SIBO: is it sabotaging your gut health?

by | Jun 8, 2017 | Digestion

Have you heard about SIBO? I’m not surprised if you haven’t, it’s a relatively new concept in the field of gastrointestinal health and the study of the microbiome (all the bacteria in your microbiome.


What is SIBO?

It’s an acronym for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. It means there is excessive amounts of bacteria in your small intestine and the type of bacteria present is normally found in your colon. That means, it’s migrated into your small intestine and is taking over!


When you have excessive numbers of bacteria in your small intestine, it can interfere with normal digestion and your ability to break down and absorb nutrients. When you aren’t able to digest and break food down normally because of SIBO, it produces IBS-like symptoms and sometimes leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Dr Axe puts it succinctly:
“The indications of SIBO mirror the symptoms of other gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS. According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, there’s good reason for the similar symptoms — there’s a definite association between IBS and SIBO. Researchers suggest that physicians give consideration of excluding SIBO before giving a definitive diagnosis of IBS.”

Common symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Malnutrition
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Rashes

What causes SIBO?

The cause of a bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine is complex and likely to involve more than one mechanism going awry. Some well known risk factors are:

  • Some medications
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Motility disorders
  • Low stomach acid
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Previous history of bowel surgery
  • Uncontrolled diabetes (types I and II)
  • Rosacea (interestingly, research shows that once SIBO is eradicated, the Rosacea symptoms disappear!)

So by now, you’re probably thinking that SIBO and IBS sound pretty similar. What’s the difference between SIBO and IBS?

They are associated with each other and researchers suggest clinicians exclude SIBO as a cause of your IBS symptoms before diagnosing IBS. After all, IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion – meaning that after exploring all possible causes for your digestive troubles, if they can’t find another reason, they will diagnose with IBS… luckily, the treatments are similar too!


How do you test for SIBO? Unfortunately, doctors are largely unaware of how common SIBO is. It is estimated that 6-15% of the healthy population have SIBO but have no symptoms and that up to 80% of people with IBS have SIBO (read study here). Breath tests are usually used to diagnose SIBO but there’s still some false positives and false negatives which indicates there’s further refining to be done before the tests are fully reliable.


SIBO treatment

To get rid of the excess bacteria, the best treatment is a combination of dietary and herbal medicine. This re-balances your bacteria levels in your small intestine… and makes sure they are where they are supposed to be! I recommend using Parastrike as the herbal treatment of choice for cutting down numbers of bacteria in the small intestine.


Why Parastrike? Research shows that antibiotics are not massively effective when it comes to killing excess bacteria and re-balancing the microbiome in SIBO but herbal remedies like oregano oil, berberine and wormwood are very effective. You’ll find all these ingredients and more in Parastrike, which is why I like to use it for treating SIBO.


Making some short term changes to your diet is absolutely crucial to getting SIBO successfully under control. This study found those who used only herbal anti-microbials or antibiotics were likely to experience a relapse in symptoms. 🙁


I go into detail on the most effective dietary changes in the diet guide and treatment action plan that arrives with your Parastrike order but I’ll share the two step process with you now so you can get started! It’s two-fold:

  1. Your first goal is to starve the bacteria that are already in your small intestine so you can reduce their numbers even more. You do this by reducing carbohydrates because gut bacteria thrive on starches, carbohydrates and insoluble fibre.
  2. Once the balance of your gut bacteria has been re-balanced, you can begin re-introducing those carbohydrates and feeding the bacteria that’s supposed to be in your gut! This step also involves introducing fermented foods and probiotics to re-establish the right balance of gut bacteria!


What does that mean exactly you ask? Well it means you’ll be enjoying low starch vegetables, higher protein and good fats for a few weeks followed by a course of probiotics (like this one) to help further reduce numbers of bacteria that shouldn’t be there and re-establish the balance of good bacteria. Think, slow cooked casseroles (minus the crusty bread and mashed potato), soups and stir-fries… and add in a couple of homemade vegetable juices if you’re really keen!


Other key strategies you should include in your action plan are:

  • Hydration is important for bowel regularity, feeling energetic and relieving symptoms like nausea and bloating.
  • Adding coconut oil (is antimicrobial) and apple cider vinegar (improves digestion and regulates stomach acid) to your daily routine.
  • Bone broth is very nutritious and easily absorbed when digestion is compromised.


If you suspect SIBO might be a problem for you, click here to buy Parastrike now and get your bonus diet guide and treatment action plan.


Remember, don’t wait another day to start feeling better. You deserve a healthy gut.

Kate x


Image credit: iStock photos