Struggling to unravel the cause of your gut troubles? It’s time to consider SIBO and rule it out as a potential cause or get a diagnosis.

What is SIBO?

SIBO stands for ‘Small Intestinal Bacterial Growth’ and it is often found in people who have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other types of digestive issues, females and older adults.


What causes SIBO?

SIBO is caused by bacteria from the lower part of the gut moving into the small intestine where it is not meant to be, or when bacteria that is found naturally in the small intestine multiply too much.

People with a weakened immune system, low levels of stomach acid, physical abnormalities of the small intestine as well as an abnormally slow digestive system are other factors that may cause SIBO in a person.

What are the typical symptoms of SIBO?

Typical SIBO symptoms include:

  • diarrhoea
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • weight loss (unintentional)
  • pain in the stomach area

How is a SIBO diagnosis made?

SIBO is quite difficult to diagnose, and diagnosis is usually made by a breath test as well as matching the patient’s symptoms to the results.

A breath test helps to measure the amount of hydrogen and methane in a person’s breath. The purpose of the test is to check the location of bacterial overgrowth in the gut and the severity.

The health practitioner will also take a person’s case history and medical symptoms and if the breath test is unclear, further testing may be required.

How is SIBO treated?

Every healthcare practitioner may have his or her own preferred protocol for treating SIBO, which can include herbs and supplements for some whilst conventional doctors usually prescribe antibiotics (these may appear to work initially but can cause other issues in the gut due to destroying beneficial bacteria).

What is really important, however, is that the underlying cause is addressed to avoid its recurrence, which should include appropriate treatment for reducing the bacterial overgrowth whilst also addressing any SIBO triggers that come from nutrition and lifestyle. Including adequately managing conditions such as coeliac disease and diabetes which can contribute to SIBO.

If you are concerned about SIBO being at the root cause of your gut troubles, please drop me an email at or click the contact me page and a send me a direct message. As a healthcare practitioner myself, I have 17 years of experience that includes working with people who have SIBO.


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