Are you wondering why you suffer from chronic constipation, diarrhea, relentless foul-smelling gas, and bloating, otherwise known as symptoms of SIBO?
What is SIBO?
SIBO is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, and it occurs when microorganisms invade the small intestine where they should not be. Most of our microbiome live in our large intestine, while the small intestine hosts a few beneficial bacterial species. When the small intestines become overcrowded with bacteria (often fungi and yeast move in), we experience extreme discomfort. Symptoms usually include consistent diarrhea, chronic constipation, bloating, and gas, but SIBO can also cause mood disorders (anxiety, depression), physical pain, headaches, fatigue, and sleep issues.
Underlying causes of SIBO include one or more of these impairments:
- Impaired Motility
- Autoimmune IBS
- Brain Trauma
- Chronic Infections
- Mold infection
- Impaired Digestion
- Chronic Stress
- Digestive Secretion Dysfunction (stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes)
- Impaired Flow Through Intestines
- Structural problems in intestines
- Abdominal Surgery (C-section)
- Possible T4 only meds (still investigating this)
Learning about these underlying causes of SIBO may be enlightening, but before we start overthinking which conditions we associate with, let’s ponder a few things.
Most of these underlying causes allude to more significant issues in the body.
I see a lot of SIBO sufferers say things like, “My SIBO is because of my low stomach acid,” or “My mold infection causes my SIBO.”
This way of thinking creates the perception that we are helpless or cannot control our health because of these other underlying problems.
It also forces us to narrow in on an isolated condition or symptom. We think if we “cure” or “treat” this other issue, then our SIBO will go away as a result.
This thought process is how we end up on the hamster wheel of trial and error.
I want to give you a better answer as to why you have SIBO.
Stay with me.
Despite what you may think about genetics, Endometriosis doesn’t just happen. Diabetes doesn’t just show up out of the blue one day. Low stomach acid and poor bile flow is not a curse someone put on you.
All of these things happen for a reason.
The question worth asking is, what causes the above “underlying causes of SIBO” to happen in the first place?
Or what causes the causes of SIBO??
This question can be answered considering three categories of contribution:
What is the quality of your food?
What and how are you eating?
What is the condition of your nervous system?
What is the level of your toxin exposure?
Answering these questions should be the first step in addressing the root causes of SIBO. Taking herbs and supplements may help manage your symptoms, but you risk relapse or continued discomfort until you address these categories.
Consuming non-organic, genetically modified, processed foods, eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbs, and eating in a way that throws your biochemistry out of balance causes a lot of those “underlying causes of SIBO” and therefore indirectly causes SIBO.
Autonomic Nervous System dysfunction is a significant root cause of all chronic illnesses. The stress of all forms causes autonomic nervous system dysfunction; emotional, biochemical, and physical.
Toxin exposure to chemicals and heavy metals in our water, air, hygiene, beauty, and cleaning products is a significant contributor to chronic illness and may cause SIBO.
We all understand that SIBO is a downstream condition. It results from a bigger problem, but we cannot stop at that bigger problem. We have to ask ourselves why we have any problems in the first place!
So, where do you start? How can we answer these questions and find solutions to the problems we identify with?
Start with education and nutrition awareness.
The quality of food matters more than we may think. We are told from the media that processed food is okay, factory-farmed meat and dairy are high in calcium and good for us, and GMO/non-organic food is just as healthy as organic produce.
This is not true, and we see the consequences of this deception through skyrocketing chronic health issues.
As consumers, we need to be aware of the financial incentives for corporations to deceive us. We need to become informed about what is truly healthy for us because, in the end, it is us (the consumer) that suffer.
How food is made, grown, and raised has a significant impact on our gut health, and if we want to heal, we need to start becoming aware of our food.
I see many people who have tried endless supplements, diets, therapies, and prescription drugs with no success. They will talk to me while sipping on Gatorade or Diet Coke or snacking on low-calorie crackers. These foods are normalized, and we watch other “healthy people” eat this way, so we think it is okay. But I am here to rock the boat and tell you these foods are not okay.
It is not always about how we feel after eating but how food impacts our physiology and genetic expression.
Listen to my podcast: Healing SIBO and IBS with Better Health by Monica to begin your educational journey to better health and tackle the root cause of your SIBO!
Purchase a copy of The Holistic Healing Guidebook for SIBO, IBS, and Gut Dysfunction for a comprehensive guide on what you need to know about nutrition, stress, and the environment to heal your gut for good.