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Today I’m excited to share with you an all-new FREE webinar with my friend, colleague and founder of Microbiome Labs, microbiologist Kiran Krishnan!

Kiran is a fan-favorite here at SIBO SOS® and he is back by popular demand to talk about a “controversial topic” – stool tests!

If you’ve been confused or overwhelmed by stool tests, you don’t want to miss this Q&A. We’ll cover:

  • What stool tests can and can’t diagnose (SIBO, parasites, gut imbalances and more)
  • The problem with many stool tests
  • A new approach to stool testing (available directly to patients)

This is the very first time Kiran has spoken publicly about Microbiome Labs’ new stool test-  and for the first time, it’s available directly to the SIBO SOS® community!

Watch now:

You can view sample test results by clicking HERE.

Want to order your BiomeFX test?

Normally, you would need to order this test through a practitioner.

But Kiran has agreed to make the test available directly to the SIBO SOS® Community! That means you can order it yourself, and get the results delivered straight to you. (I do recommend working with a practitioner to help interpret the results.)

First, register as a patient with patient direct code “SIBOSOS” HERE: https://sibosos.com/microbiome-labs (This is the first step and it is essential to be able to order.)

Then, watch the below video to learn how to order and what to do once you place your order to successfully complete your test. (Having trouble? Please contact Microbiome Labs directly for help with ordering: https://microbiomelabs.com/contact/ or call 904-940-2208). (My customer service team cannot assist you with ordering!)

Everything You Need To Know About SIBO Testing

If you suspect Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), the obvious question is: how do I begin SIBO testing?

But  – like everything else with SIBO! – the answer isn’t black and white.

There are multiple tests, ways to get tested, and the results aren’t a simple “positive or negative.”

Today, I want to share everything you need to know about accurate and accessible SIBO breath testing so you can feel empowered to move forward with treatment. 

Do I Need To Be Tested For SIBO?

If you have symptoms of SIBO like bloating, constipation or diarrhea, and pain, do you really need testing, or is it OK to just move ahead with treatment?

The short answer is YES!

According to Dr. Allison Siebecker, ND, “The symptoms of SIBO are nonspecific. There are maybe 35-40 diseases that could cause the exact same symptoms. Just because you have the symptoms does not mean you have SIBO. And we really need to know because the treatment is going to be different, very different between SIBO to something like lactose intolerance which can cause the exact same symptoms. 

The treatment for SIBO is antimicrobials which potentially could disturb a person’s microbiome. We want to be sure that we need to do those treatments if we’re going to do them. The treatment for lactose intolerance is taking lactase enzyme. We don’t need antimicrobials and changing of the diet. It’s very important to know if a person has it. There have been studies actually done on this now on how well can you diagnose SIBO based on symptoms and it was not well at all.”

Dr. Megan Taylor, ND, agrees: “So, often, we get diagnosed with SIBO after a long journey of having IBS symptoms, and we’re like, ‘Yes, that, that’s it. That must be it.’ And oftentimes, it is. But maybe it’s only a part of it. Maybe it’s only 50% of your symptoms, but the rest are due to something else. And that really needs to be addressed. Just this week, I had an example of somebody who thought it was just SIBO all along. It turned out they had Celiac disease. 

So, you want to make sure that whatever provider you’re seeing is doing that basic work to screen out some of those big conditions that can mimic SIBO—Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, certain particular food sensitivities or food allergies, those sorts of things.”

Not only is treating SIBO potentially damaging if you DON’T have the condition, but assuming it’s SIBO could mean overlooking the real cause of your symptoms. That’s why accurate testing is so important.

Don’t Rely On These Tests For SIBO | SIBO Testing

Inaccurate testing for SIBO is a huge issue! SIBO can only be accurately diagnosed through a breath test or jejunal aspiration during an upper endoscopy.  

According to Drs. Siebecker and Mona Morstein, ND, stool testing cannot diagnose SIBO, but is often ordered anyway. 

