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Is There a SIBO Diet I Should Follow?

Low Fermentation Eating with Salad and Vegetables

There are several ways you can treat and manage your frustrating SIBO symptoms. One way is to slightly alter your healthy eating habits with a low-fermentation diet. A SIBO diet consists of foods that are low in fermentation and easily digestible. When carbohydrates cannot be properly broken down, the bacteria in the gut then digest the sugars, releasing gases like hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sulfide that can result in frustrating GI symptoms.

What Is Low Fermentation Eating?

Developed by Mark Pimentel, MD and Ali Rezaie, MD, Low Fermentation Eating is specifically designed for those patients suffering from SIBO and IBS symptoms like bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. Low Fermentation Eating (LFE), or a SIBO diet, supports a more balanced gut microbiome by decreasing the amount of the fermented foods in your diet. Low Fermentation Eating is based on two parts:

  1. Restricting foods with high carbohydrates - Highly fermentable foods are filled with short-chain carbohydrates, or sugars, that don’t get fully absorbed by the small intestine. These non-absorbed sugars feed the bacteria in your gut causing fermentation to occur, exacerbating your gut symptoms. The sugar-consuming bacteria then release certain gases measurable with a breath test that can indicate SIBO, IMO, and/or excess hydrogen sulfide.

  1. Meal timing - Spacing out meal times with four to five hours between consumption is a great way to manage your gut health. The gut is self-cleaning, and it’s suggested to have two gut-cleaning cycles before eating again, hence waiting four to five hours between feeding windows.

Foods to Avoid During Low Fermentation Eating

Below is an incomplete list of highly fermentable foods to avoid, especially if you have SIBO or are trying to incorporate a SIBO diet. These foods are considered hard to digest and feed the bacteria in your gut, resulting in frustrating GI symptoms.

  • Sugar substitutes like sucralose, sorbitol, lactitol, xylitol, mannitol, and stevia

  • Lentils

  • Beans

  • Soy products

  • Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt

The best way to determine if a low-fermentation diet may be right for you is to use a breath test to measure the gases in your gut after consuming a sugar substrate drink. Understanding your gut health is critical in meal planning and healthy eating. Identifying your specific gut condition helps doctors confidently provide personalized treatment to help you feel better quickly.

Learn more about ordering the trio-smart breath test here.


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