• Meghan Miller, LAc

What is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and how to identify it?

Do you experience frequent bloating, belching and gas after food? Do you also suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation)? You may have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO is when there is an excess amount of the non-pathogenic bacteria or an assorted group of bacteria that overgrows in your small intestine.


Generally, bacteria, along with viruses and fungi make up our gut microbiome that mostly exist in the large intestine, and colon. The healthy bacteria helps support our immune system, cardiovascular, metabolic, thyroid, brain and other aspects of health. In addition, our body has a variety of mechanisms to avoid the bacteria over populating in the small intestine; and to prevent the counterflow of bacteria from the large intestine to the small intestine.


When the exuberant bacteria grows in your small intestine due to slow motility or other reasons - bacteria will feed off the sugar, carbohydrates, starches and alcohol you intake - causing fermentation. This leads to the production of hydrogen, and/ or methane gas in your digestive system - causing bloating, gas and belching. Hydrogen dominant SIBO will manifest with diarrhea. Methane dominant SIBO will manifest with constipation. However, a small percentage of people may also experience asymptomatic SIBO.


Manifestations of SIBO:

  • Gas, bloating, belching

  • Abdominal pain, cramping

  • Constipation, diarrhea or changes in bowel motility

  • Irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease

  • Nutritional deficiencies

  • Food intolerances with gluten, casein, lactose, fructose and histamine

  • Malabsorption

  • Leaky gut syndrome

  • Skin issues

  • Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, autoimmune diseases


At Meta Health we believe the best way to treat gut issues is by using scientific diagnostic tests to confirm SIBO, and to identify any gut abnormalities, and nutrient deficiencies to create a vigorous and personalized plan customized for your condition naturally. Diagnostic tests include:


  • GI Effects - insufficiency, inflammation, dysbiosis, yeast overgrowth, parasitic infection

  • SIBO Breath Test - to confirm SIBO confirmation and identify if it is methane or hydrogen dominant

  • NutrEval - nutritional insufficiencies

  • Food Sensitivity Test w/ Celiac and Gluten sensitivity



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