Comprehensive SIBO Diagnosis and Treatment

Introduction to SIBO

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition where excessive bacteria in the small intestine lead to symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nutrient malabsorption. Diagnosing and treating SIBO effectively is crucial for long-term gut health and overall wellbeing.

How the Spark Health Approach is Different

Patients can use any one of a number of protocols to reduce the digestive symptoms of SIBO, typically antibiotics (prescription or herbal) and ongoing diet modification.  It is important to realize that in the majority of cases, the symptom benefit is temporary, and symptoms return 3-6 months in the future.  Our program seeks to eliminate the need for ongoing rounds of treatment by focusing on bacterial eradication and digestive rebuilding.  We accomplish this by retesting after treatment to make sure the infection is eradicated (sometimes an additional round is needed for full eradication), and with a comprehensive digestive rebuilding phase.


SIBO bacteria have a difficult time existing in an optimally healthy gut due to the presence of stomach acid, digestive enzymes, bile, and the ongoing cleansing motion of peristalsis waves.  It is supposed to be an acidic, caustic, self-cleaning environment.  However, due to many possible reasons (medical and lifestyle), we often have compromised digestion that allows these bacteria to thrive.  Our program seeks to return the entire gut to optimal functioning to eradicate the infection completely and reduce the chance of recurrence.


Treatment Program Summary

PRE-TREATMENT: SIBO Nutrition & Supplement Appointment includes Diet Information

PHASE 1: Killing Phase (Antibiotics or Herbal Antibiotics)

  • Antibiotics - 14 DAYS
  • Herbal Antibiotic Option - 30 DAYS

PHASE 2: Starve & Rebuild Phase (Restricted Diet and Digestive Supplements) - 28 DAYS

  • Treatment Check phone appointment with the doctor to adjust dosing
  • Retest for SIBO to see if eradication was complete


INTERIM PHASE : Expand Diet while waiting for repeat test results - 10-14 DAYS

  • SIBO Repeat Test Review Appointment

PHASE 3: If Eradicated, Expand Diet and Wean Down on Supplements - 28 DAYS

  • Collect Stool Test to evaluate lower gut health & determine any needed ongoing digestive support or supplements
  • Complete post-treatment lab work to get new baseline and recheck abnormals
  • SIBO Stool Test & Lab Review/Maintenance Plan Extended Appointment
  • If NOT Eradicated, repeat Phase 1 & 2 immediately or after a break

Contact and Consultation

Ready to start your journey to better gut health? Contact Spark Health today to schedule your consultation. Our team is here to guide you through every step of your SIBO diagnosis and treatment. For more information or to book an appointment, contact Spark Health at (858) 228-4188.

Frequently Asked Questions

SIBO (or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) is the presence of bacteria in a part of your gut where they don’t normally belong.  The small intestine is located right after the stomach and is where we digest and absorb the calories and nutrients from our food.  The abnormal presence of bacteria there can interfere with digestive function, causing uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as bloating, easy fullness, belching, heartburn, and loose or urgent stools (sometimes alternating with constipation).  SIBO symptoms can vary between individuals, but typically patients flare shortly after eating, especially with certain trigger foods.  SIBO infections are also linked with dysfunctions in other parts of the body related to nutrient deficiencies, allergic or inflammatory responses, metabolism problems, and hormone imbalances.

SIBO can be caused by a number of factors including prior gastrointestinal infections, certain medications, surgeries that cause scar tissue or change our digestive anatomy, underlying health problems (including stress) that interfere with normal gut motility or weaken digestion or immune function.  Most patients aren’t exactly sure what caused their SIBO to develop.

The comprehensive nature of our program increases the chances of eradication but does not guarantee it.  Sometimes two rounds of treatment are needed to eradicate, and occasionally infections persist even after a second round of treatment.  The more completely and meticulously you can follow the program (without causing counter-productive stress) the higher your chance of success will be.  Even with eradication SIBO can return down the road.  This most likely follows a period of intense stress or extreme dietary indiscretions.   Maintaining a reasonably healthy diet (does not have to be overly restrictive and overall healthy lifestyle (with stress management) helps to maintain your success!

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