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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)Conditions

Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when an excess of bacteria grows in the small intestine, where they do not belong. Normally confined to the mouth and colon, the bacteria can spread to the small intestine due to certain risk factors.

  • Bloating and excessive often foul-smelling gas
  • Changes in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation)
  • Abdominal discomfort that worsens after eating
  • Nausea and cramping
  • Indigestion

Some patients may experience additional systemic symptoms.

In severe cases, SIBO can disrupt the small intestine's digestion process, impacting nutrient absorption. For instance, Vitamin B-12 may not be adequately absorbed because the bacteria consume this nutrient during their metabolic processes.


SIBO diagnosis involves a non-invasive breath test, which can be conducted at our office or home with our staff's guidance. This simple test requires you to breathe into a series of tubes before and after drinking a sugar solution. If SIBO is present, the excess bacteria metabolize the sugar, releasing detectable hydrogen and methane gases in your breath.

To identify the reasons behind SIBO, your doctor may investigate common underlying factors. These can include celiac disease, reduced stomach acidity due to autoimmune conditions or medication usage, compromised immune function, or issues with intestinal motility, among others.


Your doctor will usually recommend targeted antibiotic treatment to address the bacterial overgrowth and any resulting nutritional deficiencies and underlying causes. Collaborating with our dietitians can help you gradually reintroduce a broader range of foods. Additionally, identifying and treating the underlying cause of SIBO is crucial. Depending on the cause, you might need sequential or combination antibiotic treatments, as SIBO recurrence is common. By addressing the root cause, you enhance the chances of preventing future occurrences.