Gut Microbes’ Role in SIBO

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) denotes the predicament of bacteria unnaturally colonizing & overpopulating the top of our gut, like they do in our bottom.  When proper environmental conditions are not maintained in our digestive tract, unwanted bacteria & disease flourish.

SIBO was originally linked to physical abnormalities such as anatomic, developmental, or surgical irregularities.  Recently however, studies now link the microscopic disruption to our gut ecosystem to SIBO & virtually every chronic health condition known these days.

Because of the many ways intestinal overgrowth manifests, symptoms often go undiagnosed for this quickly ballooning, preventable & correctable health crisis.

There’s Room at the Top (of the Intestine for SIBO)

Our gut is comprised of the small & large intestines.  Normally, relatively few bacteria are found in the lengthy but small diameter intestine.  The term gut bacteria usually refers to the copious colonies found in the much shorter, large diameter intestine, also known as our colon.

The small intestine connects the stomach to the large intestine where it performs most of our food digestion & nutrient absorption.  The colon’s larger diameter specializes in vitamin synthesis, elimination of waste, & re-absorbing much of the water used in the digestive process.

Healthy digestion has its own safeguards to limit our upper intestinal bacterial load, such as peristalsis, antimicrobial peptides, & the appropriate stomach acidity as the digesting contents enter the small intestine.

If these mechanisms break down due to external factors such as medications or a poor diet, then this can cause our gut ecosystem to become unbalanced, allowing bacteria normally found in the upper respiratory tract to flourish below in the small intestine.  There they eat what we eat, fermenting food in the wrong area, causing gas, swelling, & producing waste gases.

Hazards of Intestinal Biofilm

Our gut is naturally lined with a mucosal layer for lubrication & protection.  Bacterial overgrowth damages our mucosal lining, giving them a new place to spread, inside the damaged lining of our small intestine.

There, they replace the damaged mucosal membrane with their own slimy biofilm, which now acts as their protective coating, as well as anchoring them into our gut wall, making these invaders harder to control & eliminate.

Symptoms & Associations of SIBO

It’s common for patients with SIBO to have various comorbidities that are either contributing factors to it, or worsened by it; a viscous downward spiral.

When the gut lining is impaired, absorption is impacted.  So even if we’re getting plenty of nutrients in our diet, they can pass straight through without absorbing any of their benefits.

That’s why SIBO is associated with malnutrition, like vitamin, mineral, & essential fat deficiencies, especially the loss of iron & vitamins A, D, E, & B12.

Leaky gut is one of devastating side-effects when the cascade of inflammation in our gut builds to the point of intestinal permeability, causing the once tight junctions holding our intestinal wall together to loosen.

This now leaky gut membrane allows toxins, microbes, & undigested food particles to escape directly into our bloodstream.  Our immune system quickly gets exhausted as it is continuously diverted to mark these in-the-wrong-place substances as must be pathogenic, & constantly having to attack them, with a new, steady supply with every swallow.

The cure for one chronic disease is the same for all:  Let your diet be your medicine & your medicine be your diet.  That’s why so much research shows that successful SIBO treatments can also lead to improvements in this very long & growing list of health conditions:

Causes of SIBO

The small intestine has two main ways of keeping bacteria at an optimal level, motility & acid.  Anything that affects those aspects is going to promote bacterial overgrowth; due to the intestinal dysmotility caused by opioids, chronic users are at increased risk for developing SIBO.

Damaged nerves & muscles, or physical obstructions in the gut such as surgical scarring or Crohn’s disease & diverticula can collect bacteria instead of passing it on to the colon, as well as affect intestinal motility.

Gastric acid is important for breaking down food & is also the main line of defense against pathogenic bacteria getting into our intestines.  The two main causes of low stomach acid are our diet & medications that influence or disrupt the normal gut microbiome, especially antibiotics, acid-blocking drugs, & steroids.

