What is SIBO?

Recently I created a survey for my Facebook group Your bloat-free journey hub and my email subscribers.

I have taken the most popular answers to each question and the top score relates to a condition called SIBO but there are other possibilities too and I will cover these in the future!

The results were:

SIBO and bloating survey

What is SIBO? Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

Firstly, the small intestine connects the stomach to the colon (also called large intestine).

Most of your nutrients from food are absorbed here.

Normally there shouldn’t be many bacteria living in the small intestine. However, under certain circumstances, the small intestine can become a welcoming environment for bacteria ☹

This condition is called SIBO.

Research has found that up to 85% of people with IBS symptoms have SIBO.

The best way to describe SIBO is that too many bacteria are living in the wrong part of your gut. And contrary to popular belief, this particular bacteria is not bad or disease causing. It is harmless but, it should be living in the large intestine, not the small intestine.

the gut small intestine and sibo

What causes bacteria to overgrow in the small intestine?

Now you will discover what happens in your small intestine when you have SIBO.

Previously, I uncovered what causes bacteria to overgrow in your small intestine. And this has confirmed that SIBO is a symptom of another health issue!

What happens in your small intestine when you have SIBO?

After eating, your small intestine eventually becomes full of food and the nutrients from the food are processed and absorbed into your bloodstream.

But if you have SIBO, large batches of bacteria are hanging out in there and they come into contact with the nutrients, so they start feasting. The bacteria love to digest carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, alcohol etc and therefore fermentation occurs and fermentation leads to, you guessed it –     GAS! 💨 💨

The not so good outcome is that gas leads to a miserable bloating experience associated with SIBO 😔

The small intestine is narrower that the large intestine, and so it fills up with gas more easily and becomes more uncomfortable when it fills with gas.

Also, did you know that if SIBO is severe, it can interfere with your bile-recycling system and allows excess bile to accumulate in the large intestine. This is called bile acid malabsorption and can result in both diarrhoea and some vitamin deficiencies.

What is bile?

Bile is a greenish yellow secretion that is produced in the liver and passed to the gallbladder for storage, or transport into the first region of the small intestine, the duodenum. Its function is to aid in the digestion of fats there.

Lots to take in and food for thought!! If you pardon the pun 😉

Now I’m going to tell you what the 10 Signs of SIBO are:

10 signs of SIBO

What are your numbers??

Bloating and SIBO – what it feels like

Bloating from SIBO can occur one day and not the next. So, you may get some mild bloating each day, but some days can be so much worse and generally for no apparent reason.

What you may find is that you experience bloating within an hour of eating and foods that are most likely to trigger a response are:

  • Wheat=based products (pizza🍕, sandwiches, pasta etc)
  • High-fat meals (cream cheese sauces, fried foods, ice cream or greasy takeaways
  • Energy bars/granola bars
  • Chickpeas, beans
  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
  • Dairy foods

Many of my clients say on their 1st consultation that everything seems to bloat them!

Typically mornings are the best time of the day with minimal or no bloating on waking. But as the day progresses, and as you eat more meals, the gas and bloating continue to build ☹ Normally, you may find the less you eat, the better you feel.

Types of SIBO

Depending on what type of bacteria is over-growing, your bathroom habits may have changed too. Here’s a summary:

Types of SIBO

You may also experience upper-digestive symptoms such as indigestion, nausea, belching or even loss of appetite. Also an unexplained vitamin B12 deficiency is a common side effect of SIBO.

If you think you have SIBO take a read of my next blog.