Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Facts
- SIBO is a condition in which colonic-type bacteria
(resembling bacteria normally found in the colon) proliferate in large numbers
in the small intestine.
- SIBO may be caused by dysfunction of intestinal nerves or
muscles, intestinal obstruction, or the presence of a blind loop.
- The symptoms of SIBO are:
- SIBO is diagnosed by culturing intestinal fluid or
with hydrogen breath testing.
- SIBO may be the cause of symptoms in at least some
irritable bowel syndrome
- SIBO is treated with antibiotics, probiotics, or a combination of
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Introduction
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) refers to a condition in which abnormally large numbers of bacteria (usually defined as at least 100,000 bacteria per ml of fluid) are present in the small intestine and the types of bacteria in the small intestine resemble more the bacteria of the colon than the small intestine. There are many conditions associated with SIBO including
scleroderma, Crohn's disease, and others. There is a striking similarity between the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
(IBS) and SIBO. It has been theorized that SIBO may be responsible for the symptoms of at least some
people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.
What is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?
The small bowel, also known as the small intestine, is the
part of the gastrointestinal tract that connects the stomach with the colon. The
main purpose of the small intestine is to digest and absorb food into the body.
The small intestine is approximately 21 feet in length and begins at the duodenum (into
which food from the stomach empties), followed by the jejunum, and then the
ileum (which empties the food that has not been digested
and absorbed in the small intestine into the large
intestine or colon).
The entire gastrointestinal tract, including the small
intestine, normally contains bacteria. The number of bacteria is greatest in the
colon (usually defined as at least 1,000,000,000 bacteria per milliliter (ml) of fluid) and much
lower in the small intestine (less than 10,000 bacteria per ml of fluid). Moreover,
the types of bacteria within the small intestine are different than the types of
bacteria within the colon. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) refers
to a condition in
which abnormally large numbers of bacteria (usually defined as at least 100,000 bacteria per ml of
fluid) are present in the small intestine and the types of bacteria in the small
intestine resemble more the bacteria of the colon than the small intestine. It
has been suggested, however, that SIBO and its symptoms may occur with smaller
numbers of bacteria, for example, 10,000 per ml of fluid.
SIBO also is known as small bowel
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/10/2014
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