Have You Ever Heard Of SIBO?

Gastrointestinal issues are rarely at the top of anyone’s list of hot topics to discuss. We have learned to feel embarrassed by GI symptoms, despite the fact that everyone has them, and they usually suffer silently pacing the pharmacy aisles trying to find relief. While that is OK for some things, persistent GI issues should be discussed with your doctor to find the root of the problem, which isn’t always easy.

What Is It?

Often GI symptoms like gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea can be treated with over the counter medications. However, if those symptoms persist or aren’t controlled with OTC medications they could be symptoms of a more serious condition versus just a bad burrito. Your gut uses bacteria to help break down the food you eat so you can absorb nutrients. These are healthy bacteria and vital to a healthy digestive system. When there is too much bacteria in your small bowel the bacteria can actually interfere with digestion and even cause damage to the lining of your small bowel. This is called small intestine bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.

Symptoms And Treatment

SIBO can cause abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea, but is often not diagnosed right away since it shares symptoms with many other GI issues including irritable bowel syndrome. SIBO is more common in those who have undergone a gastric bypass or other abdominal surgeries, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome and other GI disorders. SIBO is diagnosed by a breath test performed by your doctor and is easily treated with antibiotics.

It is important to not self treat persistent GI symptoms. You should contact your doctor at Vanguard Gastro for symptoms that are not controlled with over the counter medication or persistent abdominal pain and be evaluated. Don’t suffer in silence! Find a convenient location and talk with one of our doctors about your symptoms today.