Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Excessive Gassiness and Bloating (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)

What is SIBO and what might it represent?

The symptoms below can represent a number of intestinal disorders but may be signs of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The small intestine normally contains relatively small amounts of bacteria. However, the bacteria can become abundant as a result of changes in the normal movement of the intestines and cause symptoms due to their overabundance as bacteria produce gases such as hydrogen during digestion. SIBO is more common in women than men.

Esophagus

Stomach

Intestine

What are the symptoms Gastroparesis?

  • Bloating
  • Gassiness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea

How is the diagnosis made?

The diagnosis is made by performing a breath test which requires ingestion of a sugar such as lactulose. Samples of the patient's breath are collected at different time points. The amount of exhaled hydrogen gas is measured. A positive test is when the amount of hydrogen gas is above a certain threshold.

How is the condition treated?

Treatment usually includes a course of antibiotics and treatment of the underlying condition that caused excess small intestinal bacteria to collect. SIBO may recur and so several courses of antibiotics may be needed over time.