DR. ISLAM: Do you have bad bacteria in your gut?Dr. Rafiul Sameer Islam was born in Malone, N.Y., but grew up in his hometown of Odessa. He completed both his medical degree and masters of business association. Call his office at 806-761-0747 to schedule an appointment or visit his website www.sameerislam.com.

Part of what keeps your body and digestive system running the way that it is intended is the presence of bacteria along the entire digestive tract. Many people think of the word bacteria and associate it with something negative; however, the “good” bacteria found throughout the stomach, intestines, colon, and bowel are crucial to keeping your system in check.
So what happens when the good bacteria is outnumbered by the bad bacteria? Or even more interestingly, if certain bacteria are located where they’re not supposed to be?
What is SIBO?
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, is caused when the “wrong” bacteria is found in the small intestine. Sometimes, when the muscles in your gastrointestinal tract don’t push food through your system in the right manner or time frame, it results in an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine, which releases methane and hydrogen. This overgrowth of bacteria can cause excessive gas, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. Patients with a prolonged case of SIBO may also see symptoms that aren’t always associated with gastrointestinal problems, like body aches, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. Since SIBO presents with the same symptoms as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s Disease, it is often misdiagnosed.
What Should I Do?
Discuss your symptoms during your doctor. If he suspects that you indeed have SIBO, he will order a test to confirm the diagnosis. Once diagnosed, your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic to treat the condition. A probiotic may also be prescribed to help regulate the stomach, in combination with a SIBO friendly diet. If you have any concerns, make an appointment with your health-care provider today!