SIBO Diet – How To Eat A Low FODMAP Diet To Manage Gastrointestinal Symptoms


When you experience symptoms like bloating, upset stomach, and diarrhea, it’s easy to assume you’ve eaten something funny and try to get out of it. But, when they don’t go away, it’s more than fair to wonder what exactly is going on with your digestive system. One possibility is bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, or SIBO. Certain foods can make the disease worse, which is why eating a SIBO-friendly diet is an important part of managing bowel disease.

First: SIBO occurs when you have too much bacteria in your small intestine, especially the types of bacteria that are not normally found there, according to the Mayo Clinic. They can disrupt digestion and lead to long-term malnutrition. It is not known how many people in the general population have SIBO, but the Cleveland Clinic cited estimates that up to 80% of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects the large intestine, also suffer from SIBO.

Structural problems in and around your small intestine, medical conditions like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and diabetes, and certain abdominal surgeries can all increase your risk for developing this disease.

Because SIBO is a bacterial problem, it is mainly treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. However, eating the right diet, in addition to taking the right medications, can help. In general, you don’t necessarily need to be on a certain diet when you have SIBO, but you may feel more comfortable if you do. “Some foods are harder to digest and can cause even more bloating and gas,” says Lea Ann Chen, MD, gastroenterologist at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “These can make symptoms worse, but they won’t necessarily change the amount of bacteria in your gut. “

So what should you eat when you have SIBO? Here’s everything you need to know, plus a full food list and sample meal plan to get you started.

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What is the best diet for SIBO?

If you want to try and make your recovery process from SIBO a bit easier (and why wouldn’t you?) A low-FODMAP diet can help, says Richa Shukla, MD, assistant professor of medicine-gastroenterology. at Baylor College of Medicine. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which is a really long way to name the types of foods that can upset your gastrointestinal tract.

A low FODMAP diet means that you are trying to avoid foods labeled as high in FODMAPs, such as milk, cheese, onion, garlic, wheat, and many other things. (Your doctor should be able to help.) This diet involves doing your best to cut out foods high in FODMAPs for several weeks to help your gut calm down, says Dr. Shukla. Then you slowly add foods high in FODMAPs to see what your main triggers are.

If that sounds like too much, Dr. Shukla recommends eliminating just the top five FODMAP-rich foods that you usually eat and coming back from there. It is also better to follow a low FODMAP diet with the help of a nutritionist and / or gastroenterologist, rather than trying to do it yourself.

The goal of following a low FODMAP diet while you have SIBO is not to cure the disease itself, Dr. Chen stresses. Corn to research has been shown to reduce bloating and excessive gas, alleviating discomfort while you’re in good shape.

What foods should you avoid with SIBO?

Again, food alone won’t make or destroy your SIBO treatment, but staying away from these foods high in FODMAPs may relieve your stomach pain and other SIBO symptoms:

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapefruit
  • Barley
  • Farro
  • Wheat
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Ice cream
  • Soft cheese yogurts
  • Soy milk
  • Chickpeas
  • Lima beans
  • Agave
  • Honey
  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Pea

    “Usually these are foods that are high in fiber or foods that are not well digested or absorbed,” says Dr. Chen.

    What can you eat with SIBO?

    Foods low in FODMAP are best. There is a huge list that includes the following:

    • Attorney
    • Bananas
    • Blueberries
    • Olives
    • Oranges
    • brown sugar
    • Maple syrup
    • Almond milk
    • Argula
    • peppers
    • Carrots
    • Aubergine
    • Lettuce
    • Brown rice
    • Oats
    • Almonds
    • Peanuts
    • Beef
    • Chicken
    • Eggs

      These are generally less high in fiber than their counterparts high in FODMAP, says Dr. Shukla.

      What does a SIBO diet look like?

      There’s a lot of variety here, and according to Dr. Shukla, and you don’t necessarily need to cut out every high FODMAP. Here’s an example of a three-day, low-FODMAP JIC diet you want to follow, from Keri Gans, RD, the author of The small change regime:

      Day one

      • Breakfast: Sourdough avocado toast garnished with two poached eggs
      • Breakfast: Quinoa bowl filled with chicken, pumpkin, carrots and kale
      • Nibble: handful of almonds
      • Having dinner: Spinach pasta sautéed with olive oil, salt and ground pepper, garnished with shrimp

        Day two

        • Breakfast: Oatmeal garnished with blueberries
        • Breakfast: Pepper stuffed with tuna
        • Nibble: A handful of sunflower seeds
        • Having dinner: Tofu and zucchini sautéed on brown rice

          Day three

          • Breakfast: Lactose-free yogurt and strawberries
          • Breakfast: Lettuce, radicchio, avocado, turkey and sesame seed salad
          • Nibble: Peanut butter on spelled toast
          • Having dinner: Steak with sautéed carrots and green beans

            How long should I continue on the SIBO diet?

            It’s not a lifelong thing. “It’s really about changing the things that can exacerbate your symptoms,” says Dr. Chen. “If you have taken antibiotics with SIBO and it is resolved, you should be able to resume your normal diet.” Of course, everyone is slightly different, but Dr Shukla says you can get back to your normal diet after about three to four weeks.

            You should be able to resume a normal diet after three to four weeks.

            Usually, you’ll know when your SIBO is gone when your symptoms subside, says Dr. Chen. But, if you have finished your course of antibiotics and they are still there, talk to your doctor about the next steps.

            At the end of the line : A diet low in FODMAP is your best bet for reducing uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms when you recover from SIBO. Cutting out some foods can be difficult, but you will only have to do it until your condition is gone.

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