Gastrointestinal Disorders

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Key points covered in this article include:

  • SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is a subtype of a gut dysbiosis in which the small intestine has an abnormally large number of bacteria, characterized as at least 100,000 bacterial cells per mL of fluid.
  • Despite producing chronic and debilitating symptoms, such as abdominal cramps, constipation, fatigue, bloating, flatulence, and unexpected weight loss, SIBO often goes undiagnosed for years in those who have it.
  • SIBO is generally caused by ongoing insufficiency of peristalsis – the repeating contract-and-relax pattern that the muscles of the intestine employ to create a wave-like motion that propels gastrointestinal contents towards the colon so that it can be eliminated through the feces. As such, peristalsis is an essential component of digestion and food waste elimination
  • There are highly effective, natural treatment options for SIBO which reverse this condition and encourage a healthy gut microbiome.

The average adult human’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract, commonly referred to as “the gut”, contains upwards of three pounds of microorganisms with vast diversity. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 1000 different species of microbes reside in the human gut, 99% of which are bacteria (the rest are yeast/fungi).1

These microorganisms collectively make up what is known as the human gut microbiome.

Research in recent years has made it patently clear that the human gut microbiome is essential for a multitude of physiological functions, especially immunity (roughly 70-80% of the immune system derives from the gut).2

But what happens when these microbes are able to grow uncontrollably without being eliminated from the body? Read on to learn all about a form of gut dysbiosis known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), what causes it, what the symptoms are, and how LifeWorks Wellness Center naturally treats this condition.

What is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) refers to a condition in which an excessive amount of bacteria (at least 100,000 bacteria per mL of fluid) occupy the small intestine, especially bacteria that normally reside in the colon.

This overgrowth can cause damage and inflammation to the gut wall, which can subsequently manifest into leaky gut.

Leaky Gut vs SIBO

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and leaky gut are distinct gastrointestinal disorders, albeit with similar presenting symptoms. Thus, SIBO is often misdiagnosed as leaky gut since it is a fairly unknown condition among conventional medical practitioners.

In contrast to SIBO, leaky gut is when your gut (intestinal) wall becomes severely compromised and highly permeable, thereby allowing foreign substances and toxin to effectively traverse across the intestinal wall and invade the bloodstream. Consequently, having leaky gut leads to an ongoing inflammatory response that can cause painful symptoms throughout the body, especially the lower abdominal region.

The good news is that both SIBO and leaky gut are treatable naturally by LifeWorks Wellness Center. The key is properly diagnosing whether you have SIBO, leaky gut, or another gastrointestinal complication so that we can create an effective treatment plan to restore and revitalize your gut.

Check out this video by Dr. Springer to get a better idea of the various gastrointestinal disorders we treat:

What Causes SIBO?

The gastrointestinal tract is a continuous muscular tube through which digesting food is transported to the colon. The coordinated activity of the muscles of the stomach and small intestine propels the food from the stomach, through the small intestine, and into the colon. Even when there is no food in the small intestine, muscular activity sweeps through the small intestine from the stomach to the colon

The muscular activity that sweeps through the small intestine is important for the digestion of food, but it also is important because it clears bacteria out of the small intestine and thereby limits the number of bacteria in the small intestine. Anything that interferes with the progression of normal muscular activity (peristaltic waves) through the small intestine can result in SIBO by allowing the bacteria to stay longer and multiply in the small intestine. The lack of muscular activity also may allow bacteria to spread backward from the colon and into the small intestine, which is why types of bacteria normally found only in the colon are found in the small intestine.

What are the Symptoms of SIBO?

Symptoms of SIBO often include:

  • Bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Mood disturbances and brain fog
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Poor sleep
  • Reduced energy
  • Abdominal pain/cramping

SIBO Natural Treatment Options

At LifeWorks Wellness Center we treat SIBO and leaky gut on an individual basis after determining the underlying cause(s) of your gastrointestinal issues. Nutritional consultation, targeted supplementation, food allergy testing, as well as diet & lifestyle modifications,  can often significantly improve intestinal function. In some cases, more in-depth testing is needed to determine if there are molds, toxins, pesticides, yeasts, viruses or other pathogens which are disrupting the microbiota and contributing to the condition.

We Can Fix SIBO

Gastrointestinal complications are not to be overlooked or put on the backburner. Your gut sets the foundation for immunity, nutrient absorption, waste elimination, and maintaining a healthy microbiome. If you have been experiencing the symptoms of SIBO for months on end with no improvement, it’s imperative that you don’t “ride it out” as gut dysfunction will persist indefinitely and lead to other issues, until you seek a resolution.

LifeWorks Wellness Center has helped many patients with gut dysfunction reclaim their health and well-being and we are eager to help you do the same.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Gastrointestinal Success Testimonial:
“I am at the beginning of my 5th week of treatment and I feel crazy good. When I started here 5 weeks ago I was in pain all over and my gut was so bad that I was doubled over. Now I have zero pain. I had no energy, so after these treatments, I feel like I have a whole new life. Thank you!” – Karen

Contact Us Today

To become a LifeWorks Wellness Center patient, or for more information about our natural SIBO treatment options, feel free to call our New Patient Coordinator at (727) 466-6789 or by submitting an online web inquiry with your request.

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About Dr. Minkoff

Dr. David Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then completed both a Pediatric Residency and a Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of California at San Diego. He worked at the University of California and Children’s Hospitals in San Diego as an attending physician in infectious disease while conducting original research on Ribaviron, a broad spectrum anti-viral agent to fight disease. He also co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine. In 1992, Dr. Minkoff’s attended a lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Bland, widely considered the father of functional medicine, during which he had a eureka moment, and began pursuing the alternative health field with a vengeance, studying under the most accomplished thought leaders on natural & integrative healing. In 1997 Dr. Minkoff and his wife set up a small clinic to help friends with their medical problems. What began as an experiment blossomed into Lifeworks Wellness Center, one of the most successful clinics for complementary medicine in the United States.