Do you regularly experience stomach pains, bloating, cramps, indigestion, and bowel problems? Don’t ignore your symptoms – you may be suffering from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a relatively common condition that can wreak havoc with the digestive system.
Unfortunately, SIBO tends to be underdiagnosed and is sometimes confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, by booking yourself an appointment with a SIBO specialist, you can get one step closer to uncovering the root cause of your symptoms and coming up with a treatment plan that works.
To help you get started on the journey to gut health, we’ve put together some top tips for understanding SIBO and finding a practitioner who can support you.
What is SIBO and why haven’t I heard of it before?
SIBO develops when the bacterial population in a person’s small intestine grows to abnormal levels. Also known as blind loop syndrome, SIBO tends to develop when food and waste products cannot pass through the body quickly enough, encouraging the growth of bacteria. These bacteria are responsible for a host of unpleasant symptoms including nausea, bloating, malnutrition, unintentional weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.
There are many potential reasons why the digestive system could slow down, including post-surgery complications, intestinal injury, and a range of diseases including Crohn’s disease, scleroderma, diabetes, diverticulosis, and intestinal lymphoma. Sometimes, the cause of SIBO is unclear.
If you haven’t heard of SIBO, it is because the condition is often overlooked within the medical community. Despite this, it appears to be a common problem. Current estimates suggest that between 30% and 80% of IBS sufferers also have SIBO.
So, what should you do if you have SIBO symptoms? First things first, you will need to undergo a breath test. This is a noninvasive procedure that will determine whether you have excess amounts of hydrogen and methane in the body. It can be carried out at home or by a SIBO practitioner or doctor.
Why should I seek help from a SIBO specialist near me?
It is important to find a SIBO specialist if you want to benefit from a bespoke treatment plan that works for you, particularly if your symptoms have been dismissed by a general practitioner. SIBO is still considered very rare by many medical professionals, and you are more likely to receive informed treatment from a SIBO specialist or SIBO naturopath.
It is also important to note that the gut’s microbiome is sensitive and ever-changing, meaning SIBO sufferers often need help adjusting their treatment plan in line with their body’s demands. SIBO practitioners are essentially master problem-solvers, working with their clients in the long term to help heal a very complex condition.
Rest assured that a specialist will keep up-to-speed with cutting-edge gut science in a way that your general practitioner doesn’t have time for. With support from a SIBO practitioner, your quality of life will slowly improve naturally and gently.
To find a SIBO specialist you can trust, head to the Casa de Sante Marketplace. Our comprehensive platform allows you to book sessions with some of the best-rated gut health specialists from around the world. Our listings are also very easy to navigate thanks to our filters which allow you to search by location, listing type, area of expertise, price, and mode of consultation delivery.
What treatments can a doctor, SIBO practitioner, or SIBO naturopath offer?
The first step in treating SIBO involves getting your excess gut bacteria under control. This is usually done with a course of antibiotics that a doctor or SIBO specialist can prescribe.
Of course, while antibiotics will provide short-term relief, they will not address the underlying causes of SIBO. If your SIBO is determined to be a result of a disease or injury, you may receive medical treatment to address this. However, for many patients, one of the best ways to prevent a recurrence of symptoms is to make significant diet adjustments.
A SIBO naturopath or practitioner will be able to draw up a comprehensive diet plan that works for you. Everyone who suffers from SIBO is different, and the gut’s microbiome is notoriously unpredictable. However, potential treatment plans may include:
- Adding nutritional supplements to the diet such as calcium, iron, and vitamin B-12
- Cutting out lactose
- Eating a more balanced and nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables
- Eating smaller meals
- Cutting out gluten
- Adding probiotics to the diet
- Following a short-term elemental diet
A SIBO naturopath will be able to come up with the best combination of diet alterations to suit your body.
Where can I find online SIBO practitioners?
Although some patients prefer face-to-face consultations with their practitioner, the physical pain that often accompanies SIBO mean many prefer online appointments. Why risk making your symptoms worse by trekking across town and sitting in a waiting room? What’s more, online appointments are simply more practical if you do not live close to a reliable SIBO practitioner.
Online SIBO appointments work in much the same way as face-to-face consultations. You will be offered the option of video conferencing or telephoning an expert who will send a SIBO testing kit if necessary. They will receive the results and offer follow-up appointments to discuss your options. Many online SIBO naturopaths and expert will also deliver recommended supplements directly to your address.
If you’re keen to browse online SIBO practitioners, there are several options open to you, including:
- Google search: Google is an obvious place to start for those new to the world of SIBO, as there are plenty of online SIBO practitioners out there advertising their services. It is worth noting, however, that it can be difficult to assess how reliable specialists are when using a search engine.
- Social media: There are many SIBO support groups online that may point you in the direction of a decent specialist.
- Word-of-mouth: If you have a friend with SIBO, ask them for some recommendations!
- The Casa de Sante Marketplace: For the most comprehensive and reliable list of practitioners in your area, we recommend using Casa de Sante. It won’t let you down!
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re experiencing gut problems, find a SIBO specialist today.