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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Anne Thai, MD -  - Gastroenterologist

Anne Thai, MD

Gastroenterologist located in Burlingame, CA

Your digestive tract indeed contains millions of bacteria. However, most of the bacteria are found in your large intestines. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) means you have an abnormally high amount of bacteria in your small intestines, which can lead to health complications, such as diarrhea, malabsorption, and vitamin deficiencies. At her practice in Burlingame, California, board-certified gastroenterologist Anne Thai, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of SIBO. To schedule a consultation, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Q & A

What is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?

SIBO is a condition in which your small intestines have an excessive amount of bacteria, including bacteria not normally found in this part of your digestive tract. You may be at risk of SIBO if there’s a slowdown in the movement of food or waste through your digestive tract. 

This slowdown may occur after surgery or develop from an underlying medical condition such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or diabetes. Small intestinal structural abnormalities may also affect the movement of food through your digestive system and lead to SIBO. 

Stagnant food in your small intestines becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that leads to:

  • Poor digestion and discomfort with eating
  • Inadequate absorption of fat, protein, and carbohydrates
  • Fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies (vitamins A, D, E, and K)
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Poor calcium absorption


In addition to overall health, inadequate nutrient absorption from SIBO may place you at risk of developing health complications such as osteoporosis or kidney stones. 

What are the symptoms of SIBO?

SIBO symptoms are similar to many other gastrointestinal conditions. Common symptoms include:

  • Ongoing abdominal pain
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Increase in flatulence
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Poor appetite
  • Fatigue


If you’re experiencing these symptoms and searching for answers, contact Dr. Thai’s office to schedule an evaluation. 

What happens during my SIBO evaluation?

When you come to the office with concerns about SIBO, Dr. Thai conducts a thorough assessment and takes a patient-centered approach to care. During your evaluation, she reviews your symptoms, your medical and surgical history, and conducts a physical exam.

To further assess health, Dr. Thai may request blood tests to look for nutritional deficiencies and stool testing for fat malabsorption. She could also refer you for a breath test.

How is SIBO treated?

If you have SIBO, Dr. Thai develops an individualized treatment plan that’s focused on addressing the underlying cause of the bacterial overgrowth. She also treats nutritional deficiencies and prescribes medication to reduce the bacterial count in your small intestines. 

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Nutritional supplements 
  • Diet modification
  • Prokinetic (prescription medication to improve gastrointestinal motility)


In some cases, surgical intervention may be needed to improve motility through your intestinal tract. 

For comprehensive management of your SIBO from a compassionate and experienced gastroenterologist, call Anne Thai, MD, or book online today. 

 

Some Common Diseases Dr. Thai Treats:

Liver Disease

Colon Cancer

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Abdominal Pain

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

GERD

 

Available Diagnostic Treatments:

Colonoscopy

Endoscopy