What you need to know about SIBO disease

What you need to know about SIBO disease

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a serious condition that affects the small intestine. It occurs when bacteria that normally grow in other parts of the intestine begin to grow in the small intestine and can cause many problems such as pain and diarrhea.

SIBO symptoms mainly affect the gut and can include:

  • Pain in the stomach, especially after eating

SIBO has no clear cause yet understood. It can occur in the following situations:

  • Anatomical abnormalities in your small intestine

  • pH changes in your small intestine

  • Your immune system is not working properly

  • Disturbances in the contraction movements of the small intestine

SIBO may also be associated with conditions such as:

  • Viral gastroenteritis infections

  • low stomach acid levels

  • Damage to stomach muscles
  • irritable bowel syndrome

  • Some gastric bypass procedures

  • Surgeries that cause strictures or adhesions

Surgery that affects the digestive system or certain diseases and chronic conditions can increase your risk. Some of these are those:

  • Medicines that slow the gut, such as drugs

If you have SIBO symptoms that bother you, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may talk to you to make a diagnosis or order some tests.

breath test

Excessive bacterial density in the small intestine causes the resulting hydrogen and methane gases to be released with breathing. This test, which is based on the comparison of the gases in your breath after eating a certain amount of calories and on an empty stomach, is a simple test that can be used to diagnose SIBO.

Further tests

If the breath test is inconclusive or if SIBO treatments aren’t working, more advanced testing, such as taking a fluid sample from your small intestine, may be used to see what bacteria are growing.

SIBO can be treated with a combination of antibiotics and dietary changes.


In the treatment of SIBO, bacteria must be controlled, which is usually done with antibiotics. If your condition has led to malnutrition or dehydration, you may also need intravenous therapy for nutrition and hydration.

Antibiotics can reduce the number of bacteria in the small intestine, but they do not solve the underlying problem. If your doctor determines that your SIBO is caused by an underlying condition, you should seek treatment for that condition as well. Dietary changes can help prevent a recurrence of the condition.


A diet that causes SIBO There is no evidence to prove that a particular diet causes SIBO, but many people with SIBO find relief after following a special diet.

You may only need to make minor adjustments:

  • Eat a balanced, nutritious diet.

  • Eat smaller meals more often to avoid eating too much food in your stomach.

  • Avoid gluten products if you have celiac disease.


Carrie Madorma. “Everything You Should Know About Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)”. Şuradan Alındı: https://www.healthline.com/health/sibo (01.02.2019)

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