Why you should test for SIBO before starting the AIP diet
If you're experiencing stomach and digestive issues, you might be searching for solutions to improve your health. The AIP diet is recommended for people with a leaky gut, troublesome intestinal symptoms, or autoimmune diseases, but it's important to first rule out whether you're dealing with SIBO. SIBO is a condition affecting the small intestine. This blog will address the question of what SIBO is, while also considering whether SIBO can be treated with the AIP diet.
What is SIBO?
SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and is a condition where there are too many bacteria present in the small intestine. The small intestine is responsible for absorbing nutrients from food and sending them to the rest of the body. Normally, the small intestine has a low concentration of bacteria because the majority are concentrated in the large intestine. SIBO disrupts this bacteria ratio.
When there are too many bacteria in the small intestine, they can absorb nutrients before the body can, leading to nutrient deficiencies. Additionally, the bacteria produce gases and waste products that can cause abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, heartburn, reflux, fatigue, diarrhea, and other digestive issues, including extreme food sensitivity to substances like gluten and lactose.
Factors causing SIBO
SIBO can be caused by various factors, including an unhealthy diet, poor intestinal motility, decreased stomach acid production, and other medical conditions such as Crohn's disease and Celiac disease. It's also more common in individuals with intestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
People who are highly sensitive may experience these unpleasant symptoms even ten times more intensely. Read more about the relationship between high sensitivity and gastrointestinal issues in this blog.
SIBO and AIP diet
It's important to get tested for SIBO by a general practitioner or specialist before starting the AIP diet. SIBO can lead to a leaky gut, weakening the immune system and potentially leading to autoimmune diseases. Moreover, the AIP diet might inadvertently stimulate bacterial growth in the small intestine, exacerbating symptoms. Various tests, including the Lactulose breath test and glucose breath test, are available to diagnose SIBO. The GP or specialist can advise on the most suitable test for your situation.
If SIBO is confirmed, discussing a treatment plan with a GP or specialist is crucial. This plan may involve a combination of antibiotics, probiotics, and dietary adjustments. Treating SIBO should be a priority before embarking on a SIBO-targeted diet. For instance, the AIP diet can help alleviate SIBO symptoms and enhance gut health. While the AIP diet could be beneficial for treating SIBO, it needs to be carefully implemented. This to ensure the diet is followed safely and effectively. Interested in a session with an AIP coach? Book your session through this link. The AIP diet could also be benefical in ensuring healthy gums. Read about that more in this blog.