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  • vanessavanderhoek

SIBO - What Is It?

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is where there’s an abnormal (high) amount of bacteria in the small intestine (1). These bacteria ferment starches and fibres into gases which causes symptoms including:

  • Bloating and gas

  • Constipation/diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Belching, flatulence

  • Nausea

  • Reflux

  • Leaky gut symptoms: rashes, food allergies (2)

  • Steatorrhea (fat in your stool – if it floats, this is probably the case!)

It’s estimated that Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO) causes up to 80% of IBS cases, with an estimated 500 million people with SIBO worldwide (3).

Some of the clues that I look out for in our initial consultation include:

  1. Symptom start after a case of food positioning (gastroenteritis) – this is SOOOO common!!!

  2. The Low FODMAP diet doesn’t eliminate symptoms (if you have IBS and haven’t tried it, for many people it can be helpful - you can buy a 7 Day Low FODMAP Meal Plan here).

  3. They get worse taking fibre, prebiotics or probiotics (often they worse constipation)

  4. People with Coeliac Disease who continue to have symptoms despite sticking to a strict gluten free diet

  5. Symptoms improve while on antibiotics for an unrelated problem

Sound like you? What do we do?

Well, the first thing is to get a complete health and family history. This Functional Nutrition Medicine approach helps me learn about some of the potential root causes and triggers of your symptoms, and to identify if a SIBO breathe test is needed.

Here's how to get started working with me:

  1. Click here to watch my free workshop: Is It IBS, SIBO, IMO, SIFO? All Of The Above… Or Something Else?

  2. Download my FREE eBook: The 5 Things I Learned About My Gut Health & Energy. In this eBook I've shared the top 5 things I have learned about my gut health and my client's (bloating, constipation, diarrhea), low energy, and other symptoms, so you too can finally stop searching for answers. Click here to get immediate access!

  3. Book an initial Functional Medicine Nutrition consultation with me - click here. You will be directed to my secure platform called Better, where you can choose a time (and time zone) that suits you. Whilst I live in Canberra, Australia, I work with clients from around the world in my virtual clinic. If there's not a time that suits your time zone, book in for another time and drop me a message - I will fit you in!

  4. Complete the Client Intake Forms in my secure platform (Better) at least 24 hours before we meet. Also please upload any test results (bloods, previous SIBO / gut tests etc) in Better so I can review them. This approach enables me to best prepare for our time together.

  5. In our initial consultation we will undertake a comprehensive review of your Health & Family History and determine the appropriateness of functional testing (SIBO breath test, gut, urine, hair).

  6. Based on this I'll develop for you a Bio-individual Plan and explain to you what you're doing and why. If we are waiting on test results, you'll be given an interim plan to get started.

Vanessa Vanderhoek is a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in the gut microbiome, biochemistry and nutrigenomics. She has completed the SIBO Mastery Program and helps people to regain their health by taking a “food as medicine” approach that's unique to their body. Vanessa is based in Australia and has clients around the world. To get started book an initial Functional Medicine Consultation by clicking here.


(1) The SIBO Mastery Program


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