The gut is beyond overlooked – and yet, arguably one of the most important aspects of the body.
Your gut alone can regulate and control your weight, hormones, bloating, digestion, immunity, skin health, mental health, and so much.
But very rarely do we ever, as a society, have a conversation about it.
This is why I call it one of the all time greatest kept secrets – and unveiling it can truly change your body in so many amazing ways.
So let’s jump to it!
SIBO: What Is It?
The digestive system is made up of a series of multiple organs that work together to orchestrate the incredible process that is digestion and nutrient absorption.
Working to break down foods is crucial, but absorbing the nutrients from the foods is what gives us our energy – and all of this starts in the small intestine.
The small intestine is able to do this by the bacterial strands that make up the inner linings.
See, the entire gut (stomach, small intestine, and large intestine) are made up of trillions of strains of bacteria.
This bacteria can come from good sources (probiotics, healthy foods) or inflammatory sources (antibiotics, unhealthy foods, poor diet, stress).
If too much of the unhealthy strains of bacteria accumulate within this realm of the digestive system, then SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) may result.
SIBO: Signs + Symptoms
There are multiple different warning signs that could alert you that you have SIBO.
This is because of the vast amount of impact the gut has on the body.
Chronic illness, autoimmune disease, and ongoing symptoms are likely the greatest realms of concern.
These are not limited to, but include…
- Abdominal cramping
- Constipation, Diarrhea
- Leaky Gut
- Food intolerances
- Mineral/Vitamin Deficiencies
- Skin breakouts, rashes, rosacea
- Fat malabsorption
- Chronic illness
- Changes in bowel movements
- Weight loss/ Weight gain
- Joint Pain
- Brain fog
- Mental health fluctuations
This doesn’t mean you have all of these because our bodies all handle these reactions in different ways.
For me, it was food intolerances, bloating, and skin rashes.
Do you have some that seem to speak to you?
What Causes SIBO?
While we know that SIBO is an overgrowth of the bad bacteria within the small intestine, let’s get to the true root of the cause.
One of the most common causes are the typical Westernized diet.
Fast, fatty, processed foods are really hard on our gut.
This can also be due to a high intake in added sugars and refined carbohydrates, which bring the unhealthy bacteria to the party.
SIBO can also be caused by medications such as antibiotics, steroids, and acid blocking over the counters.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take these medications, but rather be aware of taking the time to give the gut a little love when you are done taking them.
The last occurrence could be due to a disturbance in nerve and muscle workings, or even physical disturbances, in the digestive tract.
This would prevent the small intestine from being able to accelerate the food to the colon, and then it would stay stuck.
4 Ways to Test SIBO
If you are still with me, then likely something resonated with you.
So now, what? How does one ACTUALLY know for sure?
Well, there are four core ways…
1. Comprehensive Stool Test
This test can be conducted by your doctor in order to view the levels of bacteria in your stool.
This primarily examines the flora of the large intestines, and can check for multiple gut infections/irritations all at the same time.
Our stool is truly the guide to how healthy we are inside, and check HERE for more info so you can self assess before you test!
2. Breath Test
There are two different types of SIBO – hydrogen or methane based, meaning which gas is accumulating due to digestive disturbances.
By taking a registered SIBO breath test, you measure the levels of each gas present.
This does require some tedious fasting, and a strict procedure to follow – but the results have been phenomenal!
3. Urine (Organix Dysbiosis) Test
This test is exactly what you would expect it to be.
They take a urine sample and measure the presence of bacteria and yeast. If the levels are high, one can then be diagnosed with SIBO.
4. Checklist Overview
Sharing your experiences and warning signs with your medical practitioner can typically lead to a solid diagnosis.
Despite the symptoms being broad, if they are consistent with lifestyle factors, food intolerances, weight changes, etc. they are likely able to make the conclusion – especially if you see a gastroenterologist.
2 Step Process to Healing Your Gut!
Healing your gut is a practice that requires patience, and knowing the right practices.
You know the term “work smarter, not harder?”
Well, this is a great example. If you are looking for an all inclusive guide, I would see if The Healthy Gut: Full Program! feels suitable for you.
This resource is designed with these two steps in mind…
1. Starve the Unhealthy Bacteria
Like craves like, and good bacteria will always crave good bacteria. Same how the bad bacteria will always make you crave the foods that have the unhealthy bacteria. This requires restructuring your diet and focusing on anti inflammatory, healing foods.
2. Restore the Gut
While removing triggering bacteria will help, it will ultimately not help heal everything. This is where focusing on the right supplement, the correct foods, and the proper practices will support a strong, thriving gut.
If you are interested in learning even more about the gut, you are in the right place! I highly recommend checking out the Ultimate Gut Health Guide: How to Improve Gut Health Instantly!