Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a digestive condition that occurs when there is an increase in the population of bacteria in the small intestine. This typically includes pathogenic bacteria that are not native to the digestive tract.
To get rid of SIBO, it is essential to reduce the bacterial overgrowth with antibacterial foods and herbs, such as the herbs included in our SIBO Cleanse Tonic. When cleansing from SIBO, it is possible to experience SIBO die-off symptoms. SIBO die-off symptoms occur because of the substances released by these bacteria when they are eliminated, which can cause uncomfortable short-term symptoms.
In this article, we will discuss SIBO bacterial die-off symptoms and what you can do to reduce them when doing a SIBO cleanse.
What Is SIBO?
SIBO stands for small bacterial intestinal overgrowth. It is a digestive condition that occurs when bacteria in the small intestine grow beyond healthy levels. This can be any bacteria, but most commonly, this condition is characterized by increased pathogenic bacteria not native to the digestive tract.
What Causes SIBO?
SIBO typically results from food not moving through your small intestine as fast as it usually should. This more extended passage of food can allow bacteria to grow and proliferate. When the “bad” bacteria multiply too fast, the “good” bacteria in your intestine can’t keep up with them, leading to an imbalance.
A blockage of some kind usually causes the slow passage of food. This is often a result of surgery, certain medications, digestive disorders, or foods and drugs that irritate the gut.
What Are the Symptoms of SIBO?
Some of the common symptoms of SIBO include:
- Abdominal pain
- Pain in the stomach after eating
- Excess gas
- Digestive issues
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea and loose stools
- Unexpected weight loss
What Happens If You Don’t Get Rid of SIBO?
If left untreated, SIBO can cause pain, diarrhea, and malnutrition. The small intestine is where nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. SIBO can interfere with the proper absorption of nutrients, resulting in nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition.
How to Get Rid of SIBO
First, seeking medical advice is recommended if you have severe SIBO symptoms is recommended. To get rid of SIBO, it is essential to follow a proper SIBO cleanse protocol. This involves following a SIBO cleanse diet (link blog) and supplementing with antibiotic herbs.
The SIBO diet is a gradual elimination diet meant to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine. In some cases, eliminating only sugars can ease symptoms. However, most health experts suggest incorporating a diet low in FODMAPs, which are difficult-to-digest carbs fermented by gut bacteria in the colon.
The SIBO diet focuses more on what not to eat than on exactly what to eat, though certain foods are recommended too. For example, this diet recommends eliminating high sugar and high FODMAP foods to prevent fermentation in the gut and the proliferation of intestinal bacteria.
To learn more about the SIBO diet, check out our blog, “SIBO Cleanse Diet: What Diet to Follow While Cleansing SIBO.”
Aside from following a SIBO cleanse diet and focusing on proper nutrition, it is essential to take an antibiotic to eliminate bacterial overgrowth. Many people take pharmaceutical antibiotics to get rid of SIBO. Still, these can wreak havoc on the beneficial bacteria in your gut. We recommend a gentler approach, using antibacterial herbs that are equally effective but have less of an impact on the beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome.
Our SIBO Cleanse formula uses essential clinically-studied herbs for killing bacterial overgrowth.† We also use a therapeutic extraction process that can concentrate the active ingredients into a therapeutic liquid extract that is significantly more potent than regular tea powders or capsules. Furthermore, all of the herbs in this formula are only harvested when they are at their peak potency. This ensures that the active ingredients are as solid and effective as possible. Plus, they are 100% sustainable and wildcrafted, which means no pesticides, preservatives, chemical fillers, or genetically modified ingredients.
Exactly how long it will take to get rid of SIBO following this protocol will depend on how severe your SIBO case is. However, it is recommended to follow this protocol consistently for 90 days to see the best results.
Symptoms of SIBO Die Off
During the first few days of treatment on a SIBO cleanse protocol, it is expected to experience die-off symptoms of SIBO. This is because when the antibiotic agents kill the bacteria in your small intestine, they release noxious gases like hydrogen and methane. These can cause you to feel uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, and body aches.
