Have Gas and Bloating or Abdominal Discomfort? You May Have SIBO.


If you have been suffering from intestinal gas or bloating or discomfort or flatulence or diarrhea or constipation, there may be a solution.  There is a disorder of your intestinal tract that may explain your symptoms that can be tested for and is treatable. This condition is known as Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO).  This is increasingly being understood to be the cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  SIBO may result from food poisoning and is more common if you have diabetes, fibromyalgia, pancreatitis, HIV, prior intestinal surgery, diverticulitis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis, cirrhosis, scleroderma, hypothyroid, or have been taking acid blocking medications (like Prilosec) for a while.

What happens with SIBO is that bacteria that normally grow in the colon colonize the small intestine. The walls of the small intestine are needed to absorb nutrients from our food, so these bacteria will interfere with that and you can end up with nutritional deficiencies. These can include deficiencies of vitamins A, D, E, B vitamins, as well as malabsorption of fats and proteins.

When you eat foods that contain certain kinds of fiber, referred to as fermentable fiber, the bacteria in the small intestine eat the fiber and produce either hydrogen or methane gas.  This is what creates the symptoms mentioned above, including the gas and bloating.  If you have high levels of methane, it is often associated with constipation.  If you get gas and bloating from taking probiotics, you probably have SIBO, provided you are taking a high quality product.

A hydrogen methane breathe test can be used to diagnose this condition.  Speak to Dr. Weitz and we can have Genova Labs send the test kit to your house. When the results come in, we will have you schedule a nutritional consultation with Dr. Weitz to go over the results and come up with a plan to help you overcome this condition.  You may be able to finally get rid of those recurrent abdominal symptoms for good.

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