THE MORNING SHOW
Allison Siebecker, ND
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Allison Siebecker, ND, MSOM, LAc is a 2005 graduate of National College of Natural Medicine, where she earned both her Naturopathic Doctorate and Masters in Oriental Medicine. She has worked in the nutritional field since 1988 and taught on the subjects of gastroenterology, endocrinology, nutrition and natural beauty treatments. Since 2009 she has focused her practice on Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). She is the author of an educational website on SIBO, is currently writing a book on SIBO and teaches continuing education to physicians on SIBO and related topics. In 2005, Dr Siebecker received the Best in Naturopathy award from the Townsend Letter for her article “Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease.”
What is SIBO?
Simply put, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth is a chronic bacterial infection of the small intestine. The infection is of bacteria that normally live in the gastrointestinal tract but have abnormally overgrown in a location not meant for so many bacteria.
The bacteria interfere with our normal digestion and absorption of food and are associated with damage to the lining or membrane of the SI (leaky gut syndrome, which I prefer to call leaky SI in this case).
•They consume some of our food which over time leads to deficiencies in their favorite nutrients such as iron and B12, causing anemia.
•They consume food unable to be absorbed due to SI lining damage, which creates more bacterial overgrowth (a vicious cycle).
•After eating our food, they produce gas/ expel flatus, within our SI. The gas causes abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea or both (the symptoms of IBS). Excess gas can also cause belching and flatulence.
•They decrease proper fat absorption by deconjugating bile leading to deficiencies of vitamins A & D and fatty stools.
•Through the damaged lining, larger food particles not able to be fully digested, enter into the body which the immune system reacts to. This causes food allergies/ sensitivities.
•Bacteria themselves can also enter the body/bloodstream. Immune system reaction to bacteria and their cell walls (endotoxin) causes chronic fatigue and body pain and burdens the liver.
•Finally, the bacteria excrete acids which in high amounts can cause neurological and cognitive symptoms.
Dr. Allison Siedbecker on SIBO