SIBO Explained

Greetings. It’s naturopath Eric Bakker from New Zealand, author of Candida Crusher, and also formulator of the Canxida range of dietary supplements. Thanks for checking out my video. I’m going to do some more FAQs. I’m going to do a series of frequently asked questions on SIBO or small intestinal bowel overgrowth.

I get emails all the time from people from many different countries now. In fact, I have patients now in nearly 50 different countries around the world, all on Skype and on Face Time. It’s quite exciting meeting all these new people. It’s amazing the kind of position that I’m in. I really enjoy doing these internet consultations.

I’ve got a question here from a lady in India of all places. Eric, what is SIBO? Can you tell me what SIBO is?

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding SIBO. In fact, I think there are many different types of bacterial overgrowth and we get experts talking about SIBO, but what about LIBO, large intestinal bowel overgrowth. What about stomach bacterial overgrowth? There are overgrowths of bacteria that can live right throughout the digestive system. What about the oral cavity bacteria? Bacteria live all around us, in us, and on us. Bacteria are not necessarily bad.

If we look at the digestive system, it’s basically a 20-foot long tube broken up into various parts. And these parts do different jobs – for want of a better word. If we start with the stomach, we’ve got an area that’s very important, it has a very low pH and an acid forming environment, so it’s involved in taking the food we’re supposed to chew properly and mixing it up with enzymes, take it further down where digestion starts occurring in the small intestine.

The small intestine is a very important part of the digestive system where most of your digestive processes occur. There is also a large part of your immune system that resides in the small intestine, so this is the part that we’re going to talk about. What is SIBO? It’s an overgrowth of bacteria in this small intestinal tract. There are three parts to the small intestine. You’ve got the duodenum, the jejunum, the central part, and the ileum, or the terminal part. All of these parts have varying bacteria in them and varying pH or acidity or alkalinity by which they work depending on many different factors. If we look at the bacterial content of the small bowel compared to the large bowel, it’s quite remarkable. It’s estimated we have around 10,000 to 15,000 bacteria per milliliter, which is only a thousandths of a liter. It’s a very small amount of fluid. We’ve got 10,000 bacteria just in that small amount.

If we look at the large intestine, we’re looking at literally a billion bacteria for the same quantity of digestive juices, so you’ve got way more bacteria in the large intestine. That often is the reason why many people get sick and they get bloating, gas, and lots of digestive problems. Candida can thrive anywhere in the digestive system. Some people tend to have a lot more Candida in the large intestine. Some tend to have it more in certain parts of the small intestine, but the SIBO is a bacterial overgrowth.

Generally, what you’ll find is it’s not one particular species, but it will be several species of similar bacteria that we repeatedly find in people. And this can cause a really big problem with people when they get an overgrowth of these bacteria. Because the bacteria is so important for helping us maintain proper digestion and absorption of the nutrients in the food that we eat. They are also very important for ensuring we have good motility or movement of food and stool through the digestive system. Once we start getting an imbalance, an overgrowth, we start getting all sorts of flow on effects as a result of those processes being disturbed.

And you can see what happens if you’re not breaking down food properly, absorbing, and digesting it, you’re going to get a lot of fatigue. You’re going to get poor growth or recovery, poor recuperation, poor brain function, poor muscle function; lots of things are just not going to work properly. If you get poor motility or what we call peristalsis through the small bowel, you’re going to get a lot of pain, cramping, bloating, and all sorts of weird sensations in the gut. And often they’ll occur here around the belly button region, so SIBO will affect people here. People often say, “I’ve got a problem with my stomach.” People tend to point lower down. SIBO can present itself in many different ways.

But suffice it to say, we need very good bacteria in this area if we want outstanding health. That’s what we’re going to look at with our following videos. We’re going to look at causes of SIBO, symptoms of SIBO, testing for SIBO, all these sorts of things. I just want to explain in this video what SIBO really is. It’s an imbalance or overgrowth of these bacteria.

Thanks for tuning in. Catch up with you in the next video.

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