SIBO, gas, and bloating

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SIBO, gas, and bloating

Medically reviewed by:
Dr James Freeman

Gas experienced with SIBO is more painful and causes more issues than “normal gas”. Gas in the small intestine puts pressure on the diaphragm and can cause acid reflux and/or feelings of premature fullness.

Gas in the colon, where it usually occurs, has an easier path out. It is less likely to cause severe abdominal pain. As it’s supposed to, the large intestine has an enormous number of bacteria. Gas production in the area is expected, and the large intestine was designed for that.

The small intestine is coated with smooth muscle tissue, which can cause severe pain when stretched.

The stretching the gas causes here can cause damage and further inflammation creating increased permeability issues on top of what the bacteria cause. It can damage the brush border enzymes needed for healthy digestion and functioning of the gut. It is a vicious cycle of destruction.

“Degas” medications to temporarily resolve symptoms (and why they work… short term)

Anti-gas medications are just simethicone that breaks up large gas bubbles into smaller ones, allowing you to pass them more easily. It doesn’t address the root of the issue but can be a good option in a pinch.

Looking “pregnant” before bed

It is normal to experience some bloating towards the end of the day. Your body is processing and breaking down food, and this can take up to 36 hours! However, being so uncomfortably bloated you can’t comfortably move is not normal and may point to a larger issue.

With SIBO, you have not only the normal gases being produced in the large intestine but also gas and bloating occurring in the small intestine (where it shouldn’t). As the day progresses, your small intestine ferments the food, you eat and creates gases. As it doesn’t have an easy, exist, it build up, and this can be very uncomfortable.

People with SIBO often have “full tummy” bloating as unposed to having lower belly bloat. However, everyone is different.