Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is one of the most common conditions we address at Nordic Clinic. While the colon contains very high levels of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, archaea and parasites), the small intestine is normally sparsely populated by microbes. Several different factors can contribute to an abnormal increase in the number of microbes inside the small intestine. Examples are excessive antibiotic use, a diet rich in sugar, long-term use of antacids, bowel movement issues, and more.
Consequences of SIBO may be gases, flatulence and stomach pain, chronic diarrhea or constipation, decreased nutrient uptake, indigestion, inflammation and increased permeability of the intestinal mucosal barrier (also called “leaky gut”). This collection of symptoms often leads to the diagnosis of irritable bowel disease – IBS. In the long run, SIBO can cause inflammation systemically in the body and has been identified as an underlying or contributing cause in a number of clinical conditions.
At Nordic Clinic, we have extensive experience in testing for and treating SIBO. SIBO can occur as a result of overgrowth of methane or hydrogen producing microorganisms and when we suspect SIBO we use a test where the two gases are measured in the patient’s exhaled air. Individual treatment is prescribed based on the test result and the overall symptom picture. Thereafter, we re-evaluate the patient’s symptoms. Often, the patient has to retake the test to ensure that treatment had the desired effect.