[Small intestine bacterial overgrowth]

Rev Med Suisse. 2010 Jan 27;6(233):186-8, 190-1.
[Article in French]


Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition characterised by nutrient malabsorption and excessive bacteria in the small intestine. It typically presents with diarrhea, flatulence and a syndrome of malabsorption (steatorrhea, macrocytic anemia). However, it may be asymptomatic in the eldery. A high index of suspicion is necessary in order to differentiate SIBO from other similar presenting disorders such as coeliac disease, lactose intolerance or the irritable bowel syndrome. A search for predisposing factor is thus necessary. These factors may be anatomical (stenosis, blind loop), or functional (intestinal hypomotility, achlorydria). The hydrogen breath test is the most frequently used diagnostic test although it lacks standardisation. The treatment of SIBO consists of eliminating predisposing factors and broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / microbiology*
  • Risk Factors