According to the recent researches, 50% people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, have imbalance caused by bacteria, known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Generally the bacteria are supposed to be inside the colon, but when to move to the small intestine, or if there is a dearth of pancreatic enzyme, there can be a higher than normal growth rate of bacteria causing gas, diarrhea or bloating.

Do you have SIBO?

There are some sign which tell you if you have SIBO or not. They are:

  1. Eating fiber reach food makes your constipation worse.
  2. While taking antibiotics, your IBS situation improves
  3. Probiotics with prebiotics lead to more gas and bloating feeling
  4. You have gluten or celiac intolerance but gluten free food does not solve your problem entirely
  5. Your blood report shows less iron or ferratin without any known reason
  6. Pain medicines cause symptoms like gas, diarrhea or constipation, bloating

Symptoms of SIBO- how does one know it is not just leaky stomach?

Actually you can have both of these symptoms simultaneously, or if you have the SIBO symptoms for a long time, you will definitely develop what is called leaky gut. However, not necessarily everyone who has SIBO will have leaky gut. But these two are different in the sense that in the latter your immune system gets affected. Here are a few symptoms that show you have leaky guts:

  • Several food allergies
  • Skin rashes and acne
  • Seasonal allergies or such symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Asthma or troubles in respiratory system
  • Poor concentration, especially after having a meal
  • Arthritis or joint pain
  • Headache, especially migraine.

Let us now see the common symptoms of SIBO

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
  • Acid reflux
  • Too much of belching and gas.

Conditions that predisposes SIBO:

Be careful, because if you have these conditions that might led to SIBO:

  1. Insufficiency of the pancreas
  2. Obstruction of the bowel
  3. Insufficiency of pancreas
  4. Post surgery bowel problem
  5. Lower motility in the small intestine or anything that reduces the rate of motility, like thyroid
  6. Drugs such as opiate
  7. Diverticula

Are there other diseases that can be associated with SIBO?

 The answer is yes, there are. Check the list below

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  2. Ankylosing Spondylitis
  3. Diseases of the liver
  4. Diabetes
  5. Rosacea
  6. Kidney failure
  7. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  8. Restless leg
  9. Crohn’s disease
  10. Celiac disease
  11. Schleroderma
  12. Diverticulosis 

Diagnosis of SIBO:

You can request your doctor to take a Lactulose breath test which tests the whole small intestine and not just the Duodenum

You might need a comprehensive stool check and a test on urinary organic acid.

Once you are diagnosed with SIBO you can use the following treatment:

  • Antibiotics: Xifaxan and Tindamax are generally prescribed
  • Diet: you will need paleo diet or autoimmune paleo diet, or specific carbohydrate diet, or low FODMAP diet and no alcohol. Be careful with fermented food and prebiotics and probiotics


In conclusion, keep in mind that you must see a doctor if you feel you might be suffering from SIBO.  Otherwise, the symptoms will keep on re occurring and create problems for you.