SIBO (Small Intestines Bacterial Overgrowth)

SIBO was first outlined by Dr. Mark Pimentel, Director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
SIBO is an overgrowth of either pathogenic or beneficial bacteria in the small intestine. While the Large Intestine contains billions of bacteria that assist the body to eliminate waste the Small Intestine is only supposed to have a small amount of bacteria as an overgrowth can effect the absorption of food and also lead to inflammation, bloating, pain, gas, cramping, diahorrea or constipation.

Other common Symptoms of SIBO include

  • Heartburn
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Restless Legs
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Lowered Immunity
  • Mood imbalances – anxiety, depression, OCD


SIBO may develop in people after they have been affected by Gastroenteritis or Food poisoning.

Other factors include:

  • Chronic stress
  • Food Poisoning
  • Antibiotic use
  • Surgery
  • Chronic Illness
  • Chronic Constipation
  • Medications (esp. Protein pump inhibitors, acid blockers)


  • 6 week program of antimicrobial herbs such as Golden Seal, Olive Leaf, Garlic, Thyme and Neem.
  • Restrict the intake of fermentable foods (i.e. grains, dairy, and sugars). This diet ensures that the bacteria don’t have fermentable foods to thrive on. After the treatment period is over you can start begin to reintroduce some of these foods as long as they don’t cause a reoccurrence of symptoms.
  • Digestive stimulants to increase motility can assist to eliminate the excess bacteria and prevent it from regrowing. Some gut motility herbs include ginger,peppermint, Dandelion, Bitter Melon and cinnamon.
  • Bacteria create a mucus film to help protect them so anti microbial herbs need to be paired with Bio film disrupting enzymes such as N-Acetyl cysteine.

After this treatment it is then important to re establish the beneficial gut flora in the bowels and continue to restore the digestive lining for long term gut health.I suggest you talk to your current therapist about these options as this might be a simple treatment plan that may help to regain control over your digestive symptoms in the short term before establishing long term diet and lifestyle changes for a long, happy and prosperous life.

Here is a link to SIBO diet guidelines PDF supplied by SIBO test for more information and recipe ideas –