Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be diagnosed based on Rome IV criteria that a person has recurrent abdominal pain on average 1 day per week during the previous 3 months that is associated with 2 or more of the following:
- related to defecation ( increased or unchanged)
- associated with a change in stool frequency
- associated with a change in stool form or appearance
Although there are strong diagnostic criteria, it seems that many people with some sort of digestive irregularity are now quick to be given a diagnosis of IBS, sometimes with little investigation into potential reasons for digestive problems or causative factors. Ideally, care should be focused on discovering barriers to digestive function and ways to optimize it, thus improving the symptoms that one may associate with their IBS diagnosis. Testing for SIBO is one thing that can be done to help understand the reasons behind one’s IBS symptoms.
SIBO stands for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth and it is essentially exactly that, certain bacteria that are meant to live in the large intestine move upwards and begin to make a home in the small intestine.
The problem with this is that the small intestine can become aggravated by these bacteria and can contribute to gas, bloating, chronic constipation and sometimes diarrhea. Since these are common symptoms experienced by those with IBS, ruling SIBO out can be a helpful step in resolving symptoms.
For more information on the testing for SIBO or to understand if this is something you may be experiencing please contact the clinic.