“There are a lot of docs who think a stool test could diagnose SIBO just because it’s of the intestines. But it can’t. The stool really represents best the very end of the large intestine. It doesn’t show bacterial overgrowth in a separate organ that’s way up above. The stool test can indicate something about the small intestine but they cannot diagnose small intestine bacterial overgrowth. If you see an overgrowth of bacteria in a stool test that diagnosis is large intestine bacterial overgrowth or LIBO,” Dr. Siebecker said. 

Dr. Morstein seconded this: “We must stop physicians from doing stool tests and saying this has any indication of what’s going on in the small intestine. [The colon] has 500,000 different bacteria. Say that we do a stool test, [saying] we’re reflecting any microbiome in the small intestine is scientifically completely wrong, completely inaccurate.”

Urine organic acids tests are also sometimes mistakenly used to test for SIBO: “I think [the urine organic acids test] is a really cool test. I love it. It indicates all kinds of things but it can’t technically diagnose SIBO. What it can do is indicate some bacterial metabolites, and if they’re in excess we know that there’s too many bacteria and overgrowth. But what it can’t do is distinguish between the large and the small intestine,” Dr. Siebecker said. 

Why Choose Breath Testing For SIBO

For accurate SIBO testing, the most common choice is a glucose or lactulose breath test. Breath tests are non-invasive, and can even be done at home. They’re affordable, even if your insurance won’t cover the test and you’re ordering it yourself.

And most importantly, breath tests correlate with symptoms AND with super-advanced small bowel deep-sequencing being done at research laboratories like Cedars-Sinai, according to Dr. Mark Pimentel, MD. 

“There’s been controversy about breath testing.” Dr. Mark Pimentel said, “People say, “Well, it’s not as accurate as culture” or “We don’t know if it means that…” But we [now] show that SIBO can be proven by deep sequencing—greater than 1000 bacteria per milliliter in the gut is SIBO—and that both of those correlate directly with 90-minute breath tests, meaning the breath test is valid. And the most important thing, they all interdigitate with symptoms. We can correlate with diarrhea, urgency and bloating with these markers.

The point is, for the first time, we’ve internally validated the breath test. Breath tests are valid. And they predict response to antibiotics.”

Watch this video from Gary Stapleton, founder of Aerodiagnostics Labs, to learn more about SIBO breath testing:

Now let’s dive into what “breath testing” really is.

Let’s start with a basic explanation of what breath testing is from Dr. Pimentel:

“When you do a breath test, you drink a sugar. And the sugar we prefer to use is lactulose. It’s a non-absorbed sugar. So it stays in the gut and gets all the way to the colon. So you can get a good flavor of what’s going on in the entire gut. 

When the sugar sees bacteria, they ferment it. When they ferment it, they produce gases. And we look for the gases that humans don’t produce. And the ones we’ve been looking for are hydrogen and methane. Until recently, just those two. 

So, when we see those rise early, meaning within 90 minutes, we know that it’s likely that those gases came from the small intestine.” 

Gary Stapleton, founder of Aerodiagnostics Labs, describes it this way: “What are we doing [with a breath test]? We’re collecting breath to determine, for SIBO testing, whether or not we have bacteria in the small intestine. So how would that possibly work? 

Well, the body, the human body doesn’t produce hydrogen or methane gas. Hydrogen and/or methane gas is only produced by bacteria fermenting or rotting. So what happens, and why we do a preparation for these tests—and we want to be very specific about that preparation because, if you’re not, you can get variable results that don’t match the clinical impressions. 

So, we prep for 24 hours, which is a very specific limited diet; followed by a 12-hour fast, which is typically overnight. It’s convenient for the patient. They wake up. And then, they have a breath collection kit. On a test, they have a collection kit. They’ll collect their breath with a closed capture device.”

Watch this short video (and sneak peek from the upcoming Digestion SOS™ Documentary Series) to see what the collection tubes look like and get tips for accurate testing from QuinTron Instruments (the creators of the equipment used for breath testing). 

