What is SIBO?
SIBO means Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It is clear by its name that it is a medical condition in which bacteria multiply rapidly in the small intestine.
Mainly the small intestine contains a small number of essential bacteria, but such a condition occurs when:
- either the bacteria in the small intestine overgrow
- or transfer from large intestine to small intestine.
This results in discomfort, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and malabsorption. It can also cause malnutrition since the bacteria begin to deplete the body’s nutrients.
In some cases, this small intestinal bacterial imbalance can go unnoticed for years. While in other cases, it frequently returns, requiring more proper treatments to get rid of. Thus, SIBO treatment may be challenging, so; it’s vital to be aware of all available treatment options.
What is the Relation Between SIBO and IBS?
As per the scientific studies, SIBO is associated with IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Patients with both IBS and SIBO require digestive assistance as well as the removal of bacterial overgrowth. In addition, both the conditions share similar health issues like stomach discomfort, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and constipation. Therefore, they believe that more than half of all patients who have IBS may also have SIBO.
Symptoms of SIBO
The SIBO symptoms primarily impact the gastrointestinal tract may include the following:
- bloating and gas in the abdomen after meals
- stools that are soft and smell bad and cling to the bowl
- loss of weight
- pain in the abdomen
- stools with mucus
- a regular feeling of fullness
Holistic Approach to SIBO Treatment
SIBO is often treated with prescription medications or herbal supplements to kill annoying bacteria and prevent them from recolonizing.
However, a holistic approach- a combination of both natural therapies, traditional medical therapies- is the most frequent method to treat SIBO, like other chronic conditions. It includes commonly eradicated:
- Herbal Supplements
- Elemental Diet
1. Herbal Supplements for SIBO
Herbal Supplement is a successful method in the treatment of SIBO, but it requires time. Therefore, it is the preferred approach for those who do not want an antibiotical SIBO treatment.
Benefits of Herbal Supplements
There are many other benefits of the Herbal Supplements method, such as:
- It is a cost-effective therapeutic option.
- It has oral supplements (herbal antibiotics) naturally occurring ingredients to fight bacteria and other germs.
- They are also wide-ranging, which means they may kill bacteria, viruses, fungus, and parasites in the stomach.
- They are mainly used for four weeks and proved to be equally helpful as conventional medications in treating SIBO.
- Patients with SIBO and SIFO (small intestinal fungal overgrowth) as well as parasite diseases may benefit from this.
- Most physicians prefer this approach as it is less likely to lead to bacterial resistance.
Recommended Herbal Supplements Products
The following are the herbal supplements that may be used to treat bacterial overgrowth:
- Enteric-coated peppermint oil: It is one of the most frequent supplements to treat bacterial imbalance in the small intestine.
- Grapefruit seed extract
- Oregon grape
- Capsules of oregano oil
- Pau d’arco olive leaf extract
2. Elemental Diet for SIBO
An elemental diet is the most preferred antimicrobial therapy option for treating SIBO, especially for those who do not want to take antibiotics.
It is basically a replacement for all foods for about 2-3 weeks or as suggested by the experts. Moreover, this meal-replacement beverage method has been clinically demonstrated to ease SIBO symptoms.
All starchy and sweet foods are strictly prohibited while taking this treatment. Instead, it allows the intake of some specific and essential predigested & powdered nutrients saturated with water. Such nutrients include,
- amino acids for protein
- fatty acids for fats
- glucose for carbs
Benefits of Elemental Diet
- It can normalize lactulose breath tests and reduce symptoms in 85% of patients, primarily within two weeks or longer.
- It fully helps to absorb the nutrients at the start of the small intestine.
- They starve the bacteria to death by not being available to them for developing downstream.
- It helps the patients recover by getting proper nourishment by abolishing the bacteria within the small intestine.
Recommended Elemental Diet Products
- Digestive enzymes supplements
- Medium Chain Triglycerides, like coconut oil.
- Probiotics, like Lactobacillus GG & Lactobacillus Plantarum
- Vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A, D, E, K, & B12, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc.
SIBO is associated with a slew of unpleasant symptoms; thus, it is clear to consult a digestive health expert. Because only they can adequately guidance about the spread of such bacterial imbalances throughout the body, affecting every system, cell, tissue, and organ; and SIBO treatment.