Today’s high-sugar, oil, & salt diets, along with alcohol, dehydration, & a sedentary routine are largely responsible for the increasing prevalence of SIBO.

Our gut is made to disassemble & utilize the energy & nutrients from healthy, living, fiber rich foods; this same fiber is what long tract peristalsis heavily relies onto help move things along.

The Two Common Testing Methods for SIBO Don’t Work

The current gold standard test for SIBO is to culture a bacterial sample directly from the small intestine.  However, this requires an invasive & costly endoscope with a miniature camera to be inserted deep into the digestive tract.

The SIBO Breath Gas Test & stool analysis are the two most common ways to determine SIBO, but each suffer from unreliable results.

The dominant gases produced by various strains of SIBO are hydrogen, methane, & hydrogen sulfide.  However, cumbersomely measuring the output of these gases is plagued by large numbers of false positives & false negatives, as well as unreproducible results.

Getting a comprehensive stool analysis from the small intestine is also made scientifically challenging, since bacteria in the small intestine are easily overwhelmed by the sheer number of bacteria in the large intestine, obfuscating the results of bacteria arriving potentially arriving from the small intestine.

A urine test for gut dysbiosis checks for by-products of yeast or bacteria in the small intestine from just a single sample.

SIBO Treatments That Work

There are no quick fixes for chronic diseases.  Long-term success is possible though, through a combination of lifestyle changes & treatments that promote microbial digestive health.

Intestinal insufflation with equipment like the O3 Elite Ozone Generator has been successfully used to prepare the intestinal tract for a probiotic FMT treatment (fecal microbiota transplant), to allow our gut to heal.

Drinking apple cider vinegar in your water every day can help improve our digestive environment.

Herbal antibiotics are underused in SIBO; they have no side-effects, & work more effectively than prescription antibiotics.

The most common herbal antibiotics include trusted sources of:

  • Oil of Oregano & Oil of Thyme mixed together in “00” enteric gelatin capsule & swallowed with water
  • Herbal remedies of Equisetum arvense L.
  • Extracts made from berberine plant alkaloids
The Problem with Regular Probiotics

When you have an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine, it’s often either a lactobacillus or bifidobacterium species.  The problem is that almost all probiotic supplements contain these species in a large, unbalanced abundance; so using them can simply add to the existing imbalance.

A clue that you may have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is that probiotics containing lactobacillus or bifidobacterium exacerbate your symptoms.

SIBO is not about a bacterial overgrowth, but a shift in the types & functions of the bacteria residing in the small intestine.  It’s imperative to return out small intestine environment to its original design, so that life inside can flourish & chronic eating diseases like SIBO can disappear.

Steps Back to Health from SIBO

Step 1:  Attack bacterial biofilm since unless your SIBO is brand new, then it has probably formed a protective biofilm, making it more difficult to eliminate.  The following ingredients work together as a biofilm disruptor to help weaken & remove it naturally: a blend of magnesium caprylate, berberine, & extracts of tribulus, sweet wormwood, barberry, bearberry, & black walnut.

Step 2:  Starve the bacterial overgrown by removing the foods from your diet that feed it.  This means removing all refined/processed foods, plus dairy, gluten, sugar & alcohol & drastically limiting sweet fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, & legumes.

Step 3:  Attack the now weakened bacteria in your small intestine with herbal antibiotics (*see section above) or see your doctor about prescription antibiotics for SIBO like Rifaximin.

Step 4:  Restore your gut bacterial balance to support a strong immune system, optimal digestion, & nutrient absorption. Most probiotics can add fuel to the fire & exacerbate SIBO symptoms.  Amazing recent studies demonstrate the huge effectiveness in removing SIBO with FMT treatment, & this is where to get the best stool transplant poop pills, from a single, super gut donor.  Or, take quality soil based probiotics, as they won’t colonize the small intestine, or feed the bacteria already growing there like regular store probiotics.

The Gut Guru

Similar Posts