You can order glucose breath tests directly from Aerodiagnostics. Lactulose test can be ordered by your physician. 

Interpreting Breath Tests

To put it simply (as Dr. Morstein did), “There is a great deal of grey interpretational area in SIBO testing. Absolutely not is it always clear yes or clear no.”

Once you’ve successfully completed your SIBO test, you might be discouraged to get back a confusing report that you can’t understand (and maybe your doctor is even mystified by it!).

According to Dr. Taylor, “We have to understand that this is not a perfect tool. Breath testing only gives us possible evidence of bacterial overgrowth. We should make sure that our providers who are interpreting our test have a lot of experience doing it or are at least up to date. 

Dr. Rezaie’s team out of Cedars-Sinai published that fantastic breath testing consensus guidelines that came out in 2017. That has been my go-to tool for being able to interpret breath testing in a nuanced way, being able to explain to patients “Gosh! No, your test is definitely positive by all the most conservative reads of the test” or “It’s kind of in that gray area borderline. We should be thinking about what else may be contributing to your symptoms as well.” 

If you need help finding an expert who can interpret a breath test, make sure you check out our list of experts, click here. 

Hydrogen Sulfide & Flat Line Results

Most breath tests look for three gases: hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide (as a control). 

Higher levels of hydrogen are correlated with diarrhea, and higher levels of methane are correlated with constipation. But some people also get a “flat line” result – what does that mean? 

According to Dr. Pimentel, it may be related to how hydrogen and methane interact in the intestines, and the presence of a third gas: hydrogen sulfide:

“Some people have a machine that only measures hydrogen. Others have hydrogen and methane.  And then there are people that  don’t even have carbon dioxide. Today, most people have a machine that measures all three. But I’m going to argue that a machine that measures four is even better. And that’s coming in a few more months. Here’s some data on them. 

We can distinguish bacteria [overgrowth] from human by using hydrogen, methane and now the new hydrogen sulfide. And it works like this: hydrogen-producing bacteria feed hydrogen to the methane producers, if you happen to have these characters in your gut. As a result, you produce methane. 

When methane is there and the methanogens are there, they’re eating a lot of hydrogen to make methane. Sometimes,  you get a flat line breath test because they’re eating it all up. They’re just consuming it more than they’re making the methane. But they get energy from this. And this is how the methanogens sustains themselves. They get energy from that. 

Now, the sulfate-producing bacteria, the new characters that we’re looking at, 5 hydrogens on the right to make one hydrogen sulfide, using up all the hydrogen. And this, we were always speculating, could be the flat line breath test because the flat line had no methane, no hydrogen at all, patients were having diarrhea and they were sick. 

And so we now realize that there’s another gas we haven’t done.”

Hopefully, hydrogen sulfide testing will be available within the next year.

Take a Breath!

Phew, I know this is a confusing and complex topic. I hope this post has been a useful resource for you!

If you’re looking for even more information on accurate testing for SIBO, plus treatments, underlying causes, and more – go browse through the SIBO SOS® library of intensive Masterclasses here. 

3 Things To Think About When It’s Not SIBO

I’ve noticed a big trend in our SIBO SOS™ Community Facebook group. I grabbed a few screenshots to show you what I mean…

What do you do when your Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth breath test is negative but you STILL have symptoms?

Today I’m digging into this important topic and sharing some ideas and suggestions.

False SIBO Breath Test Results Aren’t The Only Possibility

3 Things To Think About When It’s Not SIBO

Yes, there is a possibility that your SIBO breath test results were either a false positive or a false negative.

But many times, people jump to the conclusion that if they have SIBO symptoms, they must have SIBO.

According to Dr. Megan Taylor, ND this is a big mistake:

“For my patients who’ve been doing this for a really long time, one of the biggest mistakes I think we make is obsessing about the breath test. It’s like I have to talk so many folks off the ledge about their positive breath test. And part of it is interpretation.

