Understanding Hydrogen SIBO and Effective Strategies to Combat It
Hydrogen Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a digestive condition characterized by an excessive proliferation of bacteria in the small intestine (1). Normally, the small intestine contains fewer bacteria compared to the large intestine. However, in SIBO, bacteria from the large intestine migrate to the small intestine or existing bacteria multiply excessively. The bacteria produce excessive amounts of hydrogen gas leading to symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. This is a simplified explanation of Hydrogen SIBO; in reality, the condition can be complex and challenging to manage (2).
A number of factors can cause SIBO, including altered gut motility, immune dysfunction, and the use of certain medications (3). It takes a multifaceted approach to support the digestive system. Comfortable digestion is obtainable by making dietary modifications, introducing probiotics, and using targeted enzyme supplements.
Certain digestive blends that contain probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes are designed to maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora and yeast levels, while helping to balance bacterial growth (4).
Digestive enzymes specifically designed to aid in digestion and reduce symptoms of occasional indigestion can be very helpful (5). These enzymes work by breaking down food into nutrients that your body can easily absorb, thus preventing undigested food from becoming a food source for unwanted bacteria.
Bacteriophage products have also shown significant potential in supporting gut health.
Bacteriophages are viruses that specifically target and consume certain bacteria. When doing so, they can multiply and increase in potency, making them a unique and powerful addition to any regimen focused on gut health.(6).
To further support these strategies, a low FODMAP diet may be beneficial. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, and Polyols, which are types of carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest and might feed harmful bacteria in your gut (7).
In conclusion, managing Hydrogen SIBO involves a comprehensive approach that encompasses diet, lifestyle modifications, and specific supplements like probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, and bacteriophages. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary regimen or supplement protocol to ensure it's suitable for your specific health condition and needs.
- Bures, J., Cyrany, J., Kohoutova, D., Förstl, M., Rejchrt, S., Kvetina, J., Vorisek, V., & Kopacova, M. (2010). Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 16(24), 2978–2990. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v16.i24.2978
- Pimentel, M., Saad, R. J., Long, M. D., & Rao, S. S. C. (2020). ACG Clinical Guideline: Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 115(2), 165–178. https://doi.org/10.14309/ajg.0000000000000501
- Dukowicz, A. C., Lacy, B. E., & Levine, G. M. (2007). Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: a comprehensive review. Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 3(2), 112–122. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099351/
- Arthur Andrew Medical. (n.d.). Syntol AMD. https://www.arthurandrew.com/products/syntol
- Arthur Andrew Medical. (n.d.). Devigest. https://www.arthurandrew.com/products/devigest
- Arthur Andrew Medical. (n.d.). Floraphage. https://arthurandrew.com/products/floraphage
- Gibson, P. R., & Shepherd, S. J. (2010). Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 25(2), 252–258. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06149.x