Discover the Symptoms of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

SIBO stands for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth and is the leading cause of IBS!

To put it simply, SIBO is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. These bacteria normally live in the large intestine (colon) where they improve our immune function, reduce inflammation & benefit digestion. The problem is when these “good bugs” overgrow in the wrong spot. Overgrown bacteria in the small intestine produce gases that can lead to digestive symptoms including those listed below. For those who suffer from SIBO, these symptoms can be debilitating.

Other diseases or conditions that are associated with SIBO

Weight loss/weight gain
Brain fog
Food sensitivities
Nutrient deficiencies (iron, Vitamins B12, A & D)
Joint & Body Pain
Past history of food poisoning & travellers diarrhea

What are the Symptoms of SIBO?

  • Bloating and burping after meals
  • Never fully recovered from an episode of food poisoning
  • Never fully recovered from traveller’s diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain/ cramping
  • Acid reflux / heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Food sensitivities leading to brain fog and fatigue
  • Chronic nausea
  • Acne rosacea
  • And, of course … bloating, gassiness, diarrhea and/or constipation.

What Causes SIBO?

Some of the causes of SIBO that we identify & correct at the Kanata IBS Clinic are:

  • Use of heartburn medications
  • Use of antibiotics
  • Constipation
  • Low stomach acid
  • Traveller’s diarrhea
  • An episode of food poisoning. (FYI – If you get food poisoning, you have a 1/10 chance of developing IBS and for women it’s a 1/5 chance!)

While there is no single cause of SIBO, ultimately, it stems from a dysfunctional MMC, or Migrating Motor Complex. This often occurs after an episode of food poisoning, traveller’s diarrhea, or after taking certain medications. When working properly, the MMC uses smooth muscle contractions to push food waste and bacteria from the small intestine to the large intestine where it is processed properly.

These smooth muscle contractions usually occur every 3-4 hours in healthy individuals, ensuring that the small intestine doesn’t allow an environment for bacterial over-colonization. When these smooth muscles aren’t working effectively, bacteria can start to over-colonize the small intestine, where they produce hydrogen and methane gas and lead to the symptoms of SIBO.

How Do You Know if You Have SIBO?

If you suspect you have SIBO, a simple breath test can detect the gasses that are produced by the bacteria.