If bloating, belching, reflux, and increased gas are a discomfort, especially after eating. Then you might have we call small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or you’ll hear the acronym CBO.
It’s an overgrowth of bacteria that should not be in the small intestine that set up shop there. These are bacteria that usually live in the colon and, for many reasons, end up staying in the small intestine and causing all kinds of problems.
That small intestine is meant more for the body breaking down the food, food, and processing it and absorption. When we have this abnormal bacteria in the small intestine, they cause all kinds of problems.
Typically, we see that when we have certain types of carbohydrates in our diet, these bacteria start fermenting these carbohydrates into different types of gasses, which we see with all the bloating and gas that people get up to the heat. This sometimes comes as irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. But some people can have both types.
Generally, what causes CBOE typically happens when people have slow motility of their gut, which can happen to people with diabetes.
Nowadays, people take a lot of acid medicine.
Medicine to drop the acid reflux or that low acid your body needs to break down food for it to be able to get. The acid is what stimulates the pancreas to release pancreatic enzymes to break down the food. And if we don’t have the stomach acid, you’re not going to have the release of pancreatic enzymes, and you’re not going to get break down all these foods.
If you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, it will start breaking down foods into things that shouldn’t be broken down. Or will start fermenting these foods, especially the carbohydrates.
And that’s where you start getting this bloating—basically, low production in your stomach, which we need for digestion. As we age, we need to add those to our regimen because we produce less gastric acids and less pancreatic enzymes.
Sometimes people take medicines for pain, and those medicines slow down the transit. They sort of like hijacks the normal, control movement down the small intestine, slowing everything down. So that is another reason why you can get small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
There has been a significant association, through many studies nowadays, with CBO and certain chronic conditions. There’s been a correlation of almost 80% of people with fibromyalgia. One of the reasons why that happens is because with having a CBO, they’re not getting all their nutrients.
Another condition that’s highly associated with CBO is diabetes. We talked a little bit about that already because of the poor motility, and patients with diabetes have a lot of issues with gastric emptying.
The other thing is obesity because these bacteria, they kind of hijack all the nutrients, cause their metabolism to slow down.
The other thing is thyroid.
People with thyroid are prone to this condition called small and custom bacterial overgrowth. Besides just the symptoms of bloating and indigestion, you have gas.
The reason why that happens is that this inflammation and bacteria overgrowth in your small intestinal is causing leaky gut. It’s allowing things to get through that shouldn’t get through.
How can we test for CBO? It’s called the CBO breath test.
Where you breathe into a bag, you get baseline levels of different types of gasses that you breathe out after you’ve consumed a certain amount of lax.
We have a whole testing kit with all the instructions on how to do it and what you need to do before the test.