SIBO and intestinal infections are among the most common causes of intestinal pain and discomfort. SIBO refers to a condition called small intestinal bacteria overgrowth. This occurs when an abnormally large number of bacteria are present in the small intestine and these bacteria are more like those typically present in the colon.
Intestinal infections refer to viruses, bacteria, and parasites that have entered in the intestines, causing inflammation and infection, and often leading to gastroenteritis.
If you suffer from SIBO or intestinal infections, don’t hesitate to contact LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition to learn more about our unique “whole-person” approach to gastroenterological treatment.
Symptoms of SIBO and Intestinal Infections
The primary symptoms of SIBO are similar to those of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). These include:
While symptoms of intestinal infections may vary based on the specific type of infection, some of the most common of these include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody stools
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
Causes of SIBO and Intestinal Infections
When working correctly, the gastrointestinal tract propels food from the stomach, through the small intestine, and into the colon. This action sweeps the bacteria out of the small intestine and reduces the number of bacteria that live there. When this normal activity fails, bacteria can stay longer in the small intestine and multiply. This can result in SIBO.
Intestinal infections often come from certain bad bacteria finding a way into the intestines. The most common of these bacteria are:
- Campylobacter jejuni
- E. coli
These bacteria typically enter through food. The most common vehicles for these bacteria are meat and poultry that have come into contact with the bacteria from the intestines of other animals, water that has come into contact with human or animal waste, and improper food handling or preparation.
Intestinal infections may also come from viruses or parasites. These viruses include rotaviruses, enteroviruses, and hepatitis A. These typically come from human waste or contaminated food and water.
Diagnosis and Treatment of SIBO and Intestinal Infections
Our doctors take a unique approach to diagnosing and treating SIBO and intestinal infections. In addition to being board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine, our specialists are also board-certified in integrative holistic medicine. This means they apply a unique combination of Eastern and Western techniques to diagnosis and treatment. Common diagnostic tests include the intestinal breath test and the Heidelberg pH test. In addition to these, LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition will assess and treat your condition using a holistic approach that takes into account multiple aspects of mind, body, nutrition, and lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can SIBO and intestinal infections cause other medical complications?
A: Aside from affecting your everyday health and happiness, certain bacteria and viruses can trigger other more serious diseases. These include Guillain-Barre syndrome, nerve inflammation, arthritis, anemia, and more.
Q: What can I do to prevent SIBO and intestinal infections?
A: Practicing good hygiene is essential, as is eating a proper diet and living a healthy lifestyle. At LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, our doctors are experts in assessing each patient’s individual needs and helping them craft effective solutions.
Q: How does my diet affect SIBO?
A: The bacteria in your small intestines need food to survive. The goal in treating SIBO with dietary changes is to feed the person but starve the bacteria. That means cutting out the foods that are giving the bacteria what it needs to thrive and increasing foods that promote a healthy amount of small intestinal bacteria.
Q: Who is at risk for developing SIBO?
A: While anyone can develop SIBO, people with certain existing conditions are at a higher risk. Common risk factors include: Crohn’s disease, IBS, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, diabetes, and a weakened immune system.
Contact a Los Angeles SIBO and Intestinal Infection Expert
Do you experience frequent gas, bloating, constipation, or abdominal pain? It doesn’t have to be that way. At LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, we take a unique “whole-person” approach to addressing issues such as SIBO and intestinal infection. We’ll do more than just treat your symptoms, we’ll help you find a way to live a healthier, happier life.
Next, read our blog, The Ease of Take-Home SIBO Tests.