What ist SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)?
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a disease characterized by excessive bacterial growth in the small intestine. In contrast to the large intestine, which has a high concentration of bacteria, the small intestine should only contain a small number of microorganisms.
However, with SIBO, there is a mispopulation that can cause a range of digestive problems and nutritional deficiencies.
SIBO Symptoms and Causes
The causes of SIBO are varied and can range from reduced stomach acid production to slowed intestinal motility to anatomical abnormalities.
Certain medications can also increase the risk of SIBO. Symptoms are often similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome and include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. Additionally, SIBO can lead to nutrient deficiencies because the excess bacteria absorb nutrients that are supposed to be used by the body.
A distinctive feature of SIBO is the production of gases such as methane and hydrogen by the bacteria that grow in the small intestine. These gases can not only cause bloating and abdominal pain, but can also affect intestinal motility.
For example, methane-producing bacteria are often associated with constipation, while hydrogen-producing bacteria are more likely to cause diarrhea.
SIBO is usually diagnosed through a special SIBO breath test that measures the concentration of these gases in the air you breathe.
A positive result can enable targeted treatment, which often consists of specific dietary changes.
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