What is SIBO and how to deal with it

What is SIBO and how to deal with it

There are people who feel an unexplained bloating, to the extent that their belly may look like the belly of a six-month pregnant woman. This symptom is accompanied by several disorders of the gastrointestinal system.

The most common cause is irritable bowel syndrome, which some call it spastic colitis. However, there are several bowel diseases, less well known but equally annoying.

One of these is the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SIBO, i.e. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).

Billions of bacteria coexist in our digestive system. However, when the balance between beneficial and pathogenic bacteria is disturbed, serious problems arise not only in the digestive tract but throughout the body.

What is SIBO;

SIBO is created when the colon of the large intestine grows upward to colonize the small intestine. As a result, the colon bacteria absorb nutrients and may enter the blood into the epithelial walls.

Bacterial overgrowth syndrome has been linked to other diseases such as celiac disease, certain autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and even fibromyalgia.

Over-growing bacteria in the small intestine can deprive the body of essential nutrients. Foods are not properly absorbed, causing severe deficiencies, such as deficiency of iron, calcium and vitamins.

In fact, many people who suffer from SIBO have vitamin B12 deficiency because they "bind" it to the small intestine. B12 is important for the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body, supplying it with energy.


How you recognize it?

The first side effect of SIBO, as we have already mentioned, is bloating. Bacteria feed on sugars and other carbohydrates, producing gases in the digestive process. Trapped gases other than bloating cause cramps, which in some cases are painful.

Bacterial overgrowth syndrome causes abnormal stains. It usually causes diarrhea and less often constipation.

Fatigue is a typical symptom of SIBO, as bacteria deprive the body of energy-producing components.

Everything goes through the gut

In addition to the annoying symptoms, SIBO has been associated with autoimmune diseases.

And according to some scientific theories, almost all diseases originate from poor bowel condition. In fact, 60-80% of our immune system is in the gut and 90% of neurotransmitters.

In any case, health goes through the intestine, since it is important for an organism to absorb the nutrients it needs.

The condition is diagnosed through a breath test by a specialized diagnostic center.

It is often observed in people following a diet containing large amounts of sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates. Diabetes is considered a contributing factor to SIBO.

There are also medicines that disrupt normal gut flora, such as antibiotics, so we should avoid unreasonable use.


Make your food a medicine

The first thing you need to do before you end up taking medication is to improve your nutrition.

This means you will exclude sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates and saturated fats from your diet.

It is advisable to do specialized tests to see if you have intolerance or allergies to some foods.

Equally important for gut health is to incorporate probiotics into your diet, along with some vitamins and amino acids that help repair and grow the gut cells.

For all this you can seek the advice of a physiopath who will recommend the right diet, as well as some supplements or herbs if necessary.



Eamonn M. M. Quigley, (2019), The Spectrum of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Springer Link, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11894-019-0671-z.

K. Linda, M. David, (2019), The Spectrum of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), National Center for Biotechnology Information, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30645678.

Victor Chedid, Sameer Dhalla et al, (2014), Herbal Therapy Is Equivalent to Rifaximin for the Treatment of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, National Center for Biotechnology Information, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4030608/


By Dr Angel,

Αggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc Health Psychology


insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 



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