The small intestine typically has less than 104 organisms per millilitre.  Anything above this level is classically considered to be SIBO.  This bacterial overgrowth can be a combination of both good (progenic) and bad (pathogenic) microorganisms.

SIBO damages the intestinal lining and creates a state of mild-severe leaky gut syndrome and resulting food allergies, sensitivities and chronic inflammatory processes.  It is imperative to get proper help through good nutrition and lifestyle and the help of a functional nutrition practitioner.


Small Intestinal Microbiome:

The duodenum and proximal jejunum normally contain small numbers of bacteria, usually lactobacilli and enterococci, gram-positive aerobes or facultative anaerobes.  Coliforms may be transiently present (< 103 bacteria per mL) and anaerobicBacteroides are not found in the jejunum in healthy people.

The distal ileum is a transition zone between sparse populations of aerobic bacteria of the proximal small intestine and very dense populations of anaerobic micro-organisms in the large bowel.  Any imbalance or increase in the amount of bacteria in the jejunum and ileum is considered SIBO.

SIBO leads to both maldigestion and malabsorption as the bacteria interfere with normal enzymatic and metabolic activity of the small intestine.  Additionally, these bacteria are associated with increased serum endotoxin and bacterial compounds stimulating production of (pro)inflammatory cytokines.

Iron is typically absorbed in the duodenum and the jejunum and SIBO can interfere with this absorption resulting in microcytic anemia.  Vitamin B12 is absorbed in the ileum and patients with SIBO often have B12 malabsorbtion which leads to megaloblastic anemia and B12 deficiency


10 Symptoms Often Seen with SIBO

1. Gas
2. Bloating
3. Diarrhea &/or Constipation (less common than diarrhea)
4. Abdominal pain or cramping
5. Skin disorder such as eczema and rosacea
6. Diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease
7. Food intolerances such as gluten, casein, lactose, fructose and more
8. Chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and neuromuscular disorders.
9. B12 deficiency as well as other vitamins and minerals (iron and magnesium are common)
10. Fat malabsorption