SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) is a condition in which abnormally large numbers of bacteria – the types that are normally found in the large intestine – are present in the small intestine. When not functioning properly, the migrating motor complex (MMC) fails to effectively sweep intestinal contents into the colon during periods of fasting. Once in the small intestine, these bacteria proliferate and feed off carbohydrates from food, creating fermentation gases, specifically methane and hydrogen. SIBO breath testing measures these gases.
SIBO can be a cause of many health problems, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and protein/fat malabsorption. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in SIBO since it has now been implicated in the pathophysiology of certain diseases previously not classically associated with overgrowth. The World Journal of Gastroenterology claims a definitive association between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and SIBO, suggesting that SIBO be excluded before diagnosing a patient with IBS.
Common conditions associated with SIBO:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The Hydrogen/Methane breath test is a reliable and convenient method to help in assessing and classifying dysbiosis and SIBO.