The Sibo Blog

How are irritable bowel and Sibo connected?

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel is a functional disorder of the digestive tract. Typical symptoms are abdominal pain, bloating and indigestion. Irritable bowel symptoms often worsen with stress or an unhealthy diet. Those affected often have a long ordeal behind them and have already tried many diagnostic and treatment options.

Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common gastrointestinal diagnosis worldwide. In western industrialized countries, the prevalence of the population is around 15%. About 50% of patients with gastrointestinal complaints suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.

irritable bowel symptoms

Chronic bowel-related complaints (e.g. abdominal pain, flatulence) lasting longer than three months, which are usually associated with changes in bowel movements

a relevant impairment of quality of life due to the symptoms

no changes characteristic of other clinical pictures that could explain the symptoms

In around 2/3 of those affected by irritable bowel syndrome, the cause is bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, SIBO for short.

What is a sibo?

SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) is a disease in which colon bacteria have mistakenly colonized the small intestine and prematurely metabolize carbohydrates (including sugar). This creates gases that cannot escape and thus cause, for example, the bloating that is typical of a SIBO. Those affected by SIBO also often suffer from symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation.

In contrast to the large intestine, the small intestine houses only a fraction of the intestinal bacterial flora. If colon bacteria now increasingly reach areas of the small intestine and carry out their regular tasks there, this can trigger a number of complaints. Since important components of the food are now digested by the bacteria too early in the case of SIBO, this can not only result in an undersupply of calories, vitamins and minerals for those affected, but also lead to an increased increase in "air in the stomach". . The bacteria produce gases such as hydrogen and methane as a by-product.

Typical symptoms of SIBO

• Flatulence
• Flat stomach
• Stomach pain
• Diarrhea
• constipation
• Alternating diarrhea / constipation
• Belching

How does SIBO (bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine) develop?

Small intestine overgrowth occurs when the natural balance of the intestinal flora is disturbed and bacteria increasingly migrate from the small intestine to the large intestine. This can lead to digestive problems, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and other symptoms.

In around 2/3 of those affected by irritable bowel syndrome, the cause is a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, SIBO for short.

Causes of Small Intestinal Overgrowth (SIBO)

The causes of small intestine overgrowth have not yet been fully elucidated. The most common causes of SIBO are food poisoning, drug therapies such as antibiotic treatments, or exposure to high levels of stress.

Other possible causes include poor nutrition, a change in the intestinal flora and operations with subsequent adhesions in the intestine. Certain diseases such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease and other chronic inflammations in the small intestine can also increase the risk of small intestine overgrowth.

How is a SIBO tested?

By taking a sugar solution, the misplaced bacteria are tricked. They now begin to metabolize the sugar solution prematurely in the small intestine. They produce hydrogen and methane and release them into the blood. From there, the gases enter the breathing air via the lungs.

Breathing gas samples are taken at a certain rhythm and later analyzed in the laboratory. If the time curve in the result report shows a premature increase in either hydrogen or methane or both, there is a high probability of bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine (SIBO for short).

more articles