Main Article on SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) Question: Please describe the symptoms and signs of your case of SIBO. Submit Your Comment Comment from: Bella, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 03 I have been dealing with Lyme and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), when I was diagnosed, since I was 16. But I have felt the symptoms since elementary school. I throw up every day, multiple times, I dry heave right upon waking, have diarrhea and constipation, horrible GERD, constant stomach pain and swelling. I left school and work because it is so debilitating. I am 19 and mostly house bound. Nothing works. I am trying FODMAP diet again. I gained weight, and lost 40 lb. to 106, felt better (I think not eating starved it), gained weight, and now sick again. Comment from: Piper101819, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 02 I have no symptoms or signs before an attack of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). It comes on suddenly with no warning and I have uncontrollable, explosive diarrhea. It is so embarrassing I don’t dare to go out of my house very often. Attacks come about 4 months apart and each episode has 4 episodes of diarrhea. I believe a test showed I have methane gas. Comment from: ScottichHeather, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 15 I was diagnosed with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) a few months ago. I had never heard of it until my daughter-in-law suggested I be tested. My doctor prescribed Clavulin and the symptoms went away. Then right before I was scheduled for gallbladder surgery they came back. Since the surgery it’s out of control. Dry eyes, dry mouth, stuffy sinuses, tinnitus, neck and upper back pain, it feels like a fermentation factory in my gut; anxiety, shortness of breath, dizziness, and weight loss due to nutrient and fat malabsorption. Comment from: SIBO3128, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 08 Three years ago I began having bloating, distension, abdominal discomfort and pain. I have excessive belching and gas but not having diarrhea or constipation, and my stool is tan. Breath test results were positive for the methane SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). A 2-week dose of Xifaxan was prescribed, with no effect. Bactrim was prescribed and it relieved the pain and discomfort, and the relief lasted about 2 1/2 months. I had 3 rounds of Bactrim and it no longer works. I am loath to try any more antibiotics and would appreciate any input as to where I go next. Comment from: Julzg, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 11 I have had severe bloating and stomach distension for over 6 months. I got SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) after overseas travel. Before that had I had a tummy tuck. I took Atrantil, a natural product, and it cleared it after 4 weeks, for two weeks. I then was forced to take antibiotics for face abscess. Bloating returned and many weeks later, taking Atrantil made bloating worse. I’m now half way through two antibiotics as recommended by the doctor. Bloating is still bad, no pain though. I go to the toilet once a day. Comment from: Louisa , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 04 I suffer with extremely nasty breath and a constant bad taste because of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I am constantly clearing my throat. I also have this weird raw-like burned taste at the top of my palate and when I put my tongue there at the roof of my mouth, it feels like very bumpy ridges. I don't know what that is. I have a lot of liver and gallbladder pains, constant backaches, severe fatigue, depression and anxiety, and bloating (even just from water sometimes). Comment from: Sibo kiiid, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 07 The SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) symptoms I have experienced are brain fog, headaches (temple), ear popping, face itching, slight eye pain, increased allergies (itchy eyes), increased mucus, sweet/salty taste in mouth, difficulty swallowing, chest pain, severe GERD, lower back pain and cramps. I also have a distended hard belly, bloating high and low, difficulty burping, increased intestinal noise and movement, rapid heartbeat (scary), increased sweating, rectal pain, itchy anus, abnormal stools, constipation and diarrhea. Comment from: Mets, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 09 I am 61 years old and have had trouble with my gall bladder which was taken out when I was 12 years old. Then I got gall stones in the bile ducts, had many surgeries and surgery for adhesions also. Twenty years ago I started with this bloating and I can’t breathe; I am up all night sometimes. I had reconstruction of the bile duct and doing fine with that, thank goodness. I got tested for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and it came back positive. I am now on Xifaxan and it is not working. Comment from: Joel, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 02 I have been dealing with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), symptoms being reflux (GERD), bloating, excessive burping, fatigue, irritability, weight loss of over 15 kg, food sensitivities and intolerances. These are my major issues. It mainly started after getting traveler’s diarrhea in 2015 and now 2020 it still continues. I'm battling but one breakthrough I found after being on herbal remedies is to do a comprehensive stool test. It will show you what is happening with bacteria, pathogen, etc., and can help you in this fight. SLIDESHOW Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow Comment from: Smothered Hope, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 03 I have dealt with a pregnant looking stomach from SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) for several years now. I thought it was just weight gain. Now I get abdominal cramping and diarrhea within an hour of eating anything. My skin has recently developed rosacea and I've never had dandruff but I have a severe case now. My gas and belching are out of control and a recent blood test showed me deficient in B12 and vitamin D. I feel tired all the time. I've had several major surgeries in the last 4 years… involving my esophagus. Comment from: skm, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 19 I took Prilosec for 9 months and felt awful on it. Seven months off made it even worse. Finally I got a SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) test and it is positive, thanks to Prilosec, a demon drug. I am seeing the doctor and will get on rifaximin which is the best drug to treat it. Comment from: Tessaloo, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 10 I was diagnosed with and treated for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Still recovering 6 months later. If you really have SIBO it's because you are prone to it and you need to change your diet and address