SIBO or Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

By Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© February 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.


Definition.  SIBO is either 1) the growth of certain bacteria in the small intestine that normally only grows in the colon, or 2) overgrowth of the normal small intestine bacteria.

It is usually identified via a stool analysis.




SIBO may cause impaired digestion of food, and for this reason, reduced absorption of nutrients.  At times, the abnormal flora may utilize some  nutrients that should be absorbed and used by the body.

SIBO can damage the walls of the small intestine.  This can result in a “leaky gut”, which in turn causes food sensitivities or intolerance, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, loose stools, constipation, or other digestive problems.




              A body out of balance.  The causes of SIBO, in all cases, are nutritional and biochemical imbalances.  These may include excessive toxic metals, excessive toxic chemicals, a congested liver and pancreas, and multiple nutrient deficiencies.


A Copper syndrome. Most people with SIBO have too much copper in the body.  This upsets the normal flora of the small and large bowel.  As the copper balance improves with a nutritional balancing program, the SIBO goes away on its own, without any need for medical therapy or other interventions.




Medical correction.  This often consists of antibiotics, followed by a diet and perhaps prebiotics or probiotics to repopulate the small intestine with the proper bacteria.

Serious problems with giving antibiotics in these cases are:

1. Toxicity of the antibiotics.  This makes the person more ill in the long run.  It is not easy to remove antibiotics from the body.  Even with a nutritional balancing program, it can easily take a year or longer, for example, to remove antibiotics from the body.  They are rarely needed, in my experience, for this condition.

2. Does not address the underlying cause – deeper biochemical imbalances in the body.

3. The condition may come back because of #2 above – the underlying cause has not been addressed.




              Correction depends a lot on whether a person will follow the nutritional balancing diets.  They contain a lot of cooked vegetables, no sweets, no wheat, no nightshade vegetables, and no fruit or fruit juice.  There is more to the diet, but these are some of its main aspects.

            If one is willing to follow the diet faithfully, and to do the rest of the program, SIBO responds well in most all cases.  There is no need for antibiotics or any other drugs. 

Symptomatic improvement often occurs within a few weeks.  Clearing up the entire condition and rebuilding the intestine takes longer and depends on how toxic and depleted the person’s body, and how well one follows the program.

I do not test for SIBO because a complete nutritional balancing program will heal the condition, regardless of whether it shows up on a test.



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