What is SIBO?
SIBO is known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.
How much bacteria is considered abnormal?
Unfortunately, there is no consensus on the number of bacteria needed to be present in order to diagnose SIBO. Levels can range anywhere in excess of 106 bacteria per milliliter of fluid or 105 bacteria/mL or even 104 bacteria/mL may be enough. Even with this large amount of bacteria present, one would think that there would be an increase in the number of digestive symptoms. According to a study done in 2008 that assessed SIBO in IBS patients, this point was shown to have no correlation.
How can you test for SIBO?
Well, data suggests that SIBO breath tests are not consistent. Studies have shown that there is a huge variability in the ranges of positive results anywhere from 4% to 78%. Even in healthy individuals who do not show any symptoms can test positive between 1% to 40% of the time.
Next steps are to rule out other gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis), Celiac Disease, H.Pylori and others to see if an underlying cause exists.
What about IBS?
One will most likely be diagnosed with IBS when all other gut-related health conditions have been ruled out. There are 2 sets of main criteria used to diagnose IBS, which include assessing for severity of symptoms, duration, pain and discomfort levels, frequency, consistency and alleviating and aggravating factors. IBS also can be categorized into 3 subtypes: constipation-predominant, diarrhea-predominant or mixed.
GI Health Testing
Stool testing is an excellent way to help you identify and get clues to what is going on inside the intestinal tract. There are many tests that can analyze the amount of good, imbalanced and dysbiotic bacteria in your gut. These tests can also check for other organisms such as yeast, parasites, and protozoan and can help you to see your overall digestion and absorption. A stool analysis is usually a great first step to see how healthy you are from the inside.
Best Natural Treatments to Help Improve Gut Health
You probably already heard that eating high fiber foods, drinking plenty of water, regular physical activity, and a proper bedtime schedule could all be beneficial to your gut health. These are the basic principles of being healthy and if you are neglecting any one of them, it will cause your gut to be imbalanced.