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Publication Date

11-20-2015

Keywords

small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, irritable bowel syndrome, IBS

Honors and Awards

2015 JPCRR Article of the Year

Abstract

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition of increased microbial load in the small intestine. The microbes feed on dietary carbohydrates and starches via fermentation, leading to gas production, inflammation and damage to the lining of the small intestine. Clinical presentation is varied, including abdominal pain, bloating, malabsorption and systemic symptoms. SIBO is associated with many challenging and chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and chronic pain syndromes, and has been shown to be a causative factor in two out of three cases of irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms improve with antimicrobial treatment, but recurrence is common. Many providers may not be aware of SIBO. This narrative review highlights a clinical case and the most recent literature regarding SIBO, including history, clinical presentation, prevalence, pathophysiology, diagnostic workup, treatment and prevention. Integrative medicine approaches, including diet, supplements and manual therapies, are also reviewed. SIBO can be a challenging condition and requires an integrative, patient-centered approach. Further studies are needed to guide clinicians in the workup and treatment of SIBO.

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