Finding A Quality Sibo Probiotic
With so many probiotic supplement options on the market, you might wonder where to start. Heres advice to help simplify your probiotic shopping experience.
Almost every probiotic can be classified into one of three categories:
Research shows that treating IBS and SIBO with a multispecies probiotic approach provides a synergistic effect that may work better than taking only one type of probiotic .
We have seen the best results in SIBO patients whose treatment protocol includes probiotic species from each of these three categories. For some SIBO patients who have been unsuccessful with probiotics, this Triple Probiotic Therapy makes all the difference.
Its very important to choose high-quality probiotic supplements, as research shows that many probiotic supplements dont live up to label claims . When shopping for probiotics, look for products that meet these standards:
- Clearly list probiotic species
- Label states colony-forming units in the billions
- Label displays a clear manufactured date and expiration date
- Free of allergens
- Good Manufacturing Practices certification
- Lab-tested and verified for species and potency
So How Am I Doing Six Months After I Treated My Sibo
So far, Ive been really pleased at my improvement so far. While its not like my digestive system returned to normal, it is significantly better.
I dont expect I will ever feel 100% cured but I have only had a couple bad days since taking the antibiotics. Ive only taken Imodium twice and havent felt like I needed it at all otherwise.
The thing that feels least improved is that I sometimes still get cramping stomach pains. In particular, this tends to happen after I havent had a good night of sleep. I recently wrote about how Ive improved my sleep, and you can read about it here.
As for diet, I mostly eat whatever I want now. However, I avoid beans and legumes out of an abundance of caution. I avoid artificial sweeteners when possible as Ive heard they impair the migrating motor complex. I tend to avoid gluten when practical, but I definitely eat it sometimes.
I have not redone a breath test since treatment, as my doctor prefers to go by symptomatic improvement instead. If I had to guess, I think I probably still have some inappropriately located bacteria, because my initial levels were super high. But given my improvement, theres not enough reason to warrant more treatment right now.
When And How To Use Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes can be used in two ways, according to Dr. Allison Siebecker, ND:
With food: Take the enzymes at the start of a meal, so they can begin to digest the food right as you begin eating it. If needed, more enzymes can be taken mid-meal or at the end.
Without food: When taken without food, digestive enzymes have an anti-inflammatory effect. They can even have an anti-biofilm effect when taken away from food.
Both uses can be very beneficial for people with SIBO and you may want to experiment with both.
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What Foods Trigger Sibo
While foods arent the original cause of SIBO, certain foods do encourage the overgrowth of the wrong bacteria in the small intestine. If youre feeding them their favorite foods, they’re going to grow more, and that will trigger more of your SIBO symptoms. By the same token, you can help reduce the overgrowth by starving the problematic bacteria of their favorite foods. This strategy has led to a number of proposed SIBO diet plans. The diets vary, and so do individual results. But in general, they tend to recommend limiting carbohydrates. These include:
- Sugars and sweeteners.
Diagnosing Sibo: Hydrogen Breath Test
SIBO is a severely under-diagnosed condition .
This is because a large portion of our small intestines is impossible to reach without surgery.
Fortunately, some non-invasive tests have been designed namely the Hydrogen Breath test. This same test can be used to detect common food intolerances, IBS and H. pylori infection.
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Another Early Stage Probiotic That Can Be Used In Early Stages Of Sibo Treatment Is
Saccharomyces boulardii. S. boulardii has been prescribed in the past 30 years for the prevention and treatment of diarrheal diseases caused by bacteria.
Evidence suggest that this probiotic are beneficial for IBD and IBS patients. Saccharomyces boulardii is actually not a bacteria but rather a type of yeast. It is the only yeast which is considered beneficial enough to be considered a pro-biotic. It helps fight off pathogenic strains of bacteria and reduces inflammation. It is also widely used in cases of diarrhea.
I believe one of the reasons why S. boulardii is so helpful to SIBO sufferers comes down to the fact that because this yeast is a good yeast- it crowds out the yeast that we often see in conjunction with SIBO.
One thing worth mentioning is that S. boulardii like the soil based probiotics I just talked about, do not colonize the gut so it will need to be taken on a regular basis to see benefit.
You Need To Stop Taking Prebiotics 24 Hours Before Taking The Sibo Test And Probiotics 48 Hours Before
There are very specific instructions on how to prepare for a SIBO Test. You should follow your prep diet for 24 hours before you start your SIBO test, and you should fast for 12 of those hours. The easiest way to do this is to take your test first thing in the morning, after 12 hours of fasting overnight. So if you take your test at 8am, stop eating at 8pm the night before. So, from 8am on the day before your test, you should be following your prep diet. The prep diet includes only a few foods, and prebiotics are excluded.Prebiotics are fine to take up until 24 hours before your SIBO Test, and they’re fine to take at any point before your Gut Health Test.
