Disclaimer: As I have said in the past, I’m not a research blogger. I’m here to mix “data with soul” and give you useful info, but only in the context of my real, human experience. That is not to say that citation on my part and proper follow-up on your part are not important. Everything I wrote about in this blog was presented by Dr. Leonard Weinstock at the SIBO Symposium during January 2014 and you can pay to have access to those presentations through the National College of Natural Medicine’s website.
Today’s post is the last of the SIBO series. I’ve really enjoyed learning about & presenting this info, especially as I start my new health coaching career and see more and more clients who have SIBO as an underlying health issue. Alot of folks ask me if everyone has SIBO. The answer is no, but it is really common in certain circles, one of those circles being those with autoimmune disease. This will be a shorter topic, but I wanted to write about some of the many SIBO connected conditions today. I think the more folks who know that they may have underlying SIBO the better, since they can take that information to their doctors and potentially find a great deal of relief or even remission with SIBO treatment.
So, the list of associated diseases and syndromes to SIBO is loooong. A really great list can be found on Dr. Allison Siebecker’s site: here. A few mentioned by Dr. Leonard Weinstock at the symposium and that may be really interesting and familiar to the autoimmune community are:
- Pancreatic Insufficiency
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Liver Diseases
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Restless Leg Syndrome
Dr. Weinstock presented in-depth information on the last three health issues and their connection with SIBO. The exact reasons that SIBO leads to or exacerbates each of them is complicated and not 100% clear, but treatment brought marked results in each condition.
Dr. Weinstock saw 193 patients with Restless Leg Syndrome in his clinic. Of that group 56% had positive SIBO testing and were treated, which resulted in huge improvements in their symptoms. Up to 7% of the population is effected by RLS, with many of these folks getting four hours or less of sleep a night, so finding SIBO and treating could represent a major breakthrough for them.
Dr. Weinstock also worked with Rosacea patients. He saw 176 patients with Rosacea diagnosis and of that group 66% had positive SIBO testing. Marked to moderate improvement was seen in 71% of those treated. I wish I could show you all the pictures that he presented of his patients. I am sure that the cleared skin was life changing in the lives of some of these patients.
Finally, in the Parkinson’s patients, treatment of SIBO lead to greatly reduced neurological symptoms. I found this interesting, because it again supports the amazing gut-brain connection. In the early stages of Parkinson’s the enteric neurons (a mesh of nerve cells that line our GI system) are damaged, which leads to motility problems. If you remember from earlier SIBO posts, decreased motility is a huge factor in developing SIBO. A Parkinson’s patient can actually have GI system problems long before the neurological symptoms develop. When the SIBO is treated, it probably allows some neuron healing which in turn helps with neurological symptoms being suffered by the patient.
For me, the most interesting SIBO-associated health problems on this list are, obviously, Celiac, then acne and pancreatic insufficiency. My Celiac lead to pancreatic damage and both conditions allowed SIBO to take hold. First, because I could not properly digest without sufficient enzyme production from my pancreas and second, because I could not properly absorb due to to villi damage from Celiac. This allowed lots of “food” to reach all the way to my large intestine, where it fed bacteria and helped it rapidly overgrow. The overgrowth and damage it was causing, lead to horrible acne (which also had other contributors). Healing my damaged small intestine, mainly by removing gluten, supplementing with pancreatic enzymes, and finally treating the SIBO . . . means I now have much, much clearer skin, not to mention a happier tummy.
Does anything on this list ring a bell? Have you had an experience of treating SIBO and it resulting in improvement of another condition? Tell me about it!
I hope you all learned as much from this series as I did. I will definitely be staying on top of new info in the SIBO world and writing about it more in the future.
You can start at the beginning of the SIBO series here.