A SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) diagnosis means you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your small intestine. The problem is that most of the bacteria in your gut should be in the colon or large intestines, not in the small intestine. The primary job of the small intestine is to absorb nutrients and minerals from food.

A bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine causes the same issues as IBS (gas, bloating, gut pain, diarrhea or constipation). But it can also cause nausea, heartburn, brain fog, headaches, food allergies and body aches.

SIBO can be diagnosed with a breath test. The best test is a hydrogen/methane breath test. Before the test you drink a lactulose solution to determine if you are a hydrogen or methane gas producer.

Studies show that these antibiotics have had great results in eradicating SIBO and improving symptoms. But you’re probably wondering, wasn’t it antibiotics that caused the problem in the first place? Because many people are gun shy about taking antibiotics as a treatment, SIBO can also be treated with herbal antibiotics like oregano oil, garlic capsules, or goldenseal. While antibiotics kill bad bacteria directly, diet is also used to starve the bad bacteria, which feed mostly on sugar and carbs.

One of the best ways to prevent SIBO from recurring is to keep digestive fire strong. That means having sufficient hydrochloric acid in the stomach and sufficient enzymes to help break down the food so no undigested particles remain.

Things that keep digestion and absorption strong are taking probiotics, enzymes, or bitters before a meal. Or diluting a bit of apple cider vinegar in water and drinking it before a meal.