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SIBO – What is it? How to Mend the Gut

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth affects many of us and we don’t even know it. Bloating, fatigue, diarrhea/constipation can all be symptoms but are very hard to distinguish from other ailments. What is it and how do we mend it?

According to recent research, SIBO is similar to other immune-mediated diseases. There are genetic and environmental components as well as certain predisposing factors like having a diet with too much processed foods and having gut permeability, which makes inflammation much more likely.

Origin of SIBO

Having prolonged disturbances in the gut microbiome referred to as dysbiosis disrupts health and can start a chain of events. This and an overabundance of bad bacteria are seeding grounds for the following:

  1. Nutrient deficiencies: B12, Fe, D3, B1, B3, fat malabsorption, Vit A, E

  2. Nutrient Excess: Folate

  3. Overgrowth of bad bacteria – E Coli, Citrobacter freundii, Klebsiella varicola, Fusobacterium periodonticum, Haemophilus Influenza, and Prevotella melaningogenica

An unhappy gut is a precursor to more systemic symptoms and problems like too much or too little stomach acid and not enough enzymes to digest food. This can cause food to sit too long and escape from the intestines and travel to the rest of the body where it shouldn’t go. And result in the immune system overreacting to displaced food particles and start autoimmune processes.

Systemic Diseases related to SIBO are Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Crohn’s, Diverticular Disease, Arthritis and there are more.

Treating SIBO Naturopathically

A Naturopath doctor will use a multi-treatment approach to treat SIBO. Your doctor will guide your treatment as follows:

First, look at the root cause. Is there an infection, bad diet, parasites? Second, is there an ‘overgrowth’ of bacteria? Third, should you increase the healthy bacteria and finally, are you predisposed to certain diseases – especially metabolic diseases, like diabetes?

There are several dietary strategies you can try: Paleo, Keto, FODMAPS, GAPS, Elimination of foods that many have allergies – gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs.

A good prebiotic and probiotic that has a blend of — Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium breve, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus salvarius, and Streptococcus thermophilus, along with the prebiotics Inulin (from chicory root), Arabinogalactans (from Larch), and Marshmallow root (extract) — can be very helpful as well as using digestive enzymes pancreatin, pancrelipase, ox bile and Vit A,D,E,B1, B12.

Other remedies, such as, herbal antimicrobials like Oregano, Berberine, Allicin and Neem also help the gut heal and become less permeable.

Food allergies could be contributing to bacterial overgrowth. Checkout this article to learn more.

Eat Whole Foods

Finally, eating whole foods with lots of vegetables is a good foundation of health, especially digestive health and when it comes down to it – we are what we eat and SIBO is a huge flag that something is not ok in the gut environment.

Pam Willenz

Integrative Health Coach


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