Functional Medicine

Research Studies on SIBO in Irritable Bowel Syndrome


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Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a prevalent condition characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, connected to altered stool form (such as diarrhea and constipation) as well as passage. Approximately 4 percent to 30 percent of individuals world-wide suffer from IBS. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, which was clinically demonstrated in patients with structural abnormalities in the gut, such as ileo-transverse anastomosis, stricture, fistula, slow motility and reduced gut defense, may also be characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, flatulence and loose motion. It’s been recognized that SIBO may occur in the absence of structural abnormalities. These patients may be incorrectly diagnosed with IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome.


How common is SIBO diagnosed in IBS?


Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth has been described as the excessive presence of bacteria, forming 105 units per milliliter on culture of their intestine aspirate. As this is an invasive test, lots of noninvasive techniques like lactulose and glucose hydrogen breath tests (LHBT and GHBT) are broadly used to diagnose SIBO. This issue has been recognized among people with IBS. In a variety of research studies, frequency of SIBO among patients presenting IBS varied from 4 percent to 78 percent, according to Table ​1, more so among patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS. Not only quantitative increase (SIBO) but qualitative change from the gut bacteria (dysbiosis) was reported among patients with IBS. Research studies utilizing antibiotics and probiotics have caused disagreement to care for this disease with lately transplantation which led to a paradigm shift. Nonetheless, it’s essential to understand the wide-variability in frequency of SIBO among people with IBS. A wide-variability in frequency may indicate it is vital to evaluate the evidence carefully to determine whether the association between IBS and SIBO is under-projected in previous research studies.



The research studies are examined by people on discordance with the connection between IBS and SIBO as well as their strength and weakness, such as evidence on exploitation of gut flora on indications of IBS and other issues.


Assessment of Studies on SIBO in IBS


Table ​1 summarizes the outcomes among patients with IBS from research studies on individuals with SIBO. As can be noted in the table, the frequency of people with IBS and SIBO varied from 4 percent to 78 percent and from 1 percent and 40 percent among controls. Frequency of individuals with SIBO and IBS was greater than among controls. It might be concluded that SIBO is correlated with IBS. It’s essential to assess the explanations in various research studies.


Critical Evaluation of Studies on SIBO in IBS


Can IBS phenotype determine frequency of SIBO?


IBS is a state that’s heterogeneous. The sub-types may be diarrhea or constipation-predominant or may be alternating. Patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS have organic cause including SIBO compared to other types of IBS. In a study on 129 patients with non-diarrheal IBS, 73 with long-term diarrhea, for example diarrhea-predominant IBS, and 51 healthy controls, frequency of SIBO with GHBT was 11 (8.5 percent), 16 (22 percent) and 1 (2%), respectively. Similar findings are reported in various studies. Diarrheal IBS needs to be evaluated in comparison to other sorts of IBS for SIBO. Research studies that contained percentage of individuals are extremely likely to reveal frequency of SIBO.


Bloating is a symptom commonly reported among patients with IBS. Frequency of bloating has been reported to vary from Asia by 26 percent to 83 percent in research studies on IBS. The pathogenesis of bloating may be correlated with increased quantity of gas in the gut, its abnormal source and improved gut sense in response to distension of the gut. Patients with SIBO may have increased amount of gas inside the gut, so it’s plausible to believe IBS patients with bloating that is noticeable are expected to have SIBO. There is limited data with this specific circumstance. Evidence also demonstrated that both fasting along with post-substrate (e.g., sugar, lactulose) breath hydrogen is considerably higher compared to individuals with IBS compared to controls. Probiotics and antibiotics, which are demonstrated to reduce gas, are demonstrated to ease bloating. It has been noted that treatment can revert hydrogen breath tests back to normal. Patients with IBS, flatulence and bloating should be evaluated for SIBO. More data is involved with this issue.


Can techniques used to diagnose SIBO determine its frequency?


Several techniques are used to diagnose SIBO; including GHBT LHBT,14C breath test, and culture of aspirate. The principle of hydrogen breath tests is summarized in Figure 1. Dietary carbohydrates produce hydrogen in the gut. In patients with SIBO, the bacteria in the small bowel ferment these carbohydrates, producing hydrogen, which gets absorbed and is exhaled in the breath.


