What is IBS Really All About?
Let's talk about your gut! Digestion is a conversation that comes up with Every one of my patients, because it's such an important, if not the most important, part of our health and can factor in to so many other health concerns and conditions. We often have to look under the hood, so to speak, and start there.
Can IBS be Caused by SIBO?
SIBO stands for 'Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth'. This is a common gastrointestinal condition that is often misdiagnosed or misunderstood in conventional healthcare settings. Many patients are labeled with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and told they will just have to live with it. IBS, unfortunately, is a “lazy diagnosis” though because it's just a term to describe a set of symptoms rather than a diagnosis of a condition itself. The IBS diagnosis is really a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning the diagnosing doctor can't find out what's wrong with you or what is causing your set of symptoms and so you'll get the label irritable bowel syndrome.
There is a significant correlation between SIBO & IBS. Studies have shown that anywhere from 30 – 84% of IBS participants involved, will test positive for SIBO.
Let's keep the digestive assessments and conversations going further so you can get to the root cause of symptoms and understand what you can do to resolve them!
What is SIBO?
SIBO is a condition in which abnormally large numbers of bacteria – the types that are normally found in the large intestine – are present in the small intestine. When not functioning properly, the migrating motor complex (MMC) fails to effectively sweep intestinal contents into the colon during periods of fasting. Once in the small intestine, these bacteria proliferate and feed off carbohydrates from food, creating fermentation gases, specifically methane and hydrogen.
The misplacement of normal colonic bacteria into the small intestine results in fermentation, rather than the normal digestion and absorption that are the primary functions of the small intestine. When carbohydrates ferment rather than digest, hydrogen and methane can be produced in measurable quantities. The process of fermentation rather than digestion creates a host of symptoms that can be difficult to treat effectively without diagnosing and addressing the root cause.
What are Symptoms of SIBO?
Abdominal bloating after meals
Abdominal discomfort/pains after meals
Excessive eructation and/or excessive flatulence
Sensation of fullness and slow digestion
Bowel Movement Signs & Symptoms
Chronic loose stool
Alternating bouts of loose stool & constipation
Bowel movement urgency
Steatorrhea (fat in the bowel movements
How is SIBO Tested?
That's where naturopathic doctors come in. We have access to specialized testing companies and can offer further assessments outside of typical OHIP covered ones only. One that is particularly helpful in identifying SIBO in patients is called a SIBO breath test which measures these hydrogen and methane gases. The company we use at HIH is BioHealth Laboratory in California. We keep these test kits on hand at the clinic. Check our their website here for more information.
How is SIBO Treated?
After getting your results, I'll tailor your plan specifically for you and include the following main evidence-based steps in your protocol:
Liver up-regulation and support during treatment
Eradication of single of multiple forms of bacterial overgrowth with herbal options for 2 weeks. (We carry everything you would need at the clinic to keep things easy to find and implement)
Recovery and prevention of relapse by treating the root cause of SIBO for the individual person on average for 4-6 weeks. (Gut healing, transit time support, increase gastric secretions and bile flow, low-fermentable diet choices etc.)
It's as easy as 1,2,3!
It's Time to Beat the Bloat... Are You Ready?
Work with me for a better understanding of your body and to support a healthier digestive system so you can experience more optimal health now and for years to come
Here is a link to my online booking calendar for you to get started. Book your 'initial consultation' and in the description write 'SIBO" or book a 'free 15 introductory' appointment if you want more information about what working with a naturopathic doctor is like.