physical issues. Do not eat yogurt! It colonizes your small intestine. I drink half a bottle of GT's kombucha every afternoon. You can't do the standard probiotics. Stick to soil bacteria and exercise regularly. Avoid starches and beer. Comment from: StalinM, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 06 I have been off and on fighting SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) for 3 years using herbal antibiotics such as berberine hydrochloride 500 mg tablet twice a day along with a teaspoon of tincture my naturopath doctor put together for me consisting of pomegranate, cloves, neem, wormwood and Huacapurana. My symptoms are bloating, burping and the scariest one is where my abdominal area will bloat or swell, then my heart will race, my palms with be clammy, my blood pressure will be raised, and I have food sensitivities that I never had before. Comment from: Amron, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 02 I seem to have transient intermittent symptoms of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). For me that includes major exhaustion and depression. When gut symptoms ebb my mood changes immediately within minutes and life seems worth living again and my energy returns. Comment from: Me, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 01 My doctor thinks I may have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), put me on the SIBO diet to see if it helps my symptoms. I keep feeling weird movements and sensations in my abdomen. I had a mild period and took two negative pregnancy tests. Still freaking out that I may be pregnant. I’m a very slender woman, so wondering if it is possible I’m just seeing my guts move from gas and inflammation. Comment from: Doe, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 26 For 3 years I went undiagnosed. I could not function for the fatigue, brain fog, and gut spasms. I was incoherent, dizzy, nauseous, and starving but could not eat. It was completely debilitating with symptoms that would change. Constipation with a new meaning, no urge to go, painful gas, burping, passing gas, pure agony. Finally a reason! Methane SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I am sure at this point I have more knowledge of this than the doctors. At this time I just finished my third round of antibiotics. No prokinetic drugs means relapse. Comment from: Loranrai, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 23 I have the methane small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) which doesn’t respond so well to Xifaxan although it helps a little. I do best by using Atrantil and a natural antibiotic, occasional probiotics and digestive aids. Without all this I was in the hospital weekly thinking I was having heart attacks. Now I can sort of function but have to be very careful of what I eat, sticking to a low FODMAP type diet. Just today read that I can try more Atrantil, 6 per day for 10 days to really knock out the archaebacteria. Comment from: C, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 23 My first symptom of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) was extreme bloating. I had to keep unbuttoning my jeans. This was quickly followed by 3 days of the worst gas ever; extreme. After that my bowels basically turned to liquid, diarrhea 3 times a day. I finally took Xifaxan and it cured me. My bowels aren’t what they were a year ago but my life is back 85 to 90 percent to what it was. Comment from: Positive Test Today, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 11 My SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) symptoms were seemingly random episodes of extreme diarrhea, nausea, occasional vomiting, and belching, which got worse for over a year. I had pain in various places in my abdomen and back and distension followed by flatulence, bad breath and body odor. I had elevated liver enzymes on blood tests. I have liver spots on face and dry sore mouth. QUESTION What is irritable bowel syndrome or IBS? See Answer Comment from: Aowats, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 09 I have been diagnosed with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) in the past, likely from heavy use of a PPI (proton pump inhibitor). I have GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, and had been close to high grade dysplasia. They diagnosed me with SIBO, prescribed Xifaxan 2 years ago, and it worked like a charm. Over the past six months, I was quite sure I had SIBO again. All the same symptoms! But a part of me suspected aerophagia, resulting from too much pressure from my CPAP. I was tested again in a sleep center and prescribed a BiPAP. Bingo! Fixed. Comment from: Bowlegs1982 , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 05 I have severe abdominal bloating, gas, diarrhea, and fatigue from SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I am gaining weight, it is making my anxiety worse, and I am too embarrassed to go out. Three doctors told me I was just overweight. I was set up for colonoscopy, and that doctor looked at me and asked how long I had been distended; it was over a year. I tested positive for SIBO, and am on 2 antibiotics, probiotics, and about to have a UGI (upper gastrointestinal) endoscopy, to look more closely at the small intestine, so we will see. I have a great gastroenterologist now. Comment from: Melissa, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 21 I had symptoms SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) for years. I finally saw a gastroenterologist who diagnosed me with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). I followed low FODMAP diet with little improvement. I started doing my own research and asked for SIBO breath test. I was treated with rifaximin. I felt great for a couple months, and then symptoms game back with a vengeance. I was treated again 3 times every 3 to 4 months and my symptoms have been pretty much gone for a year. I cut out dairy and gluten also. I have been doing gallbladder flushes monthly and feeling good! Good luck! It’s a long road. Comment from: 27, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 05 Symptoms of myalgia, fatigue, mental fog, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating all developed after giving birth (36 hours of antibiotics). Ruled out everything then found hydrogen SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I've always eaten healthy, even tried AI protocol, nothing helped until SIBO diet. I ate foods allowed in SIBO diet and my symptoms disappeared within a week. Bacteria hibernating so I am using herbs to kill. Probiotics will make SIBO worse. Comment from: Marti, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 21 Following DCR (dacryocystorhinostomy) for blocked tear duct a blood clot developed and was removed under fentanyl anesthesia. The next day I was in the hospital with bowel impaction. I suffered a year with abdominal pain, bloating and 10-pound weight loss. A doctor who was