SIBO and SIFO
People who suffer SIBO and cannot seem to clear it usually don’t realise they are suffering from other conditions in addition to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Most people with SIBO either haven’t had their stool tested for parasites and yeast, or have used panels that weren’t good enough to detect them. If you have one or more parasites and are living with yeast in your GI tract, you will generally not get a full response to your SIBO treatments.
SIFO (or small intestine fungal overgrowth) is commonly caused by Candida albicans or similar yeast/fungal species. Gut health is a complicated system that can involved multiple organisms becoming out of balance. A common scenario is to have a mixed pattern of Candida or other fungal overgrowth alongside of SIBO.
Some people can easily confuse SIBO for candida infection, or Candida for SIBO infection – the symptoms are very similar, some identical. The treatment however for each is very different. The problem is that taking the wrong treatment can actually worsen the condition if you treat the wrong illness. Taking antibiotics for example for SIBO will worsen a candida infection.
Candida Albicans is a fungal yeast that is present naturally in the human gut; everyone has Candida albicans living within them to some extent. Our gut is also full of natural bacteria that feed on the yeast and so keep levels to a low number and stop it from becoming a problem.
The yeast becomes problematic when it grows beyond normal levels and spreads throughout the gastrointestinal tract, into the bloodstream and from there throughout the body. The yeast then does something remarkable and changes into fungus.
This fungus now settles itself into the tissue and a fungal colony quickly spreads. The fungus is protected from the environment as it has now left the gut and does not have the challenge of the gut bacteria trying to consume it. The risk for the Candida fungus is the human immune system. The immune system would normally identify and fight off this fungal intruder without too much effort.
Candida irritates the immune system and very often food allergies follow.
Sadly more and more people suffer from low immune systems due to stress, bad diet or general ill health. This means the immune system is not as strong as it needs to be to fight the Candida fungus colony.
How Do You Know If You Have SIBO or SIFO?
SIBO and SIFO cause gut discomfort and digestive issues. However, they also have other symptoms that can help you determine whether you’re at risk. (To understand why the signs below indicate an unhealthy gut
To find out whether you have symptoms of SIBO or SIFO, simply answer the questions in the quick one-minute quiz below.
SIGNS OF SIBO & SIFO
- Do you often suffer from digestive symptoms like gas and bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or cramping?
Have you gained or lost weight even though your diet hasn’t changed?
3. Are you frequently fatigued, even when you get good sleep?
4. Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto’s, lupus, fibromyalgia, or MS?
5. Do you have trouble focusing or often feel foggy mentally?
6. Do you have skin issues like acne, psoriasis, eczema, or hives?
7. Have you struggled with mood swings, anxiety, depression, or a panic disorder?
8. Do you get frequent infections, especially UTIs, vaginal infections, skin infections, or ear infections?
9. Do you have strong sugar and carb cravings?
10. Do you have seasonal allergies?
11. Do you have food intolerances?
12. Do you have a B12 deficiency?
Scoring Your Results
If you answered “yes” to 0-1 questions, congratulations! Your risk of SIBO or SIFO is low. To maintain your gut health, be sure you eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods and take a quality prebiotic/probiotic and gut-defending supplement every day.
If you answered “yes” to 2-3 questions, your gut needs help. I recommend starting The GAP’s diet, an elimination diet that can be critical in reducing intestinal inflammation.
If you answered “yes” to 4 or more questions, consider this a life-saving wake-up call! Start an elimination diet to find out about any ongoing food intolerances and start taking the supplements discussed here immediately.
We have teamed up with Candida Labs who produce an extensive range of gut health and general well being supplements and cleanses to bring you alternative solutions for treatment of SIBO and other conditions.