An abbreviation for the Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is SIBO. The symptoms of this condition are bloating, gas, sensation of elevated abdominal pressure and volume, diarrhea, or constipation, stomach cramps/pain, especially after meals. Numerous patients with SIBO have a history of taking many courses of the strong antibiotics, underwent abdominal surgeries, and they typically have fatigue and depression.
Thanks to relatively new diagnostic tests that measure the hydrogen in the exhaled air, SIBO can be more detected now. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is not something new. Hundreds of years’ ago European doctors treated gas, flatulence, stool problems, and pain after overeating. The name of this condition was dyspepsia, which means “bad digestion” in Greek. In the US, this condition is also known as upset stomach or indigestion. Many medical papers that reveal close connection between SIBO, Functional Dyspepsia (FD), and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) have been published for the last decade. Millions of Americans suffer from FD and IBS; take a lot of symptomatic OTC’s or medications. Some of them have a label as psychosomatics and are treated accordingly.
Why does the bacteria reside in the small intestine? In normal condition, the first part of the small intestine – duodenum does not have living organisms. Mother Nature prevents harmful hungry invaders from gobbling our food and nutrients from our foods to starve us. Therefore, the small intestine is designed for digestion and assimilation of foods and not for the living of microorganisms.
The human body has complicated interrelated mechanisms to keep the duodenum almost sterile. The first strong guard of the gastrointestinal tract is stomach acid. Everything we eat moves into the stomach. Our food and water may have some bacteria, yeasts and parasites. High acidity in the stomach kills the microorganisms little can survive in this hostile acidic surroundings. If the production of the stomach acid is suppressed, or a small amount of the gastric acid is manufactured thus bacteria, yeast, viruses, and parasites may slip through into the small intestine causing many digestive problems.
The second guards are the pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile. Half of proteins and carbohydrates from our food and ninety percent of the fats are digested in the small intestine by the pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile. Mix of the pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile process everything that is not belonging to our body including the unwanted visitors such as microbes, yeast, viruses, and parasites. It happens only if the liver and pancreas produce the proper amount and good quality of the alkaline bile and pancreatic digestive enzymes.
Liver and pancreas are alkaline glands, which produce very alkaline pancreatic juice and bile. Alkalinity of these fluids is the core of the proper digestion, contrary, acidity kills the pancreas in many ways. It is known that pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile can work only in alkaline condition. Alkalinity of the pancreatic juice depends upon content of the bicarbonate and minerals inside this fluid and proper slightly alkaline acid-base balance in the blood.
To survive and make our heartbeat, lungs to breath, and brain to think the human body has to maintain constant slightly alkaline pH in the blood. Proper body’s acid-alkaline balance vitally depends upon the minerals and bicarbonate, which we can get mainly from food and water. Unfortunately, the modern populations have an acidic life style. We eat acid-forming foods such as meat, sugar, white flour, and dairy, consume a lot of alcohol, medications, drugs, and keep sedentary life. It causes whole body acidity, called chronic metabolic acidosis. The big sufferers from the chronic metabolic acidosis in the body are alkaline digestive glands such as liver and pancreas. The chronic metabolic acidosis causes biochemical changes in the bile and pancreatic juice; thus antimicrobial actions of the digestive, pancreatic enzymes diminish so the bad bacteria, yeast, parasites can flourish into the duodenum. Due to the low amount and low quality of the acidic bile and pancreatic digestive enzymes, food is not digested, fermented by bad bacteria and yeasts, collected in the small intestine causing gas, gut’s irritation and its porous, inner poisoning and all symptoms of indigestion; dyspepsia.
The third guard of the small intestine is the regular movement inside the small intestine. In a healthy situation, 2.5 quarts of bile, 2.5 quarts of pancreatic juices, 2 quarts of intestinal juice, and drinking water, moves into the small intestine every day. It washes the bacteria, yeasts, and parasites out of the small intestine so they cannot inhabit the gut. Both dehydration and chronic constipation can slow flashing actions of the gut, so there is the possibility for bad bacteria to colonize small intestine.
The fourth guard of the small intestine is the immune system. The healthy immune system destroys the unfriendly microorganisms inside the gut. In the Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth the immune system becomes exhausted causing a lot of allergic reactions’, and food sensitivities’. Whole body acidity, alcohol, smoking, some medications and drugs, diabetes, chemotherapy, AIDS, Candida-yeast overgrowth, etc, devastate and weaken the immune system. A low immune system function leads to bacteria, yeast and parasites taking over the small intestine. Thus, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth occurs.
The fifth, very important guard of the small intestine is friendly intestinal flora such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus that lives in the end of the small intestine close to the large intestine. Friendly intestinal flora suppresses growth of the bad bacteria and yeasts. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth – SIBO happens if the proper balance between the friendly intestinal flora and opportunistic infection is broken.
All factors, which keep the duodenum sterile, are closely interrelated so the healing actions needs to be the focus on all the factors that lead to SIBO.
The common medical approach for microbial overgrow is to kill it by strong antibiotics.
It may provide temporary relieving. “Seek and destroy” is not this case. Killing bacteria in the gut without reestablishment of all the natural ways that control the Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth makes this condition unceasing.
Many nondrug methods of the treatment of the indigestion have developed over time. Nowadays, herbal remedies, healing diet, acupuncture, warm bath, abdominal massage, nutritional supplementation and many cleansing techniques have been successfully used by doctors and health practitioners all over the globe to help people with indigestion. The main goal is to restore the proper work of the largest digestive glands: pancreas and liver.
European doctors have treated patients with dyspepsia, excess gas, regular abdominal bloating, diarrhea or constipation, and abdominal pain for hundreds of years by using drinking healing mineral water. This healing modality is almost unknown in the US.
There are numerous healing mineral spas in Europe. Europeans have healthy vacations there. The famous healing mineral spa is in Karlovy Vary; the small town in the Czech Republic. From the 18th century, drinking water from the spring, or drinking water that was prepared from the genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt alleviated symptoms of indigestion. Karlovy Vary healing mineral water has the solid scientific and evidence based backup for its effectiveness and safety.
European doctors found that Karlovy Vary healing mineral water boosts producing and elimination of the bile, increases amount, enhances activity of the pancreatic digestive enzymes, and makes these fluids to be alkaline. This water hydrates the body, repairs damages of the GI tract, alleviates the chronic constipation, and promotes the growth of the friendly intestinal flora.
All these actions can restore the correct mechanisms to remain the small intestine clean from the bad bacteria, yeast, and parasites. Drinking water that’s prepared from genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt can be beneficial in treating SIBO, which typically accompanies chronic pancreatitis, sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, indigestion after the gallbladder removal, after the upper part of the abdomen surgeries including bariatric surgery (weight-loss surgery), and dyspepsia after multiple courses of the antibiotics, steroids, and chemotherapy.
Restoration of proper balance of the friendly intestinal flora is critical for healing SIBO.
In case of SIBO, recommendation to drink yogurt or take probiotics does not have practical sense. At that time, the bad bacteria, yeast, and parasites occupied the gut’s walls. If the parking lot is full by “bad guys”, who do not want to go out, just tow away can help.
Some cleansing techniques such as drinking the healing mineral water that prepared from the genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt, colon hydrotherapy, healing diet, cleansing herbs, and intensive consumption of the human strains, living probiotics can help to restore proper, natural balance of the friendly intestinal flora. It is a process without counting on the “quick fix”, and it has to be done under the supervision of knowledgeable professionals’.
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.
Source by Peter Melamed Ph.D.