The term IBS doesn’t tell us anything other than what we already know which is that you have an irritable bowel. Your symptoms tell us that alone. What is important is to understand what is causing your IBS and address the cause so that the symptoms will disappear.
Interestingly 85% of patients diagnosed with IBS test positive for SIBO? SIBO stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and is the leading cause of IBS.
SIBO is defined as an increase in the number of bacteria, and/or changes in type of bacteria present in the small intestine. In most patients, SIBO is not caused by a single type of bacteria, but is an overgrowth of the various types of bacteria that should normally be found in the colon.
Bacteria should not reside in the small intestine and therefore when they do end up in there, they start digesting the food that you eat, producing gas and distension of the abdomen – hello BLOATING!
SIBO both negatively affects both structure and function of the small intestine. It may significantly interfere with digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, primarily by damaging the cells lining the small intestine (the mucosa). Additionally, the damage to the mucosa can lead to leaky gut (when the intestinal barrier becomes permeable, allowing large protein molecules to escape into the bloodstream), which has a number of potential complications including immune reactions that cause food allergies or intolerances, generalised inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth could be the root cause of your IBS and until addressed your symptoms will remain. SIBO can be very nasty causing many unpleasant and harmful systemic symptoms. If you are struggling with bloating, wind, acid reflux, loose stools or constipation the chances are quite high that this could be SIBO – you can test for it so that targeted antimicrobials of the correct dosage can be administered to eradicate the overgrowth.
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