No one likes to think of bacteria in their gut. But perhaps they should. Why? Because recent studies are showing that over 50% of patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are suffering from an underlying imbalance called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Wondering if that’s what’s been causing your digestive issues? If so, the following information will allow you to get a better handle on understanding the signs of SIBO in Houston, as well as ways to diagnose and treat the condition.
Do you recognize yourself in any of the above signs? If so, it may be time to search for an integrative physician near you in Houston who can treat your condition with advanced functional medicine.
Although every patient will experience symptoms unique to their physiology, the top symptoms of SIBO include excessive gas or belching, constipation or diarrhea, acid reflux or indigestion, and abdominal pain or discomfort associated with the previous symptoms. It’s also important to point out that SIBO has been linked to autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, skin conditions like acne and rosacea, chronic neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease, and even seemingly unrelated conditions such as fibromyalgia. For this reason, it’s important to find a doctor who utilized a patient-centered approach to their practice instead of a disease-centered approach to medicine.
Some patients who search for symptoms and treatments online often come to the wrong conclusion about their condition. This is especially true when it comes to diagnosing leaky gut. Although there is absolutely no substitute for diagnosis than from an integrative physician, a general guideline is that SIBO typically manifests with local GI symptoms like those already mentioned, whereas a leaky gut will manifest in complains throughout the body’s immune system. However, studies show that about 50% of patients who are diagnosed with SIBO will also have a leaky gut. So, what are the ways to diagnose SIBO? Ask your doctor to order a Lactulose breath test. Other methods of testing that may be used include a stool analysis and a comprehensive analysis of urinary organic acids.
As a general rule, every patient’s treatment protocol will vary depending on factors that may be unique to them such their medical history. However, treating SIBO typically involves major dietary changes and medications or herbal treatments for prolonged periods. A diet low in FODMAP foods may be helpful. The treatment protocol for SIBO may vary depending on the type of bacteria and fungi found on testing. Although treatment is challenging, it may prove to be the most important step in regaining your health!
Some of the most common risk factors for bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine include a western diet that is high in refined sugars and starches, overuse of oral antibiotics, a history of food poisoning, prior intestinal surgeries, poor activity of migrating motor complex, low stomach acid, low pancreatic function and poor secretion of digestive enzymes, fermentation of food and bacterial overgrowth, and a floppy ileocecal valve.
At My Pure MD, our belief is that medical care should not be viewed as a cookie-cutter solution, rather, it needs to be personalized medicine. We view the body as one integrated web with a fine and delicate balance between different organ systems. With the current medical approach, the body is divided between different medical subspecialties. But our approach is to take all aspects of one’s health history into consideration, including your unique genetic makeup, nutrition, exercise, stress, environmental toxicity, social relationships, and treat the body as a whole. Our goal is to get to the root cause of ailments and not just to mask the symptoms temporarily. This is the way medicine should be.