Do you suffer from IBS symptoms – gas, bloating, abdominal pain, belching, diarrhea, constipation or both?

On average, 60% of IBS cases are due to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Also know as “SIBO.”

Sibo Symptoms

60% is a big number so it’s important to understand what this all means. SIBO is a relatively new condition with the following symptoms:

  • IBS symptoms (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation)
  • Nausea and Headaches
  • Feeling of food sitting in the stomach
  • Reflux or GERD
  • Abdominal cramping/pain
  • Anemia (iron, B12, ferritin being low)
  • Food reactions – either with abdominal symptoms that are more systemic- headache, skin reactions like eczema, psoriasis, mood/brain symptoms, joint pain.
  • Fatigue and Mood (SIBO has also been linked to anxiety and depression.)
  • Joint Pain
  • Brain symptoms – even Autism and ADHD

You can find a complete list of SIBO symptoms/condition here.

What is SIBO?  

It’s an accumulation of our “normal” bacteria in the small intestine – NOT bad bacteria like salmonella, c. jejuni, but rather our normal bacteria. When these normal bacteria begin to increase in amounts in the upper small intestine, they compete for the food we put in our intestine and lead to interference in digestion and absorption of nutrients.  

Risk factors include:

  • Food poisoning
  • Stress that’s not managed well which affects the motility of the intestine and a decrease in stomach acid
  • Acid-inhibiting medications like PPI’s
  • LOW stomach acid. Yes, that’s right. Stomach acid serves a purpose – digestion AND defence
  • Other diseases/medications and conditions including immune deficiency.    

Many GI specialists are now beginning to test for this condition in the United States and also including a select few in Calgary. I have brought this test to my clinic to give clients the option of getting fast answers of “why” they are having their symptoms.  

It solves the problem of waiting to see a GI specialist to test for this and gives quick to start treatment options to begin resolving many symptoms and conditions.  

SIBO tends to be very resistant and from my clinical experience needs intensive treatment program of high-quality supplements including anti-microbial herbs, diet therapy, and then a healing regimen that includes nutrients to work on the motility of the intestine and also healing of the mucosa.  

After working with this condition for about a year now, I have seen many patients feel an immense relief from their symptoms and in the process have learned a new way of eating and gained insightful lifestyle changes to support their health.

Looking to learn more about treating SIBO? Leave a comment below or email me. I am happy to be a voice of guidance on your health journey.

Jennifer Bunzenmeyer Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

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