Lately, I’ve had candida on my mind.
Treating my own fungal overgrowth was a major turning point in my own health.
See, I didn’t realize SIFO could cause the SAME symptoms as SIBO…. I was just looking for the typical candida symptoms (like white tongue and sugar cravings).
But I’m getting ahead of myself now. Let’s go back to the beginning and walk through SIFO one step at a time.
SIFO: Small Intestine Fungal Overgrowth
SIFO stands for Small Intestine Fungal Overgrowth.
Just like with Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), SIFO happens when fungal organisms overgrow in the small intestine.
SIFO = Candida
Most SIFO is caused by an overgrowth of the Candida albicans.
It’s 100% normal to have Candida in your body. It should be living in and on your skin and mucous membranes.
But sometimes, the Candida overgrows and gets out of control (we’ll talk about why in just a minute).
SIFO Symptoms Mimic SIBO Symptoms
The most important thing SIBO patients need to know is that they might also have SIFO.
According to Dr. Ami Kapadia, MD, it’s basically impossible to tell the difference between SIBO and SIFO based on symptoms alone.
Bloating, food intolerances, pain – they can all be caused by SIFO and SIBO – alongside symptoms outside the digestive tract (like brain fog).
This can explain why your symptoms stick around even after you’ve successfully treated SIBO – it could be SIFO sneaking up on you.
Risk Factors For SIFO
Here’s what’s even more tricky: SIBO and SIFO also have many of the SAME risk factors.
Here’s what puts you at increased risk of SIFO:
- Motility disorders (gastroparesis, Migrating Motor Complex dysfunction)
- Acid suppressing drugs (like proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers)
- Pancreatic enzyme deficiency
- Antibiotic use
- Prior GI surgeries (especially colectomy)
- Current use of opioids
What To Do If You Suspect SIFO
If you have SIBO (now or in the past), you should be thinking about SIFO, too.
Check out our masterclass SIBO, SIFO, Candida, and Co-Conditions Every Patient Should Know About with Dr. Satish Rao and Is SIFO (Small Intestine Fungal Overgrowth) Complicating Your SIBO Diagnosis with Dr. Ami Kapadia, MD. You’ll find all of the most important information about SIFO, how to get tested, and effective treatments.