IBS? Candida? Or is it SIBO?

Posted by Karen Carswell on

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The majority of my clients these days complain of symptoms similar to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).  Abdominal bloating, distention and pain, gas, belching, reflux, constipation, diarrhoea and list goes on.  These uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms can effect everyday life and can lead to more serious symptoms if the cause is not addressed.  Nutrient deficiencies, Fatigue, headaches, leaky gut, toxicity, inflammation, joint pain, skin complaints, respiratory system complaints, bowel disorders, mood imbalances and even conditions such as autism can result from gastrointestinal imbalances.

There can be many reasons for IBS symptoms to occur and getting to the root cause can be a challenge.  Food intolerance, low stomach acid, yeast overgrowth (commonly known as Candida), parasites, bacterial overgrowth, leaky gut and a poor diet are just a few of the possible causes which need to be explored.

My Story

I had suffered from IBS symptoms for most of my life which began when I was very young as chronic constipation.  I always had problems with my bowel and when I became a teenager I resorted to laxatives and bad eating habits (because I did not know any better) to try and stop the constant bloating and uncomfortable stomach (boy do I wish I knew then what I do now!!)  I had developed a thyroid condition which was hereditary in my family and coeliac disease.  Over the years my IBS symptoms got worse and I felt very toxic, fatigued and just needed to look at food and I would put on weight.  I had every blood test under the sun, barium enemas, x-rays, colonoscopy and was poked and prodded in every which way. This is about when my journey with natural health began (I gave up on the medical world) and I was determined to find solutions for my own symptoms and to hopefully find the answers and help others along the way.  Which I did!! 

I had been pretty much symptom free for many years after addressing my life-long struggle with constipation, candida, chronic fatigue and the symptoms of an under-active thyroid.  Then I let my diet and lifestyle habits slip, I encountered a period in my life with HUGE amounts of stress and my health started to go backwards again.  I managed to control the constipation with high doses of magnesium but every food I ate reacted in a negative way, I was still bloating on a daily basis and suffered from abdominal pain.  Some days I looked as if I was pregnant (even though I am thin), my entire abdomen was rock hard and distended!  I had developed Small Intestinal Overgrowth or SIBO for short.

What is SIBO?

SIBO is an increase in the number of bacteria and / or an alteration in the type of bacteria in the small intestine.  Imbalances in the small intestine can be due to too many pathogenic bacteria producing gases, too many probiotic species which become detrimental to digestion and peristalsis or bacteria species traveling up from the large bowel into the small intestine.

The bacteria ferment fibre and carbohydrates as food and depending on the species produce hydrogen gas (usually no smell during flatus and a tendency toward diarrhoea) or methane gases (usually a sulphur smell and are more likely to suffer from constipation).  In the small intestine these gases can cause abdominal distension, bloating, gas and pain etc.  These gases are absorbed into the blood stream along with other various toxic agents that the bacteria produce resulting in a varied array of other symptoms. 

According to Dr. Allison Siebecker, "SIBO has been shown to exist in up to 84% of patients diagnosed with IBS and is theorized to be the underlying cause."


Do you suffer from gas, bloating and abdominal distention . . . .

  1. Within the first 15 minutes of eating?  . . . . . . You may have stomach issues and possibly SIBO
  2. Within the first 20 - 90 minutes of eating?  . . . . . . You may have small intestinal issues and SIBO
  3. After 2 hours of eating?  . . . . . . Your problem is likely to be in the large bowel

For more information on SIBO please click here: https://www.nutrienergy.co.nz/pages/sibo 




Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published