Three Effective Ways to Treat SIBO

SIBO is a common infection in which an overgrowth of bacteria occurs in the small intestine leading to IBS symptoms of gas, bloating, and altered bowel function. There are three effective ways to treat SIBO, and the treatment option you choose also influences the duration of treatment.

If you need help managing your SIBO, click here

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Three Effective Ways to Treat SIBO

This week we discussed the treatment of SIBO with Rafaximin and how the duration of treatment might be dependent on the levels on your breath test. Higher levels may require longer treatment. Here are three effective treatment options and their durations.

Antibiotics

An effective and well-studied SIBO treatment is with pharmaceutical antibiotics. The primary antibiotic used in treating SIBO is Rafaxamin, as discussed in Monday’s video. The typical treatment duration is 14 days. However, research is now showing that a longer treatment duration may be more effective in some cases. Rafaximin is primarily used for hydrogen-positive SIBO with diarrhea as a main symptom. In the case of methane-positive SIBO in which constipation is present, Rafaximin is usually combined with another antibiotic such as Neomycin or Metronizadole for 10 to 14 days.

Herbal Antimicrobials

The use of herbal antimicrobials is another option for treating SIBO. The use of single antimicrobials and the use of broad spectrum antimicrobials have both been used successfully. Some common herbs used in SIBO treatment include oil of oregano, allicin, berbine herbs, and neem. The treatment duration with herbal antimicrobials is typically longer than with antibiotics. Usually a protocol will last four to eight weeks.

Elemental Diet

Another option for treatment is a liquid elemental diet. This is typically the last-resort option because it’s difficult to do and the taste is not pleasant. A liquid elemental diet consists of a predigested formula that you drink for 14 days to starve the bacteria while still nourishing your body. No food is allowed during this two-week period. Only the elemental formula is to be consumed.

If you need help managing your SIBO, click here

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Discussion

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