SIBO and Food Sensitivity

SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is a condition where there is too much bacteria in the small intestine. Bacteria exists naturally in our intestine but when there is an overgrowth it tends to move to places it shouldn’t. SIBO can be and has been linked to so many other health issues, as well as, the condition being a sign that there is an underlying issue taking place. SIBO is often undiagnosed and misdiagnosed due to the symptom similarities in regards to other conditions such as IBS, stomach flu, and stomach viruses.

Food sensitivity is a reaction to food that can be associated with an increase in the levels of certain IgG class antibodies. The antibodies are reactive to certain foods. Food allergies, food intolerance's, and food sensitivities are often viewed and used interchangeably however, they are all very different from one another. When a person has a food sensitivity or food sensitivities that means their body is sensitive to specific foods. 

Delayed immune reactions occur up to 72 hours after a person with food sensitivities eats food that is “offensive”. Some common food sensitivities are wheat, dairy, gluten, corn, soy, and eggs. A person can go their entire life without a sensitivity to specific foods and then, what seems like all of the sudden, that same person begins having negative reactions to the very foods they might have been consuming every day. 

Food Sensitivity Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Mood Swings
  • Acne
  • Brain Fog/Cloudiness
  • Dry & Itchy Skin
  • Bloating 
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid Reflux
  • Fatigue
  • Joint Pain
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Digestive Issues

How To Find The Foods You’re Sensitive To

The best way to find the food or foods that you’re sensitive to is to start a food journal. This process could take a little time but you will never know unless you track it. It is important to keep track of everything you eat and the times you’re eating. Any type of negative reaction your body has to a specific food should be noted as well. Once you find the trigger foods then you will use the elimination diet. This diet eliminates any and all food that is triggering negative reactions and food sensitivity. Keep the food out of your diet for about two weeks and then you can slowly reintroduce the foods to the system. This will narrow down and pin-point the exact foods you are having a reaction to. You may have to simply cut back on the food or completely eliminate it from your diet until the SIBO is taken care of. Occasionally, the trigger food has to be permanently eliminated which can be sad when it comes to your favorite foods.

The Connection

Bacteria produce endotoxins that cause damage to the cells of the wall in the gut within the small intestine. SIBO left untreated combined with subsequent progressive damage, excess bacteria, toxins, and undigested food creates a war zone inside of your entire body, not just the gut. When there is an excess amount of bacteria or the bacteria escape through the intestinal walls the immune system unleashes its defenses and begins attacking bacteria and viruses. The result - the creation of antigen-antibodies which activates a process known as complement. The complement system is a part of the immune system that enhances or complements the ability of antibodies to clear out microbes and damaged cells from an organism. It also promotes inflammation and attacks the pathogen’s cell membrane.

So, you see, the connection is rather simple. If a person has SIBO that increase of bacteria leads to a whole slew of potential problems. The existence of too many bacteria leads to the bacteria moving throughout the body. When this takes place different things like food can create an upset in the system, especially for those dealing with food allergies and food intolerances. It’s as if the system just goes crazy. The vicious cycle repeats itself until the issues are taken care of. The creation of bacteria = a war zone = production of antigens = inflammation and so on.

The sooner you can get the bacterial overgrowth under control and the sooner you can figure out what foods are causing the reaction the better it’s going to be for your overall well-being. The longer the bacteria have to thrive the worse SIBO is going to become which in turn is going to worsen the food sensitivities. SIBO can be cured and in many cases the food sensitivity gets better once the body is back on the right track. Unfortunately, in some cases the food sensitivity is around for good and you have to make more long-term dietary adjustments. 

SIBO treatment is available and it can be cured as long as it is diagnosed and treated. For those of you dealing with food sensitivities SIBO antibiotics may not be the best option particularly the pharmaceutical kind because they can cause further damage. Natural SIBO treatment such as Alivio may be the best option. Speak with your doctor if you’re struggling with food sensitivities and schedule a SIBO breath test. Once you have the results you can begin the treatment and healing process.