Can SIBO come back?

Jan 11, 2023 | Treatment, Basics | 0 comments

Can SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) come back?

If you’re wondering if small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can come back after treatment, you’re not alone. It’s a common concern among those who have experienced this condition.

The answer is yes. While it’s true that SIBO can come back, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of relapse.

Let’s explore the factors that can contribute to SIBO relapse and discuss strategies for reducing your risk of experiencing a recurrence.

SIBO and relapse of the condition

SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, is characterised by excessive bacteria or archaea in the small intestine. This can lead to symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, and stomach pain. While the bacteria that cause SIBO are normally present in the gut, they are usually kept in check by the body’s defense mechanisms.

However, if these mechanisms are impaired or not functioning properly, it can allow for an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, leading to SIBO.

One reason SIBO relapse is common is that the condition often results from an underlying issue that has not been addressed. The condition can recur if the root cause of SIBO is not addressed. To reduce the risk of relapse, it is essential to consider all aspects of SIBO recovery, including addressing any underlying causes and supporting healthy gut function.

What the research says on relapse rates

Relapse is a common concern among those who have been treated for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). While the exact relapse rate needs to be better established, several studies have provided some insight into this topic.

One study found that SIBO was highly prevalent in Crohn’s disease (CD) patients and was independently linked to clinical relapse in quiescent (inactive) patients. This suggests that SIBO may contribute to the development or worsening of CD symptoms.

Another study found that approximately 44% of patients with SIBO may experience a relapse of symptoms within 9 months of initial treatment. This highlights the importance of addressing any underlying causes of SIBO and preventing relapse.

A third study showed that the cumulative Glucose Breath Test (GBT) positivity recurrence rate for SIBO was 12.5% (95% CI 5.3–19.7), 27.5% (95% CI 17.7–37.3), and 43.7% (95% CI 32.6–54.6) at 3, 6, and 9 months after antibiotic treatment. This suggests that the risk of relapse may increase over time, particularly if the underlying causes of SIBO are not addressed.

Does SIBO damage increase the likelihood of SIBO recurrence?

One potential factor that may increase the risk of SIBO relapse is the damage the condition can cause to the small intestine. SIBO can cause the small intestine to constantly stretch and contract, damaging the intestinal lining and other structures. After treating bacterial overgrowth, it is essential to focus on repairing this damage to reduce the risk of relapse.

SIBO can also cause intestinal permeability, a condition in which the intestinal lining becomes more porous and allows substances to pass through that would normally be blocked. This can lead to inflammation and has been linked to autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Using products that contain ingredients that can reduce inflammation and support the healing of the intestinal lining may be beneficial in reducing the risk of SIBO relapse. Some specific ingredients to look for include zinc, glutamine, DGL licorice, marshmallow root, and quercetin.

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in immune function and wound healing. It helps reduce inflammation and promote the healing of damaged tissues.

Glutamine is an amino acid essential for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal lining. It helps reduce inflammation and support the healing of damaged tissues.

DGL licorice is a type of licorice that has been modified to remove certain components that can cause side effects. It may reduce inflammation and promote the healing of the intestinal lining.

Marshmallow root is a traditional herb used to treat digestive issues. It may reduce inflammation and support the healing of the intestinal lining.

Quercetin is a flavonoid that is found in a variety of plants. It has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to support the healing of the intestinal lining.

Gut Fix is a product that contains these ingredients and is specifically formulated to support SIBO recovery. Using this or similar products as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing the risk of SIBO relapse may be helpful.

Can SIBO come back

Finding the right treatment center can give you a good chance at recovery

There are several key factors to consider when treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) to ensure the most effective and long-lasting treatment. These include:

  • Addressing the underlying cause of SIBO, such as dysfunction in the body’s natural defenses or abnormalities in the structure of the intestine.
  • Using supplements and therapies that support the body’s natural mechanisms for controlling bacterial overgrowth, such as those that promote healthy gut motility and support the body’s detoxification pathways.
  • Using a multifaceted approach that targets multiple risk factors for SIBO relapse rather than just focusing on killing the bacterial overgrowth itself.
  • Incorporating biofilm busters can help disrupt the protective layers that some bacteria form in the gut and make them more susceptible to treatment.
  • Ensuring that the treatment plan considers the particle size of antimicrobial agents, as this can affect their ability to reach and effectively treat all areas of the gut.

By following a treatment plan that addresses all of these factors, it may be possible to eliminate bacterial overgrowth and effectively reduce the risk of relapse.

“My symptoms came back as soon as I stopped my treatment”

If you’re experiencing a return of SIBO symptoms after ending a one-dimensional treatment protocol like rifaxamin, there may be several reasons for this. It’s possible that your treatment was insufficient for your gut, or you are a non or weak responder to the treatment you chose (most common with antibiotics).

While the antibiotic or single antimicrobial may have effectively controlled the bacteria in your small intestine, it may not have addressed other microbiome and gastrointestinal tract factors that could have contributed to the development of SIBO. These could include mucous, structural issues, biofilms, and changes in your microbiome composition. Additionally, the bacteria may be resistant to this very base level approach. Resistance is most common with antibiotic treatment.

As a result, once you stop treatment, your body may have enough time to repopulate the small intestine with bacteria, leading to a return of symptoms. This can happen at different rates for different people – some may experience a slow return of symptoms, while others may experience a quick return. However, some lucky individuals may never experience a return of symptoms at all.

At FixBIOME, we understand the frustration of chronic relapse, which is why we were founded. Our founder personally experienced multiple courses of antibiotics that provided temporary relief from SIBO symptoms, only to have them return a few weeks later. After much research, consultation with medical professionals, and trial and error, we developed a 6-8 week course designed to address the root cause of SIBO and prevent relapse. Our approach is based on a combination of research, medical literature, and expert knowledge from doctors and naturopaths.

Is a multifaceted treatment better to prevent SIBO relapse?

While more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between multifaceted treatment and the likelihood of SIBO relapse, a more comprehensive approach may be effective for those who have not responded well to other interventions or continue to experience chronic relapse.

One option to consider is a 6-8 week course of antimicrobials specifically designed for SIBO, which may provide a more lasting solution. In addition, herbal treatments are equally effective as traditional drug treatments and may also have a broader impact on the microbiome, potentially leading to more lasting changes.

Key takeaways

Biofilm busters and other ingredients that address dysbiosis may also improve gut health and reduce the risk of recurrent SIBO. At FixBIOME, we believe in the value of a multifaceted approach. We are committed to helping those struggling with chronic relapse find relief and improve their gut health.

Can SIBO come back?


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