SIBO stands for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and SIFO stands for Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth.
Many of the symptom of SIBO which are bloating, gas, constipation/diarrhea, abdominal pain, belching and or flatulence, nausea and symptoms of leaky gut such as rashes and food allergies and steatorrhea (fatty stools) can also present with small intestinal fungal overgrowth.
Dr. Satish Rao, a prominent gastroenterologist and researcher states that 24% of patients with SIBO have concurrent SIFO. One may have SIFO alone but it’s quite interesting to know that one quarter of all SIBO patients have an overgrowth of yeast in their intestines. It is also important to understand why conventional treatments may fail with antibiotic treatment alone when both conditions are present.
Breath testing is the gold standard to diagnose SIBO, but that test cannot determine the presence of SIFO. The truth, is that other than culturing a sample from the small intestine that would be performed by a gastroenterologist in special circumstances, there are no direct tests available. The GI-Map which is stool test, does contain markers for some species of fungi, however, we cannot rely on this alone to identify it because fungal organisms tend to burrow into the mucus layer in the intestine known as a bio-film to evade detection. There is a special urine test known as an OAT test (Organic Acids Test) that captures the metabolites of the fungus, so despite its stealth nature, we can see it’s by-products which would indicate its presence.
There are some specific botanicals that can be used to treat both SIBO and SIFO effectively, but it’s imperative to understand that diet and lifestyle play a key role to eradicate and prevent reoccurrences.
A low sugar diet is mandatory, followed by a lower simple carbohydrate diet, but if you follow the SIBO Bi-phasic diet, you will starve out the dietary constituents that contribute to its overgrowth.