SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth is an issue in many individuals. With SIBO, many patients experience IBS as well. Over ⅔ of SIBO cases are chronic and long-term treatment is needed. Individuals suffering with SIBO experience bloating, headaches, fatigue, and more.
SIBO is diagnosed best with a 3 hours lactose breath test. The 3 hour test is most effective as it determines if the SIBO if methane or hydrogen based, which impacts treatment plans. Patients who have SIBO along with constipation typically have methane-based SIBO. Methane SIBO is harder to kill as the bacteria tends to get aggravated and there is not as many known medications to trigger methane SIBO.
Throughout SIBO treatment, it is not uncommon for symptoms to get worse before they get better. This does not mean the treatment is failing but is most often linked to “die-off”. Die-off of the SIBO bacteria causes individuals to have symptoms such as extreme fatigue, worsening of bloating, flu-like feelings, and upper-respiratory infection symptoms.
Once the treatment plan of SIBO is complete, it is crucial that patients immediately start a prokinetic to reduce relapse probability. Additionally, each patient needs to get re-tested to see if another round is needed or if a different treatment plan needs to be considered. With SIBO, two rounds of treatment has been proven most effective.
For the most symptom relief, patients find a diet to be an essential factor. However, every individual has sensitivities and reactions to specific foods. Although each patient has SIBO there is no one diet fits all. All diets for SIBO are centered around a low carb method. Foods that include carbs are:
The most effective diets work off of foods with low amounts of carbohydrates mentioned above. There are four diets to choose from. These four diets are to be modified to fit each patient:
- Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
- Low FODMAP Diet (LFD)
- Cedars-Sinai Low Fermentation Diet (C-SLFD)
- SIBO Specific Food Guide (SSFG)
On top of diet, part of treatment plans include supplements to aid in killing bacteria. The variation, type, and dose of supplements vary on a case by case basis going off of the specific lab results obtained. Some of the all-natural supplements your health care provider may suggest are:
- Allicin (not whole garlic)
For those suffering with SIBO recovery and relief is possible. Seeking out help from a knowledgeable healthcare provider is the first step in healing.
Although SIBO has been proven tricky and relapse often occurs 2 weeks after treatment, working with the right healthcare team makes a huge difference! Understanding lab results, treatment forms, personalized diet types and the use of a prokinetic and follow up testing are all highly essential steps in reducing SIBO. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
Siebecker, Allison. “Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) (Part 3).” 8 May 2020, www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/members/1062.cfm.
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