The small intestine is a harsh environment for bacteria. Some do thrive there, but the bulk of the gut bacteria are found in the colon.
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) happens when colon bacteria travel to the small intestine and take hold, or when the bacteria naturally found in the small intestine increase too much.
SIBO symptoms include bloating and flatulence, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, nausea, and fatigue.
SIBO can be a complication of conditions such as diabetes, IBS, and concussion, but it can also occur as a result of antibiotic use, proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use, low stomach acid, decreased bile acids, and alcohol use.
A low-fiber diet slows movement in the small intestine and can lead to SIBO. Getting older and being female are also risk factors.
The excess bacteria in the small intestine can gobble up nutrients before they can be absorbed.
In addition,cytolethal distending toxins from the harmful bacteria damage the epithelial layer, causing leaky gut from damaged tight junctions, damage to the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and systemic inflammation.
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