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Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO)

ellie84

Senior Member
Messages
120
Location
Italy
Hi! I have been diagnosed with SIBO. It was through a lactulose breath test. I did 2 weeks of rifaxamin. It did improve quite a lot in the frequency and intensity of my intestinal symptoms, although they didn't disappear.
After rifaxamin they didn't want me to repeat the breath test to see if it would become negative. They only made me repeat faecal calprotectin and, since the value was much lower than before and now in the normal range, they concluded that the SIBO was treated.
I still have a lot of issues and I think I might have SIBO still, though rifaxamin certainly helped and it didn't have any side effect for me.
 

ellie84

Senior Member
Messages
120
Location
Italy
It did improve intestinal issues, they are now less frequent and less intense and therefore it improved my quality of life on that side. It didn't have any effect on fatigue or other symptoms.
But until I do another lactulose breath test or other specific test for SIBO I wouldn't be sure that SIBO is 100% gone. So if it's not, it's possible that eliminating it would have effects also on fatigue and other symptoms.
Bare in mind that I have not been diagnosed with CFS as of yet, because I haven't been evaluated for it yet. I do have chronic fatigue and many other symptoms, which you can see in my introduction post if you want.
 

Wolfcub

Senior Member
Messages
7,089
Location
SW UK
Could anyone help me?
Is it possible to have SIBO and yet to only have bad gut symptoms occasionally, and the rest of the time there is no obvious problem with the gut/digestion/abdominal discomfort etc?
 
Last edited:

Mary

Moderator Resource
Messages
17,575
Location
Texas Hill Country
@Matthew_2 and @Wolfcub , SIBO is often linked to low stomach acid. Stomach acid helps keep bacteria in check in the proper proportions and when it's low, that can allow some bacteria to grow unchecked. A simple DIY test to check stomach acid is to dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water and to drink it on an empty stomach. If you don't burp within a few minutes, it can indicate low stomach acid. I've been taking betaine HCL with pepsin for years, and it's a made a world of difference in my digestion.

btw, I did have SIBO testing done 5 years ago. I'd had chronic diarrhea for some 6 months and tried a slew of different probiotics with no effect, but my SIBO test was negative. Then I tried kefir, and within a week my digestion was back on track. So whenever it does go off track again, kefir always gets me sorted out.
 

Mary

Moderator Resource
Messages
17,575
Location
Texas Hill Country
Thanks for the response, @Mary Do you feel the improvement in your digestion had any impact on your overall quality of life or other symptoms?
Yes. I used to have a lot of digestive issues, including liver which was overloaded with toxins (probably from a job I had when I was 19), sluggish gallbladder, some other things, all of which made me feel fluish and sick. Also, when I wasn't digesting properly, all the supplements in the world would not have helped much because I couldn't absorb them properly.

I no longer get those symptoms. I did have to do a major liver detox back in 2003 I think, which helped, but the betaine HCL with pepsin (the pepsin is important for digesting protein) has kept my digestion on the right track overall. I take a lot of supplements and I am sure the betaine hcl with pepsin has been helpful in my absorption of these supplements.

fwiw, my chiropractor who does muscle testing was the one who found my toxic liver. I'd been feeling awful, I couldn't eat until after noon, very tired, felt like crap, and he's the one who found the problem, and I did the liver detox under his supervision. Before the detox, one glass of wine would make me sick for an entire day, and 2 glasses would make me sick for 2-3 days. Afterwards, I could have wine (in moderation of course) wtihout getting sick.

So I still have ME/CFS and PEM, crash regularly, but digestion issues are no longer part of the equation and I have made progress I don't think I could have made if I had never sorted out what was wrong with my digestion.
 

Wolfcub

Senior Member
Messages
7,089
Location
SW UK
A simple DIY test to check stomach acid is to dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water and to drink it on an empty stomach. If you don't burp within a few minutes, it can indicate low stomach acid.
I did that test, Mary, and I burped. So that must be okay I guess.
 

ljimbo423

Senior Member
Messages
4,705
Location
United States, New Hampshire
Could anyone help me?
Is it possible to have SIBO and yet to only have bad gut symptoms occasionally, and the rest of the time there is no obvious problem with the gut/digestion/abdominal discomfort etc?

My son doesn't have any gut symptoms at all but he does have mild chronic fatigue. He has never been diagnosed with ME/CFS but I think he has a mild case of it. If he takes even very tiny doses of probiotics or tiny doses of herbs that kill off bacteria in the gut, he gets very sick.

One time he took a very low dose probiotic, only in the millions (most are measured in the billions). He got so sick, he couldn't make to work. He said it felt like he had a bad stomach flu.

This is a clear sign he has significant sibo/dysbiosis. Even though he doesn't have any gut symptoms at all.
 

Wolfcub

Senior Member
Messages
7,089
Location
SW UK
I have had a bad belly all day today. I hardly ate a thing, and what I did eat went straight through me. And for 3 days now with no obvious cause ( bug/food poisoning etc) Food was okay -things I ate last week and was fine with. Also have come in contact with no one except my neighbour twice -and she hasn't got a bug.
I am always washing my hands, and keep everything really hygienic.
Other crashy feelings with it too like terrible exhaustion.
Just like the initial symptoms when this thing started 2 years ago. But I have lots of times in between when I don't get any of this, am just "normal", have a great appetite and love food.

I always imagine SIBO to be an on-going thing? Like -once you have it, you feel it more or less constantly? But I might not know enough about it.
Is it possible to feel absolutely normal in the gut for stretches of time and still have it?

edit....(Sorry Jim, we cross-posted. You illustrated that in your post above.)
 

ellie84

Senior Member
Messages
120
Location
Italy
@Wolfcub I don't know the answer because I am no doctor or expert, but I can tell you I haven't had a single "normal" day in years "intestinal-wise" (so to speak).
 

Wolfcub

Senior Member
Messages
7,089
Location
SW UK
@ellie84 I sincerely empathise, as I know what it feels like after this last 3 days (only!), and my first symptoms which lasted months then gradually faded (only to recur sometimes!) But it must be hard for you to have years of this.
 

kangaSue

Senior Member
Messages
1,874
Location
Brisbane, Australia
There's so much bullshit written about SIBO that it's not funny and if you start with the basics of the flaws that testing has in the first place, it's hard to know just what's what for anyone who has a problem of GI dysmotility from autonomic dysfunction.
If it doesn't improve from a single course of antibiotics (or the herbal therapy referenced above by Wolfcub), or it does at first and then comes back again, It's a lottery as to what is going to help with your gut.

https://chriskresser.com/unanswered-questions-about-sibo/ Unanswered Questions About SIBO (2019)
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jgh.13689 The clinical value of breath hydrogen testing (2017)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31076401 Leaky gut: mechanisms, measurement and clinical implications in humans.
 
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