We have to understand that this is not a perfect tool. Breath testing only gives us evidence possibly of bacterial overgrowth. We should make sure that our providers who are interpreting our test have a lot of experience doing it or are at least up to date.

So, really focusing on that and not obsessing about getting a negative. We know lots of things can influence that breath test, including just your physiology.”

So while you should always discuss the possibility of a false test result with your practitioner, you may also want to consider these 3 other possible causes of your symptoms.

#1 Is It Parasites, Not SIBO?

Many of us falsely believe that we can’t have a parasite because we don’t travel out of the country or drink unfiltered water, but according to parasite expert Dr. Anne Hill, ND, this is a big mistake!

Dr. Hill taught me that parasites can happen to truly anyone (no matter how careful you are!) Exposure to parasites is just part of being a human.

Parasite symptoms can mimic SIBO symptoms including:

  • Bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Food sensitivities
  • Pain

Parasites can also occur alongside SIBO and can explain why you treated SIBO, got a negative breath test, but still have symptoms.

Want to learn more about parasites? Dr. Hill was a past speaker at the SIBO SOS™ Speaker Series. When you join the series right now, you get instant access to her workshop so you can learn more about diagnosing and treating common parasites. Learn more here. 

#2 Food Sensitivities Make You Just As Miserable As SIBO

Is the list of foods you can tolerate getting shorter and shorter?

It could be SIBO causing this – but it could also be food sensitivities (not the same as food allergies).

Food sensitivities aren’t an immune activation response (like a food allergy is). According to Dr. Nirala Jacobi, ND, food sensitivities cause a local and systemic effect. She says the most common categories of food sensitivities are:

  • Histamines
  • Salicylates
  • Oxalates

A sensitivity to any of these food groups can cause issues like pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, constipation, headaches, and rashes (among other symptoms).

So what causes food sensitivities?

Food sensitivities can be a sign of yeast overgrowth (more on that in just a minute) and can also be a result of damage to the intestines caused by past SIBO or other issues.

If you’re dealing with food sensitivities, we have some great resources in the Speaker Series for you! Learn more here.

#3 SIFO Sounds & Looks Like SIBO

There’s another condition that looks and sounds like SIBO (literally) – it’s called Small Intestine Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO).

SIFO is SIBO’s doppelganger. Both conditions happen when a normal resident of your gut (bacteria in the case of SIBO, yeast in the case of SIFO) overgrows where it shouldn’t: the small intestine.

They can both cause the same symptoms.

You can even have both SIFO and SIBO at the same time.

But here’s the key difference: they require different treatments!

It can be really hard to tell based on symptomatology is you have SIBO, SIFO, or both – but there is testing available, and more importantly: effective treatments for both.

I really believe SIFO is big missing piece of the “why don’t I feel better?” puzzle for many people.

You can learn more and get access to the Speaker Series here.

Don’t Give Up – Ever!

I know how devastating it can be to get test results that don’t match how you feel.

You start to wonder: “Is it actually all just in my head?”

Let me be the one to remind you: no, it’s not just in your head!

SIBO, IBS, leaky gut… these are tricky conditions to diagnose and treat. It’s not “open and shut” cases.

We’re here to support you, provide you with new idea, information, and inspiration, and guide you along in your journey.

Don’t give up,

Shivan

P.S. I’m very proud of what we’ve put together for the 2019 Speaker Series. We have some of the very best SIBO experts in the world sharing the latest information. If you haven’t considered joining the Speaker Series before, NOW is the time to do it. Learn more here.

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Shivan Sarna interviews guest expert, Dr. Tom Messinger on the topic of Candida

Everything from icky oral thrush, to embarrassing vaginal yeast infections, and of course, as a major cause of SIBO… candida is very much the “fungus among us.” It affects millions of people and can cause real havoc on the body, especially in the gut.

Luckily, we have expert candida fighters on our side – like Dr. Tom Messinger.

Dr. Messinger is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor with a unique history. Prior to becoming an ND, he was a Registered Nurse for 23 years, spending most of his career working in inner city Emergency Departments/Trauma Centers. He is founder and Clinic Director of Portland Natural Medicine in SE Portland.

