Basics of SIBO
SIBO has long been misunderstood, mistreated, and misdiagnosed.
SIBO is one of the leading causes of IBS and is treatable and manageable, yet sufferers often go years without an answer or treatment.
Much of what we know has come to light in recent years, so many medical professionals are yet to have a deep understanding of:
- the signs and symptoms
- how to test for it
- how to diagnose it
- the best treatment options are based on the most up to date medical literature
- underlying causes and risk factors
Instead, the umbrella diagnosis (which isn’t a diagnosis) of IBS is often used.
The ‘basic’ tab has been designed to help you understand the basics of SIBO, so you can better advocate for your gut health.
What is SIBO/ what is IBS
We explain what SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is. We also explain what SIFO is (small intestinal fungal overgrowth).
We go through the symptoms of SIBO and SIFO based on the medical literature.
We also explain what IBS, IBS-M, IBS-D is as these are often given as umbrella diagnoses when SIBO has been missed.
Dr Freeman comments on why SIBO is frequently missed from his professional perspective.
All about the small intestine
Types of SIBO
We explain the different types of SIBO, of which there are three. They all present with various symptoms.
- SIBO-hydrogen sulfide
The last was only recently uncovered, and that goes to show how quickly we are learning about the gut and how much we still have to learn.
Diagnosis of SIBO
Here we explore how SIBO is diagnosed to help you get to the bottom your gut issues depending on the resources you have access to.
Many routine tests (performed by doctors) come back normal despite severe SIBO. That is because the bacteria that cause SIBO is supposed to be there, just not where it has started to grow.
- How SIBO is best diagnosed
- Why do colonoscopies/endoscopies often show nothing for SIBO
- Why stool testing is not considered adequate for SIBO
Why SIBO is underdiagnosed
We do a Q and A with one of our doctors – Dr Freeman, about this issue.
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I wanted to touch on one of the less fun aspects of treating SIBO, die off. Unfortunately, the SIBO die off stage comes before all the great things living SIBO free life brings.
Can you eat white bread/a biscuit/a cookie/a croissant/lollies/highly processed food with no issues? When you eat “healthy” foods like fruit and vegetables, do you feel very sick and lethargic after?
I got SIBO after a bad case of food poisoning, I contracted while overseas. I didn’t realise this at the time because it wasn’t immediately after that my problems and food intolerance began. It happened slowly over sometime.
I had hydrogen SIBO, and I lost a lot of weight during that time for two reasons. One of them is far less talked about, and I think it needs to be. The first reason was 1) the type of SIBO I had extracted energy from the food I ate. And reason 2) was the disordered eating habits I developed due to the SIBO.
Extreme bloating and gas, caused by undiagnosed SIBO – I struggled with SIBO for years. Like many, I had no idea. I was constantly told things like: “Bloating is normal”, “Maybe it’s just your period”…
I was scared to take too many rounds of antibiotics as I think other antibiotics may have triggered my SIBO in the first place. That’s why I decided to take antibiotics for only two of my four rounds of treatment. Both treatments seemed to work equally as effectively, but everyone is different.
After developing SIBO (which I was unaware I had at the time because I didn’t even know what it was) I started to notice my once long hair was thinning and getting shorter. At first, it was nothing drastic, and I’d hide it with styling and product, but over time the issue progressed (and so did my SIBO). My hair was fine, but I had lots of it.