Learn about Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth and discover what you can do about it.Book free consultation
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO for short, occurs when bacteria travel from your large intestine (where they should be) to your small intestine (where they shouldn’t be).
Your small intestine has a very important job: digesting your food and making sure the nutrients get to the rest of your body. SIBO hinders its ability to do this, which affects both your digestive health and your health as a whole.
Studies also suggest that SIBO is the main cause of IBS. But don’t despair! If you test positive for SIBO, there are a few ways to address it.
SIBO can occur for several reasons:
If you don’t have enough acid to kill the bacteria in your food, they can find their way into your small intestine.
Studies show that insufficient levels of bile can lead to overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.
Food that isn’t properly digested can provide fuel for the bad bacteria.
If the immune system isn’t able to respond as it should (due to nutrient deficiencies or other stressors), bacteria are able to grow and multiply.
This is the valve that sits between your small and large intestines. If it remains open when it shouldn’t, bacteria can migrate to the small intestine.
This is the movement that pushes food through your digestive system. If food sits around for too long, bacteria can multiply.
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SIBO requires time and attention. To begin with, everyone can benefit from these three steps:
Food that isn’t broken down properly puts stress on the digestive system, which can contribute to SIBO. In an ideal world, we’d all chew each mouthful 20 times. Try to make sure each mouthful is liquid before you swallow it.
Stress is a big factor in SIBO. Learn what makes you relax, and make it a non-negotiable part of your schedule every day.
These can help to reduce bacterial overgrowth. However, you’ll need to make changes to your diet too, such as reducing certain carbohydrates.
Healthpath can help you to identify what’s going on:
Tell us more about your symptoms by taking our questionnaire
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