SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, is a common gastrointestinal ailment that often appeared in our prior research on skin illnesses, such as rosacea, and other GI conditions, such as IBS & IBD.
SIBO is characterized by an excess of or anomalies in the small intestine’s bacteria, and its symptoms include diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, and malnutrition.
What Is SIBO?
SIBO occurs when there are an abnormal increase in the overall bacterial population in the small intestine, particularly non-typical species of bacteria. Blind loop syndrome is sometimes used to describe this condition.
SIBO often arises when a condition, such as surgery or illness, impedes the flow of food and waste through the digestive tract, so creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
The overpopulation of microorganisms may result in diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition.
SIBO is often a result of abdominal (stomach) surgery, although it may also be caused by anatomical problems and certain diseases.
Occasionally, surgery is necessary to correct the problem, although antibiotics are the most common treatment.
What Causes SIBO?
Included among the causes of SIBO are:
- Abdominal surgery complications, including a gastric bypass for the treatment of obesity and gastrectomy for the treatment of peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.
- The presence of structural abnormalities in and around the small intestine, such as scar tissue (intestinal adhesions) that may wrap around the outside of the small bowel and tissue pouches that protrude through the wall of the small intestine (intestinal diverticulosis).
- Certain medical conditions, including Crohn’s disease, radiation enteritis, scleroderma, celiac disease, diabetes, and others, may inhibit the movement of food and waste through the small intestine (motility).
How Can You Get Diagnosed With SIBO?
To diagnose SIBO, you may undergo tests to discover poor fat absorption, bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine, and other diseases that might be causing or contributing to your symptoms. Standard tests include:
- Airway analysis This kind of noninvasive examination measures the amount of hydrogen or methane exhaled after ingesting a glucose-water solution. A rapid rise in hydrogen or methane exhaled may indicate a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Although easily available, breath testing for the detection of bacterial overgrowth is less accurate than other procedures.
- Small intestine aspirate and fluid culture. The current gold standard for identifying bacterial overgrowth is this test. A fluid sample is acquired by inserting a long, flexible tube (endoscope) into the patient’s neck, upper digestive tract, and small intestine. A sample of intestinal fluid is collected and then tested for bacterial growth in the laboratory.
How Can You Get Treated For SIBO?
When possible, doctors treat SIBO by treating the underlying cause, such as by surgically repairing a postoperative loop, stricture, or fistula.
Nevertheless, not all loops are reversible. In such cases, treatment focuses on addressing nutritional deficiencies and eliminating bacterial overgrowth.
In the majority of instances, antibiotics are the first-line therapy for bacterial overgrowth.
If your symptoms and medical history suggest that this is the underlying cause, even if test results are inconclusive or no testing has been conducted, your doctor may begin this treatment.
If antibiotic treatment fails, testing may be performed.
In many cases, a short treatment of antibiotics drastically reduces the number of abnormal germs. However, if the antibiotic is discontinued, the bacteria may reappear, thus long-term treatment may be essential.
Some people with a small intestinal loop may not need antibiotics for lengthy periods, while others may use them often.
In order to prevent bacterial resistance, doctors may also switch antibiotics. Antibiotics eliminate the overwhelming majority of normal and abnormal bacteria in the stomach.
Therefore, antibiotics may cause some of the problems they are meant to cure, such as diarrhea. Changing drugs may avoid this side effect.
Correction of nutritional deficiencies is a crucial component of SIBO treatment, particularly in individuals with significant weight loss.
Although malnutrition may be treated, its consequences cannot always be reversed.
These treatments may reduce vitamin deficiencies, relieve gastrointestinal distress, and encourage weight gain:
- Nutritional supplements. In addition to oral vitamin, calcium, and iron supplements, people with SIBO may need intramuscular vitamin B-12 injections.
- Lactose-free eating plan. Damage to the small intestine may prevent the digestion of milk sugar (lactose). In such a case, it is essential to avoid lactose-containing foods or to ingest lactase supplements, which help in the digestion of milk sugar.
Because lactose is naturally broken down by the bacteria used in the fermentation process, some affected persons may be able to tolerate yogurt.
Probiotics are a combination of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria and/or yeasts found in the human body.
Bacteria are often seen negatively as agents that cause disease. However, there are always both good and harmful microorganisms in and on your body.
Probiotics consist of helpful bacteria that contribute to the maintenance of the body’s health and function.
This helpful bacteria helps you in several ways, including battling dangerous bacteria when you have an oversupply and enhancing your health.
Probiotics are part of a larger picture that includes the bacteria and microbiome in your body.
Imagine a microbiome as a diverse community of organisms, such as a forest, that collaborate to sustain your body’s health.
This community consists of microscopic creatures. There are billions of microorganisms present on and inside the human body. This assortment of microorganisms consists of:
- Fungi (including yeasts)
Everyone’s microbiome is unique. No two individuals have identical microbial cells, not even identical twins.
What Are The Best Probiotics For SIBO Treatment?
Due to the high rate of recurrence in patients treated just with antibiotics, it is often important to explore other treatment methods.
During my research on diet and SIBO, I uncovered accumulating and rather persuasive evidence that probiotics may be used to treat intestinal overgrowth in patients by restoring healthy gut flora.
Although many of us are acquainted with the term probiotic, there are so many different strains and supplements available on the market that it may be difficult to know where to begin.
