Is Your BREATH Making You Sick? SIBO, Not IBS, Might Be Your Problem!

SIBOIS your BREATH making you sick??

TIRED of feeling gassy, bloated? Suffering from abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, ugly poop??

You may have SIBO!!!

At Balanced Well – Being Healthcare we have a low threshold for testing for SIBO and treatment can be lifesaving.

What is it?

SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Relatively speaking, the bulk of our gut bacteria reside in the large intestine.  Under certain circumstances, bacteria can begin to inhabit the small intestine where they don’t belong.  When this happens, the lining of the small intestine can become dysfunctional and inflamed. When the small intestinal lining is not functioning properly, disease sets in.  Many cases of irritable bowel syndrome (“IBS”) are actually due to SIBO.  Understanding the overlap between IBS and SIBO is under study at many universities right now.  Studies from the last  few years indicate that many patients labeled as IBS also have SIBO.  When treated for SIBO, their IBS symptoms all went away.  If you suffer from any other symptoms or signs of SIBO, act now, and get a breath test. At Balanced Well – Being Healthcare we offer breath testing – the test to diagnose SIBO – to anyone who has the diagnosis of IBS.  We also screen for symptoms specific to sibo.

SYMPTOMS:

  1. Gas and/or frequent belching
  2. Unexplained abdominal pain
  3. Indigestion or acid reflux symptoms
  4. Bloating and distention
  5. Constipation
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Skin disorders, Acne and rosacea
  8. Weight loss
  9. Difficulty losing weight
  10. Brain fog
  11. Memory issues
  12. Fatigue

SIGNS:

  1. Anemia, specially iron deficient, or megaloblastic–due to malabsorption
  2. B12 deficiency
  3. Other nutrient deficiencies-Vit B12, Vit A, Vit E and Vit D
  4. Iron deficiency– especially if no other cause of blood loss has been identified
  5. Protein and amino acid deficiencies
  6. Skin eruptions, like acne and rosacea
  7. Elevated folate levels
  8. Abnormal liver function tests — including ALT, Alk Phos, GGT
  9. Fatty stools – greasy, floaty
  10. Symptoms of gas and bloating that begin following a prior gut infection, like traveler’s diarrhea or a  parasite infection
  11. Symptoms that  go away following antibiotics taken for other reasons. “i feel great when i take an antibiotic”
  12. Celiac disease markers that dont go away even on a strict gluten free diet

TESTING:

A breath test is really the test of choice.  Bacteria living in the small intestine will begin to make a gas from the food that you eat.  This gas will get into the bloodstream and get out thru your lungs.  We are able to  pick up the gas in your breath when you blow it into  test tubes. Testing can be done at some hospitals but also thru kits that you can pick up and perform at home.  The tubes are then mailed to a lab where the gas is measured. Two differnet types of gas may be produced.  The more common is hydrogen gas.  Methane  gas is less common but is typically associated with constipation type symptoms.

UNDERLYING CAUSES:

  1. Low stomach acid, “hypochlorhydria”, atrophic gastritis
  2. Poor digestive enzymes
  3. Prior abdominal surgery — like gastric bypass surgery
  4. Chronic narcotic use that slows the gut motility
  5. Autoimmune disease — that may predispose to poor motility or low stomach acid, such as scleroderma, atrophic gastritis
  6. Neurological diseases that may add to poor motility of the gut — Parkinson’s, MS
  7. Chronic alcohol intake
  8. Celiac disease
  9. Diabetes
  10. Crohns disease and Ulcerative colitis
  11. Prior infection of the intestinal tract, damaging the motor unit of the gut.

We still have alot to learn about SIBO in terms of its overlap with IBS as well as the underlying mechanisms that lead to the process.  In any case , the process of bacteria overgrowing in the small intestines is linked to many chronic diseases – making diagnosis and treatment paramount to long term good health.

ASSOCIATED ILLNESSES/DISEASES:

  1. Many autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma
  2. Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis
  3. IBS
  4. Thyroid disease – like Hashimoto’s or Graves disease
  5. Anemias – iron deficient and megaloblastic
  6. Diabetes
  7. Gastro esophageal Reflux
  8. Skin problems like ACNE and Rosacea
  9. Gastroparesis
  10. Prostatitis

TREATMENT:

  1. Antibiotics– The drug of choice is Rifaximin.  Rifaximin has not been shown to create antibiotic resistance– and this is key, as SIBO can be recurring in many patients.  Rifaximin can be very costly if is is not covered by a patients insurance.  We do our best at our office to assist  our clients in getting it covered by insurance or using coupons to lower the cost. We may also recommend using a Canadian pharmacy.
  2. SIBO can also be very effectively treated with herbal regimens– herbs should always be used in combination, never alone, and will take longer to work then traditional antibiotics.  We like to use combinations of berberines, olive leaf extract and other herbs.
  3. Specific dietary guidelines.  In general we recommend temporarily removing high trigger foods.  Typically these are grains, complex carbohydrates, dairy and legumes.  For most patients then, we will start off with a paleo type diet.  Its always most important to listen to the client — if they know they have specific food triggers — stay away from them!  Many people will use alternative diets such as the FODMAP diet and a specific carbohydrate diet.  I DO NOT feel that diet alone will resolve or fully treat SIBO effectively.  A combination of herbal or traditional antibiotics must be used first.
  4. Gut healing elements can be added such as zinc carnosine, glutamine and other anti-inflammatory herbs.
  5. ADDRESSING UNDERLYING Triggers and causes is critical to prevent relapse  of disease. This requires an in depth evaluation of symptoms and history that may be unique to each patient.  We may request a completion of a trial of Betaine – or stomach acid- to asses the body’s need.  We may  perform stool analysis looking for adequate digestive enzymes fat digestion.
  6. At Balanced Well-Being Healthcare our approach to gastrointestinal complaints is thorough and complete.  We evaluate all potential triggers and mediators of disease and do a comprehensive metabolic analysis to assess imbalances that can contribute to chronic disease risk.

Call US today to schedule your visit and take the first step in preventing chronic disease.  A healthy GUT is foundational to good health!