You might not realize it, but you rely on bacteria in your small intestine for successful digestion. At Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC, with two locations in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the team provides testing for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) when gastrointestinal symptoms indicate an overgrowth of bacteria in your system. To find out more about the condition and available treatments, book an appointment at either location by phone or online today.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO happens when the bacterial population of your small intestine increases. Normally, your small intestine is full of helpful bacteria for digestion. With SIBO, you might find some bacteria that normally aren’t there that cause more harm than good.
SIBO is often a complication of surgery but can also come from certain diseases and conditions. It occurs when stomach surgery or a disease slows the movement of waste through your bowels. With so much unmoving waste, bacteria have the opportunity to multiply quickly and excessively.
Beyond surgery, conditions and health complications that can lead to SIBO are:
Letting this excessive bacteria stay in your small intestine can lead to further health complications, including osteoporosis, vitamin deficiency, and low nutrient absorption.
The signs and symptoms of SIBO can vary from patient to patient but generally include gastrointestinal difficulties. You should book an appointment at Hattiesburg GI Associates for a SIBO evaluation if you experience prolonged or consistent:
You might need to take one or more tests to confirm your diagnosis. Your provider might take a fluid sample from your small intestine for testing, recommend an endoscopy, or ask you to take a QuinTron breath test to gather information.
In many cases, treating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is as simple as treating the underlying condition contributing to it. For example, if you have adhesions blocking the regular flow of waste in your small intestine, your provider at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC might recommend surgical removal of the adhesions.
Another treatment option for SIBO is antibiotic therapy. Antibiotic medications can reduce the amount of bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine, but you might need to take long-term antibiotics or switch among several different antibiotics for a long-term difference.
If you experience malnutrition, a vitamin deficiency, or unintentional weight loss because of SIBO, you might also need nutritional guidance and counseling. The team at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC can help you add nutritional supplements to your diet or cut lactose from your diet to reduce damage in your small intestine.
If you experience ongoing weight loss, nausea, or diarrhea, call Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC, or book an appointment online, for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth testing today.