If your SIBO treatment isn’t working, it's important to figure out why. SIBO – otherwise known as small intestine bacterial overgrowth – is an infection within the small intestine. And treatment usually involves antibiotic drugs. When you have SIBO, you have either too much bacteria living in your small intestine. Or you’ve got the wrong sort. Either way, you're bound to see a constellation of symptoms, including:
- Abdominal cramping
- Diarrhea and/or constipation
The root of recurring SIBO
Did you know that after a single round of antibiotics, bacteria can repopulate the small intestine in as little as two weeks? (source) It's pretty common to experience the symptoms of SIBO over and over again — even after an aggressive SIBO treatment.
With the virulence of SIBO in mind, there are a few basic reasons why your SIBO treatment may not be working.
#1 – You’re stressed out
It’s no secret that mental and emotional stress have an impact on physical health. What’s fascinating is that stress can even affect the microbes living in your gut (source).
For example, stress hormones can interfere with digestion, reducing stomach acid and inhibiting the wave-like motion of the intestines. The end result? Microbes that grow where they’re not supposed to.
To make matters worse, stress is pro-inflammatory and it weakens your immune system. This means that if you're stressed out, your SIBO treatment won't work. And chances are good that you’re more likely to be faced with an infection along with another round of antibiotics.
#2 – You’re eating a bunch of processed carbs
You don’t have to stick to a rigid SIBO diet forever. But if your SIBO treatment isn’t working – or has stopped working – check in with your diet. Are you snacking on processed foods? Have refined carbs wiggled their way back into your diet?
If so, you might want to give your daily eats a little makeover.
#3 – You’re not taking probiotics
With too many microbes in your small intestine, why would you even dream of taking more? Well, as nutritionist Angela Pifer explains, in most cases of SIBO, probiotics are not the sort to cause trouble (source). In fact, they’re the sort to do good things, like:
- Reduce inflammation
- Maintain healthy gut pH
- Battle it out with the “bad guys”
- Repopulate your colon with healthy tribes of microbes after antibiotic therapy
If you’re wondering which probiotic to choose, Saccharomyces boulardii is a friendly yeast that goes far in supporting overall gut health and microbial balance. You can pick it up here.
#4 – Your stomach acid needs some muscle
By muscle, I mean the very thing that enables your stomach acid to do its job – a low pH. If your stomach acid is too alkaline, it has a hard time breaking down food and killing stray, pathogenic bugs that might find their way into your gut. The problem with undigested food is that it’s fodder for microbes. And when microbes eat, they produce gas and painful cramps – ouch!
Beef up your stomach acid and your SIBO treatment by:
- Getting rid of any antacids you’re taking
- Chewing your food well
- Taking a moment to relax before sitting down to eat (see #1 above)
- Sipping on a glass of water with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before your meal – some folks swear by this!
#5 – Your intestines are lazy
Maybe lazy is harsh – injured, might be more accurate. In the case of recurring SIBO, oftentimes the intestines have lost their ability to fully sweep away bacteria and food particles. Leaving said bacteria and food particles to ferment and grow in the small intestine.
This sweeping motion is part of your migrating motor complex (MMC). You can help out your MMC and your current SIBO treatment by following these tips:
- Avoid snacking or eating too often – This gives your intestines plenty of time to flush out food
- Get enough sleep – Nighttime is when your MMC really shines
- Take a supplement that stimulates movement – Otherwise known as prokinetics, this includes herbs like ginger, Iberogast, and MotilPro.
Like most things that involve goals, change, or recovery – it’s essential to see the big picture: How did your small intestine get to this point? And what can you do to support its health?
Antibiotic drugs and even herbs with antibiotic properties are a quick fix. They get rid of the problem…for now. But if you want a SIBO treatment that works, you need to dig deeper.
Fortunately, Sylvie McCracken makes this journey easier with her book, The SIBO Solution. She explains what’s really going on in your small intestine. Giving you practical tips + delicious recipes, she empowers you to take care of your health.
With The SIBO Solution in your hands, you’ll have exactly what you need to make sure SIBO never comes back.
Ready for a SIBO treatment that works?
Click HERE to get The SIBO Solution now.