These symptoms are referred to as “die-off reactions.” The die-off symptoms of SIBO may be uncomfortable. They may even feel like your condition is getting worse in the short term. Still, they are temporary and typically only last a few days to a week, depending on the severity of the infection.
We will discuss further in the article ways to reduce the symptoms of SIBO die-off. Among SIBO die-off symptoms, gas is one of the most common. Some of the top SIBO die-off symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Body aches
- Abnormal bowel movements
The exact symptoms that one experiences may differ depending on the type of bacteria that have overgrown in the small intestine. Bacteria ferment these foods and produce gas as a byproduct when food sits in the intestines for extended periods because of intestinal blockages. Types of bacteria are often distinguished based on the type of gas that they produce.
Some hydrogen-producing bacteria include:
- Clostridium beijerinckii
- Clostridium acetobutylicum
- Rhodobacter sphaeroides
- Clostridium tyrobutyricum
- Rhodopseudomonas palustris
Common methane-producing bacteria include:
These different types of bacteria may also produce different types of die-off reactions. These are often classified as hydrogen SIBO die-off and methane SIBO die-off symptoms. While many of these symptoms are the same in each group, some are distinct to one group or another.
Some ordinary hydrogen SIBO die-off symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
- Brain fog
- Low-grade fever
Some common methane SIBO die-off symptoms include:
- Excess gas
- Abdominal discomfort
- Muscle aches
- Low-grade fever
How to Prevent SIBO Die-Off Symptoms
While SIBO die-off symptoms can be uncomfortable, there are ways to prevent getting SIBO die-off symptoms or reduce their severity. The most significant cause of SIBO die-off reactions is introducing antibiotics too quickly. This causes a rapid die-off and, therefore, more release of noxious gases and more uncomfortable symptoms.
Introducing the antibiotic supplement more slowly will result in a gentler elimination of the bacteria. This is because it will be easier for your body to process. In general, die-off reactions occur when the amount of gas or toxins released is too much for your body to process. So it creates uncomfortable die-off reaction symptoms.
In addition to introducing antibiotic supplements more slowly, taking a suitable binder when doing a SIBO clean can be very beneficial. Binders have compounds that chemically bind to the toxins released by dying bacteria, so instead of passing through your bloodstream on their own, they are bonded to a compound that neutralizes them and reduces their effect. This way, they are eliminated from the body without causing many uncomfortable die-off symptoms.
Our top recommended binder is fulvic acid. Fulvic acid is a powerful chelating compound that binds to a wide range of different toxins. Supplementing with fulvic acid when doing any can help to reduce detox reactions. Our Fulvic Acid & Trace Ocean Minerals formula also contains trace ocean minerals that can support many body symptoms when undergoing a cleanse. It can also provide essential nutrients that may be lacking due to the SIBO infection.
Other helpful ways to reduce die-off symptoms include:
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Drinking a lot of purified water
- Focusing on a nutrient-dense diet
- Avoiding toxic foods, substances, and habits
- Getting plenty of moderate exercises
How to Avoid Getting SIBO
Of course, prevention is always easier than treatment when it comes to health issues. While you can treat a SIBO infection, it is best to avoid getting one in the first place if possible. For example, suppose your SIBO infection was caused by an intestinal blockage resulting from surgery. In that case, you may need surgery again to correct this. In other cases, focusing on gastrointestinal health and healthy digestion is the best way to avoid getting SIBO.
One of the best ways to do this is to supplement with a Multi-Strain Probiotic Complex. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help to create a healthy balance in the gut microbiome. This healthy balance can protect you from many gut infections, including SIBO.
A nutrient-rich diet and an overall healthy lifestyle are the best preventative remedies. This includes:
- Eating a balanced diet of whole foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc.)
- Eating enough fiber each day
- Exercising regularly
- Having a healthy sleep schedule
- Staying hydrated
- Eating in a way that supports digestion (chewing food well, eating when relaxed, not overeating, etc.)
- Having a positive mindset and healthy social relationships
Taking care of your health holistically will keep your digestion and immune system strong. When these systems are optimal, it is much less likely that you will develop an infection of any kind—including a SIBO infection.