Figure 1


Hydrogen breath test involves giving patients a load of carbohydrate (generally in the sort of glucose and lactulose) and measuring expired hydrogen concentrations in a period of time. Identification of SIBO using hydrogen breath test depends upon the bodily principle of patients with SIBO, glucose may be fermented by bacteria in the intestine resulting in production of hydrogen gas that is consumed and exhaled in expired air (Figure ​1, A1). By contrast, lactulose, which may function as a non-absorbable disaccharide, will produce an early summit due to fermentation in the small intestine (normally within 90-min) or two summit (as a consequence of small intestine fermentation and minute from colon), if SIBO is present (Figure ​1, B2 and B3). There are limits in hydrogen breath test for identification of SIBO. There may be similarities in patients with problems and SIBO employing rapid transit making differentiation difficult. An ancient summit can be positive in people with gut transit time. By way of instance, in a study from India, median oro-cecal transit interval was 65 minutes (variety 40-110 moments) in healthy subjects. In another study from Taiwan, mean transit interval was 85 min. It’s been substantiated in Western individuals recently by simultaneously using LHBT and radio-nuclide method to gauge gut transport. Double summit standards for evaluation of SIBO using LHBT is quite insensitive. Sensitivity of GHBT to diagnose SIBO is 44 percent contemplating the culture of gut aspirate as a regular standard. As a result, it’s estimated that the researchers who used a historic summit standards in LHBT could discover a greater frequency of SIBO among people with IBS along with controls. In contrast, those who would use either GHBT or double summit benchmark in LHBT might locate a minimum frequency of SIBO alike in patients with IBS and controls. It is well worth noting from Table ​1 that the frequency of SIBO among people with IBS and controls on LHBT (early summit standards) varied from 34.5 percent to 78 percent and 7 percent to 40 percent, respectively; in contrast with the frequency GHBT varied from 8.5 percent to 46 percent and 2 percent to 18percent.


Fifteen percent of people might have methanogenic flora in the gut. Methanobrevibacter smithii, Methanobrevibacter stadmanae and perhaps several of those coliform bacteria are methanogens. In these areas, only hydrogen breath tests may not diagnose SIBO, estimation of methane may also be demanded (Figure ​1). Table ​1 shows that 8.5 percent to 26 percent of IBS sufferers and 0 percent to 25 percent of controls exhaled methane inside their breath. Whether methane was not expected in them, SIBO could not have been diagnosed. Methane was not estimated, which could have resulted in underestimation of frequency of SIBO as outlined in a proportion of the research study. Methane production in excess is connected to constipation. Consequently, methane estimation in breath, which is inaccessible in several commercially available hydrogen breath test machines, is particularly vital in patients employing constipation-predominant IBS. Some could have slow transit through the small intestine making prolonged testing as a lot of hours required and many people may not want to undergo such testing. However, a period of testing for them may overlook SIBO’s identification.


The jejunal aspirate culture has traditionally been used as the gold standard to diagnose SIBO, according to Figure ​2. On the other hand, the limitations of this test include invasiveness in addition to the challenges posed by attempting to civilization all strains and species. In fact, usage of air during endoscopy might lead to a false negative impact as anaerobes do not rise when these are exposed to oxygen. Furthermore, a massive percentage of germs are not cultured. By contrast, single lumen catheter passed through the nose or through the biopsy channel of endoscope, may lead to contamination with oro-pharyngeal flora supplying false positive result. Therefore, we left a double-lumen catheter to prevent these oro-pharyngeal contamination (Figure ​2). Studies on SIBO one of patients with IBS using qualitative civilization of small bowel aspirate are scanty (Table ​1). A study by Posserud et al reported that a frequency of SIBO of 4 percent among people with IBS. Taking the result of study using GHBT, the sensitivity of 44 percent to diagnose the intestine aspirate appears to have the incidence of SIBO . More studies are essential on this issue.


Figure 2


Figure 3


13C and 14C based tests have also been developed based on the bacterial metabolism of D-xylose (Figure ​3). Of acids containing13C and 14C may be used to diagnose SIBO. The glycocholic acid breath test contains the managing of the bile acid14C glycocholic acid, as well as the discovery of14CO2, which may be increased in SIBO (Figure 3), according to the clinical and experimental data from the various research studies on SIBO associated with IBS. While evidence may appear conclusive, further research studies may be required to properly determine the results.


Information referenced from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the National University of Health Sciences. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .


By Dr. Alex Jimenez



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Dr. Alex Jimenez

Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven Integrative Wellness therapies focused on optimal mobility, posture control, health Instruction, functional fitness, Nutrition, and structural conditioning. In addition, we use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans," Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSHasRx Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor, passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. So join us and make a living with mobility a way of life. Blessings. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN

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