About SIBO

SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Westcoast Integrative Health was the first private clinic in Canada to offer client direct SIBO testing using Quintrons Microlyzer DP and now The SIBO Testing and Treatment Clinic is one of the first private clinics in Canada to offer direct to consumer and physician hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide breath testing using Quintron’s Breath Tracker SC equipment.

SIBO is a condition that can wreck havoc on the gastrointestinal system, leading to localized symptoms but the affects of SIBO can also impact our health in other more systemic ways, such as chronic fatigue, muscle aches, fibromyalgia, “brain fog”, breathing disturbances and bad breath, to name a few.

A current comprehensive list of clinically significant signs and symptoms includes;

Check the research link for studies or study abstracts!

Stomach cramps
Heartburn (reflux or GERD)
Abdominal pain
Food sensitivities/allergies
Iron deficiency anemia
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Myalgic Encephalopathy
Joint pain
Fatigue (chronic fatigue syndrome)
Skin rashes
Respiratory symptoms (asthma/COPD)
Hormonal Imbalances
Steatorrhea (fatty stools)
Learning Disorders (Autism and ADHD
Parkinson's Disease and other neurological conditions
“Brain fog”
Worsening or causes of chronic liver disease (cirrhosis)
Autoimmune Hepatitis
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
Potential etiology of some autoimmune diseases
Interstitial Cystitis
Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome or Chronic Prostatitis
Coronary Arterial Disease
Multiple Sclerosis

A current list of the prevalence of SIBO in normal populations and disease states

Reported prevalence of SIBO (references)
Normal populations
Healthy study controls 0–20% [4-12]
Dysmotility/gut wall injury
Coeliac disease 9–67% [13-15]
Connective tissue diseases, e.g. scleroderma 43–55% [16, 17]
Crohn’s disease 25–88% [18-20]
Diabetes mellitus 8–44% [10, 21]
Hypothyroidism 54% [22]
Nonspecific dysmotility 76% [23]
Radiation enteropathy 26% [24]
Ulcerative colitis 81% [25]
Chronic fatigue syndrome 81% [20]
Chronic pancreatitis 34–92% [26, 27]
Drug-induced inhibition of acid secretion 26–75% [4, 23, 28]
End-stage renal failure 36% [29]
Fibromyalgia 93% [20]
Irritable bowel syndrome 4–78% [6, 11, 30-33]
Immunodeficiency syndromes 30–50% [34, 35]
Liver cirrhosis 17–36% [36, 37]
Obesity 17–41% [5, 38]
Parenteral nutrition 70% [39]
Rosacea 46% [40]
Neuromuscular diseases
Muscular dystrophy 65% [41]
Parkinson’s disease 54% [42]
Abdominal surgery 82% [43]
Bilateral truncal vagotomy 93% [44]
Gastrectomy 63–78% [45, 46]
Ileocaecal valve resection 32% [19]
Roux-en-Y reconstruction 86% [47]

Review article: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth – prevalence, clinical features, current and developing diagnostic tests, and treatment; Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Volume 38, Issue 7, pages 674–688, October 2013

Healthy bacteria, when they overgrow, can affect our bodies by producing hydrogen (H+) and methane (CH4) gases. These gases lead to the localized stomach symptoms people experience with SIBO but also cause the systemic symptoms by creating toxicity for the liver, as well as hyperacidity in the body.

High levels of acidity results in localized and systemic low grade or frank metabolic acidosis. This acidity is hypothesized to be the cause of many symptoms people experience.

Causes of SIBO are thought to result from damage to the migrating motor complex in the small intestine. This slower intestinal movement is what results in the bacteria overgrowth. Damage to intestinal peristalsis may often result from a single food poisoning following infection from a number of pathogenic bacteria. Once the complex is damaged it can be very hard to repair but treatment needs to start with removing the overgrowth of bacteria.

Other causes are related to poor digestion, including lack of stomach acid (hypochlorhydria), poor bile secretion or just plain eating to fast and not chewing food properly.

Testing these bacterial gases is a critical step to the diagnosis and treatment of SIBO. Treatment can typically involve a fairly short course of one of several different antibiotics or herbs followed by supporting the motor complex to restore movement of the intestine so the bacteria do not grow back as quickly. Retesting immediately after antibiotics or herbal treatments is also important to make sure the bacteria are gone.

This is where the SIBO Testing Clinic’s abilities work to increase treatment success by providing low cost testing to our clients right in the office or remotely using state of the art testing equipment.