What is SIBO and How to Control It

 SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. If they added one word it might help it explain it. Bad – Bacteria Overgrowth. You probably understand what ProBiotics are – the good guys! They help with digestion and much more. We are still learning how different strains of probiotics can help with your immune system, weight loss, and even mood. There are strains that are not beneficial for us. When they aren’t kept in check by our immune system and good bacteria, you can experience bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea, weight gain, fatigue, swelling, and even skin disorders. Having a healthy digestion can be the key to restoring  several disorders that you may now know are even connected!
 The problem with SIBO is that even healthy foods can cause an increase of symptoms. When a patient has SIBO, an apple a day WONT keep the doctor away. It could actually be causing confusion because SIBO is relatively new to Western Medicine. Doctors only recently began suggesting probiotics and just because you don’t have an E.coli breakout doesn’t mean you don’t need to get your bacteria back in check! When you have an imbalance, you want to stay away from foods that ferment easily, which an apple does ferment easily. Which is ok when you have a healthy gut flora, but the apple can feed good OR bad bacteria. 
 The University of Melbourne made the FODMAPS Diet - which is a three-phase diet to eliminate foods that ferment easily, to help starve the bad guys and give the good guys, and your immune system, time to catch up and get back into balance. The first phase focuses on eliminating harmful bacteria by starving it of its food source – short chain carbohydrates.  The food list that was created is based on their levels of Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols (FODMAP), a quick energy source for the bacteria. Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides are short chain carbohydrates; saccharide is another word for sugar.  Polyols are sugar alcohols; a sugar molecule with one alcohol attached. Sugar alcohols are found in a few artificial sweeteners like mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol.  Fructan is a polymer of fructose molecules and can be found in garlic, onions, artichokes, and wheat. Even if you are not gluten intolerance, wheat must be avoided because of fructans. The FODMAPs food ferment quickly and they are not readily absorbed by the small intestine. They pass into the colon mostly undigested. The bacteria in the colon utilize the sugar, ferment them producing gases like hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane. When your body detects these sugars, it tries to dilute them by sending water into your GI tract which can also cause more bloating, loose stool, and even pain.
   The second phase introduces probiotics and fermented food to rebuild the beneficial bacteria and the third focuses on maintaining the guy flora by limiting FODMAP diets and still focusing on fermented foods. The third phase is more general maintenance of the gut. Now that you’ve experienced better digestion and overall health, you have the tools and knowledge to eat accordingly. 
 The University of Melbourne noticed a 75% success rate with patients with IBS!  In our practice, we usually combine the FODMAP list with herbs that help kill off the bad bacteria and then switch to a formula that helps keep the intestinal tract in check. We may also add a specific probiotic depending on overall health. You can see an improvement with the FODMAP diet alone – but also need to look at what caused the imbalance to begin with – the root problem.  SIBO can occur due to slow motility of the bowels, which increases the time of fermentation. It can happen when there is not enough acid or enzymes to break down the food. Hormonal imbalances can also create an imbalance as well as antibiotics. 
   Gastro-intestinal doctors may suggest a breath test on different foods and measure excessive hydrogen or methane production. There is also an at home device that you can measure hydrogen levels. Food Marble can be bought online, and I have a referral link down below. 
 When SIBO is not controlled, the byproducts of the bacteria can cause chronic inflammation. This can lead to Bio films and Leaky Gut, which I talk about in another video. 
 If you or your doctor think you have SIBO, I suggest trying the FODMAP diet. If you’d like to also help your gut with herbs, you can purchase them at our online store. Gut Clear is a great product for phase one, and Dysbio is what I suggest for phase 2. For severe cases, I also suggest MicrobioX – this helps eliminates any possible biofilms that may have formed when SIBO is left untreated for too long. 
 We also offer stain specific probiotics for your immune system, mood, weight loss and more. 

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