What the heck is SIBO? What does it have to do with anxiety? Isn’t this called the Digestion Diaries? Why are you talking about my brain? This is the first of many discussions about the gut brain axis.
Now let’s make that simple. Your gut (digestive system) and your brain are intimately connected. If there is stress in one area, let’s say your small intestine, it has a direct impact on the brain and vise versa. In stubborn cases of SIBO or anxiety the issue may be that the person is only treating one. If you don’t treat the person as a whole, often times treatments fail.
SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Let’s describe this common digestive problem as simply as possible:
We are supposed to have 100’s of trillions of microorganisms (the human microbiome) that live in and on our body. These “bugs” are a big part of our immune system, help us to digest foods, to detox and to live a healthy life. Inside our digestive tract the vast majority of these “bugs” (aka microorganisms–mostly friendly bacteria) are found lining our large intestine. SIBO is a term that describes the migration of these “bugs” up to our small intestine where they don’t belong. Hence small intestine bacterial overgrowth.
Common causes of SIBO are food poisoning, stomach viruses, antibiotic use and antacids. Common symptoms of SIBO are all over the map but commonly include bloating, gas, food sensitivities, acid reflux and bowel movement issues. SIBO is actually often the cause of IBS. Usually SIBO symptoms can flare up after eating carbohydrates/starchy foods or fiber rich foods.
But what about SIBO and anxiety?
I mentioned above that the gut and the brain are intimately connected. If you have a problem with one it will have at least some type of impact on the other. Whether the impact is positive or negative comes down to how you are caring for yourself and your habits.
So what we have to understand is that there is a very common relationship between people that have SIBO and IBS and people that have anxiety. So if we treat the person with SIBO we can see anxiety shift for the better as well.
How do we determine if we have SIBO and how do we treat it? There is a pretty simple breath test that will tell you if you do have SIBO. I run them for my patients regularly. If you do test positive for SIBO there are protocols including dietary changes, antibiotics (herbal or prescription) and supportive supplements that can help you heal from SIBO naturally. What I always encourage as well is exercise and meditation because that adds in a positive effect to the gut-brain axis.
Watch the video and contact me to learn more!