Developed from decades of scientific research, Low Fermentation Eating (LFE) is designed to aid in the treatment of SIBO, IBS and other microbiome imbalances.
WHAT IS SIBO?
SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and is a disease of the gastrointestinal system where bacteria overpopulate in your small intestine and causes a host of health issues, both digestive and beyond. SIBO can best be thought of as a subset of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and in fact is a key factor behind the majority of IBS cases, as up to 75% of people with IBS have SIBO. Despite affecting up to 12% of Americans, for many years “SIBO” (pronounced “see-bo”) has been relatively unknown to the average person. In recent years however, awareness of the vital role your gut and microbiome play in your health has begun to seep into the public consciousness, SIBO has become more well known, which is good news because it can be treated.
Doctors have spent decades studying and researching SIBO and in recent years have made many significant breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Symptoms of SIBO
SIBO has many debilitating symptoms which can be broken down into two categories: Digestive Symptoms and Non-Digestive Symptoms.
The Science of SIBO
SIBO’s name tells you what it is and where it starts: Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. In a healthy small intestine, you will find a minimal amount of bacteria but in the small intestine of a SIBO sufferer bacteria have proliferated and are out of balance becoming trapped in the intestine. In IBS/SIBO patients, the disease has often been triggered by food poisoning, however in many standalone SIBO cases the cause is often unknown. Regardless of the cause, patients suffering from IBS and/or SIBO suffer from gut motility issues, which means their gut's "cleaning waves” are impaired. In a well-functioning gut, your body will clean the gut with these waves every 2-6 hours, thus sweeping out any food and bacteria. In a SIBO/IBS gut, these cleaning waves have been impaired or halted completely, allowing bacteria to build up and “dirty” up the gut environment. This bacteria build up creates gas that becomes trapped in the small intestine, as the small intestine is not designed to move gas forward, and creates discomfort and a stomach “ballooning” or bloating/distension. Additionally, these bacterial overgrowth wreak havoc on your microbiome and throws everything out of balance which causes a host of issues discussed in the symptoms above.
So how do you find out if you have SIBO? It is actually shockingly easy. There is a simple breath test that will tell your doctor if you have SIBO. If your test comes back positive your doctor or GP will refer you to a gastroenterologist for treatment.
Following your specific diagnosis, SIBO or SIBO/IBS, you will want to first “reset” your gut through some combination of antibiotics or a 2-3 week elemental diet/cleanse. Once your bacteria overgrowth has been flushed out, the next phase is Low Fermentation Eating (LFE). A LFE diet will make your small intestine inhospitable to bacteria overgrowths and allow your gut’s cleansing waves to function optimally. Learn about Low Fermentation Eating.