SIBO Testing in 2022: 3 Techniques Naturopathic Doctors Use

If you’ve been feeling bloated, lethargic or experience GI tract irritation such as constipation or diarrhea, you could have SIBO. 

The condition is uncomfortable and it can have an impact on your self confidence, day to day activities and even the foods you eat. 

Rest assured that you are not alone in your symptoms, and there are several different naturopathic ways to treat SIBO. 

The first step to getting treatment is proper diagnosis. I am excited to share with you three methods – 1 that’s proven and reliable, and 2 which offer unprecedented precision – of SIBO testing that I use at my naturopathic clinic to help with accurate diagnostics.

What Is SIBO? 

SIBO, or small intestine bacterial overgrowth is more common than you may think. It happens when there is an imbalance of bacteria and other microorganisms in your GI tract. 

I wrote a previous in-depth article about the causes of SIBO if you are interested in really diving into the details. 

What Causes SIBO?

Patients who already suffer from conditions such as IBS are more likely to get SIBO.

The condition can occur after severe illness, during pregnancy with hormonal fluctuations, or as a result of certain diets and malnutrition. 

SIBO happens when the gut microbiome is out of balance and there is an overgrowth of unwanted bacteria in the small intestine as a result. 

There are a variety of naturopathic treatments for SIBO, and new ways to diagnose the condition faster in order to treat symptoms sooner for patients suffering from this condition. 

SIBO Symptoms 

SIBO symptoms often appear as GI tract discomfort. Depending on the severity of your case, you may experience all or some of the following symptoms: 

  • Bloating 
  • Fatigue 
  • Excess gas 
  • Constipation 
  • Diarrea 
  • Abdominal pain and cramping 
  • Heartburn 
  • Anemia 
  • Indigestion 
  • Food sensitivity 

Treatment for SIBO

I have treated many patients successfully and I want to share the latest treatment information which is being widely used in the naturopathic community. 

Treatment normally consists of a breath test, but in 2022 we now offer two additional tests to identify tougher cases of SIBO. 

SIBO Breath Test 

The SIBO breath test is one of the most common ways to diagnose the illness. 

This test is used to determine if you have excess bacterial overgrowth in your GI tract and it works by testing for the presence of methane or hydrogen gas in your breath. 

These gasses are released by strains of bacteria that cause SIBO symptoms and they are present in your breath when you have an active SIBO infection. 

At my clinic I offer breath testing for SIBO. It is one of the fastest ways to identify the cause of your symptoms. 

The Hydrogen Sulfide Test

The hydrogen sulfide test also checks for the presence of chemicals in your breath. I often use this test for more difficult cases of SIBO. 

To date, we’ve been able to offer an affordable SIBO Breath Test for Hydrogen and Methane Positive SIBO Cases, as I noted above, however this new treatment is ideal for identifying persistent SIBO. 

For tougher cases, the latest TRIO test is now available in Canada. It is a more expensive testing option but it will capture Hydrogen Sulfide SIBO in addition to Hydrogen and Methane SIBO which is prominent in more aggressive SIBO cases.

Testing for Post infectious IBS (PI-IBS)

Likewise, I am happy to say we are now also able to offer testing to confirm Post Infectious IBS (PI-IBS) caused by a case of bacterial gastroenteritis, also known as food poisoning.

PI-IBS typically has a diarrheal component, leading to either IBS-D or IBS-M. PI-IBS can be determined by using the ibs-smart™ test to measure two specific antibodies: anti-CdtB and anti-vinculin.

A significant volume of research shows a clear link between food poisoning and IBS, specifically diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D). A 2017 45 study review conducted at the Mayo Clinic showed that 1 in 9 patients who experience food poisoning develop IBS.

The Importance of Accurate SIBO Testing 

Timing 

I always say that you should visit the clinic as soon as you notice symptoms of SIBO. Timing is very important because, often, in more severe cases, it can take your body longer to recover. 

The damage to your GI tract can be repaired, even in more difficult SIBO cases. However, the condition can come back, in as little as a few months if the underlying causes are not treated. 

It typically takes 2-3 weeks to correct mild to moderate cases of SIBO naturally, so the sooner you can get diagnosed, the sooner you will start a custom treatment plan. 

Correct Diagnosis 

SIBO can mimic other, related GI tract conditions such as IBS, food allergies and even menstrual cramps. In my experience, patients may postpone seeking diagnosis until symptoms become hard to ignore. 

Because it is so elusive, it often flies under the radar of regular doctors, and it is something that is not tested for enough in a non-naturopathic setting. When you visit my clinic, we will test for SIBO so that you can have the correct diagnosis. 

Listen to your body and use your intuition if you think there is something wrong, traditional medicine does not always consider underlying factors causing your SIBO, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ treatment plan for this condition. 

Treatment Planning 

A fast and accurate diagnosis means you can get treatment for your SIBO sooner. 

SIBO can affect your ability to properly absorb nutrients in your small intestine and in more severe cases, it can take months to overcome. 

It becomes quite harmful to your underlying health if it is left untreated for an extensive period of time. 

The tests we do in the clinic ensure we get the correct diagnosis fast, so we are able to focus on your treatment plan and overcoming your SIBO. 

Get Naturopathic Treatment for SIBO in Kelowna, BC

As a naturopathic doctor, I understand what you are going through. SIBO affects your everyday life and can be a serious problem for patients long term if it’s not addressed. 

Thanks to accurate new forms of testing, I have successfully diagnosed and treated many different types of SIBO. 

If you are experiencing SIBO symptoms, I suggest visiting the clinic for SIBO testing and diagnostics. You can book an appointment here, or call (250) 868-0221 to book with me. 

References

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324475
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21820-small-intestinal-bacterial-overgrowth-sibo
  3. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/sibo-overview-what-is-it
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099351/
  5. https://www.henryford.com/blog/2019/09/sibo-what-you-should-know

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