Having irregularity, bloating, and abdominal pain with no clear diagnosis, is frustrating. Often these nonspecific symptoms are associated with small intestine bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO. As an expert gastroenterologist, S Radi Shamsi, MD, at Los Angeles Gastroenterology Clinic in Santa Monica, California, understands your discomfort. He’ll find just the right treatment for your case of SIBO and help relieve it’s uncomfortable side effects.
Yes. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) usually includes a compilation of gastrointestinal (GI) tract issues that are generally non-specific. For instance, you may have:
Every case is different. You might go through some or all of these symptoms, and some may come and go. As the bacteria continues to grow, it can limit your gut’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from the foods you eat. This can lead to additional problems.
For instance, if you aren’t able to properly absorb vitamin B12, you can wind up with pernicious anemia. This condition impacts your red blood cells and can even leave you with nerve pain if left untreated.
Many men and women who have SIBO respond well to antibiotic treatments. Dr. Shamsi will likely put you on antibiotics for 1-2 weeks. If you don’t respond well to those antibiotics, or if you’re still having symptoms, he can cycle your prescriptions. This means that you’ll take your antibiotics for 1-2 weeks, then have 1-2 weeks off, then repeat as needed for a few cycles.
Dr. Shamsi can also put together a diet plan that includes foods that won’t worsen your symptoms during your treatment. He sometimes suggests a probiotic treatment during or after antibiotics, just to help restore your gut’s natural flora (beneficial digestive bacteria).
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a chronic bowel condition that leaves you with cramping, belly pain, gas, and bloating. Many IBS sufferers deal with irregularity too, including constipation or diarrhea. IBS is sometimes caused by SIBO. While the side effects are undoubtedly uncomfortable — and sometimes embarrassing — SIBO and IBS don’t cause any permanent intestinal damage.
Possibly. SIBO is a unique bowel disorder in that it’s often tied with an underlying gastrointestinal issue. Dr. Shamsi has an extensive background diagnosing and treating multiple intestinal problems, so he’ll work hard to find out what’s related to your case of SIBO. By treating the underlying issue — like if you have IBS — you’ll be less likely to experience issues with SIBO again.