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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO test at AIG Clinics Dubai

What is SIBO?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition that occurs when excessive numbers of bacteria colonize the small intestine. May cause bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. Bacteria are essential to the digestive system in the form of the gut microbiome. It resides primarily in the large intestine, while the small intestine does not contain many bacteria. The forward movement of food through the gastric secretions and the digestive system prevents excess bacteria from growing in the small intestine. However, if these functions do not work well, bacteria will proliferate.

The small intestine cannot handle large numbers of bacteria. When a person eats a meal, these bacteria begin to ferment the food. In some people this causes symptoms.SIBO appears to be associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). People with IBS are more likely than others to have SIBO. However, not everyone diagnosed with IBS will have her SIBO test positive.

What are the Diagnoses of SIBO?

To diagnose small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), tests may be done by AIG clinics to look for bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, poor fat absorption, or other problems that may cause or contribute to symptoms you have. Common tests are:

  • Breath test.This type of noninvasive test measures the amount of hydrogen or methane you exhale after drinking a mixture of glucose and water. A sharp rise in exhaled hydrogen or methane may indicate bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Breath tests are widely used but are not as specific as other types of tests for diagnosing bacterial overgrowth.
  • Small bowel aspirate and liquid culture. This is currently the gold standard test for bacterial overgrowth. To take a fluid sample, an AIG clinic doctor inserts a long, flexible tube (endoscope) down your throat, through your upper digestive tract, and into your small intestine. A sample of intestinal fluid is taken and checked for bacterial growth in a laboratory.

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