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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. It really should be call SIMO for Small Intestinal Microbial Overgrowth because almost any type of organism can overgrow in the small intestine if the opportunity is right. SIBO is a condition affecting the small intestine. In most cases, SIBO is not caused by a single type of bacteria, but rather an overgrowth of various bacteria normally found in the large intestine, that colonize in the small intestine.

Varied amounts of bacteria are normally present throughout the entire GI tract, however, relatively few types of bacteria are present in the small intestine when compared to the large intestine and colon. The majority of the gut bacteria located in the large intestine help to breakdown food, synthesize vitamins and nutrients and eliminate waste byproducts. When the bacteria in your small intestine get out of balance and overgrow, SIBO occurs.

A classic sign that you may be struggling with SIBO versus bacterial overgrowth or dysbiosis in your colon is if you experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, or any kind of GI discomfort symptoms within 30 to 90 minutes after eating. If GI symptoms occur after 90 minutes and you have regular bowel motility, the overgrowth may be further down in the GI tract or colon. Other common signs and symptoms of SIBO include food intolerances like gluten, casein, and lactose, mineral deficiencies and fat malabsorption.

There is a significant connection between thyroid physiology and SIBO in most patients. Anyone with primary Hypothyroidism or Cellular Hypothyroidism is going to have reduced active thyroid hormone in the cells of their GI tract. This often results in reduced stomach acid production, insufficient bile or pancreatic enzymes and reduced bowel motility. When food moves too slowly through the GI tract, as with slowed bowels or constipation, it allows for increased bacterial overgrowth, fermentation, and putrefaction of the food. This delayed movement results in symptoms like gas, bloating, pain and inflammation.

If you are struggling with GI symptoms, Rejuvagen can help. We take a strategic approach to identifying the underlying cause of your GI distress, including an evaluation of your thyroid physiology. Through comprehensive metabolic lab work and functional GI testing, we have the ability to uncover signs of imbalance within the body which are often overlooked by traditional medical practices. Once the root cause(s) of dysfunction have been identified, we support recovery of compromised systems to restore your health and quality of life.

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Hi, I’m Dr. Eric Balcavage, owner and founder of Rejuvagen. If you’re struggling with health issues or have questions, let’s chat. You can schedule a 15-minute call with me to get started.