10 Signs of SIBO
- Abdominal bloating/gas
- Abdominal cramps
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Skin rashes
- Food intolerance
- Weight gain/loss
TestingThere is no perfect test and a diagnosis can often be made from a patient’s history and symptoms. Hydrogen breath test – the gold standard. Breath testing measures hydrogen and methane gases produced by bacteria in the small intestine that have diffused into the blood. Patients drink a sugar solution of lactulose (distal overgrowth) or glucose (proximal overgrowth) after a 1-2 day elimination diet removing likely food triggers like sugar and carbohydrates. Interpretation of the results from doctors vary widely and no universal standard exists. Dysbiosis test – It tests the by-products of yeast and bacteria to determine overgrowth in the small intestine. A simple urine collection is all that is required. Comprehensive stool test – A functional medicine test that determines levels of gut inflammation, diversity of gut bacteria, and pathogenic yeast and/or bacteria.
TreatmentThere is a four-pronged approach to treatment, commonly known as the 4R therapy in functional medicine.
- Remove – Avoid common food triggers like gluten, dairy, corn, and sugar which increase inflammation in the gut.
- Replace – Add back essential ingredients that have been depleted like digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid.
- Re-inoculate – Reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria with a high dose, broad spectrum probiotics.
- Repair – Heal the leaky gut lining with amino acids like L-glutamine and herbal supplements like aloe vera, berberine, and marshmallow root.