If you’ve been experiencing gas, bloating, and abdominal pain on a regular basis, you want relief and a holistic approach is the most likely to help. Taking a holistic approach to health means understanding the interplay of different conditions. Among these, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) are significant factors that often coexist and impact gut health profoundly. This post delves into what these conditions are, their connection, and how to manage them effectively.
What Are H. Pylori And SIBO?
H. pylori is a type of bacteria often found in the stomach. It’s known for causing infections that can lead to ulcers and, in some cases, may contribute to more severe gastric issues. On the other hand, SIBO is a condition where excessive bacteria grow in the small intestine, leading to discomfort and nutrient malabsorption (1).
The Connection Between H. Pylori And SIBO
Recent studies have shed light on the relationship between H. pylori infection and SIBO. Research indicates that H. pylori infection may increase the risk of developing SIBO. This is partly because H. pylori can alter stomach acidity, creating an environment conducive to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine (2,3).
One study found that the presence of H. pylori infection significantly increased the likelihood of SIBO (2). The reason for this may be tied to the impact of H. pylori eradication treatment. H. pylori treatment often involves antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which can disrupt gut microbiota and may further contribute to SIBO development. Interestingly, a different study noted that treatment for H. pylori also reduced the incidence of SIBO (3), suggesting a complex interplay between these conditions and their treatments. It’s important to note that the two studies used different treatment methods which can explain why one study found a decrease in the likelihood of SIBO while the other saw and increase. Therefore, how an H. Pylori infection is treated will have a significant impact on how gut health evolves after treatment.
Managing H. Pylori And SIBO
Given the connection between H. pylori and SIBO, effective management of one condition could positively impact the other. Because antibiotics and PPIs can be harsh, some individuals opt for herbal supplements instead. Ingredients like deglycyrrhized licorice root, the probiotic L. Johnsonii No. 1088, and broccoli sprouts have all demonstrated effects that help fight H. pylori infection (4,5,6). These are some of the key ingredient in the H. pylori-fighting supplement Pyloriprin™ (coming soon from Approved Science®). If you think a supplement may be right for you, consult with your doctor before starting supplementation.
Natural supplements may also be beneficial for fighting SIBO, as they can assist in balancing gut microbiota and improving intestinal health. Extracts such as those from barberry, oregano, and garlic have been observed to provide relief from SIBO symptoms by their antimicrobial and soothing properties (7,8,9). Combining a supplement with these ingredients with dietary adjustments can be an effective strategy in managing SIBO symptoms. It’s essential to work with a healthcare professional to ensure a holistic approach tailored to your specific needs.
Understanding the link between H. pylori and SIBO is crucial for effective gut health management. These conditions, while distinct, can influence each other, and their management requires a comprehensive approach that includes medicine, treatment, or supplementation, as well as diet and lifestyle adjustments. Further research will continue to illuminate the best practices for dealing with these interconnected gut health issues.