Our bodies have trillions of bacteria in the large intestine. Here they perform a wide range of functions to aid our health. SIBO is explained as an increase in these bacteria, and/or changes to the types of bacteria present in the small intestine. In most people, SIBO is related to an overgrowth of the bacteria normally found in the large colon, not just a single type of bacteria.
Symptoms of SIBO
- Bloating/abdominal distension with discomfort
- Gas and burping
- Food Intolerances
- Immune activation (e.g. food sensitivities)
- Nutrient deficiencies e.g. Vitamin B12 & Iron
- Weight loss / weight gain
- Fatigue or brain fog
Effects of SIBO
SIBO can have a negative effect on the structure and function of the small intestine. It can interfere greatly with digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, therefore damaging the cells lining (mucosa) the small intestine.
This damage can lead to impaired gut permeability ('leaky gut') which is related to health issues causing immune reactions (e.g. food allergies or sensitivities), generalised inflammation, and autoimmune diseases.
Two Types of Bacteria
- Methanogenic bacteria - associated with constipation and biliary dyskinesia
- Hydrogenic bacteria - often associated with loose stool