Whether you call it methane-dominant Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) or a “Methane Bloom” – one thing is for sure:
There, I said it!
And the truth is that methane-dominant SIBO and hydrogen-dominant SIBO are very different – and treating them like the same condition can hold you back in healing… and make you feel like you’re going crazy!
Today I put together 5 facts you might not know about methane – these are compiled from some of my past interview with Dr. Mark Pimentel, M.D.
Dr. Pimentel is one of the leading experts in the world on IBS, SIBO, and methane. He’s the executive Director of MAST, a research program created exclusively to study the causes treatments treatments for SIBO, IBS, and microbiome linked diseases Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. If anyone is close to finding a cure for IBS and SIBO, it’s this guy!
I always appreciate the opportunity to learn from him.
So here they are… 5 things you may not know about methane-dominant SIBO:
#1 Methane Causes Constipation
According to Dr. Pimentel, research has consistently shown that people with IBS-C and chronic constipation consistently score higher for methane gas on SIBO breath tests than those with mixed IBS symptoms (constipation and diarrhea) or diarrhea. High levels of methane cause constipation.
#2 Methane Is Associated With Obesity
According to Dr. Pimentel, those who test positive for methane on a breath test have been shown in the data to have higher body mass index numbers (BMI).
Dr. Pimentel explain that there are two reason why methane is associated with obesity:
- Methane slows down gut motility. The longer food stays in your gut, the more nutrients (and therefore, calories) can be extracted from it.
- Methanogens consume hydrogen gas in the gut. Without the presence of hydrogen gas to tell them to “stop!” hydrogen-producing bacteria continue digesting food – leading to more calories being extracted.
#3 Methane SIBO Gets More Common As You Age
According to Dr. Pimentel, the likelihood of all types of SIBO increases with age. But the risk of methane-dominant SIBO especially increases: “In the 90 plus group, that’s the highest methane rates we see in all of our population as a whole.”
#4 Methane Contributes To Brain Fog
Though not formally published, Dr. Pimentel says that in his experience, methane-dominant SIBO patients have more brain fog than do hydrogen-dominant SIBO patients.
#5 Methane SIBO Is Tougher To Treat
“Methane is a tougher beast,” according to Dr. Pimentel.
In his research, methane-dominant SIBO responded to neomycin and Rifaximin treatment. The problem? 4 weeks after the trial, most patients had relapsed.
“Antibiotics don’t seem to have a long-lasting effect on methane as it does for Rifaximin treating the hydrogen,” Dr. Pimentel said.
Have Methane SIBO?
I know firsthand how frustrating it can be!
The good news is that there are experts like Dr. Pimentel who are doing the research we need to find a long-term solution RIGHT now!
We host Dr. Pimentel for a new update each quarter and have collected all 4 of the past updates for you, click here.
We hope to see you there!
P.S. Were any of these facts new to you? Surprising? Leave a comment and let me know!
17 thoughts on “5 Things You Might Not Know About Methane SIBO”
My life partner is like Linda – underweight (low BMI) all his life. Antibiotics don’t even touch the methane.
I tried the website above to access recommended practitioners but it wouldn’t let me click on it.
what went wrong?
Sorry about that, not sure what to tell you. After you click the “Find a Doctor” tab maybe you didn’t scroll down and fill out the form? No worries, you can also access it by logging into your library. You’ll find the “Find a Doctor” tab at the top of your page. Here’s a link to Find a Doctor, but you will have to be logged in first.
The list is very cool and a labor of Love. We now have short videos of each of the doctors you can watch. It gives you an intro to the doctors to see if they are a good match for you. Very neat!
If you need further assistance, please reach out to me at [email protected]
SIBO Team Member
I live in FL .Any of these MD’s live in FL.?
Hi Frances – you can check out our recommended practitioners here.
And don’t forget that lots of these practitioners offer distance consulting, too!
I have registered for Dr. Pimentel’s Masterclass. I was diagnosed with Hydrogen Sibo. Will he be speaking about only Methane SIBO or will he also include Hydrogen SIBO?
Hi Robyn! Thanks so much for reaching out. The answer is YES! He’s going to be talking about hydrogen, methane, and the “new” gas hydrogen sulfide! Plus what to do if you get a flat line result on your breath test. (Including the future of testing!) I hope you will be there. We are so excited to be learning from an expert like Dr. Pimentel! It’s going to be a PACKED class!
Is the cost of these speakers included with the Interconnected Series or is this completely different. There is so much information being offered online now I cant keep them all straight.
Hi Laura – thanks for reaching out!
This is totally different than the Interconnected Series! Our Speaker Series includes 9 upcoming live Masterclasses and one instant access – all brand new material you’ve never seen before!
Are the causes of methane dominant SIBO the same as SIBO hydrogen since it’s So different .
That is a great question!! I have my own idea of the answer – but I really want to know what Dr. Pimentel thinks. Will you be attending Dr. Pimentel’s Masterclass and Q&A? This would be a great question to submit for him.
I wish I could watch this. I cannot afford to pay at this time.
Thanks for your comment Nancy – we completely understand. Make sure you’re part of our Facebook Group where we share lots of free resources (and even do Free live Q&A with experts!) Join the group here.
Yes! The obesity statement. I’ve been underweight all my life and my methane keeps getting higher and higher -after antimicrobials and antibiotics!
There is always an exception Linda! I am sorry you are still struggling. Methane SIBO is definitely more difficult to treat. Will you be attending Dr. Pimentel’s Masterclass?? He has so much wisdom to share about treating SIBO.
Do you have a DVD I could buy for this class. I do not have high speed, so can not get it online.
Hi Elaine! We don’t have a DVD, but we do give you a download of the audio of the class (so you can download it and then watch it offline) plus a complete transcript you can download and read.