Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition that is often overlooked when trying to identify the cause of gastrointestinal symptoms. It occurs when bacteria begins to populate the small bowel which then alters the way certain carbohydrate sugars are processed. This can lead to symptoms very similar to IBS such as:
- Abdominal discomfort
Gastroenterologists are now recognising the importance and relevance of testing for SIBO as part of the assessment of a patient’s abdominal symptoms. Causes of SIBO are varied and can occur due to conditions such as:
- Slow gut motility / constipation
- Previous gastrointestinal surgery
- Crohn’s disease
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Long term use of proton pump inhibitors
Testing for SIBO is done by hydrogen and methane breath testing; it is a simple test that involves drinking a specific carbohydrate drink and your breath is then tested every 15 minutes by blowing into a machine or bag; this breath is then analysed to test for levels of hydrogen or methane that are produced when you don’t absorb these carbohydrates properly. If the test is positive for SIBO you will be prescribed a 2 week course of antibiotics.
Vie Nutrition at the Nuffield Hospital is now able to offer SIBO testing either as a self-referral, referral from your GP or one of the gastro consultants at the Nuffield.
For further information about our SIBO testing, please get in touch with us at Vie Nutrition and we will be happy to chat on the phone or via email.