SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Over... - Gluten Free Guerr...

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SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) Anybody else?


I have been Gluten Free now for a few years but still had attacks of stomach upsets and diarrhoea. I have been convinced there was gluten in something and have accused everyone and everything being the culprit until....I recently discovered SIBO which is caused essentially by too much bad bacteria build up in the small intestine, common in people diagnosed with IBS and with intolerances. I couldn't understand why I reacted to different foods and couldn't find a link until now - which for me is mainly Sugars (not just refined sugar) which are high in a lot of gluten free food and bread. Apparently sugars feed bad bacteria and cause them to multiply and neutralise the good bacteria causing SIBO. I have been taking a strong probiotic tablet in the morning (not a probiotic drink) and cutting down on my sugars and it's like a miracle. I know things don't work for everyone, but if there's someone like me out there that's still having problems on a GF diet, it's worth reading about it, particularly if you are older, like me and your gut doesn't heal as fast as young'uns! Anybody else had any experience of this?

23 Replies


I certainly find that any food containing sugar or yeast has a bad effect on me, (thrush type symptoms) but I don't know if it has anything to do with SIBO. The research I've read suggests that up to 50% of coeliacs could have SIBO, but the NHS doesn't appear to recognise it.

Like you, I decided that I had to re-establish some good gut flora. This was some years ago, so I went with full fat probiotic yoghurt. I've now ended up on a low carb diet.

Hope you carry on improving, Flyer.

(Correction, it's Leaky Gut that the NHS doesn't recognise, not SIBO)

Very interesting to read your post Flyer. I still get boats of bloat and stomach pains that last for weeks. The last one I had I stopped drinking milk for a few weeks and this seemed to help but who knows. The thing with cutting out milk is I stop drinking tes and coffe as well so not sure what's to blame. Very interesting though and definitely worth a read up..... Reading up on such things seems to be a big my part of my life nowadays! Things for your post. Ian

denvajade in reply to ianwoowoo

Hi Ian try lactose free milk, its great.

Penel in reply to ianwoowoo

Having a problem with milk seems to be very common. I have also found that lactose free milk is ok, after having a complete break from milk for several months, and also products that are naturally lower in lactose like yoghurt and cream. I now have cream in my coffee.

beau_alicia in reply to Penel

I didn't realise cream was lower in lactose, I'll have to try that in my tea. I love tea, it's the only source of milk for me but im sure it causes problems for me too.

thank you :)

Penel in reply to beau_alicia

Hope it's ok for you. It depends how sensitive you are.

Read Sarah Ballantyne's book on the Paleo Approach. Discusses all of these things and many more in great detail. Absolutely awesome book . And no, I don't know her, and don't get a cut for recommending it!!!

Penel in reply to Ali_r

It looks like a very worthwhile read. Will give it a go on Kindle.



I had had bloated stomach for years. I've tried Gluten Free diets, exclusion diets, nothing really worked. A few months back I was diagnosed with Candida so I tried some Candida friendly diets (avoiding sugars, etc) but they didn't help. Then I discovered Elaine Gottschall's book "Breaking the Vicious cycle" and her SCD (Specific Carbohydrates Diet) and it was a life saver! I haven't been bloated for the last 2 months while on this diet. It is not easy to follow it must be said, but if you struggle with any kind of bowls problems (especially due to Crohn's, Candida, etc) I believe it is THE DIET to try. It is also good for autistic kids who often suffer from leaky gut/candida. There is an official website for this diet, called the same as the book, with some useful info. Hope it's helpful!

Hi all

I was going to ask if anyone had come across the Sarah Ballatyne's Paleo book! I downloaded it a couple of weeks ago, and although it takes some ploughing through, it's worth it. I had issues similar to Flyers, despite being GF i was constantly being 'glutened' or so I thought. I'd already cut out gluten, the ready-made GF stuff, alcohol, milk, then I followed with sugars as glucose-fructose gave problems.

Once reading the book (well bits, it's very long) I decided to stop eating foods from the nightshade family. WOW! Within 2 or 3 days, all - and I mean ALL the symptoms had gone. I was astounded. I feel NORMAL for the first time in years. Yes, my diet is limited, but boy is it healthy. It's a strain not eating tomatoes, peppers and chillies, potatoes are not such an issue strangely, but according to her book, it's not forever unlike gluten, you let your bowel heal and reintroduce things at your own pace. (She recommended being dairy free too, but as I had already stopped drinking milk (I don't like it) I opted to continue eating cheese, and (touch wood) things seem okay.) It's about having a leaky gut, particularly if you have autoimmune issues, and the need to heal it. We need to assist our bodies with probiotics as Flyer suggests.

I'm about too start the probiotic tablets today, so I should be bouncing by the end of the month!!

Ali_r in reply to sallydogsmum

She also blogs about this at

Hi there I was the same and went sugar free and took garlic and parsley tablets to kill the bacteria along with probiotic tablet, it returns very easily so you have to be strict. wishing you well. trish

Hi, I've already replied today. But could I ask which probiotic tablet you take? I was just about to start mine, but read the label and it's not suitable for coeliacs (thanks husband!!).

Many thanks.

Hi, I have had the test for SIBO asked my Gastro for one.

Seem to think it is called a Hydrogen Breath Test.

you drink something then go and sit in the waiting room while they test your breath with a little machine you blow into every half hour until they are satisfied with the results one way or the other

Jacks in reply to GMAN

Sorry, they are not the same. I've had both - the first one my gastro does every year - SIBO - you scoop a bit of faeces onto a little spatula and pop them in a plastic beaker. They look in the faeces for the bacteria.

Hydrogen breath test - yes, you drink a quantity of lactose and they measure the result. No faeces involved.

GMAN in reply to Jacks

Hi you drink a quantity of Lactose for the Lactose Intolerance test which I've also had, and then breath into the machine, for the SIBO test it must have been the Methane Breath Test but can't remember what it was they gave me to drink tasted yuck though but you still breath into the machibe every half hour

I found this very comprehensive research paper on SIBO on the PubMed site for anyone who thinks they might be affected. It talks about how it can be linked to various conditions like IBS and coeliac, and fibromyalgia, causing symptoms like bloating, diarrhea etc. Some form of antibiotic is often required.

As Ianwoowoo says - reading up on things has become a big part of life.

For the Probiotics, you need a minimum of 30 Billion. Udo's do one called Super 8, or Amazon. Look for Renew Life Probiotics. Although they are quiter pricey, trust me, they are well worth it.

debbe08 in reply to kirsty72

Do you happen to know if these probiotics survive the stomach acids? Thank you

Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to reply. I thought this was the end by finding SIBO as a solution but maybe it's just the start after reading the replies!

One place to look is to make sure you are not living on antacids for acid reflux or indigestion as they alter the stomach and SIBO (or worse) can then have a field-day.

The renew life probiotics survive the gut acids, especially the 50 billion ones. Amazon are doing a deal at the moment. 50 billion critical care for £20. Great deal. Ive just bought some more.

Hi, I thought that maybe I had this but it turns out i am diary intolorent also, that makes my shopping so much fun (not) and so damn expensive

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