Digestive issues? You may have SIBO

Gut health info session

If you suffer from chronic gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or other digestive upsets, it may be more than Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It may be SIBO.

Ponoka Health Foods hosted Dr. Shane Johnson ND from Aspire Natural Medicine in Red Deer for an information night on gut health at their store April 17.

Johnson calls IBS a “junk diagnosis” as it basically means a person has a lot of symptoms with no known cause.

There is currently no great treatments or cure for IBS, says Johnson.

There are only drugs which can help control the spasms and “that’s about as good as we get,” he said.

SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.

SIBO happens when healthy bacteria in the large intestine migrate upwards and overpopulate the small intestine, damaging your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

The bacteria produce large amounts of methane and hydrogen gas, which in turn produce many unpleasant symptoms.

Medical conditions related to SIBO include IBS, skin issues such as acne and rosacea, hypothyroidism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, leaky guy, food sensitives or allergies, Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis, Celiac disease and autoimmune disorders.

“To us it’s all about the gut as naturopaths,” said Johnson, adding that 70 per cent of the body’s immune system is in the gut, so if there is a problem with the body, he looks at the gut first.

“Everything, in my opinion, is downstream from the gut.”

Things that slow down the bowels can cause SIBO, such as any surgery in the abdominal area, long-term use of stomach acid blockers, food poisoning or traveller’s diarrhea, or pain medication use that causes constipation.

The only way to properly diagnosis SIBO is with a three-hour home breath test that measure the gases the gut is producing. Stool samples will only indicate issues with the large intestines, not the small intestines, so it is not effective for diagnosing SIBO, says Johnson.

“Any stool test is not going to give you that answer.”

Treatment for SIBO usually includes eradication through antibiotics or herbs, a four-to-six week change in diet, and then a gut healing protocol.

In general, if you have a healthy gut, you will have a normal bowel movement at least once a day.

Ideally, since we eat three times a day, people should have bowel movements three times daily.

“We’ve lowered the bar to one time a day,” said Johnson.

“Anything less than one time a day, regardless of what the conventional world says, I say is not normal.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta confirms 29 new COVID-19 cases

Of the total 6,955 confirmed cases, 652 are active

VIDEO: Tim Hus performs at Ponoka long-term care facilities

Direct Energy pop-up concerts hope to raise spirits

Champion horse gets Hall of Fame nod

Willy from the Donalda Cassidy stable to be part of 2020 Canadian Pro Rodeo HOF inductees

COVID-19 recovered cases continue to rise in Alberta

69 more recoveries Tuesday, bringing the total to 6,048

More hospitals part of plasma transfusion trial to treat COVID-19 with antibodies

More hospitals part of plasma transfusion trial to treat COVID-19 with antibodies

Brazilians say ‘I do’ at drive-thru weddings to avoid virus

Brazilians say ‘I do’ at drive-thru weddings to avoid virus

Cases going down, but experts urge against visiting grandparents during pandemic

Cases going down, but experts urge against visiting grandparents during pandemic

One dead, four hurt in head-on crash on one-way street in Edmonton

One dead, four hurt in head-on crash on one-way street in Edmonton

NDP mocks Alberta premier’s UCP for taking COVID cash from ‘sugar daddy’ Trudeau

NDP mocks Alberta premier’s UCP for taking COVID cash from ‘sugar daddy’ Trudeau

Alberta introduces bill to change rules on charter schools, home-schooling

Alberta introduces bill to change rules on charter schools, home-schooling

Opposition parties call on Liberals to restore human-trafficking victims fund

Opposition parties call on Liberals to restore human-trafficking victims fund

Most Read