Almost every single client who walks in our door needs some kind of rebalancing of their digestive tract. This is a foundation of good health. And yet when you think about the rows and rows of anti-diarrhea, anti-constipation, acid reflux, and other digestive related medications in every box store and pharmacy, you get a glimpse at how widespread digestive problems are in our culture and hence the rise of serious health conditions.
Gut function is key to optimal health.
Our topic today is SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and its cousin, SIFO or Small Intestine Fungal Overgrowth. We have found this condition to be extremely common. We can identify it through symptoms and verify it through functional testing.
These are some of the basic causes of SIBO and SIFO:
- Low stomach acid. Can be brought on by aging and eating when under stress, but most often by the use of over the counter acid-blocking medications such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Zantac. You’ll know that you have low stomach acid if you bloat or have gas within two hours of eating a meal or experience belching and burping.
- Use of antibiotics. Antibiotics are necessary at times but they do kill the healthy bacteria as well as the targeted ones. Make sure you use a good probiotic when on antibiotic. Learn to use antibiotics safely, HERE.
- Pancreatic or gall bladder dysfunction. These two glands help us digest food, especially fatty food. So if you have undigested food in your stool, pain under the right ribs after a fatty meal, or urgent light colored (yellowish) stools that float after a fatty meal, think gall bladder congestion and its associated tendency to develop SIBO/SIFO.
- Type II diabetes. Sugar feeds these unfriendly bacteria and yeast, so if your blood sugars run high, you are providing nourishment for these creatures and your tendency to grow pathogens increases.
There are two types of SIBO. One tends to cause constipation and the other diarrhea. SIBO can be evaluated by urine testing (part of our TRIAD test) or via a breath test.
Correcting SIBO/SIFO requires a multi-pronged approach that must include dietary changes, anti-microbial agents, digestive enzymes and probiotics. Many people use the antibiotic Xifaxin but almost always relapse as it is not enough to correct this very persistent condition.
Let me tell you about a typical client that came with a laundry list of symptoms, not necessarily digestive, but upon testing, we discovered SIBO was an underlying cause of her problems. Kathy is 32 year