Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) refers to a condition in which abnormally large numbers of bacteria are present in the small intestine, and the types of bacteria in the small intestine resemble more the bacteria of the colon than the small intestine. There are many conditions associated with SIBO including diabetes, scleroderma, Crohn’s disease, and others. There is a striking similarity between the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) and SIBO. It has been theorized that SIBO may be responsible for the symptoms of at least some people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.
There is a lot about gastrointestinal diseases and conditions that science does not yet understand. SIBO is no exception, which is why the perfect diet plan just doesn’t exist yet. Several potential diets have emerged that are worthy of consideration, but you should be cautious and only trial them under medical supervision.
The following two diets are well-supported by anecdotal evidence (testimonials):
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) claims to help treat several forms of bowel disease. This includes ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis and celiac disease.
Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, some legumes, lactose-free dairy, ripe fruit, non-starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds, and honey.
Foods not allowed:
All grains, starchy vegetables (such as potato, corn), regular dairy, some legumes, sugar.
Basically it shares many similarities to the low FODMAP diet, but not as much scientific backing at this stage. More studies are underway and I’m looking forward to the results.
The Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet (GAPS diet) is similar to SCD but with a few modifications.
It contains a different introductory phase, fewer legumes, and dairy protein is reintroduced more slowly. There is some anecdotal evidence to support it, but these are for autism and other conditions related to brain function (hence the name) rather than digestive issues.
There are no studies of the GAPS diet in the medical literature, and the creator makes a lot of extraordinary claims, which is often a red flag.
The SCD and GAPS diet have emerged as potential diets to help treat SIBO, but neither was actually designed for this condition. They may be useful, but are not evidence-based. Other diets like a FODMAP diet have also shown some success.