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What Causes SIBO
What Causes SIBO
What is SIBO? What causes SIBO? How to treat SIBO? | Atrantil

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth—SIBO—is a condition where large amounts of bacteria are present in the small bowel. These bacteria are the types that are typically found in the colon. The small bowel is meant to be a nearly sterile environment, so these bacteria can be very destructive to your digestive health and well-being.


What is SIBO? What causes SIBO? How to treat SIBO? | Atrantil

Typically the small bowel receives food in a liquid state from the stomach, absorbs nutrients from it and then passes the remaining indigestible food into the colon. The colon then absorbs the water from the food and excretes the refuse in a more solid state. However, when a trigger event occurs, the normal function of the small bowel becomes compromised. Something as simple as a reaction to antibiotics or a type of food you eat can trigger this change in the small bowel. When this occurs it can transform the small bowel from a nearly sterile environment to one that harbors harmful bacteria, which is the cause of SIBO.

Who’s at risk for SIBO?

Any illness or disease that affects the body’s defense mechanisms puts a person at risk for SIBO, but the majority of people develop SIBO because of an intestinal motility issue. The body has many mechanisms to control bacteria in the small bowel (e.g., stomach acid) and regulate the motility of the small bowel. However, either a slowing of the motility of the small bowel or an illness can compromise the effectiveness of these protective mechanisms. Some of the more common risk factors for SIBO are:

  • Emotional or physical stress
  • Irritable bowel syndrome—IBS—which could be a manifestation of SIBO itself
  • Celiac disease
  • Bowel surgery
  • Decreased levels of gastric or stomach acid
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Colitis
What is SIBO? What causes SIBO? How to treat SIBO? | Atrantil