Have you ever eaten something and within a few hours realized that your stomach is so bloated that you can’t button your pants? It’s not uncommon for my patients to tell me that they wake up with a flat belly and by the end of the day they look six months pregnant.
Do you have excessive belching and a “gnawing” feeling in your stomach? Do you wake up feeling nauseated? If bloating, gas and belching occur regularly, you could have food sensitivities, infection or SIBO.
What is SIBO?
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth occurs when the bacteria in your gut out of balance and over grow in the wrong place. Normally, the bacteria in your GI tract are in the large intestine. If the bacteria move up into the small bowel, they can cause excessive fermentation and the uncomfortable bloating.
What are the signs and symptoms of SIBO?
- Abdominal bloating
- Excessive gas and belching
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Constipation (less common than diarrhea)
- Diagnosis of IBS or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Food intolerances such as gluten, casein, lactose, fructose and more
- Chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, neuromuscular disorders and autoimmune diseases
- B12 deficiency as well as other vitamins and minerals
- Fat malabsorption ( passing greasy stools that tend to float in toilet)
What are the causes of SIBO?
- Disorders in the nerves, muscles and neurotransmitters in the digestive tract result in leftover bacteria in the small intestine
- Physical obstruction in the gut from surgical scarring or Crohn’s disease
- Certain medications such as antibiotics, acid-blocking drugs and steroids
- A diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol.
- Careful history and physical exam
- Breath test to measure hydrogen and methane gases
- Organic acid urine test
- Comprehensive stool test
- Antibiotics may be indicated or using natural herbal remedies to restore balance and “weed” out the small intestinal bacteria
- Low FODMAP diet
SIBO is a significant bowel disorder that needs to be diagnosed and treated. So many of the patients I see here at Healing Unleashed have gastrointestinal disorders, and we have had great success is helping these patient return to normal bowel function.
If you have questions or need help with any chronic conditions, please call Dr. Bedinghaus at 303-986-0492.