SIBO Diet : Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

SIBO Diet : Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

by Manish Singh

Understanding SIBO First

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a serious condition that affects your small intestine. When bacteria grow in excess in your small intestine, it results in this condition. As a result, there are uncomfortable symptoms like:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • GAS
  • Nausea
  • In the worst cases, there may be vitamin and mineral deficiencies and weight loss.

The types of bacteria in the small intestine look like bacteria of the colon than the small intestine. SIBO directly impacts your gut and is primarily due to the slow movement of the digestive system. Also, there could be factors like:

  • Low levels of stomach acid
  • Week immune System
  • Some Abnormalities of the small intestine


SIBO is usually treated with the help of antibiotics, probiotics, and bringing some alterations in the diet. It requires some essential nutrients.

In the present article, we will focus on what kind of diet one should intake when suffering from SIBO.

The SIBO diet aims at reducing the inflammation in the digestive tract and bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine.

Carbohydrates act as the food for the gut bacteria. So the diet recommended for treating SIBO suggests reducing the quantity of carbohydrate intake, which helps in controlling the growth of bacteria.

Usually, the diet recommended for SIBO is the one which is low FODMAPs.

FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that are majorly present in dairy products, grains, and some fruits and vegetables. These are difficult to digest carbs, and when these don’t break down, there is bacterial overgrowth, and the resultants are the symptoms as described above.

So if one takes less of these foods, it may provide relief from symptoms of SIBO.

Some instances have shown people recovering from the symptoms only after cutting off the sugar. So be watchful to ascertain which food acts as a trigger in your case.

Let’s read further to know which foods you can have as a SIBO diet.

Permissible foods

SIBO diet should include foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar. The list of foods you can have from is:

  • Meat and Fish
  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Unsweetened cereal (from low FODMAP grains)
  • Olives
  • Seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Pumpkin
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Leafy Vegetables
  • Potato
  • Broccoli (only heads)
  • Spaghetti squash and Summer squashes
  • Rice
  • Gluten-free noodles
  • Fruits like blueberries, grapes, oranges, and strawberries

Next comes the list of foods that you shouldn’t have. This primarily includes foods high in FODMAPs.

Broad Categories include polyols, Galatians, fructans, lactose, and fructose.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Sweetened cereals
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Grains
  • Peas
  • Corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Butternut squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichokes
  • Beans
  • Apples
  • Dried fruits
  • Sausage
  • Flavored yogurt
  • ice cream
  • Soda and soft drinks


SIBO IS primarily treated with antibiotics. While there is more research required to support the functioning of diet in treating SIBO, studies are backing up the dietary changes. Changes such as limiting the number of sugars and lactose may help in controlling the bacterial overgrowth.

However, diet alone cannot treat, and it has to be in combination with antibiotics and probiotics.

Additionally, there should be a good intake of water, which helps in easing digestion and reducing pain.

It is important to note that the SIBO diet may help in reducing the symptoms, but it may not eliminate the underlying cause. So before you bring any kind of changes in your diet, do not forget to discuss it with your doctor.

FODMAPs should be introduced back into the diet once you are better, as it may otherwise lead to loss of healthy bacteria.



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