Recently, I was able to speak with him about the pervasive issue of one of SIBO’s main causes: candida.

So, what exactly is Candida?

Simply put, Candida albicans is the most common form of fungal yeast infection in people worldwide – affecting mostly the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, skin, genitalia, and urethra. Its symptoms can range from the annoying to debilitating… everything from itching and pain to filmy white patches and blistering rashes.

When it comes to digestive symptoms, the “usual suspects” of bloating, cramping, constipation, diarrhea and even recurrent sinus problems can signify a candida infection. However, you may experience symptoms with a broad range, which is why candida itself is a tricky character to identify just from symptoms alone.

Risk Factors Leading to Candida Infections

Obviously, bacteria is all around us in the natural world. In our gut, a balance of good bacteria versus bad is what keeps us healthy and our digestive system moving along. However, there are specific links between medications we may take and the creation of a bacterial imbalance in our gastrointestinal tract, leading to candida.

So what are these specific risks?

  • Antibiotics. It’s no surprise that use and indeed, overuse of antibiotics leads to an imbalance of bacteria in our gut. Dr. Messinger points out that even antibiotics prescribed as teenagers for acne can do damage to the microbiome and puts users at risk of major fungal overgrowth.
  • Oral Contraceptives. These medications are a huge risk factor for candida, because the candida organism has estrogen receptors. When you’re taking in estrogen in the form of medicine, it’s going to cause that candida already present in your gut to reproduce and grow.
  • Steroids. While these powerful medicines may be prescribed to help an individual with inflammation, steroids will also increase the risk of candida overgrowth.

Once candida is suspected, Dr. Messinger has a series of preferred tests he will run to pinpoint the problems and address each, one by one.

Candida tests

There are several lab tests that Dr. Messinger recommends for his patients, such as:

  • Testing for IGM, IGG, and IGA antibodies (via a blood test). This is a fairly common test most insurance covers, and is administered through LabCorp. Elevated levels of these particular antibodies signals the presence of candida.
  • Broad stool panel with yeast culture. This test includes a microscopic analysis to identify if any yeast is present.
  • Organic acids test. A bit more uncommon but nonetheless useful. If a patient has an elevated level of ribonolactone in the urine – a metabolite produced by candida – then that signifies overgrowth.  

Not all tests are needed for every patient. It mainly depends on what is required for each situation and the indicators discovered. Sometimes cost is a factor for the patient and this needs to be considered.

Treating Candida the Natural Way

One thing to note about candida – it can be stubborn to treat, and make take nine months to a year to clear. The key to ridding yourself of candida is a competent doctor’s care and consistency.

Dr. Messinger is quite particular about the herbal medicines he likes to use for his SIBO patients, and in a very particular order.

MC-PZ. For days one through four, Dr. Messinger will administer a formula called MC-PZ by Beyond Balance.  It’s a combination herbal that has antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

Because many of his patients are sensitive, Dr. Messinger starts them on a lower dose – one drop twice a day. Then days five through eight will have them rotate to something else.

Oil of oregano. Popular with any functional healthcare providers in the treatment of SIBO, Dr. Messinger next puts his patients on this twice a day. At the same time, he might include a formula called Phytostan by Integrated Therapeutics, one cap three times a day.  

Mycoregen. During days nine through twelve, Dr. Messinger will give his patients a formula called Mycoregen by Beyond Balance. A stronger medicine, he proceeds with caution and starts people out at one drop twice a day. They go through a twelve-day cycle and then repeat it until results can be seen.

Additional formulas may include the antiparasitic artemisinin, Neem Plus by Research Nutritionals, and the candida offerings from Biotrex.

What About Biofilms?

Biofilms are a thin membrane organisms create that functions as a roof-like structure. The biofilms are made up of polysaccharides, lipids and metals that are relatively hard to penetrate.    