researching SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) recommended oil of oregano, odorless garlic, parsley and berberine, which I took for 3 years and it helped, but now have pancreatic symptoms, weight loss and much pain. I believe Fentanyl caused SIBO and pancreatic symptoms. Comment from: Bani, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 30 My SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) symptoms are excessive gas (breaking wind and belching), no bloating, and floating stools. But what seems weird to me is that I have always esophagus discomfort, no reflux, just like mucus stuff in there and some sinus problems. I wonder if these symptoms are related with SIBO. Thank you. Comment from: Tman, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 29 For 3 months now I have been losing weight with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I have had abdominal pains of all kinds, gas, anxiety, depression, and weird bowel movement changes. I lost 15 to 20 lb. in 3 months from 200 to 180. My life is affected very seriously. Some days are better than others but not good overall. Comment from: Jettyhound , 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 05 After many years of antibiotics for three separate bouts of Lyme disease and several other tick borne diseases my gut is very messed up. My symptoms of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) are actually kind of Lyme-like. Muscle and joint stiffness, cognitive and psychiatric issues (I’m a psychologist by the way), depression, intrusive thoughts, bitter taste in mouth, sinus drainage around the time of a bowel movement as well as neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms. Gut is way off! I get constipation and then diarrhea with several movements a day. Crazy. Comment from: JW in NYC , 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 26 Loss of appetite (no hunger pangs whatsoever, even after fasting for 24 hours), chronic constipation, gas, mood swings, and shortness of breath after eating certain foods were my SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) symptoms. I was treated with Xifaxan three years ago and it made me worse. Comment from: Sandy T, 45-54 (Patient) Published: February 19 I was given antibiotics for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I finished the 2 week treatment. It was very expensive and didn't work. I have the same symptoms someone else listed here; breathing issues and wheezing. I thought I was crazy. Glad I found this site. Now I know for certain the shortness of breath and wheezing is from the pressure of SIBO. Just need to get a remedy for the pressure. Thanks all. Comment from: Lars M, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 03 I have almost all symptoms of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). The doctors would not help and tested for celiac only, then wrote it off as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). I had 10 bowel movements a day and lost 55 lb. in 6 months to less than 150. I think problems started from prescribed PPI's. I did my own testing by eating rice only for a few days. Two different times, I found problems after adding lactose then soy especially. Soy is in practically everything, you can cut symptoms in half by eliminating those. I had dental abscess, then surgery, so had 2 prescriptions for amoxicillin for 10 days, and then 7 days over a month's time. SIBO symptoms left for 5 months, but most all bacteria was killed so gastrointestinal tract slowed to a crawl and SIBO returned with a vengeance after that 5 months! Amoxicillin could work but kills too much of gut. I don't eat processed foods or soy (especially hydrogenated soy oil!). Jalapenos seem to help me with symptoms as does Costco Greek yogurt and probiotic beverages. Comment from: Vincent, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 02 I have been having symptoms for many years, possibly much of my life, but was finally diagnosed a few months ago via the breath test for methane and hydrogen producing SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). It has gone from just feeling extremely tired and fatigued after eating, to hardly being able to eat anything at all without going through hours of intense abdominal pain/bloating/shortness of breath/feeling like I am close to death, many visits to the emergency room, and a period of 2 weeks of total constipation (thankfully that has resolved somewhat, though still far from normal). I am seeing a naturopath, have tried Allimax, goldenseal, thyme and myrrh, both of which helped a little temporarily, but I found the toxic overload due to my constipation too unbearable. Sticking mostly to the SIBO specific low FODMAP diet has helped a bit, but I still have problems even then. I am feeling very hopeless and defeated, worn out, weak, losing weight, and have developed worsening autoimmune symptoms. Comment from: josie44, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 14 I have been dealing with stomach fullness, bloating and distension for about 3 years now. I look like I am 9 months pregnant! I am beginning to get stares from strangers as to the size of my stomach. I work out 3 to 5 days a week, and am physically fit everywhere else. It is just that my stomach is huge. I have no other symptoms of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth); no pain, no diarrhea. I can’t wear stylish clothes. I have to wear oversized t-shirts and elastic waist pants. My husband and I are vacationing soon, and I recently tried on a bathing suit. I left the dressing room in tears. I am so tired of looking pregnant when I clearly am not. I have read a lot about SIBO, and this could be my problem. I take a good probiotic daily, but I don’t know how I can change my diet to avoid whatever is triggering this stomach bloat. Comment from: nancy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 14 I thought I had cancer. I had accidents in the most embarrassing places and was having to wear protection (pads) all the time. I had uncontrollable flatulence and lower abdominal pain, and frequently took Imodium A-D. I had to learn about all the gassy foods and eliminate them one at a time from my diet. On top of all that I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance by showing positive on my 'breath testing' for SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) also tested the next day! Oh, I am also a type 2 diabetic. I love to cook and love food of all countries. After being so depressed for many months I finally learned the foods I could tolerate; I am still learning after 5 years. Charcoal pills before you eat, Physame pill after you eat and to be thankful your condition is not worse and you are not alone. Comment from: Zogbert, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 15 First thing I noticed was weight loss. It took another year before I began to have an odd feeling in my upper right abdomen. It was another six months before that sensation turned into pain, and my stool changed. It took another couple of years for me to finally be given a hydrogen breath test that confirmed SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Lots of tests, lots of specialists, lots of bills, and I'm still sick. Ugh! Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 19 I have always had health issues since I was a kid. I have had constipation all my childhood till about 4 or 5 years ago. I know have been suffering from constant diarrhea, gas, pain, and bloating. My stomach feels like it is a burning, a raw feeling as well. I also have Hashimoto's which started my journey. I researched about my Hashimoto's and found that most thyroid patients have a gene mutant the MTHFR. I was tested and my test came back I have 2 copies. Both my sister and I have the same C677T which is not good. Before this I went to the gastroenterologist and had a colonoscopy and endoscopy with biopsies. My doctor then ordered a breath test. It also came back very positive. So I have been reading as much as I can on SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I have tried the elimination diet with antibiotics, but nothing got better. So I am now trying to research for a doctor that works with both the MTHFR gene and my SIBO; they seem to go together so I have read. Wish me luck on my journey. Comment from: Connie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 22 I was tested for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) about two years ago. I have the methane gas type. I tried the SIBO diet without much success, herbal medicines and then 2 antibiotics which I had to discontinue due to an allergic reaction. From morning and throughout the night I let out gas, mainly through opening my mouth and just letting it expel. Sometimes I pass rectal gas but not often. It keeps me awake for hours at night. I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), constipation type and GERD. I have given up taking anything, nothing seems to work. I also developed Dercum's disease along the way. I am sure there is some connection. I hope they find a cure. Comment from: marti, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 17 I had nasolacrimal duct procedure and developed a pharyngeal blood clot. I returned to the surgical center where the clot was removed under pharyngeal mask fentanyl opioid anesthesia. The next day I had a bowel impaction. For the next two years I have suffered with constant abdominal pain, bloating and constipation. I never took laxatives or had constipation prior. Past seven months my weight went from 115 to 95 pounds. Past 3 days I have been treating myself for SIBO with herbs and diet and symptoms seem to be improving. I did not realize the foods I was consuming had so high sugar content. I hope I can regain the weight. This has messed up my life and I believe the opioid anesthesia slowed my digestion and was the impetus for this problem. Hope this helps someone. Comment from: Jgcwithsibo, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 12 I had surgery and radiation for cervical cancer in 1987. Since that time and all during treatment I suffered with horrible explosive diarrhea. I am still searching for a cure I firmly believe the radiation destroyed my colon and the huge amounts of antibiotics during and after surgery was the cause of my small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. I have been to many doctors over 28 years and they still want to pile on the antibiotic. I have been tied to my home and missed many family celebrations. I have tried the diet and lots of probiotics and they do help somewhat. Beware of taking Xifaxan! I took it in 2010, and in less than two weeks and while taking it I had C. difficile. That particular bacteria has killed many patients, particularly the elderly. Go the natural route and diet. Comment from: Dee, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 05 I'm in hospital at the moment, I have diffuse scleroderma and recently developed all the symptoms of bloating, belching, flatulence, recurring diarrhea, vomiting and leakage every week for the past 7 weeks. My general practitioner has now put me on rifampicin and I'm waiting for a CAT scan! I'm really hopeful this will work for me, I'm following a celiac diet and cutting out lactose and sugar and it is helping. Comment from: JDThompson, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 08 The first onset of my symptoms of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth was 10 years ago when I had days of watery diarrhea that was often interrupted by days of constipation. Eventually, I had watery diarrhea mixed with blood and mucus. The abdominal pain and bloating became severe. But these events occurred once a year for three years then no symptoms for five years. Each of the three years I had developed diverticulitis, and Crohn's disease was ruled out. Treatment has been two weeks of Flagyl and Bactrim, until this last event I was given Cipro. Yogurt was encouraged daily. I am miserable when I have these symptoms and this last episode is not going away as usual. This condition is not considered a medical emergency but it sure disrupts life! Comment from: Debmac, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08 I have suffered with diarrhea for a while now. It took me three different gastroenterologists until finally I found one who believed me! I would eat and literally would go to the bathroom all the way home if we went out and it was to the point that I would stay home from anywhere. The doctor gave me colestipol micronized – amazing. My life has done a 360. I actually hugged him when I had my follow up. Now I am still having symptoms of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which I always knew I had because I always would have to do bouts of Flagyl. Never give up. You will find that one doctor who will listen! My stomach puffs out like when I was pregnant with my twins and a lot of pain and gurgling, but not to deal with the diarrhea and wearing Depends at 54 is a wonderful thing since I started colestipol micronized! Comment from: netjudy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 16 My physician prescribed Xifaxan last February because I felt that the gas and diarrhea I was having might be bacterial in origin. I was happy with the way it worked. After the six pills a day for 10 days I resumed my daily probiotics and all went well. But I seem to have recurrent periods of poor bowel health and am having one now. After gall bladder surgery in mid-July, eveything was good until another flare-up, which developed into a bowel obstruction episode and a couple of days in the hospital. Since then, I can't seem to shake the diarrhea. I asked to try the Xifaxan again and am using it, but it seems not to be improving my symptoms. What I experienced between the original course of antibiotics and now was a period of time when I felt a lot more strong and resilient and less gassy. I