SIBO symptoms are very similar to other illnesses and conditions. SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is a condition that affects the small intestine but it can also affect the entire gut, as well as, other parts of the body. Just like with any other illness, SIBO can cause some symptoms in some people while others may never experience them.
SIBO is a sign of an underlying problem and in a way it is a symptom itself. SIBO isn’t contagious and doesn’t just occur without reason. Any issues with the gut, the immune system, and an infection that is existing can lead to SIBO, even food poisoning can lead to the condition. SIBO treatment can cure the condition but if the underlying health issues aren’t addressed then it is likely that SIBO will recur.
Bloating: Methane and hydrogen gases naturally occur in our gut during the digestion process. When there is an overgrowth of bacteria it can lead to undigested food particles, leftover digestive enzymes, and excess gas which all leads to feeling bloated.
Gas: Again, the excess amounts of methane and hydrogen gasses leads to gas build up. Some people experience extra belching or flatulence because of this. The presence of methane and hydrogen in our gut is the very reason we call it gas.
Diarrhea: People with SIBO can end up with diarrhea and in some cases it is chronic. Our body is trying to flush out the excess bacteria through our stool. The presence of excess hydrogen gas in your gut can be the cause of diarrhea.
Constipation: Some people don’t ever experience diarrhea instead, they suffer from constipation and in some cases they deal with both issues. The type of excessive gas, whether it is methane or hydrogen help produce certain symptoms. SIBO patients suffering from excessive amounts of methane often deal with constipation.
Fatigue: The body begins losing nutrients on top of battling the bacterial overgrowth are the main reasons for feeling fatigue.
Weight Loss & Weight Gain: The overgrowth of bacteria leads to more mouths to feed, so to speak. When this happens our body absorbs less nutrients because the bacteria is sucking it all up. On the contrary, some people end up gaining weight when dealing with SIBO.
To know whether these symptoms are truly SIBO and not any of the other possible illnesses that produce the same symptoms you will have to take a breath test. If you test positive for the condition you can begin SIBO treatment which consists of the proper SIBO antibiotics and diet adjustments. Remember, if you have SIBO that is an indication of another health issue that needs to be addressed in order to keep the condition away for good.