SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) refers to a condition characterized by abnormally excessive proliferation of bacteria in the small intestine. These bacteria resemble the ones found more commonly in the colon than the small intestine.
The small intestine is a part of GIT that connects the stomach to the colon (large intestine). The absorption of nutrients from food happens in the small intestine. The number of bacteria in the small intestine is comparatively much lower than the large intestine, and the type of bacteria also differ. Homeopathy offers an excellent scope of treatment for SIBO and helps manage symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. The most prominent homeopathic medicines that can be used symptomatically for SIBO include China Officinalis, Lycopodium Clavatum, Aloe Socotrina, Colocynthis, and Ipecac.
Homeopathic Treatment of SIBO
Homeopathic medicines for treating SIBO are all prepared from naturally occurring substances, and they treat the condition in a safe, gentle manner without any side effects. The remedies are chosen on the basis of individual symptoms presented by the patient and are used as per their different symptomatic indications.
Homeopathic Medicines for Symptomatic Treatment of SIBO
China Officinalis – Homeopathic Medicine for Excessive Gas in SIBO
China Officinalis is a highly effective homeopathic medicine used to treat excessive abdominal gas in cases of SIBO. The gas in the stomach stays for a long time after eating food. Bloating occurs in the entire abdominal area, and it gets better with motion. Colic from gas in the stomach, bitter belching, sour vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness and fatigue may also occur. Worsening of gastric symptoms following consumption of foodstuff like fruits, milk, fish, beer also indicates the need for China Officinalis.
Lycopodium Clavatum – Homeopathic Remedy for Abdominal Bloating due to SIBO
Homeopathic medicine Lycopodium Clavatum is used to treat abdominal bloating in cases of SIBO. The person needing this remedy complains of distension of the abdomen soon after eating. Eating even a small quantity of food can lead to bloating. The abdomen gets tense with a bursting sensation. The flatus may remain obstructed causing abdomen pain, diarrhea and constipation may alternate, and excessive bloating may occur from the consumption of foods like onions, cabbage, and beans.
Aloe Socotrina – Effective Homeopathic Medicine for Diarrhea in SIBO
Aloe Socotrina is a useful homeopathic medicine for treating diarrhea in cases of SIBO. The chief features to use Aloe Socotrina are copious, watery stool, jelly-like mucus that is passed with loose stool, a sudden urgency to pass stool, a constant bearing down in the rectum, heaviness, bloatedness, and excessive flatus in the abdomen along with rumbling/gurgling noises.
Colocynthis – Effective Homeopathic Remedy for treating abdomen pain in cases of SIBO
Colocynthis is a suitable homeopathic medicine for treating abdomen pain in cases of SIBO. The abdomen pains are cutting, tearing, cramping, or colicky. Eating or drinking anything tends to worsen the abdominal pain. In most cases, the pain is present around the navel along with a burning sensation in the stomach. Hard pressure or bending double can relieve the abdomen pain.
Ipecac – Natural Homeopathic Remedy for SIBO causing Nausea and Vomiting
Ipecac is a homeopathic remedy used to treat cases of SIBO where nausea and vomiting are the predominant symptoms. The nausea is intense and constant, making the person want to vomit. Nausea reappears quickly after a bout of vomiting. The smell of food tends to worsen nausea, and the vomit is watery fluid or of food. The other accompanying symptoms include pressing pains in the stomach, loss of appetite and cutting cramping pain in the stomach.
Causes of SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
The conditions that interfere with the regular activity of intestinal muscles predispose a person to develop SIBO. The food travels from the small intestine to the colon by the coordinated activity of intestinal muscles. Whenever the regular muscle activity of the intestine slows down (either due to muscle or nerve abnormality), the bacteria get a chance to remain in the same place for long and multiply many times over than the reasonable amount. The bacteria that proliferate in the small intestine (in cases of SIBO) resemble the bacteria in the colon.
Some conditions that interfere with the regular activity of intestinal muscles include diabetes mellitus and scleroderma, and these can predispose a person to develop SIBO. Obstruction of small intestine from adhesions, scarring arising from any surgery in the past or a history of Crohn’s disease can also lead to the development of SIBO. Repeated, multiple courses of antibiotics and diverticulitis also increase the risk. It is also estimated that approximately 70 – 80% of patients with irritable bowel syndrome have SIBO.
Symptoms SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
The primary symptoms of SIBO include abdominal bloating, excessive gas, diarrhea, pain in abdomen, nausea, and vomiting. In addition to these symptoms, weakness, fatigue, body aches, and weight loss may also be present. In severe cases of SIBO, various deficiencies of vitamins and minerals can also occur.