had enough days of normalcy that I thought perhaps I had gotten beyond my years of difficulties. Here I am again. Oy vey. Comment from: Jane, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 07 I was diagnosed with SIBO in 2007. I had previously been diagnosed with IBS. Ten years ago, I had surgery to remove the gallbladder and bile duct because of cysts in the bile duct. Following that, I suffered with IBS. In 2007, I became very ill with diarrhea, upset stomach, and acid reflux. I could not eat or sleep and lost a lot of weight. It took four months for the doctors to find out what was wrong. I began taking probiotics, coated peppermint supplements, and trying to cut out sugary and high-carbohydrate foods. That has helped a lot to control the awful symptoms, but occasionally it still flares up. I found out that taking antacid medications reduces the acid needed to kill bacteria, so I stopped taking those and found that if the bacteria is under control, I do not have the acid reflux problem. Aloe vera juice has also been helpful. Comment from: Need Help, 55-64 (Patient) Published: February 02 My dad had the same small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) symptoms that I am having. He was not from the antibiotic generation and died of colon cancer at 78. No matter what I eat or don't eat, about 15 to 20 minutes afterward, I feel like a Parana feeding frenzy is happening in my small intestines. Then the avalanche occurs ... bloating, foul gas, involuntary stool seepage, mushy or explosive diarrhea, nocturnal diarrhea, then weight loss, starving-to-death hunger: The list is long, as it causes anxiety, short temper, depression, etc. I am house-bound. No amount of high-quality probiotics or one-year treatment with a holistic doctor has helped except for Xifaxan. I just keep thinking about my father and how he suffered with these same symptoms. Comment from: Tummyache, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 30 I have had gastrointestinal problems for many years. It has been really bad in the last two years. I underwent many tests that concluded I had small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). My physician advised a no-lactose, no-grain, and no-sugar diet. It is called “The Simple Carbohydrate Diet.” I have been following it for two months, and I have seen much improvement. It is recommended to follow it for at least a year to get your body healed. Comment from: Kate, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 26 Wonder if anyone has tried berberine and Candicin to treat SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I'm on day 3 of rifaximin and more bloated than I was. Comment from: Andi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 12 I have lower right quadrant pain that eases with massage prescribed for ileocecal valve dysfunction. I researched and it can be related to SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Makes sense. Probiotics and berberine taken daily help a ton, as well as a low FODMAP diet. I've also had an MRI that revealed diverticulosis at the ileocecal valve, which I am assuming contributes to all of it. I am tired of the pain, and sometimes give in to taking the anti-spasmodic medicine prescribed for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), although I don't really like doing that. Comment from: Ow, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 13 Wonder if it is usual for weight to be going up and down while SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is clearing up. Comment from: Kmwl, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 07 My SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) symptoms are bloating, lack of appetite, getting full easily, nausea, pain in the upper abdomen, weight loss, and fat malabsorption. Every patient is a little different. Mine has gone into remission for a little while. Comment from: kolo, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 19 I have been diagnosed with SIBO and am somewhat confused on treatment. My doctor prescribed Xifaxan but this is for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) with diarrhea and I have IBS with constipation. Comment from: Karen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 14 I have been very sick for a few years ever since I developed an oral infection that was undiagnosed by the dentist. I started to have more gastrointestinal symptoms as well as bouts of pneumonia. I was finally diagnosed with autoimmune type atrophic gastritis, which can only be detected with a biopsy obtained by an endoscopy. I don't produce enough acid and I have difficulty digesting and absorbing certain vitamins, like vitamin B-12. I also have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), nausea, bloating, stomach aches, weakness, fatigue, and constipation. I have been on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), rifaximin, fluconazole, azithromycin, lubiprostone, sucralfate, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. I have made a lot of changes to my diet. My condition is very stressful for me. Comment from: SOPHIE, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 17 I had a hard time believing that small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) could cause the most unbelievable symptoms: shortness of breath, wheezing, exhaustion, brain fog, blurred vision, dizziness, neck and back pain, nausea, rash, dry heaves, and pressure in my ears. I was already thin, so my weight fell by 10 pounds to 100. It was scary – I could no longer walk half a block because of shortness of breath. Before this, my husband and I ran in the park and did yoga together. I saw every type of specialist and had all kinds of tests, including an MRI, hepatobiliary (HIDA) scan, and a full-body thermography. I saw two infectious disease specialists, a GP, and an OB/GYN, who did exploratory surgery and removed small cysts but assured me that they were not causing the symptoms. My doctor put me on bioidentical hormones to see if that helped. I had two root canals, including one that was infected. I had to stop working and driving because I was deathly sick and dizzy. I thought I was dying a long and agonizing death. I went to a naturopathic doctor, who did a breath test and told me I have the SIBO and am high in hydrogen. I started a special diet, but my regular doctor suggested I discontinue it because I was losing more weight. So, I did the double whammy: I'm on rifaximin, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), and am also taking Chinese herbs along with amazing black cumin seed oil. This combination seems to be working miracles for me in eliminating symptoms. I will continue the SCD diet for up to year if I have to – I just want this over with. Comment from: jacqueline, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 17 I have never been diagnosed, but have had many episodes of nausea, bloating, constipation, diarrhea etc. I lost a lot of weight, and could barely