SIBO is a largely under-diagnosed serious medical condition. The reason it goes undetected is because many people don’t seek medical care for their SIBO symptoms passing them of as simple stomach upset or just how their digestive system is. It also goes undiagnosed because many general medicine doctors aren’t aware of how common SIBO is. You can educate yourself on SIBO symptoms below and the more symptoms you have the more likely you are to need treatment for SIBO infection.
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or IBD (Irritable Bowel Disorder) are both strong indicators of SIBO infection. 80% of IBS sufferers have SIBO infection yet it sadly goes undiagnosed by doctors and not treated.
As bacteria has moved to areas of the gut where it shouldn't be, it starts to break down food in areas it shouldn't. This is what causes the bacterial by products of gas and causes bloating.
Depending on the bacterial overgrowth you have you can have either diarrhea or constipation, or sometimes even both! There are two types of SIBO bacteria, hydrogen resistant and methane resistant. Hydrogen resistant will cause diarrhea and methane resistant will cause constipation.
These uncomfortable, painful issues are caused by the bacteria that has colonised in the lower intestine, starting to break up nutrients - this off course leads to by products such as gas (hydrogen or methane). This build up of gas causes sometimes extreme discomfort.
Long term infection with SIBO causes a cascade of events leading to other illnesses developing. your immune system becomes weakened and vulnerable to candida fungal infection, parasites and leaky gut. All of these can lead to very serious long term health conditions.
Leaky gut, or "intestinal permeability",is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, causing undigested food particles, toxic waste products and bacteria to "leak" through the intestines and flood the blood stream. The foreign substances entering the blood can cause an autoimmune response in the body including inflammatory and allergic reactions such as migraines, irritable bowel, eczema, chronic fatigue, food allergies, rheumatoid arthritis and more.
With SIBO causing issues with your digestive systems it can mean that you are not absorbing essential nutrients for your bodies health. Damaged cells in your intestines caused by SIBO don't produce the enzymes needed for proper digestion. As a result, your body cannot absorb essential nutrients, which can lead to hormone imbalances and a weakened immune system.
Secondary SIBO Symptoms
Secondary symptoms that often accompany the most common symptoms of SIBO are:
- Skin rashes
- Restless legs at night
- Joint pain
- Food allergies
- Mood changes
- Multiple food sensitivities
- Respiratory symptoms such as asthma
- Acne or skin rashes
- Depression and anxiety
- Memory issues and foggy thinking
- Chronic iron and/or B12 deficiency
- Weight gain or loss
- Difficulty sleeping
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