View your test kit instructions:
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Reason #4 And 5 You Feel Worse When You Take Probiotics
The Fourth and 5th reason, you feel worse when you take probiotics is that your probiotics contain prebiotics and you have damage to the brush border enzymes.
Many probiotic formulas from some of the best manufactures contain prebiotics and while these prebiotics are of great benefit for many kinds of GI issues, they are not always great for people suffering with SIBO.
If you are taking probiotics right now, I want you to grab your bottle and look at the ingredients,
if you see something that says inulin, or chicory or Arabinogalactan or GOS or FOS.
These are all prebiotics and you may need to avoid these for a time being. If you are drinking tea- some teas contain inulin and chicory- both are prebiotics. If you are noticing more bloating- you may need to take a probiotic without the Prebiotics and start reading labels.
Many people suffering with SIBO- often have injury or damage to the cells that make the Brush Border Enzymes.
These Brush Border enzymes are needed to help break down sugars and starches. Without these enzymes doing their job- sugars and starches sit in the small intestines, ferment, and cause SIBO.
If you want more information on Probiotics and Prebiotics- you can watch a video I did titled, The Best kind of Probiotics for SIBO and IBS where I go into much more detail about the specific strains that have been studied when it comes to SIBO.
How Do You Fix Sibo
SIBO is often a complication of another condition, and often causes complications of its own. When treating SIBO, healthcare providers need to address:
- The overgrowth itself.
- The complications of SIBO.
- The underlying cause.
A course of antibiotics is the standard medical treatment for bacterial overgrowth. Healthcare providers will then seek to manage your most acute complications. This might mean nutritional support and supplementation for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It might mean a strict short-term diet to manage symptoms and then a modified longer-term diet plan to replenish your nutrition and keep bacterial overgrowth in check.
Ultimately, healthcare providers will want to locate and treat the underlying cause of your SIBO. This may require additional testing. If they suspect you have a motility disorder, they might prescribe motility agents to help stimulate the process and keep things moving. If they identify a structural problem, they might recommend surgery to correct it.
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Treating Sibo With Probiotics
Even though it may seem counter-intuitive, research CLEARLY shows that probiotics can be very effective for treating SIBO, improving both symptoms and lab values [1
- Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source].
- A meta-analysis summarizing 18 clinical trials concluded that probiotics are an effective treatment for SIBO . Specifically, probiotics reduce bacterial overgrowth and hydrogen concentrations, and improve symptoms, including abdominal pain.
- Another study found that probiotics work much better in patients with both IBS and SIBO, as compared to those who have IBS without SIBO .
Probiotics Are Effective For Sibo
Be wary of internet advice that suggests probiotics will make SIBO worse. This is one area where, sadly, opinion has drifted away from science. Probiotics are an effective treatment for SIBO and can be used alone or in combination with a number of other research-backed treatments.
SIBO patients may benefit most from a long-term strategy to improve overall digestive health rather than short-term, SIBO-focused treatments. This approach has benefits beyond treating SIBO and can help resolve digestive symptoms, non-digestive symptoms, and chronic inflammatory conditions.
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Probiotics: Adding Fuel To The Fire
Treating SIBO is a 3-step approach. The first step is to remove the foods that feed it. A SIBO diet eliminates sugar, alcohol, and many carbohydrates. In addition, probiotic foods containing strains of lactobacillus or bifidobacterium including kombucha and dairy products such as kefir, can add fuel to the fire.
Second, attack the bad bacteria. Depending on the type of gas produced by your gut organisms , the primary antibiotics used for treating SIBO are Xifaxan and Neomycin. I recommend Microb-Clear to anyone working to overcome SIBO. This cutting edge blend of botanical extracts, minerals, and fatty acids works to create an inhospitable environment for parasitic microorganisms while promoting the ideal environment for beneficial probiotic bacteria.
Third, restore the beneficial bacteria with SIBO probiotics. The problem with many probiotics available on the market is that they simply dont work for SIBO. Many probiotics can actually make the problem worse.
Heres why: Your small intestine is not meant to have much bacteria in it. It interferes with digestion and nutrient absorption. Some bacteria are necessary for these functions. You want your bacteria levels to be just right for optimal digestion and absorption.
Sibo Probiotics To Avoid
Some forms of probiotic strains, including some kinds of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacterium, cause the body to increase SIBO symptoms, at least in some people. These strains include :
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Bifidobacterium lactis -increases methane, but some studies do show it helps SIBO . Caution if you have high methane levels.
- Bifidobacterium infantisincreases methane
Bifidobacterium infantis may increase the chances that you have a positive methane test, so this strain may be best to be avoided if you have SIBO.
While you may feel fine taking these probiotic strains, they also may temporarily ramp up some of your SIBO symptoms.
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Overview Of Best Probiotic Strains For Sibo
Some practitioners believe that using antibiotics, a low FODMAPS diet, and avoiding probiotic foods and probiotics is the standard of treatment for SIBO.
And yet, research shows that several strains of probiotics help with SIBO digestive symptoms. What is more, certain kinds of probiotics can even help eradicate SIBO.
