Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Specialists in Gastroenterology

Board Certified Gastroenterologists located in St. Louis, MO

More than two decades ago, the board-certified gastroenterologists at Specialists in Gastroenterology were among the first in their field to identify the relationship between small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Today, SIBO is a common problem that’s now known to affect up to 80% of people with IBS. At their St. Louis, Missouri office, the area’s leading GI experts diagnose SIBO using an advanced lactulose breath test and then manage the condition with a unique combination of highly effective therapies. Book your appointment by phone or schedule your SIBO evaluation online today.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Q & A

What is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth refers to excessive bacteria inside your small intestine, which typically occurs at the same time as troublesome gastrointestinal symptoms. It affects up to 80% of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers. 

SIBO affects many gastrointestinal diseases, including Crohn's disease, celiac disease, chronic pancreatitis, and immune syndromes. The most common cause of SIBO is poor neuromuscular function within your small intestine.

What are the symptoms of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth symptoms commonly include:

  • Bloating after you eat
  • Abdominal cramping or discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Increased gas
  • Bad breath

In quite severe cases, you might also experience unintended weight loss or nutritional disorders. Toxic bacteria in your GI tract can lead to many different symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness/brain fog
  • Depression
  • Restless legs
  • Rosacea
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

If you suspect SIBO or another GI problem, the SIBO center at Specialists in Gastroenterology can help.

How do you diagnose small intestinal bacterial overgrowth?

To diagnose SIBO, Specialists in Gastroenterology uses a simple painless test, the lactulose breath test home test kit. After eating sugar — something the harmful bacteria thrives upon — you collect breath samples. 

Specialists in Gastroenterology processes the samples on-site using a state-of-the-art gas chromatography machine.

How do you treat small intestinal bacterial overgrowth?

Specialists in Gastroenterology was among the first providers in the area to recognize the role that bacterial imbalance plays in irritable bowel syndrome more than 20 years ago. They use their decades of knowledge, experience, and extensive SIBO research to design an ideal treatment plan for you. 

This typically includes traditional antibiotics, alternative medicine, and specific dietary changes. With this balanced approach, you can overcome the uncomfortable IBS symptoms that hold you back from living your best life.

The experts at Specialists in Gastroenterology are widely known as pioneers in SIBO research, diagnosis, and treatment. They presented their first SIBO research in 2006 and continue to lecture, publish in medical journals, and contribute to SIBO books, as well as contributing to newspaper and TV interviews on the subject. 

To learn more about how small intestinal bacterial overgrowth testing and treatment can help with your chronic GI symptoms, call Specialists in Gastroenterology or use online booking to make an appointment today.