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small-bowel bacterial overgrowth(SBBO)


Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth(SBBO) is a proliferation of colonic-type bacteria in the upper gastrointestinal tract(the stomach, duodenum, and jejunum). It only occurs when the normal defenses against bacterial proliferation are reduced. Some cause factors are listed below:

  • Slowed peristalic motion, which reduces clearance of food from the stomach.
  • Reduced gastric acidity, which normally keeps the stomach nearly sterile.
  • Exposure to antibiotics, which reduces the number of protective, native bacteria in the GI tract.
  • Surgical re-section of the small intestine.

SBBO causes malabsorption, lethargy, fatigue, and various gastrointestinal symptoms. It is difficult to eradicate, and is principally treated by trying to eliminate the overgrown population of microbes with various antimicrobial drugs. It often requires continued treatment.

Comparison to chronic candida

The causes, symptoms, and treatment of SBBO are almost identical to CRC. The malabsorption seen in SBBO is more severe, and SBBO can be tested for while chronic candida cannot. The proof of SBBO is a quantitative culture of the small intestine, an invasive and complicated test to perform.

Last updated on: 2010-11-06

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