Diagnosis and management of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

47 Scopus citations


Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can result from failure of the gastric acid barrier, failure of small intestinal motility, anatomic alterations, or impairment of systemic and local immunity. The current accepted criteria for the diagnosis of SIBO is the presence of coliform bacteria isolated from the proximal jejunum with >105 colony-forming units/mL. A major concern with luminal aspiration is that it is only one random sampling of the small intestine and may not always be representative of the underlying microbiota. A new approach to examine the underlying microbiota uses rapid molecular sequencing, but its clinical utilization is still under active investigation. Clinical manifestations of SIBO are variable and include bloating, flatulence, abdominal distention, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Severe cases may present with nutrition deficiencies due to malabsorption of micro- and macronutrients. The current management strategies for SIBO center on identifying and correcting underlying causes, addressing nutrition deficiencies, and judicious utilization of antibiotics to treat symptomatic SIBO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-299
Number of pages11
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • bacteria
  • intestine, small
  • metagenome
  • microbiota
  • small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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