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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 CAUSES SIBO?
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
There are two tests used to diagnose SIBO – the endoscopy with culture and the hydrogen breath test. The gold standard is the invasive endoscopy with culture test, since it allows us to prove bacteria are growing. However, the culture test is arduous and difficult to perform. A more common test is the hydrogen breath test. It involves drinking a sugar solution and measuring hydrogen gas to see if bacteria are digesting the sugar. The hydrogen breath test is the most popular, but studies have cast doubt on the test’s reliability and reported a wide range of sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing SIBO.
Die-off is an accepted nickname for the period when toxins from dying pathogens (e.g., bacteria) are being released all at once as they die. During this period, you may experience temporary discomfort. Some of the common symptoms include mild fatigue, muscle aches or a low-grade fever. Not everyone will experience a die-off reaction when taking Atrantíl. For people who do, it’s a short event and an indication that Atrantíl is working.
Atrantíl provides relief for occasional and frequent sufferers of SIBO and bloating and abdominal discomfort accompanied by constipation, diarrhea or both.