Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is an overgrowth of bacteria in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Bacteria eat sugar and create a gas byproduct which can be measured with a breath test.

This gas increases pressure in the digestive tract. Belching and flatulence allows the gas to escape, but it often moves bacteria from one section of the digestive tract, to a neighboring section where it is not meant to reside.

A normal amount of bacteria in the digestive tract show cause no to mild symptoms. Eating a balanced diet without excess sugar, paired with daily bowel movements, minimizes your chances of having too much bacteria in your digestive tract. But when you overeat simple sugars and/or do not have daily bowel movements, bacteria are overfed leading to increased gas production.

  • Impaired Stomach Acidity

    If the stomach’s acidity is insufficient, natural bacteria in the stomach can overgrow.

  • Food Poisoning

    Food poisoning can cause an imbalance in the digestive function and internal ecosystem which can lead to bacterial overgrowth.

  • Adhesions

    Scar tissue can impede normal functioning of the tissues or neural inputs to the digestive tract causing decreased movement, leading to bacterial overgrowth.

The increase in gas in the digestive tract blocks movement, impairing function. When this impaired functioning occurs long enough, or paired with an underlying weakness, such as hypothyroidism, the gut movement becomes sluggish, overfeeding bacteria, re-creating the SIBO.