To break through the biolfilm barrier, Dr. Messinger has used serrapeptase, which has been helpful to some patients. In addition, Dr. Messinger has experimented with Beyond Balance formulas like BFM-1, which contains a Guggul lipid. Guggul is an ayurvedic herb and it’s good for breaking down these elusive organisms.

In this process, not only is the biofilm being broken up, but the organisms underneath become more accessible to the treatment. That can cause some die off, where the organism is going to produce more toxins, either because it’s being killed off and it breaks apart and releases toxins, or it’s trying to defend itself. The die off process can be uncomfortable, but should subside once the toxins released have been excreted out of the body.

Binders used during the die-off phase can also help – such as chlorella and bentonite clay (use under the care of a competent functional medical professional).

Dr. Messinger has also stated:  

“I want to say one other thing about candida, Shivan.  It is often thought, in the holistic medical field, that in candida overgrowth there is a high probability of heavy metal toxicity.”

So, you’ll want to investigate your level of heavy metal toxicity, too, in partnership with your physician.

What have you done to treat your symptoms that has worked or hasn’t worked?

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Whether you’re already diagnosed or just seeking answers, today I want to give you the ultimate guide to Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). I’m covering all the fundamentals: what SIBO is, the symptoms it causes, and how to find out if you have SIBO…

“Shivan, have you ever heard of something called SIBO?”

I was on the phone, catching up with an old friend.

By that point, I had been struggling with digestive problems for more than 20 years. And as anyone with unexplained digestive problems can tell you, I was desperate to find a cause – and a cure.

After we hung up, I called my gastroenterologist and asked him the same question.

He didn’t know much about it, but agreed to test me for it.

A couple weeks later, the test results were in: negative.

At first, I felt defeated. Another dead end. But I’m not a quitter – persistence is my superpower. So I kept researching and asking questions… and they always led me back to SIBO – small intestine bacterial overgrowth.

I decided to get a second opinion. And that was one of the best decisions I ever made!

I did have SIBO – test results confirmed it. Sadly, I’ve learned this happens all too often: misinformation about SIBO and how to test for it leave millions of people undiagnosed.

Could you be one of them?

What Is SIBO?

SIBO stands for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth.

The name is actually pretty descriptive – even if it’s a mouthful to say. SIBO is when there is too much bacteria in the small intestine (part of our digestive system).

Remember that our digestive system is pretty big – it starts at our mouth, then goes into our esophagus, to our stomach, to the small intestine, and then the large intestine.

Our small intestine is actually longer than the large intestine, and it’s where most of the food we eat is broken down and absorbed.

In a healthy, normal small intestine, there should be almost no bacteria present – instead bacteria belongs in the large intestine. When bacteria gets stuck in the small intestine (or flows back up from the large intestine) SIBO can occur.

It’s actually a simple idea – bacteria grows where it shouldn’t, in the small intestine.

But the why and the results of SIBO are a bit more complicated.

Why Should We Care About SIBO?

20% of the world’s population is thought to have IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

IBS was once believed to be a syndrome  – meaning a group of symptoms like bloating, constipation, and diarrhea – without a known cause or cure.

But now, research shows that the cause of IBS symptoms in as much as 60% of people is actually SIBO.

Think of it like this: if 100 people are in a room, 20 of those people will have IBS.

And 12 of those people will actually have SIBO.

Now imagine that on a worldwide scale! Millions of people have SIBO, are suffering the symptoms of it, and just don’t know it.

SIBO isn’t a “new” disease – it has likely been occurring as long as people have been alive. But the understanding and widespread knowledge of SIBO is new. It was first recognized in the 1960s – but doctors thought it only rarely occurred. Then, in just the last 15 years, numerous studies have shown SIBO to be a root cause of IBS.

SIBO is not a fad or just a theory – it is a well-researched disease that can be treated effectively. Information about SIBO needs to widespread so that millions of people can stop suffering.