This prompted today’s post, in which I will cover four distinct probiotic species that have shown efficacy in SIBO treatment.
Bifidobacterium is recognized for its many health-promoting characteristics and is considered to be one of the first bacterial species to reach the digestive tract.
It is a common active component in functional foods and is recognized as one of the most significant probiotic strains for improving gut health.
In a 2016 randomized controlled experiment published in the Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology, 126 individuals with SIBO and colorectal cancer were provided bifidobacterium capsules.
After four weeks of supplementation, 81% of patients tested negative for SIBO on a regular breath test, compared to 26% in the placebo group.
Emerging evidence suggests that a blend of multiple probiotic strains may be beneficial for SIBO, such as a 2014 study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology that observed a significant decrease in SIBO symptoms and prevalence after administration of a probiotic blend containing six strains, of which three were bifidobacterium species.
Saccharomyces boulardii is a live probiotic yeast that has been used medicinally as an antidiarrheal for decades and has recently attracted attention for its capacity to treat gastrointestinal issues.
Saccharomyces boulardii is able to regulate intestinal microbial homeostasis, maintain the GI barrier, and impact the immune system by mimicking the protective effects of healthy gut flora.
It has even been shown to enhance vitamin absorption, which is crucial for SIBO patients suffering from malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies, two possible symptoms of the disease.
A 2019 randomized controlled experiment published in the Journal of Digestive Diseases and Sciences reported a substantial decrease in diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and gas/bloating, as well as a 33% eradication of SIBO with S. boulardii supplementation alone.
The probiotic and antibiotic combination resulted in a 55 percent eradication rate.
Bacillus coagulan is a spore-forming probiotic bacterium that has been certified by the FDA as a safe probiotic strain due to its outstanding stability and effectiveness in treating digestive problems.
It is one of the most effective probiotics for SIBO and a hot issue in the medical world owing to its therapeutic benefits on gut health, which include limiting the development of harmful bacteria, increasing excretion and digestion through enzyme release, and regulating the immune system.
This pilot study published in 2014 in the Indian Journal of Medical Research found that 30 patients with SIBO experienced a significant reduction in SIBO symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, and abdominal pain after three weeks of supplementation with the probiotic Bacillus coagulans.
This was in combination with an antibiotic regimen and 93.3 percent tested negative for SIBO after treatment, compared to 66 percent who only took the antibiotic.
Despite the need for more randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on B. coagulan supplementation alone, the present investigation reveals a potential therapeutic benefit for gastrointestinal (GI) conditions such as small intestine enlargement.
Lactobacilli are bacteria that create lactic acid and are well-known for their crucial function in food fermentation as well as their extensive clinical and experimental properties in the treatment of disease.
A recent study has focused on the potential of this probiotic to colonize the GI tract and restore microbiota-host symbiosis, a vital component in the treatment of gastrointestinal illnesses such as SIBO.
Multiple lactobacillus strains have probiotic properties that are beneficial for SIBO, as indicated by the findings of this clinical investigation that supplementation with Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus acidophilus was successful in treating bacterial overgrowth and accompanying symptoms in IBS patients.
In addition, a 2019 study published in the Journal of Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins found a promising reduction in SIBO prevalence and symptoms in patients who took a four-strain probiotic including L. acidophilus, Lactobacillus Plantarum, and the previously mentioned S. boulardii.
Beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, help largely to maintain a healthy balance in the body. Consider keeping a neutral body stance.
During illness, dangerous microorganisms enter the body and proliferate. This causes the body to lose its equilibrium.
Beneficial bacteria aid in the elimination of pathogenic bacteria and the restoration of internal balance, resulting in enhanced health.
Beneficial bacteria improve health by strengthening the immune system and controlling inflammation.
What probiotics may do for the human body is now the topic of a significant amount of study.
Even though there are a lot of potentially positive effects, scientists are still striving to discover how probiotics may benefit the treatment of various diseases.
There are, however, some medical conditions in which probiotics may be advantageous.
This varies from person to person, so what works for one person may not work for another. These may also vary according to the kind of probiotic utilized.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Take Something To Increase Good Probiotics In Your Body?
By ingesting certain meals, drinks, and supplements, you may increase the number of good bacteria in your body.
There are certainly already probiotic-containing foods in your diet. Beneficial bacteria are abundant in fermented foods, such as yogurt and pickles.
There are more probiotic-rich fermented drinks, such as kombucha (fermented tea) and kefir (fermented dairy drink).
In addition to food, probiotics are also available as dietary supplements. Since these products are not drugs, the Food and Drug Administration is not required to approve them (FDA).
Before adopting any nutritional supplement or making changes to your diet, you should always see your doctor.
How Effective Are Probiotics?
Researchers are still skeptical about probiotic supplementation’s therapeutic value. This topic is the subject of ongoing study.
Despite the optimistic results of several studies on the benefits of probiotic supplements, further research is necessary.
Dietary supplements, unlike medications, do not have to be FDA-approved. This suggests that manufacturers may only promote dietary supplements based on “claims” of safety and effectiveness.
Always consult a doctor (or pediatrician) before using a dietary supplement or giving one to a child. It is possible for dietary supplements to interact with pharmaceuticals.
Before using a supplement if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor.