Our Services / Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) services offered in Chesterfield, MO

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) means you have an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine. It most often develops as a complication following gastrointestinal surgery and may lead to nutritional deficiencies if left untreated. At Gateway Gastroenterology, which has locations in Chesterfield, Missouri, their team of experts can diagnose and treat small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. To schedule a consultation, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Q & A

What is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is when you have an abnormal increase in bacteria in your small intestine. Your gut is home to trillions of microorganisms that play an important part in digestion and health. However, most of the bacteria are in your large intestine.

SIBO most often occurs when there’s a slow down in the movement of food through your small intestine. Abdominal surgery is the most common cause. However, you may also develop SIBO if you have certain medical conditions, such as:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes

When left untreated, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth may affect digestion and the absorption of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Poor absorption may cause diarrhea and nutritional deficiencies.

What are the symptoms of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth?

The most common symptoms of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth include bloating, gas, and diarrhea. You may also experience:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Feeling full after eating
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

If you have any of these symptoms, schedule a consultation at Gateway Gastroenterology today.

How is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth diagnosed?

The team at Gateway Gastroenterology conducts a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose SIBO. They review your symptoms, medical and surgical history, and perform a physical exam.

To confirm or rule out other gastrointestinal conditions to explain your symptoms, the team may run various diagnostic tests, such as blood work, urinalysis, stool testing, or a CT scan. They may also perform testing to determine if you have a lactose or fructose intolerance.

To diagnose SIBO, the team performs a hydrogen breath test. During the in-office test, your gastroenterologist takes a baseline measurement of your hydrogen and methane levels in your breath. Then, they give you a special drink that contains lactulose, a non-absorbable carbohydrate.

Your gastroenterologist measures the hydrogen and methane levels in your breath seven more times after you drink the solution. If you have a significant increase in hydrogen or methane in your breath, then the team diagnoses you with SIBO. 

How is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth treated?

Treatment for SIBO may focus on the underlying cause. For example, if abdominal surgery is the cause of your bacterial overgrowth, the team may suggest a procedure to correct the problem.

In addition to treating the cause of SIBO, the team also prescribes a short course of antibiotics and repeats the hydrogen breath test to assess the effectiveness of the treatment. 

They also prescribe nutritional supplements to correct deficiencies and recommend diet modifications to minimize diarrhea and improve digestion and absorption.

Don’t ignore your ongoing gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. Call Gateway Gastroenterology, or request an appointment online today.