What is SIBO?
SIBO or Small intestine bacterial overgrowth, also termed bacterial overgrowths, or small bowel bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SBBOS), is a disorder of excessive bacterial growth in the small intestine. (1) Normally, far fewer bacteria inhabit the small intestine than the ample growth found in the colon. Gastric acid secretion and intestinal motility keep the small intestine relatively free of bacteria. However, a wide range of abnormalities and malfunctions can encourage bacteria to multiply in the small intestine causing SIBO.
SIBO is a common gastrointestinal disorder that often underlies chronic gastrointestinal symptoms of maldigestion and malabsorption, including bloating, gas, diarrhoea, irregularity, and abdominal pain. SIBO has been shown to exist in up to 84% of IBS patients and is therefore theorized to be the underlying cause. It is associated with many other disorders as well, as an underlying cause or as an aftereffect of the pre-existing disease. (2)
Diagnosis via a simple breath test
Diagnosing SIBO can be difficult and it is hypothesized that many sufferers remain undiagnosed and continue to suffer the symptoms without the correct treatments.
One of the simplest ways to test for the condition is via a breath test.
Breath tests have been developed to test for bacterial overgrowth, based on bacterial metabolism of carbohydrates to hydrogen and/or methane, or based on the detection of by-products of digestion of carbohydrates that are not usually metabolized. The hydrogen breath test involves having the patient fast for a minimum of 12 hours then having them drink a substrate usually glucose or lactulose, then measuring expired hydrogen and methane concentrations typically over a period of 2–3 hours. (3) It compares well to jejunal aspirates in making the diagnosis of bacterial overgrowth.(4)
To buy a breath test for the discounted rate of $189 click here.
How breath testing can help
Dr Leonard Weinstock comments on how effective breath testing can be in identifying SIBO in this video:
A recent paper in Nature has also shown the consensus around using breath testing as a diagnostic tool in the US.
Nordic Labs currently have an offer on these tests. You can purchase a SIBO breath test at a discounted rate of $189 if you click here. The test is easy to complete yourself and the cost includes a skype consultation to interpret your results, but it is recommended that you liaise with your own practitioner to fully interpret the test results.