Because of this, some experts in the field of SIBO are now recommending using certain strains of probiotics for SIBO treatment.
These strains include:
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus reuteri
Finding probiotic supplements that contain a broad spectrum of these strains is ideal in many cases. But as an individual, you may need to try single strains first to see if you are on the right track.
Here are some interesting research findings that have been done on some of these strains and SIBO patients.
Early Stage Mid State And Late Stage Probiotics
When I work with patients who are struggling with finding the right pro-biotics I have found that certain species should be introduced before others. I will call these early stage, mid stage and late stage.
In the early stages of SIBO treatment I find that most patients do best with Soil based probiotics- in this early stages it might be also be best to avoid the probiotic supplements that also contain prebiotics- Prebiotics are things like inulin, chicory, FOS, GOS. So.
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Top 3 Sibo Probiotics
Probiotics, if used correctly, may help reduce the bacterial burden and improve other factors such as immune function in patients with SIBO.
Studies have shown that various probiotics work, but the studies aren’t clear on which ones are considered the “best”.
This largely has to do with the fact that SIBO represents an overgrowth of bacteria but makes no mention of the TYPE or SPECIES of bacterial overgrowth.
That means that your SIBO might be a different “flavor” due to which bacteria is overgrown in your body.
Because of this, the most important part of treating SIBO is to listen to your body and iterating on your treatment.
I’ve included the most common probiotics that I’ve successfully used to treat SIBO patients .
But just because they worked for some patients doesn’t mean they will work for you.
When treating yourself make sure to evaluate your symptoms and ask yourself the following questions:
Did these probiotics help me feel better?
Did these probiotics help reduce my symptoms?
Did these probiotics make my symptoms worse?
In most cases, you should NOT be experiencing negative symptoms when you start probiotics.
If this occurs then you may need to back down on your dose or completely switch probiotics entirely.
It’s also very important that you add fermented foods to whichever probiotic you decide to start with.
Fermented foods should be considered mandatory in the treatment of SIBO as they provide far more probiotics than any probiotic supplement ever will .
My Overall Thoughts On Xifaxan And Neomycin
Overall, I would say that my experience using Xifaxan and Neomycin was a negative one.
However, if I had to make the decision whether or not to use them again to treat SIBO I would still go through with it.
I would definitely be much more cautious about caring for the health of my other body systems before, during, and after treatment.
Focusing on liver health and detoxification support is critical when dealing with any sort of gut imbalance or overgrowth.
Removing the toxins and waste produced from rounds and rounds of antibiotics is a full-time job. And I believe that some of my symptoms were a result of a liver and gallbladder that had just had enough.
I would also focus on supporting my adrenals and thyroid throughout the entire SIBO treatment process.
In my SIBO journey, I too often chose to do restrictive diets that heavily taxed my adrenals and thyroid, without a second thought.
This narrow focus most likely lead to the health issues and adrenal burnout that accompanied my final round of SIBO treatment.
And, as with any health-related decision, please consult with a trusted medical professional before making any decisions.
I am so happy to provide you with free resources detailing my experience, but they in no way substitute for the advice of a trained medical professional.
I truly hope this post was informative and will provide you with the knowledge and tools that you need to take the next step in your gut healing journey.
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Rifaximin Can Have Some Nasty Side Effects
Drugs.com also lists some of the common side effects of Rifaximin, including:
- Stomach pain
- Swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
And those are only some of the common Rifaximin side effects not to mention the many less-common side effects!
It is rather ironic that youd take an antibiotic which causes many of the very same IBS and SIBO symptoms you are trying to cure, and then adds even more symptoms on top of that.
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Hyperbiotics Pro 15 Probiotic
Coming in at number 4 we have the Hyperbiotics Pro-15 Probiotic and as the name implies, the probiotic contains 15 different probiotic strains with over 5 billion CFUs per capsule.
Out of all the probiotic strains included in the probiotic blend one of my personal favorites is L. Acidophilus, which is also included in my personal favorite probiotic, the Physicians Choice.
The reason I really like this strain is because of how effective it is when it comes to treating digestive problems like leaky gut, IBS and IBD.
The probiotic is also shelf stable and is free of all allergens including dairy, soy and gluten. Its also shelf stable, which is another plus.
The only problem I have with this probiotic is its low CFU dosage at only 5 billion, which in my opinion is not optimal and therefore a probiotic with a higher CFU count would be a much better pick.
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Best Probiotics For Sibo: Brands
It is challenging to sort through all the brands of probiotics to determine if they have the right probiotic strains for both SIBO.
To help you with that, here are some top-rated brands that have probiotic strains shown in research to help.
While more and more research is showing that probiotics are beneficial for SIBO, you will want to be careful about the strains you choose.
Especially watch out for the types of probiotics you take if you also have histamine intolerance or allergies as well.
This is because some probiotics can increase histamine in your gut, and you definitely dont want that if you have histamine intolerance.