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SIBO (It's not just a funny word)

SIBO (It's not just a funny word)

SIBO stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth. This is not just a bacterial overgrowth but more so a bacterial location problem. SIBO sufferers have large amounts of bacteria in their small intestine that are normally found in the large intestine or colon. These bacteria create symptoms by producing either methane or hydrogen.

The role of bacteria is to eat carbohydrates or ferment carbs. When this excess of bacteria consumes these carbs they turn them into acids and gas. The gas that is produces is what triggers symptoms of SIBO. Mal-absorption also occurs as the SIBO bacteria is now stealing your food.


  • Bloating/abdominal gas
  • Flatulence, belching
  • Abdominal pain, discomfort or cramps
  • Constipation, diahrrea or a mixture of the two
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Malabsorbtion (anaemia)
  • Systematic symptoms: headache, joint/muscle pain, fatigue , roacea.


  1. Food poisoning from infectious agents that paralyze muscle and nerve connections and prevent the small intestine’s cleaning mechanism.
  2. There is a valve called the ileocecal valve that prevents bacteria that belongs in the colon from moving backward into the small intestine. When this valve is not in tact there can be a backflow of harmful bacteria from the colon back into the small intestine.
  3. A decrease in hydrochloric acids
  4. Inhibition of the cleaning wave: a cleansing mechanism of the small intestine that prevents bacterial overgrowth, this is a muscular activity that sweeps bacteria out of the small intestine. Anything that interferes with this muscular activity in the small intestine allows bacteria to stay there for longer than it should and it ends up multiplying. We should have approximately 9 of these cleansing waves a day.
  5. An overgrowth of yeast and fungus


  • The bacteria interfere with our normal digestion and absorption of food and are associated with the damage of the lining of our small intestine –Leaky gut syndrome-
  • Bacteria consumes some of your food which results in deficiencies in their favourite nutrients such as iron and B12
  • Through the damaged lining of the small intestine larger food particles go back into the bloodstream which causes the immune system to react; this can cause food allergies/ sensitivities.
  • Bacteria itself can also enter back into the bloodstream, immune system reaction to bacteria in their cell walls can cause chronic fatigue and body pain and can also burden the liver.
  • Bacteria excretes large amounts of acid.


Probiotics for SIBO sufferers: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Saccharomyces boulardii and more especially Lactobaciilus plantarum.


  1. Allicin
  2. Berberine
  3. Oregano
  4. L-Glutamine



  1. Avoid sweeteners
  2. Limit your sugar intake to 40grams per day and ideally much less.
  3. Limit these high-residue foods, they are difficult to digest and leave residue in the small intestine
  • Beans(kidney beans,garbanzo beans,lentils
  • Peas (including split peas)
  • Soy products
  • Yogurt, milk and cheese
  1. Drink 8 cups of water a day.
  2. Keep multigrain breads to a minimum. Oat and wheat fibres are better if bread is desired.
  3. Avoid wild rice
  4. Fruits should be eaten in moderation-two servings per day. Fruit contains fructose which is difficult to digest. Choose fresh fruit and not dried.
  5. Fresh non starch veggies should be part of your daily intake. Cooked or lightly steamed is preferred.


For more information on SIBO, leaky gut syndrome, IBS or diet related issues please don’t hesitate to come and visit our friendly, helpful Team at Emagenes or contact us on 051-448 2186 or email us at



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