What is SIBO, and how does it relate to IBS?

SIBO stands for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth.  Many people with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, have an underlying treatable condition called SIBO.  With a special breath test, we can measure the levels of hydrogen and methane gas produced by bacteria in the small intestine.  Normally there are not many bacteria in the small intestine (compared to the colon or large intestine), but when there is an overgrowth, the bacteria ferment carbohydrates into these gasses.   The gas causes the bloating, pain, diarrhea and constipation that IBS sufferers live with.

Using herbal medicines or antibiotics, in addition to dietary changes, reduces the bacteria and therefore the irritation and gas.   No longer is IBS just a condition to manage, but it is a condition to be cured.