At Vivante, we’re the digestive health experts. We live for this stuff. Here’s a short summary of another academic article our gut health nerds found interesting…
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
SIBO is a medical term that just means part of the digestive system (the small intestine) is harboring way too much of a certain type of bacteria. Scientists don’t have a perfect understanding of SIBO, but they’re finding that many people with IBS symptoms also have SIBO.
IBS and SIBO
It’s estimated that anywhere from 4% to 78% of patients with IBS also have SIBO. Yeah, that’s a pretty wide gap, but that’s in large part due to the fact that the medical community hasn’t landed on one standardized test for diagnosing SIBO. The best test so far is pretty invasive. It involves scoping the small intestine, collecting samples, and then analyzing them in a lab. An easier and non-invasive breath test is becoming a popular tool for diagnosing SIBO. Regardless of which testing method is used, as the article below points out, it appears people with IBS are more likely to have SIBO if:
✔ they’re female
✔ they’re older in age
✔ their main symptoms are bloating, excessive gas and diarrhea
The symptoms of SIBO (diarrhea, bloating, weight loss) overlap with IBS to such an extent that it can be difficult to differentiate one from the other. Also, as we just mentioned, getting a SIBO diagnosis can be hard due to the range of testing methods. On top of that, it’s also possible that someone can have elements of both conditions at the same time.
The good news is, shared characteristics between the two mean that treatments for SIBO and IBS are often very similar. The use of probiotics, prokinetics (medications that help control acid reflux), and antibiotics (when required), are all possible treatments. Therapeutic food plans like the low-FODMAP diet or sticking to low-inflammation foods may also relieve some of the symptoms of SIBO and IBS.