‘Burping’ Could Be a Sign of SIBO: Symptoms to Watch For

‘Burping’ Could Be a Sign of SIBO: Symptoms to Watch For
Indulgence in food is one of the great joys of the festive period, and with it could come a degree of belching, also known as belching, from those who indulge. However, more than just a reaction to the reaction of the food in your stomach, it could be a sign of a common, but relatively unknown condition. Express.co.uk have been talking to Anna Mapson to find out what that condition is.

SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, and burping this winter could be a sign you have this condition.

Registered Nutritional Therapist and SIBO expert Anna Mapson has been speaking to Express.co.uk about the link between burping and SIBO.

Ms Mapson said: “Burping is a sign of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). This is a condition where microbes grow in the small intestine. SIBO is caused by slow intestinal motility, which can be related to adhesions, a poor diet, a low-fiber diet, medications (for example, opioid-based pain relievers), or even a previous case of food poisoning.

“The reason SIBO causes burping is that the microbes in your small intestine ferment the carbohydrates in your diet, and this creates gas. If the gas creation is near the proximal part of the small intestine, the gas is more likely to go up, rather than pass through the body to the anus.”

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What is SIBO?

Although it is probably an unknown name, SIBO is one of the most common conditions in the UK. However, the reason so few have heard of it is because it is often misdiagnosed as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

Such is the level of misdiagnosis, it is estimated that around 80 percent of people who have been diagnosed with IBS actually have SIBO.

To get an idea of ​​how many people have IBS, the BUPA healthcare provider believes that between one in two and one in 10 people have IBS.

Take 80 percent of any of those numbers and you have hundreds and thousands of patients who really do have SIBO.


What are the main symptoms of SIBO?

In addition to burping, SIBO can cause a variety of symptoms, including nausea, acid reflux, and bloating.

How can I tell the difference between SIBO and IBS?

According to physician Melanie Dixon: “With SIBO, the swelling is higher up because it’s in the small intestine, which is above the large intestine, so the swelling is just below the ribs.”

Meanwhile, with IBS, the bloating is lower due to the positioning of the large intestine.

However, it is not only the location of the swelling, but also the timing.

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How do you test for SIBO?

SIBO is normally diagnosed by a breath test, and depending on the result of that test, it will depend on the type of SIBO someone has.

Also, like other conditions, SIBO has a number of risk factors, including:
• Stress
• Anxiety
• Endometriosis
• Crohn’s disease
• History of food poisoning
• Chronic conditions.

Can SIBO be treated?

Yes, SIBO can be treated, or better said, solved by other means


Ms Dixon said: “You can eradicate SIBO, but it can relapse if you don’t address what caused it in the first place. It should work on gut repair and calm any inflammation in the gut.”

What happens if SIBO is not treated?

Ms Dixon said that SIBO “can cause systemic problems because [it] it causes inflammation, the gut bacteria get out of balance and when you have inflammation in the gut, that disrupts the immune system in the gut, which leads to inflammation and can lead to joint disorders or neurological disorders.”

As a result, untreated SIBO can cause a variety of complications for both the body and the mind.

Ms Dixon added that one of the main problems was a lack of awareness of SIBO: “I think a lot of people don’t believe in SIBO. I think they think it’s a general bacterial overgrowth throughout the gut, I think that’s old-fashioned thinking in a way.”

Also, because many people who have SIBO have actually been diagnosed with IBS, this means that thousands, potentially millions, of patients could be receiving the wrong treatment.

The hope is that with more discussion of SIBO, a greater awareness will arise and a step towards more people receiving the correct treatment for the correct condition.

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