eat a thing everything I ate caused pain and nausea. I have tried many natural things but nothing really helped until i tried pure coconut oil in my diet. I was impressed about what I read about it, especially its antifungal and antibacterial properties. A week after taking it every day my stomach started to feel better. My appetite was back and I didn't feel so tired and ill this has been my lifeline. I hope others will try it as it is natural with no side effects, and it has extra bonuses such as it softens your skin, helps keep you free from bugs and viruses such as influenza, and gives instant energy. All my friends have bought it too because of its great effects. There is lots of information online about its nutritional values. Comment from: Sick of being Sick!, 55-64 Female Published: August 17 For about 3 years off and on I have suffered with nausea and with upper stomach bloating. The first time I had the episode, it lasted for about 12 weeks; and I lost 12 pounds. Then I ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, and being on strong I.V. antibiotics for that apparently cleared up the symptoms for about 6 or 8 months. They symptoms returned, lasted a few weeks and eased. I went to an OB-GYN (no diagnosis), M.D. (thought it was gall-bladder issue but the surgeon ruled that out), and a gastro doctor to ruled out the possibility of an ulcer. After a third episode, the gastro doctor had a SIBO test done that came back positive. Took antibiotics and it went away for about 6 months and now it is back. I don't want to be on antibiotics regularly, so I am looking for diet help with this. Comment from: bhartman, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 17 I am a 38 year old female. I had a heart attack mild at 35 years old. I have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary disease. I had my Gallbladder out a couple of years ago. I was missed diagnosed with asthma for 15 years. Never really had it. I was then correctly diagnosed with GAD. (I do not think I really have it) I also have now been diagnosed with Diabetes. I can not loose weight no matter what I eat. I finally have been diagnosed with SIBO. I tested positive on a breath test and went to doctors for 10 years telling them I had stomach problems, basically they told me it was in my head and that I just ate bad. 11 years ago I was perfect body weight and totally felt good. I used to teach aerobics as well. I finally found a GI doctor in Austin, TX that knew what the heck he was doing, but now I am on my 4th round of Xifaximin and every time I am off, I still feel horrible. I know how people feel when they say they feel like they are dying. I just need some hope that I will not be living with this. There has to be a cure! If anyone knows of anything else, please post! I am going for another endo this week. Doctor wants to check for stomach cancer. Comment from: nana4two, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 17 I have been seeking help from physicians for over 15 years to help with all the symptoms that I have read about this disorder. I will be getting the breath test in the next two weeks. I am hoping that they can soon find out what is happening. I eat and within 20 minutes I am in the bathroom with extremely loose bowel movements, severe abdominal pain, and foul smelling bowel movements that are accompanied by a bright yellow liquid. I have Lupus and now have been told that it could be affecting the small intestine. I hope they soon figure this out because now I only eat one meal a day because I do not want to get sick while I am at work. Comment from: lala, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 24 I was ill for years with many of the same symptoms plus some. I was dizzy, had brain fog, was tired (all the time) had shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, nausea, warm feeling in stomach and chest etc. I went to doctor after doctor and had every test done you can think of until I was sent to a GI doc at the University. He did a few tests. One of them was the hydrogen breath test. I tested positive. I guess the numbers were very high. He believes I have had SIBO for years. I was put on strong antibiotics that did not help, so I was put on others that did not help either. Finally he put me on two antibiotics at the same time. That finally did something. I felt much better for a few months then started to get all the same symptoms again. Apparently I will have the SIBO forever. At least that is what I was told. I have found if I take probiotics and enzymes everyday I feel so much better. When I feel any nausea I take peppermint oil. I also started taking B12 because my B12 levels were low. All this has helped but I have yet to feel normal. I am hoping starting the low carb diet will do the trick. Comment from: brandy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 24 I have been feeling sick for the past three months, couldn't eat because everything I ate made me sick. I started losing weight and discovered I had lost twenty-one pounds over the three month period. My doctor kept giving me different prescriptions and none took care of the problem. I got diagnosed with diabetes and once again more meds in my system. Finally, I went to a gastrointestinal doctor and had to do the breath test with the bags. They phoned me today to tell me I have bacterial overgrowth (which I never heard of), now I hope this convinces people my symptoms were not imaginary. I start meds and hope it works. The weight loss was good for me but now I don't look so well. Comment from: CLB, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 11 I have just been diagnosed with SIBO following a lifetime of gastrointestinal problems that were worst in childhood, became better throughout young adulthood, and are now worsening again. The basis of my illness has always been nausea, vomiting, and constipation; but the balance of them is quite different now than in childhood. In childhood I experienced a lot of flatulence and nausea. Now I have GERD, vomiting without nausea, and frequent constipation. When I vomit I see food that I ate as long ago as 5 days that shows no sign of being digested. In fact, it appears as if it has been enclosed in mucosal "packets" since the time I ate it. (I say this because it is coming back sorted in little bunches.) My doctor has prescribed a round of Cipro to be followed up by another round if my symptoms don't disappear. I will return with an update in the near future. Thanks to all for your posts--I no longer feel completely alone in this. Comment from: katiem, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 24 I have been feeling terrible for the last year or so. Today, I was diagnosed with SIBO with a breath test. I also was diagnosed as lactose intolerant. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about 15 years ago. (No major joint problems until two to three years ago.) I started six years ago with gastric reflux problems. I was told I had a hiatus hernia. (Five years later a gastroscopy showed I hadn't!) Lansoprazole was prescribed to me, which lowers your stomach acid and thus your intestinal barrier. After that, I had a major rheumatoid arthritis flare-up. I had a year of feeling not so bad, but I was beginning to bloat. Then virtually overnight, I thought I was going mad! I felt awful! It’s now been 15 months later with various antibiotics and antifungals tried sporadically. I am now worse as I have lost so much weight with malnutrition and not knowing what to eat. I am surprised just how much it affects your mind. I am weak, depressed, and my eyesight is blurring later in the day. I have insomnia and my body “zaps” me awake so that I can't sleep naturally. I feel like I'm dying. I hope the medical profession can help me. Comment from: David S., 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 16 I started having abdominal bloating; gas; loose, foul smelling stool; stomach cramps and apparent allergies to mushrooms and peanuts, which, if eaten, would immediately cause nausea. My primary care physician sent me for an ultrasound of my gall bladder, thinking that I had gall stones. Turns out, I have a polyp in the gall bladder neck. The doctors all wanted to remove the gall bladder, but I wasn't so sure this was the cause because my wife had her gall bladder removed and my symptoms were different from hers. I went to another doctor who agreed that my symptoms didn't sound like it was my gall bladder. He remarked that he sees many patients post-surgery after gall-bladder removal that come to him with the same symptoms they had before surgery. He prescribed the hydrogen breath test and the results were positive for SIBO. After taking the two-week antibiotic treatment, I was free of symptoms and my stool was normal once again. It has been about five and a half months and the symptoms seem to be slowly returning. My new doctor advised that this may occur, usually after about four to six months, and gave me six refills on the prescription. Taking an antibiotic sure beats unnecessary surgery! Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 20 I became ill with diarrhea and horrendous gas. I had various tests that showed no infection, although the diarrhea temporarily cleared up after a few days of antibiotics. I was found to be anemic. I lost a lot of weight in 10 weeks. After two months of illness, I had a colonoscopy and a biopsy of the small intestine. The biopsy showed too many white blood cells. As an initial course of antibiotics had cleared up the diarrhea temporarily, a differential diagnosis to suspected celiac disease was given. A hydrogen breath test diagnosed SIBO. Blood tests showed I did not have celiac disease. I was given four months’ worth of antibiotics (oxytetracycline and ciprofloxacin -- rotating every two weeks). I was also diagnosed with lactose intolerance. I had a follow up breath test that was clear. I am still free of diarrhea after six months. A possible cause of the SIBO was a tropical infection, as I suffered similar symptoms when living in Nicaragua two years ago. But I was told that it was hard to tell what had caused it. Comment from: Lindz, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 17 I have continual bloating, soft foul smelling sticky stools, chest pain, and extreme shortness of breath, exhaustion, major upper digestive gas and indigestion. I even get so much gas built up that I will have burp/vomits. I will heave, and in between whatever I ate will come out as voluminous belches. Seen gastroenterologists, MD’s, therapist's, holistic doctors. The only one doc that recognized my problem was my respirologist. Confirmed case of Small Bowel Overgrowth! I'm now seeing an integrative medicinal doctor who is treating me with Levofloxacin (Levaquin) and Metronidazole (Flagyl). I’m on day one, and the heartburn is gone!! Gas is reduced. I can feel the difference already. Good luck finding a doc who will treat you, or even has the knowledge to. None of the area is very researched. It's trial and error, so most doctors won’t even know what you're talking about. Not even your own GI specialists. Go for a hydrogen breath test or small bowel aspirate for proper diagnosis! Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 17 I got kicked in the sternum by a horse- huge internal bruising including intestines... then got horrible food poisoning in Vegas. Slowly over the last 4 years I've steadily gained weight, tired, migraines, fevers, can't eat wheat anymore after I eat my abdomen swells until it's hard to breathe lots of burping face broke out muzzy headed. I finally discovered SIBO and have done one round of xifaxan and starting a 2nd round today (two weeks each time). I have a lot of research to do a lot of learning as Ii conquer this. After 4 years of doctors telling me I was "JUST FAT" or was "depressed" I have a bit of a battle to do with my body to get this killed off and gone for good. I wish I could charge those docs with negligence. Comment from: Mewsician, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 16 I have had symptoms of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) for at least 25 years; diagnosis about 20 years ago. Within the last year, my food restrictions made it nearly impossible to eat much away from my own kitchen. Then I was treated for a root canal related infection, with a ‘mycin’ antibiotic. All of my SIBO symptoms disappeared almost immediately. This was about six weeks ago; I have been testing various foods, and have added many of them back into my diet. However, time will tell whether symptoms will return. Comment from: FODMAPper1, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 05 I was diagnosed with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) through the breath test about 2 years ago. I have been doing really well with the use of probiotics, the occasional use of Miralax and, most importantly, the FODMAP diet. Comment from: Carla, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 18 Apparently my SIBO was caused by taking too much Prilosec, which was prescribed by my ENT. I went to him with a feeling of something stuck in my throat. He diagnosed me with acid reflux, specifically LPR. He prescribed 2 Prilosec in the morning and 2 at night. No significant improvement. I went to a gastroenterologist, who felt that the prescribed dosage was too high for too long and probably resulted in the SIBO due to lack of acid to kill the bad bacteria. Comment from: Berit, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 06 I am 66 and have suffered from IBS since my teens. Three years ago I had diarrhea for six months, with up to 20 visits to the toilet per day. After this I was hospitalized, and the doctors found that I suffer from a so-called collagenous colitis. I have lost weight, 10 kilos, in one year. I am now seeing a functional medicine practitioner here in Norway. He has put me on a strict diet: no grains, no dairy products (no so called “gluten-free”products either), no grapes – the list is long. I only eat soup from homemade stock, take lots of prebiotic and probiotic pills, a fungus-killing product, B6, zinc and B12 injections. I am still on this regime, but after only two weeks I feel so much better. Comment from: josy, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 16 It has almost been a year since I started experiencing this kinds of syptoms that exactly resemble the ones for SIBO, but I thought it was somewhat to do with my stomach and the other fact that made me reluctant not to be see a doctor is the fact that this syptoms appear only when I stop taking 'Chat' which is a stimulant green vegetable-type tree found in Ethiopia. I still don't know the correlation between this chat and SIBO but it gives me one heck of a relief. Comment from: CLB, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 11 I have just completed a 10 day course of Cipro for SIBO. I am currently having no symptoms. I am concerned, but wonder how I will fare if I stop the recommended maintenance regimen of Azithromycin and Nexium that I was prescribed before the SIBO diagnosis. These were prescribed for symptoms of gastroparesis which the testing showed I do not have. My physician continues to recommend that I stay on this regimen essentially forever. I don't understand this recommendation. It is proposed that a possible cause of SIBO is the use of antacids allowing a more hospitable environment for bacteria in the small intestine. There is also some evidence of bone loss related to long-term use of PPI's such as Nexium and Prevacid. Is there any such thing as a cure anymore? Shouldn't I be able to eat a balanced natural diet and not have these unnatural substances in my system if the antibiotics have done their job? My grandparents lived to be very old people who took care of themselves into their eighties without being on medications all the time. I don't want to support the folks at the drug company as they no longer seem to be looking for cures, but rather for ways to keep control of my purse for the next 30 odd years. Comment from: tangal, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 16 I recently received positive results from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) breath testing. I have been experiencing the following symptoms; bad breath, increased flatulence and frequent bowel movements (of normal consistency). I have a recent history of abnormal autonomic nervous system testing and bulging disks with narrowed neuronal foramen in the lumbar region. I will begin antibiotic treatment but am concerned that the cause of the SIBO will not be addressed and that the symptoms will recur. Comment from: gbak, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 20 I had diarrhea for months. I spent thousands on doctors and medications with mixed results but no solutions. I finally, after being pretty much completely frustrated with the medical establishment, happened across an article about SIBO and the fix was: 3 drops of peppermint oil in 1/2 a glass of water three times a day, and 2 raw garlic gloves per day for two weeks. The best part I figured was that if it didn't work, there shouldn't be any harmful side effects. Anyway, it had an immediate effect. My diarrhea, gas, and bloating were gone in a couple of days and the acid reflux was reduced to a normal level. An important note to this is that I was taking about 600 mg of Zantac a day just to maintain a normal life. (It didn't matter what I ate.) Now I take one once every week or two. This is what worked for me. I hope it helps. Comment from: Crispy , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 20 I was diagnosed with SIBO in May 2008. Three rounds of Xifaxan seemed to clear it up and have been on Align (probiotic) since then. I’m also faithfully adhering to a specific carb diet. Unfortunately, some symptoms have recently returned and I guess I will be starting meds all over again. Comment from: nancy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 31 I have been suffering from excessive foul smelling wind for almost a year now and chronic constipation for 4 years and was recently diagnosed with a possible small intestine bacterial overgrowth or a malabsorption. My gastroenterologist decided to place me on a dose of Sulfatrim for 14 days to see if it's SIBO. I just started my dose in August and as of now have not seen any improvement yet. I was reading your site and I came across some very interesting information like that of the bacteria producing methane that causes constipation and also your recommended treatment using neomycin. Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 17 I have been reading these and I have noticed that I am on the younger side for SIBO. I just turned 22 and have had the worst bloating for a little over two years and terrible indigestion. I was put on Nexium and that did not even touch it. I have been to a couple different GI doctors been blood tested for numerous things, and finally just took the SIBO breath test today and was very high. I am starting Xifaxin and I am hoping this will help. Any other home remedies that anyone knows of I would greatly appreciate it! The extreme bloating may not sound bad, but everyday, every hour for two years is a pain to deal with! Comment from: gale , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 24 After years of IBS symptoms, treatment with the antibiotic Biaxan (for a different condition) completely cleared up my IBS symptoms. I had frothy, bad smelling diarrhea for two days, then started to feel wonderful. I continued to take probiotics during and after. This antibiotic really helped me. Comment from: ruth, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 17 I am taking 500 mg Levaquin every day after joint replacement in my knee. Now I am having all the symptoms of Levaquin toxicity i.e. tendonitis, but also as of late I am having digestion problems. Is it appropriate to take probiotics, or is that going to overload my system with bacteria? Comment from: KARS, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 17 I have had digestive problems for years with frequent diarrhea, explosive at times, excessive gas, rectal pressure and lower abdominal burning. I finally had a multitude of tests completed and was diagnosed with SIBO. I was prescribed doxycycline for 7 days. I have taken it for 4 1/2 days and have also started eating activi on the advice of my GI doctor at Mayo. So far no relief of symptoms, but I am hopeful. Is there an Internet support group for people with SIBO? Comment from: 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 05 My husband has had this for about 2 years. He has fainted, gotten mean without even remembering it, eats like a horse and never gains weight. It’s very scary. He is dizzy, his chest hurts, he sometimes can’t breathe, and sometimes he says his heart is racing but when we take his blood pressure, it’s low or normal. His docs haven’t done a thing.