Important SIBO Updates that You’ll Want to Know

In a recent interview with Dr. Allison Siebecker, we discussed some great information regarding SIBO treatment. The two main topics of our conversation were the use of anti-biofilm agents and the issue of yeast overgrowth in conjunction with SIBO.

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 SIBO

Important SIBO Updates that You’ll Want to Know

In a recent interview with Dr. Allison Siebecker, we discussed some great information regarding small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) treatment. The two main topics in our conversation were the use of anti-biofilm agents and the issue of yeast overgrowth in conjunction with SIBO.

Anti-biofilm agents for treating SIBO

We recently completed an in-house study with anti-biofilm agents in conjunction with herbal antimicrobials for treating SIBO. This information was presented at the SIBO Symposium last June.

The agents used were either InterFase Plus or N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Our results showed a significant reduction in hydrogen gas levels, but not methane. This was surprising, due to the fact that we’ve never believed anti-biofilm agents to provide much benefit in SIBO treatment.

Dr. Siebecker has over 6 years of experience treating thousands of SIBO patients and has never been able to perceive a benefit in using anti-biofilm agents for SIBO. She has never noticed that anti-biofilms reduce gas levels more, provide shorter treatment duration, or prevent relapse. Nothing has stood out as being significantly helpful when using anti-biofilm agents.

Why might the study results and the clinical results be so different? There’s a difference between statistical and clinical results. Statistically significant means that, numerically, the results are valid. It’s not just by chance that the end results happened. However, just because it’s mathematically significant doesn’t mean it’s impactful enough to mean anything in the real world.

This might be the case with anti-biofilm agents. They may provide enough of an effect to be statistically significant, but not enough to drastically impact patients and their symptoms.

The recommendation in this case is not to make anti-biofilm agents part of standard SIBO protocol, but to consider them when someone has not seen much improvement with antimicrobials.

Dr. Paul Anderson suggests that the standard anti-biofilm agents aren’t effective enough to really impact the treatment of SIBO, so he has created a stronger anti-biofilm called Biosolve-PA. Dr. Siebecker is experimenting with this agent to see how it works in some tougher cases. She doesn’t have final results yet, but she is seeing results in her SIBO patients who also have yeast overgrowth. These patients seem to be experiencing more die-off reactions.

What about yeast overgrowth (SIFO)?

Dr. Siebecker tests for yeast overgrowth with organic acids, blood antibodies, and/or stool. She also uses patient symptoms quite often, as many of her patients are remote. The symptoms tend to be the same for both SIBO and small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO).

If symptoms still reside after treating SIBO, then you must consider another cause. So often, the culprit is yeast overgrowth. That’s why it can be a great option to treat with herbal antimicrobials because they are both antibacterial and anti-fungal. A good sign that yeast overgrowth might be present is when the patient experiences bad die-off symptoms. Die-off is usually worse with yeast than with bacteria.

While herbal antimicrobials have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties, some are better at treating specific microbes. In Dr. Siebecker’s experience, when she treats SIBO with antimicrobials, she usually has to put the patient on more targeted antifungals if they also have a yeast overgrowth. Typically the herbs used for SIBO aren’t enough for the yeast.

Dr. Siebecker’s favorite antifungal herbs:

  • Caprylic acid
  • Undecenoic/undecylenic acid
  • Uva ursi
  • Pau d’Arco
  • Oregano
  • Berberine
  • Grapefruit seed extract

For those who are really sensitive, it’s best to use single agents rather than broad-spectrum antimicrobial formulas.

What about worms?

It seems that many patients believe they have a parasite or worm that is causing their issues. There are lots of times when we may get hung up on preconceived beliefs. We see this a lot with diet. We’re convinced that a certain food is causing our issues, but we just can’t correlate it to symptoms. The same may be true with the idea of worms or parasites. What may look like a worm in your stool could possibly be mucus. The best thing to do in this case is to get it tested at a reliable, integrative lab.

Over the years we’ve heard the term parasites used a lot in relation to gut issues. However, it’s more of a catch-all term referring to a dysbiosis or overgrowth in the intestines. Now, as we have more testing capabilities and more clarity, we can distinguish the issues. More commonly, we find that the issue is related to yeast or bacteria rather than parasites.


If you need help resolving SIBO or dysbiosis, click here

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.

Discussion

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