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The Dreaded SIBO

SIBO is the acronym for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Just like it sounds, it is what happens when there is unusual bacteria growing in the small intestine. These bacteria can process nutrients from food and create products like gas, which can then cause indigestion, irritable bowels, and prevent proper functioning of the digestive system.

So how does SIBO even happen in the first place?

One of the obstacles is that it is completely normal to have some bacteria in the intestines. Lots in fact. However, when certain organisms grow too high in number, they can skew the natural balance into SIBO. They can impair digestion and the regular functions of the intestines.

There are many normal and pathogenic bacteria associated with SIBO, including Streptococcus, E. Coli, Staphylococcus, and a laundry list of others.

The signs and symptoms of SIBO are: bloating, gas, constipation, weight loss, abdominal discomfort, and weakness. This set of symptoms doesn’t need to happen in everyone and for this reason can make SIBO hard to diagnose or assess quickly. It may take time to rule out other potential causes first.

There are many health conditions that increase the risk of SIBO. There are also medical procedures that can increase the risk of SIBO. So how do we get rid of SIBO and feel better? The conventional medical system usually suggests antibiotics. The obvious problem with this approach is that it will often kill healthy bacteria too. And of course, there’s no guarantee that once the slate is wiped clean, that the balance will be naturally restored.

It’s a good idea to consider probiotics if going this route. Also, there are many herbs that have antibiotic properties against the bacteria that cause SIBO. These include:

  • Goldenseal
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Andrographis

These herbs can be used in many forms, but most commonly in tincture form. There’s also a common formulation with a bit of an unusual name… I won’t share it here, you’ll have to ask us for that. But it’s named the way it is because it doesn’t have the greatest taste. It’s a combination of Goldenseal, Myrrh, and Thyme.

If you think you may have SIBO, please get yourself checked out. There’s no substitute for an assessment by a qualified health practitioner.