Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • September 2017
Written by 

What is SIBO?

Do you feel you have excessive bloating and maybe feel as though you need to wear a different pants size by the end of the day due to the bloating? Do you look like you are 6 months pregnant but are not? Do you have nutritional deficiencies in vitamin D and ferritin (iron storage) and have not been able to figure out why? Do you have seemingly excessive food sensitivities? Have you tried a probiotic and it seems to make your belly worse? Perhaps you might want to consider testing for SIBO. SIBO stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

This condition oftentimes presents as bloating after eating, in particular carbs, starchy foods and fiber. SIBO can account for up to 60 percent of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Some people with SIBO experience constipation while others will experience diarrhea, and some alternate between the two. With SIBO, bacteria from the large intestine back up into the small intestine where one usually doesn’t find large numbers of bacteria. These bacteria now in the small intestines, feed off of carbohydrates in your diet and ferment, giving off gas including methane, hydrogen and other gasses thus distending your belly and making you uncomfortable. A trigger for SIBO can be food poisoning, which harms the natural movement in the gut. 

The test for SIBO is a breath test collected at home six different times during the day over a three-hour period and then sent to the lab for analysis after drinking a solution of lactulose (a synthetic sugar). The lab will measure levels of both hydrogen and methane after this lactulose challenge. If excessive gas levels are demonstrated, your functional medicine practitioner can help you decide which treatment is appropriate for you to decrease intestinal gas. One can choose an herbal antibiotic, a traditional antibiotic, an elemental diet or a specific SIBO diet to decrease gas and bloating. Retesting is important to ensure the treatment is helping. Some people respond better to traditional treatment, while others fare better with a nutritional approach. 

After treating for SIBO, a low carbohydrate diet is often advised so the fermenting and bloating does not return. During treatment, there are certain exercises the patient performs to help the nervous system perform better.

If bloating is an issue for you, consider investigating SIBO. 


Dr. Amy Nussbaum Schubbe

Dr. Amy Nussbaum Schubbe is a board-certified chiropractor who has been helping families achieve better health for 25 years. She is certified in functional medicine, nutritional counseling and is a certified gluten practitioner. She is on the Fox Valley Celiac Board and counsels newly diagnosed Celiac and gluten sensitive patients. She also has additional training from the Hashimoto Institute.Her office is located at Nussbaum Chiropractic, 873 N. Casaloma Drive in Appleton. Call 920-734-2400 to get started on a better path to health!

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