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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is one of the biggest causes of bloating, digestive symptoms and food intolerance I see in my clinic. As the name suggests it is when the small intestine has an overgrowth of bacteria or, in the case of small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO), yeast/fungus.

Bacteria have many roles in our health and are vital for keeping us alive and healthy. One thing that they can produce is gas, as a by-product of fermenting the food we eat such as garlic, legumes and apples.

It is these gasses that are being produced too much and in the wrong place that can cause your bloating, burping, farting, distention and a change in bowel movement. It's important to understand that these bacteria are naturally occurring and generally aren't an issue. It's just for those with SIBO, they have migrated up to your small intestine that this causes a problem.

Why you need to work with a qualified SIBO practitioner

• The correct tests have been ordered to thoroughly understand your gut

• The tests have been interpreted correctly which will help narrow down treatment options

• The best treatments for SIBO or SIFO have been chosen for your unique needs

• The underlying root cause for SIBO or SIFO is being addressed, which will help reduce your risk of SIBO or SIFO relapse

• Other complicated issues that contribute to SIBO, such as detoxification, biofilms and nervous system dysfunction are supported

• You will receive individualised dietary advice to support your SIBO journey which will reduce food anxiety and confusion


Find Your Root Cause

The course that helps bloating, IBS and SIBO sufferers wake up each day feeling confident and in control of their health by having a clear understanding of what’s happening in their body by finding the real cause of their symptoms.



How do you test for SIBO?
SIBO is identified using a breath test. This breath test uses a fermentable sugar called lactulose (fructose and glucose are also used) to assess the level of fermentation occurring in the small intestine as a result of bacterial overgrowth. From these results we can understand what type of SIBO you have and how to best support you.
Interestingly, small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO) will not be seen on a breath test, so a trained practitioner in SIBO/SIFO is vital in understanding your gut and knowing when to refer for additional testing

Who can access SIBO testing?
While I am based in Melbourne, SIBO testing is available to anyone I work with in Australia. This is just one of the perks of having an online clinic that works with companies with an online referral system that ships Australia wide.
If you are an overseas patient, there are other testing companies we need to use that are not Australian based. I share the names of international SIBO testing companies I trust in my course Bloated to Body Confident.

What is the treatment of SIBO?
SIBO is a complex condition that I treat all the time in my Melbourne (online) clinic, and when addressed correctly, can dramatically change your health.
The treatment of SIBO has two parts to it. The first involves addressing the overgrowth through the use of herbal antimicrobials or certain antibiotics. The second is addressing the underlying causes of SIBO to reduce your risk of relapse. These drivers include motility, digestive function, digestive outflow and medications.
A holistic and individualised approach to care is necessary as everyone will have a different type of SIBO and different underlying causes.

Who can treat SIBO?
There are lots of online forums and support pages out there offering advice, which can be a good place to start, but treatment is tricky.
You are best to work with a practitioner that is highly experienced in SIBO. As a naturopath there are many effective treatment options available to us in the form of herbal, nutritional and lifestyle interventions.
When I work with SIBO patients I sometimes refer to SIBO aware doctors or specialists for support, if alternative treatments are required.

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