Signs & Symptoms of SIBO

The most common symptoms of SIBO are the same ones seen commonly in IBS:

  • Bloating
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea
  • Fatty stools
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Acid reflux
  • Nausea
  • Gastroparesis
  • Dyspepsia
  • Excessive gas (burping and farting)
  • Fatigue
  • Food sensitivities (especially to carbohydrates)
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Leaky gut
  • Anemia

But symptoms directly related to SIBO aren’t the only thing you should be aware of – there are also many other conditions that are linked to SIBO. These are a few of the most common SIBO-related conditions:

  • Rosacea
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Chronic prostatitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Celiac Disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Lyme Disease

What Causes SIBO?

You might be thinking “How could all those different symptoms and diseases be related to SIBO?”

Remember Hippocrates said “All disease begins in the gut?” He wasn’t wrong! The gut is the center of our immune system, and generally when something is wrong in any part of the body, there is also something wrong with gut.

So what causes SIBO to happen? It isn’t a simple answer- in fact, this is a HUGE topic.

Dr. Allison Siebecker says, there are two main categories for causes of SIBO: underlying causes and SIBO risk factors. Underlying causes for SIBO are when the body’s own natural protections against SIBO fail.

Some of the natural protections your body has against SIBO include:

  • Hydrochloric acid produced in the stomach
  • Digestive enzymes produced in the stomach and small intestine
  • Bile from the gallbladder
  • The immune system
  • The migrating motor complex
  • The anatomy of the small intestine

On top of this, there are also risk factors that make you more likely to develop SIBO:

  • Diseases (everything from food poisoning to cancer)
  • Drugs and prescription medications
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Stress
  • Surgery

There is a huge number of possible combinations of underlying causes and risk factors for SIBO – few people have the exact same causes.

Could I Have SIBO?

After learning about SIBO, are you wondering if you could have it?

The most common way to be tested for SIBO is with a breath test. Some doctors also test for SIBO using an endoscopy with a culture or a special type of blood test.

But be aware – there are some tests that don’t accurately diagnose SIBO – most commonly, stool tests. There are no stool tests available that can tell you if you have SIBO.

Breath tests for SIBO are the most common. SIBO breath tests can be ordered by your doctor or practitioner -and in many places, you can find at-home tests you can order yourself or through a practitioner.

The breath tests measure levels of hydrogen and methane gas in your breath – these two gasses are produced by the overgrown bacteria in the small intestine. It’s very important to find a lab or doctor who tests for both methane AND hydrogen gas.

But unlike a simple blood test, breath tests can’t tell you simply whether you do or don’t have SIBO – instead they’ll give you data that has to be interpreted by a healthcare practitioner.

A trained practitioner can look at the levels of methane and hydrogen at different points in the test to understand if you do have SIBO, and what type of SIBO you have – this then leads to finding the right treatment for SIBO.

This is a really important point, because different types of SIBO need different treatments! What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.

I Have SIBO – Now What?

If you think you have SIBO, or you’ve already been diagnosed with SIBO, you’re in the right place!

SIBO is a complicated condition with many causes and even more potential treatments. New research and advances in diagnosing and treating SIBO are being made all the time, too.

Unfortunately, that means that many people waste time with inaccurate, outdated information or the wrong treatment for their SIBO.

We created SIBO SOS™ to fix this problem – our goal is to bring you the most comprehensive, updated information on SIBO testing and treatment so that you can be informed and empowered. We interview SIBO experts and share the information directly with you, patients and practitioners.

If you’re newly diagnosed or still wondering if you could have SIBO, the best place to start is the SIBO Solved Series created by my personal doctor and SIBO expert, Dr. Allison Siebecker (and me, Shivan Sarna as your host)!

In the SIBO Solved Series we cover signs, symptoms, and causes of SIBO – plus go in-depth on testing (including which specific tests to ask for) and then dive deep into treatment – everything from natural to prescription, and dietary options, too.

Get a free video + Symptomatic Relief Guide here and be on your way to recovery from SIBO!

Don’t give up!
Shivan