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SIBO Explained

The complexities of gut health continue to reveal intriguing connections between various bodily functions and their interplay with the microbiome. In our ongoing efforts to delve deeper into effective gut health strategies, we've encountered a growing concern among patients presenting symptoms that may be indicative of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

SIBO refers to an imbalance of bacteria, both beneficial and harmful, in the small intestine. This overgrowth can manifest as distressing symptoms including bloating, fatigue, and weight gain. The profound impact of the small intestine on caloric absorption, digestive health, and the immune system underscores the significance of addressing SIBO comprehensively.

Navigating treatment for SIBO requires a holistic approach that extends beyond conventional dietary advice. While approaches such as feeding gut bacteria with prebiotics and fermented foods are generally beneficial, they might exacerbate SIBO symptoms. The challenge lies in crafting personalized strategies that facilitate a healthier gut environment while minimizing discomfort for individuals grappling with SIBO.

The small intestine is responsible for 90% of caloric absorption, it represents over 56% of your digestive tract, and it is where you have the largest density of immune cells in your entire body. There’s a profound inflammation/immune system connection hinged into the small intestines.

Here are some steps when addressing symptoms of SIBO:

1.    Foundational Nutrition and Lifestyle: Exploring dietary approaches like the Paleo, Low-Histamine, and Low-FODMAP diets can significantly impact SIBO symptoms. The concept of diet variation underscores the importance of adapting to what works best for individual needs.

a.    The Paleo Diet –non-processed, whole-foods diet where you focus on meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.


b.    Low-Histamine Diet - histamine intolerance can develop as a byproduct of a damaged intestinal lining.  Remember, you don’t eliminate histamines as the solution to your symptoms of SIBO, but have a histamine reaction because you have an inflamed gut.

c.    Low-FODMAP Diet - low in carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables, specifically the ones rich in prebiotics that are powerful at feeding bacteria. Since people with SIBO have too much bacteria, feeding that bacteria would not be wise. This diet can reduce leaky gut, inflammation, and decrease histamine.  Oftentimes, when someone goes Paleo, they cut out grains and start eating more vegetables, and they feel worse.  Have to make sure that you are not including High FODMAP foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, and avocado. 


2.    Probiotics and Non-Dietary Interventions: Understanding the role of probiotics, enzymes, and non-dietary factors like sleep, exercise, and stress management in supporting gut health is crucial. A tailored probiotic regimen based on categories can aid in personalizing gut health strategies.

3.    Antimicrobial Therapy and Prokinetics: Herbal microbial agents, prokinetics, and escalated interventions like the Elemental Diet offer pathways for addressing persistent symptoms after dietary adjustments and probiotic use.

4.    Testing Considerations: While testing for SIBO through breath tests or other diagnostic methods has its merits, the emphasis remains on treating the individual rather than solely relying on test results. The goal is to amalgamate validated treatments with a pragmatic approach to achieve favorable outcomes.

It's imperative to approach SIBO treatment holistically, incorporating validated therapies while staying attentive to individual responses.

Larisa Belote, Health Practitioner & Certified Detox Specialist is a strong believer that your body is a smart machine and can heal itself given a chance with the right set of tools. Call/Txt 732.996.6963 or email: to set up a free 20-minute consultation.


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