If you suffer from excessive gas, constant bloating, abdominal distension, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and/or you possible took many courses of the antibiotics, and you are weak and depressed, you have symptoms of the SIBO.
SIBO is an acronym for the Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. The small intestine in adults is a long and narrow tube chamber connects the stomach to the colon. It is considered that the human small intestine is ten times longer than the length of the body.
The digestion process mainly occurs in the small intestine. Ninety percent of the fats, fifty percent of the proteins and carbohydrates split up by pancreatic digestive enzymes on tiny molecules, which can go through the small intestine’s wall into the system so the human organism can use them for energy, building its own cells and system, and for life support.
Normally, there is low amount of the microorganisms in the small intestine. Otherwise, harmful hungry invaders would eat our food and constituents in the food that keep a human body healthy and starve us. The human organism has a many-level complicated system to keep the beginning of the small intestine -duodenum almost sterile.
1. All bacteria, yeasts and parasites, which we can obtain from food and water, move to the stomach. There we have the first strong guard of the GI tract. Gastric acid destroys many of the microorganisms. High acidity in the stomach kills the microorganisms; little can survive passage through this hostile milieu. On the other hand, bacteria, yeast, and parasites may pass through, flourish, and cause many health troubles, especially, if the stomach acid is suppressed, or low amount of the gastric acid is produced.
2. Some of the bacteria, yeasts, and parasites, which survive in the stomach, travel into the duodenum – the beginning of the small intestine. When the acidic, semi digested foods escape from the stomach into the duodenum, a flow of bile forces from the gallbladder, while the pancreas releases lots of pancreatic juice at the same time, which are extremely alkaline in nature. Severe alkaline condition kills microorganisms. Normally, pancreatic juice has very strong antimicrobial activity thus the pancreatic digestive enzymes digest the unwanted visitors such as microbes, yeast, viruses, and parasites. Antimicrobial pancreatic juice makes the milieu inside the small intestine clear from the microbes and yeast. Pancreatic juice loses its antimicrobial actions when it instead of be alkaline, is getting acidic. Whole body acidity, pancreatitis, liver, and gallbladder disorders, Candida-yeast overgrowth, alcoholism decrease the activity of the digestive pancreatic enzymes so the bad bacteria can thrive into the duodenum.
3. In healthy conditions, there is no chance for microorganisms to survive in the small intestine. 2.5 quarts of bile and pancreatic juice, in addition about 2 quarts (1.8 liters) of intestinal juice are released into the small intestine daily. This “river” flashes the bacteria, yeasts, and parasites out of the small intestine so they cannot colonize the gut. To keep this mechanism the body needs to be well hydrated. Chronic constipation usually shows that flashing activity of the gut is low and there is environment for bad bacteria to multiply.
4. In every meal, new groups of foreign invaders come into the small intestine making the immune system “fight” with them. The healthy immune system fights and kills the unfriendly microorganisms inside the small intestine. If too much of the microbes, yeast, viruses, and parasites are inside the gut the immune system becomes exhausted. Bad diet, whole body acidity, food allergy, some medications and drugs, alcohol and smoking, diabetes, chemotherapy, AIDS, Candida-yeast overgrowth, etc, make the immune system overwhelmed and weak. If the resistance is getting low, bad bacteria, yeast and parasites take over the small intestine leading to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.
5. Another guard of the small intestine is friendly intestinal flora such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus that resides in the end of the small intestine, close to the colon. Friendly intestinal flora competes with bad bacteria and it does not allow them to grow. If the gentle balance between the friendly bacteria and bad bacteria, yeast and parasites is broken, many diseases occur.
It can be easy to understand now various reasons that lead to Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth – SIBO. If the stomach acidity is lessened, the exocrine pancreatic function and antibacterial action of pancreatic juice is low, there is chronic constipation, the ileocecal valve opens, our immune system is exhausted and weak, or the friendly intestinal flora is killed, then the small intestine receives the harbor of microbes, viruses, yeast, and parasites. All these factors are interrelated so the healing action has to be focus on all of them.
All “eradication”, “killing”, and “eliminating” can give temporary relieving. “Seek and Destroy” is not for this case. We can kill bacteria in the gut, but without restoring the natural ways to control the Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth; this condition will be chronic and chronic.
In almost all digestive disorders, pancreatic function is diminished. Low amount and quality of the digestive pancreatic enzymes lead to indigestion. Non digested foods, which accumulate in the gut, are fermented by bacteria and yeast with producing a lot of the gases such as hydrogen and methane. Thanks to new technology (hydrogen breath test), doctors got more information about SIBO. SIBO is relatively new diagnose but is not new condition.
European doctors have treated patients with excess gas, constant abdominal bloating and distension, diarrhea or constipation, and abdominal pain for the thousands of years. These symptoms are symptoms of the Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. They called this condition as dyspepsia (from the Greek dys and pepsis “digestion”), also known as upset stomach or indigestion. Many non-drug methods of the treatment indigestion have developed for this time such as herbal remedies, healing diet, acupuncture, warm bath, abdominal massage, mineral supplementation, etc.
European doctors widely used from 18th century drinking healing mineral water for dyspepsia. Most popular and scientific researched is mineral water from thermal spring from Karlovy Vary; the small town in the Czech Republic. Drinking water from the spring, or drinking the water that prepared from the genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt alleviate symptoms of indigestion. It is hard to imagine that the first medical book about Karlovy Vary healing mineral water was written in 1522. After that, European doctors published many books and articles to prove the healing actions of this water. Some of these actions are:
• Normalizing acid-alkaline balance, decrease acidity of the bile and pancreatic juice
• Increasing producing and elimination of the bile
• Increasing amount and enhancing activity of the pancreatic digestive enzymes
• Repairing the damaged gut’s walls
• Normalizing the work of the sphincter of Oddi; the valve between bile and pancreatic ducts and duodenum
• Hydration the body
• Alleviating the chronic constipation
• Promoting the growth of the friendly intestinal flora
All these actions can promote the good digestion and can restore the proper mechanisms to keep the small intestine clean from bad bacteria, yeast, and parasites. Drinking water that prepared from genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt can be beneficial in all cases of the Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, which accompany chronic pancreatitis, sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, gallbladder removal, surgeries on the upper part of the abdomen including bariatric surgery (weight-loss surgery), and multiple courses of the antibiotics, steroids, and chemotherapy.
Restoration of the proper balance between friendly intestinal flora and bad bacteria and yeasts is crucial for healing SIBO. To make an analogy, it is difficult to grow roses in the garden that is full of weeds, toxic chemicals, bugs, and rodents, in the garden without good soil and proper supply of the water and nutrients. Common sense, clinical observations, and medical researches tell us that instead of focusing only on destroying the infections, it is necessary also to re-establish all possible mechanisms that naturally control the growth of opportunistic infections in the gut, especially, restore the friendly intestinal flora. Whole body cleansing with colon hydrotherapy, healing diet, herbs, and restoration of the friendly intestinal flora by living probiotics is a good first step to recovery from the SIBO. It is critical to work with a knowledgeable, licensed medical provider.
The information on this article is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, and advice of a qualified licensed professional.