterations
  • Immunodeficiency

As one can see, SIBO is a condition that affects many people. Unfortunately, quite often the standard gastroenterologist either doesn’t consider it or does not have a great treatment for it. It is a condition with which we are quite familiar at Team Health Care Clinic. If you are experiencing abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea that no one seems to be addressing, please call the clinic for a consultation.

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI