76: What’s causing your IBS — is it SIBO?

Got gut issues and PCOS?

PCOS and IBS are similar in that IBS is not a single disease with a single cause. Rather, it’s a syndrome — a collection of signs and symptoms — that has multiple possible causes.

Maybe you’ve been tested for coeliac – negative. You’ve done low FODMAP – it didn’t work. You’ve tried cutting various things out – no real change in your symptoms. You’ve done a colonoscopy and/or gastroscopy and they said everything looks spic and span, no sign of IBD, polyps or anything sinister like cancer.

Your doctor has taken all of this info and thought, “well looks like it’s just IBS”.

And that’s kind of where they leave you to figure it out. But the only real treatments they suggest are that low FODMAP diet (which you may have already done) and reducing stress (which you’re already doing), so you’re kind of at a dead end with what to do next. I hear you! It’s a common issue – some of my patients and staff have been where you are!

What your doctor might not have told you about (because they may not know enough about it / have the time to explain it all) is something called SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). This could be what’s causing those IBS symptoms for you.

It’s pretty much the presence of excessive bacteria in the small intestine – it shouldn’t live there and ends up giving you nasty symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, abdominal distention, constipation and/or diarrhea, gas (ie burping and farting), fatigue, brain fog, muscle aches / pain / weakness, halitosis (bad breath), B12 deficiency and in some more advanced cases, it can impact your absorption — leading to nutrient deficiencies.

Because SIBO is a concern I see coming up more and more

in patients, those around me and in my DMs too, I thought it was about time I did a podcast talking all about it so you can learn a bit more about it!

I’m going to talk about everything you need to know about SIBO in today’s episode. If you’ve been dealing with IBS symptoms and not been getting anywhere, this is one you’ll definitely want to plug in and listen to! 

This episode is for you if:

  • You’ve been diagnosed with IBS
  • Everything you eat makes your stomach hurt
  • You have another condition – ie. crohn’s, UC, thyroid issues
  • Your nutrient levels are low
  • You can’t pinpoint trigger foods that set your gut off
  • You’re always tired
  • You deal with constipation or diarrhoea
  • Your stools consistency and frequency changes regularly
  • You never feel like you’ve fully evacuated your bowel
  • Standard IBS treatments like low FODMAP haven’t made a huge impact on your gut symptoms
  • You take medications regularly

Some things we cover in this episode:

  • What SIBO actually is
  • How many people have it
  • Why it’s a large contributor to IBS
  • What causes SIBO
  • SIBO symptoms
  • What damage does it do (other than IBS)?
  • How to diagnose and treat 
  • Stress, SIBO and IBS

Resources and References: