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What You Should Know About SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in your small intestine is when you have too much bacteria in it.

Everybody has bacteria in their gut; they play a crucial role in digestion. But if things get out of balance, then there can be problems.


SIBO can be treated, and changes in lifestyle could be everything it takes.

What is SIBO?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when there is an abnormal increase in the total population of bacteria in the small intestine — especially types of bacteria not commonly found in that part of the digestive tract. Sometimes this condition is referred to as the blind loop syndrome.


SIBO generally results when a circumstance, such as surgery or disease, slows the passage of food and waste products into the digestive tract and creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Excess bacteria frequently cause diarrhea and can lead to weight loss and malnutrition.

Symptoms of SIBO


SIBO symptoms mainly affect the gut. They may include:

  • Belly pain, especially after eating

  • bloating

  • cramps

  • diarrhea

  • constipation

  • indigestion

  • uncomfortable feeling of fullness after eating

  • passing a lot of gas

  • loss of appetite

  • weight loss

  • malnutrition

  • Nausea

Causes of SIBO

  • Your small intestine has anatomical abnormalities

  • Your small intestine changes its pH

  • Your immune system is not functioning well

  • Muscular activity of small bowel malfunctions, which means that food and bacteria are not removed from the organ

  • Certain medical conditions, including Crohn's disease, radiation enteritis, scleroderma, celiac disease, diabetes or other conditions that can slow movement of food and waste products through the small intestine

Why SIBO Develops

The small intestine is your digestive tract 's longest section, measuring around 20 feet. The small intestine is where food is absorbed into your bloodstream, mixed with digestive juices and nutrients.


In contrast to your large intestine, your small intestine usually has relatively few bacteria due to the rapid flow of contents and bile. But in SIBO stagnant food is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria in the bypassed small intestine. The bacteria can produce toxins and can also interfere with nutrient absorption. Diarrhea can also be triggered by breakdown products following bacterial food digestion.


To Sum It Up

SIBO usually occurs due to a condition that underlies it. If you have a chronic condition, such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease, work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan for the long term. SIBO can be treated but it could recur. Also, it can lead to dehydration and malnutrition if left untreated. If you suspect you have SIBO, contact your doctor so you can start treatment straight away.

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