The connection between Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Updated: Apr 3, 2021
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) share very common symptoms, such as bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation and diarrhoea. SIBO is often overlooked as one of underlying causes of IBS, due to there being a more common, well recognised link between IBS, stress, anxiety and the gut-brain axis. However, there is an abundance of research showing the interplay between SIBO and IBS, one of which is that SIBO causes gut microbiome dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is a lack of bacterial diversity or imbalance of gut bacteria, meaning we have too little of the good bacteria and too much of the not so good ones, and dysbiosis is a major contributor to IBS symptoms. Dysbiosis can make room for bacterial infections, chronic low grade inflammation, intestinal permeability and autoimmunity, resulting in IBS symptoms. Evidence supporting this includes research discoveries of increased pathogenic (disease promoting) organisms in subjects with SIBO and IBS. So, what's the takeaway message? It's important to consider SIBO, bacterial infections and gut microbiome dysbiosis as a root cause of IBS, rather than limiting causation to a gut-brain axis disorder. If you'd like to read the full article, click here!