SIBO and FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), an imbalance of gut flora, is a condition in which the bacteria from the large intestine and other parts of the gut colonize the small intestine. Usually, most of the bacteria live in the large intestine in a symbiosis where the dietary fiber is fermented to liberate more vitamins. The small intestine generally absorbs nutrition from your food but, in conditions like SIBO, the colonized bacteria get fed instead of your other body parts. This can lead to the uncurbed multiplication of these bacterias which as a result causes poor absorption of nutrients.
One may experience symptoms like Flatulence, Diarrhea, Constipation, Cramping, Belching, Nausea, Intolerance to histamine causing runny nose and sneezing and, Brain fog. SIBO can also manifest diseases like IBD & IBS.
On experiencing these symptoms your Functional Medicine Doctor will run out various diagnostic tests to identify, the underlying conditions causing the microbial imbalances in the small intestine. These underlying conditions may include low stomach acid or enzymes, poor gut motility, Ileocecal valve problem, leaky gut, food allergies, or sensitivities. SIBO can be diagnosed with a simple hydrogen breath test.
Functional medicine approaches to treat SIBO incorporates improving your gut health and interventions that reduce the fermentation of carbohydrates in your gut to help address bacterial and fungal overgrowth
- Foods to avoid- Excluding foods high in FODMAP from your diet is very important as they feed gut bacteria and encourage them to proliferate. Some of the foods high in FODMAP are onions, cabbage, beans, apples, and rye.
- Foods to eat- Add more probiotic-rich foods into your diet such as kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut and kefir.
- Supplements- Taking supplements recommended by your Functional Medicine Doctor to restore your stomach acid and digestive enzyme levels, can help a lot. It also supports your liver and immune system.