SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth causes a variety of symptoms that can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract., also known as, the GI tract. Bloating is one of the most common SIBO symptoms.
There are several medical conditions associated with SIBO and can be what is triggering SIBO. Chronic gut disorders such as Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome both cause bloating and they are both disorders that can trigger SIBO. This means the probability of a person with Crohn’s disease or IBS are going to be more likely to experience bloating as a SIBO symptom. There is an added downside to this because SIBO is often misdiagnosed due to the similarity in the symptoms of illnesses and conditions.
What’s Causing The Bloating!?!
The bacteria in our gut is normal and necessary for proper digestion of foods. When there is an overgrowth, the bacteria begin moving from the area they should be into all sorts of areas they shouldn’t be. Bacteria love to eat fermentable carbohydrates and the more easily fermentable the carb you’re intaking are is the worse SIBO symptoms can be for you.
When bacteria eat the carbs they release gas into our gut which is normal until there’s an overgrowth. Too many bacteria leads to higher levels of methane and/or hydrogen gas in the gut. The more the colony eats the higher the levels of gas go eventually leaving you with a full feeling and a bloated belly. People with SIBO sometimes use specialized specific diets to help ease SIBO symptoms and keep the fermentable feast away from the hungry bacteria.
There is no way to know if your bloating is a SIBO symptom or if it’s being caused by something else until a breath test is taken to measure the levels of gas. However, there are a few signs that could point you in a clearer direction.
- You experience a rather sudden onset of bloating and excessive gas.
- Symptoms are chronic. They never go away but after consuming certain foods the symptoms get better or worse.
- Bloating begins after taking medication for acid reflux.
- There’s a history of IBS.
- Changes in your stool and bowel habits such as chronic diarrhea or constipation that is worsening.
- Antibiotics seem to ease or eliminate the symptoms for a time.
- A gastrointestinal surgery was performed.
SIBO can be tricky to diagnose and is best checked by a professional or by using a professional at-home breath test. If you do have SIBO there is SIBO treatment that will help heal SIBO. SIBO antibiotics in combination with a specialized diet designed for you will help cure the condition as long as the underlying issue that is triggering SIBO is/has been taken care of as well.