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Is SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) Causing Your IBS?

Updated: Mar 9

In my last blog post, Looking Beyond an IBS Diagnosis, I discussed what having IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) really means, and why it's important to look beyond this diagnosis, because we now know that there are treatable conditions responsible for IBS symptoms. These are referred to the 'root causes' of IBS, and over the next series of blog posts, I will discuss the the most common IBS root causes I see in my 1:1 clients, and those who complete my IBS Protocol.

This applies to you even if you don't have an official IBS diagnosis. If you have problems with bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, reflux, nausea, undigested food in your poop, or autoimmunity, keep reading!

What is SIBO?

SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and is defined as an increased number of bacteria in the small intestine.

What is unique about SIBO is that these bacteria move to where they don’t belong and colonise the small intestine, a region that should contain very limited numbers of bacteria.

Because these bacteria are supposed to be in the large intestine, they are mostly species that ferment carbohydrates and the byproduct is either hydrogen or methane gas both of which will result in abdominal bloating. But just like IBS, SIBO sufferers are usually divided into one of three different categories:

Hydrogen SIBO - mostly associated with diarrhea, but sometimes alternating constipating and diarrhea.

Methane SIBO - associated with constipation.

Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO - associated with rotten egg smelling gas.