What is it?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition characterized by an increase in the bacterial population in the small intestine, especially bacteria that are not commonly found in that part. SIBO typically occurs after a surgery or an illness which leads the passage of food and waste to slow down, creating good ground for bacteria to develop. These bacteria may cause diarrhea, weight loss and malnutrition. SIBO may also be caused due to intestinal structural problems such as adhesions and diverticulosis.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Bacterial overgrowth syndrome
- Bile Acid Malabsorption
- Gordon's syndrome

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, loss of appetite, fullness after eating, diarrhea, weight loss and malnutrition.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include a breath test to measure the amount of hydrogen, and small intestine aspirate and fluid culture taken with an endoscope.


Treatment may focus on dealing with the underlying problem. Moreover, treatment usually includes antibiotics, nutritional supplements, and a lactose free diet.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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