The infamous high hydrogen sulphide SIBO condition is thought to be the most notorious of all the SIBO based conditions, mainly because there is no reliable test to measure the extent of hydrogen sulphide producing SIBO present. High hydrogen sulphide can also produce a significant amount of symptoms and cause a major problem with our detoxification system leading to a host of potential health concerns.
Hydrogen sulphide is reported by the Canadian Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) to be very toxic. Where Health Canada reports that although studies of toxicity are lacking, ingestion of hydrogen sulphide can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and is an irritant to mucosal membranes. Although, detoxification systems in the gut are thought to help protect our bodies from hydrogen sulphide, sulphides are very reactive with carbon molecules that are found in amino acids, vitamins, enzymes and other proteins, along with sugars. Hydrogen sulphide gas has a characteristic smell of rotten eggs, which can sometimes make it a detectable odour in feces and human gas, when produced in the large intestine or colon.
The biggest problem with high hydrogen sulphide SIBO, which is by nature occurring in the small intestine, is not only the reactions that hydrogen sulphide has with essential nutrients and enzyme systems as mentioned above, along with its rapid absorption into the body, but is that in people that are “sulphur intolerant” their bodies cannot remove the hydrogen sulphide effectively which can lead to the systemic effects of sulphur toxicity.
More to come on transsulfation and the bacteria that produce hydrogen sulphide … stay tuned for part II