SIBO: Symptoms, Supplements, Diet and More

SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, a condition where bacteria grow excessively in the small intestine. Compared to the colon, the small intestine usually has relatively low levels of bacteria. When bacteria overgrow in the small intestine, it can lead to digestive symptoms and nutrient malabsorption.

The gut microbiome is crucial in maintaining overall health, including immune function. Around 70% of the body’s immune system is in the gut, which interacts with trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes.

An imbalanced gut microbiome, or dysbiosis, can contribute to various chronic digestive ailments and may even have implications for autoimmune diseases. When the balance of beneficial and harmful microorganisms in the gut is disrupted, it can lead to inflammation, impaired digestion and absorption of nutrients, and a compromised immune response.

Comprehensive stool testing can provide valuable insights into the composition of the gut microbiome and identify any potential pathogens or imbalances contributing to gastrointestinal issues or other health concerns. By analyzing the presence of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, viruses, and parasites, this testing can help healthcare providers develop targeted treatment plans to address specific health threats and restore balance to the gut microbiome. Stool test results should be interpreted by qualified healthcare professionals who can consider the individual’s medical history, symptoms, and other relevant factors to develop a personalized plan for addressing any identified issues.

Symptoms of SIBO can vary but often include:

  1. Abdominal bloating is one of the most common symptoms. It tends to worsen throughout the day and maybe relieved after passing gas or having a bowel movement.
  2. Abdominal pain or discomfort: Cramping or pain in the abdomen is expected, and the pain may vary in intensity and location.
  3. Diarrhea or constipation: SIBO can cause either diarrhea or constipation or sometimes a combination of both.
  4. Excessive gas and belching: Increased gas production is a hallmark of SIBO and can contribute to bloating and discomfort.
  5. Nutritional deficiencies: SIBO can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, causing deficiencies in vitamins (especially fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K) and minerals.

Now, regarding natural supplements to help manage SIBO, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you suspect you have SIBO. 

Some supplements that are often suggested for SIBO management include:

  1. Probiotics: Certain strains of probiotics may help rebalance the gut microbiota. However, some probiotic strains may exacerbate symptoms.
  2. Herbal antimicrobials: Certain herbs, such as oregano oil, berberine, and garlic, have antimicrobial properties and may help reduce bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.
  3. Digestive enzymes: Supplementing with digestive enzymes may aid food digestion and alleviate malabsorption symptoms.
  4. L-glutamine: This amino acid is thought to support gut health and may help repair the intestinal lining.
  5. Dietary changes: While not supplements per se, nutritional modifications are often a cornerstone of SIBO treatment. Following a low FODMAP or specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), which restricts fermentable carbohydrates that feed bacteria, may help manage symptoms.

Remember that what works for one person may not work for another, and individual responses to supplements can vary. Working closely with a healthcare provider who can tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs and monitor your progress is crucial.

When managing SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), dietary choices are crucial in minimizing symptoms and supporting gut health. Here are some general nutritional recommendations for individuals with SIBO:

  1. Low FODMAP Diet: Many healthcare providers recommend starting with a low FODMAP diet to alleviate symptoms associated with SIBO. FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that can feed bacteria in the small intestine. Reducing your intake of high-FODMAP foods may help reduce bacterial fermentation and symptoms like bloating and gas.
  2. Focus on Non-Fermentable Carbohydrates: Opt for carbohydrates less likely to ferment in the gut, such as rice, quinoa, potatoes (without skin), carrots, cucumbers, and zucchini.
  3. Lean Proteins: Choose lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and tofu. Protein sources that are less likely to ferment can benefit individuals with SIBO.
  4. Healthy Fats: Include sources of healthy fats in your diet, such as olive oil, avocado, nuts (in moderation), and seeds. These fats can provide energy and support overall health without exacerbating symptoms.
  5. Low-Fiber Vegetables: While vegetables are generally nutritious, some high-fiber vegetables can exacerbate symptoms of SIBO. Opt for well-cooked or peeled vegetables that are lower in fiber, such as spinach, kale, tomatoes (without skin), and bell peppers.
  6. Bone Broth: Bone broth is rich in nutrients and can be soothing to the digestive system. It’s low in fermentable carbohydrates and can provide valuable nutrients like collagen and amino acids.
  7. Herbs and Spices: Flavor your meals with well-tolerated herbs and spices, such as ginger, turmeric, basil, and oregano. These can add flavor without contributing to bacterial overgrowth.
  8. Fermented Foods (with caution): While fermented foods can benefit gut health in some cases, they may exacerbate symptoms for individuals with SIBO due to their high bacterial content. Proceed with caution and monitor your response to fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

Remember that dietary recommendations may vary depending on individual tolerance and specific symptoms. It’s essential to work with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian experienced in managing SIBO to develop a personalized diet plan that suits your needs and supports your overall health.

If you are experiencing any gut-related symptoms, a comprehensive stool analysis is an essential lab test that should be done immediately. 

Recognizing Symptoms of Intestinal Dysbiosis and Microbiome Imbalance includes any of the following Symptoms:

Autoimmune conditions

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Celiac disease

Cardiovascular disease

Metabolic Syndrome


Liver and gallbladder disease

Neurological disorders

Mood abnormalities

Skin rashes (eczema or dermatitis)

Inflammatory symptoms

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)


Gas and bloating




Intestinal permeability (‘leaky gut syndrome)

Nutrient deficiencies

Food sensitivities



Your gut is like a central command center for your health. It impacts so much more than just digestion – from energy levels to your skin’s radiance and your body’s ability to detoxify harmful substances. By understanding your gut better, you’re taking a proactive step towards a healthier, more vibrant life.

Getting tested is easy. You can order the Gut Test from and receive it at your doorstep. No need for lab visits – just the convenience of taking the test in the comfort of your home.

Unlock the power of your gut. Order your Gut Test today and embark on a journey towards optimal health.

Order your in-home test and gain valuable insight into your gut health.

You are here for a reason, and you have a purpose and a passion to share with the work. In order to do that, you must feel your best!

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