This is part two in a series about small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Read part one first.
Most of our gut bacteria should be in our large intestine (colon). These helpful bacteria break down fiber that we can’t digest on our own. In the process, they make beneficial vitamins and anti-inflammatory chemicals. To read more about this, read this post.
In your small intestine, there should be far fewer bacteria than in your colon. The main types are called lactobacillus and enterococcos. These guys should be in your small intestine. Further down, the numbers of bacteria increase. The types diversify. Your colon has greater numbers of bacteria, different types, and much more diversity of types.
Not So Good Bacteria
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth is when there is too much bacteria in your small intestine. This can include types that should not be hanging out in your small intestine. Species in the colon can back-wash up into your small intestine. This kind of bacteria can produce toxins that leak into your blood and cause pain and inflammation throughout your body.
Your small intestine becomes a bloated, stagnant, fermenting mix of irritating and toxic bacteria and their byproducts. This can cause diarrhea. It can also slow down your digestive movement and cause constipation. Either type can cause discomfort, bloating, indigestion, and reflux. The gas the bacteria produce can go up and cause belching. It can also go down and cause painful or smelly gas.
In the next post I explain why this is a problem beyond these digestive complaints.
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