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SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) Could this be the cause of your fatigue, gas and bloati

What is SIBO?

Dr. Rudert answers: SIBO occurs when the normal balance of our good bacteria is altered. We should have trillions of good bacteria and in fact if you weighed them they would exceed two pounds! There are approximately 10 times more bacteria than there are cells in your body! When this delicate balance is altered symptoms may occur.

What are the symptoms?

Dr. Rudert answers:

The symptoms vary but may include many that are misdiagnosed under the IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) umbrella. These may include gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and even abdominal cramps and fecal urgency. Some patients also experience varying degrees of fatigue, joint pain and mental fogginess.

Are those symptoms specific to SIBO?

Dr. Rudert answers:

No, and that is why these symptoms may also be seen with other disorders including celiac, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), medications, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) and other disorders. Some of these conditions are also associated with SIBO and when not appropriately diagnosed can present with recurrent SIBO.

How is SIBO diagnosed?

Dr. Rudert answers:

Like any disorder your healthcare provider needs to think that SIBO could possibly be the cause of your symptoms. I tell many physicians when I lecture "if you don't think about it you will never find it!" My practice offers Commonwealth Laboratories lactulose breath hydrogen testing. This test can only be ordered by your healthcare provider. Like most tests in medicine there are false positives and false negatives. This lab also offers testing for lactose intolerance, sucrase deficiency and breath testing for the infection helicobacter pylori. It is extremely important to be a good detective to find out why patients get SIBO and address the underlying cause.

How is it treated?

Dr. Rudert answers:

Treatments may include tapering or discontinuing medications (especially acid suppression therapies), implementing diet changes, and specific probiotics. Antibiotics are beneficial in select cases and depend on whether or not patients are methane producers. Antibiotics may include rifaxamin, neomycin, and erythromycin to name a few. The important message is to address why patients are suffering from bacterial overgrowth and address the root cause.

Look for the upcoming blog where Dr. Rudert brings you the very LATEST NEWS on probiotics from the Triennial Yale Harvard Probiotic Conference.

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