Expert Contribution


Find Out Why!

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a very common condition plaguing many Americans that may alternatively include bouts of constipation, diarrhea or cramping. 

What many do not know is that the CAUSE of this condition may be SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). 

One of the most common symptoms is BLOATING, especially bloating that is worse at the end of the day. 

Many patients say they wake up feeling/looking normal and by the end of the day “look pregnant” or their pants are tight. 

Common SIBO Symptoms 

  • IBS – Nausea – Vomiting – Fatigue 
  • Bloating – Weight loss/gain 
  • Depression, Anxiety 
  • Diarrhea – Malnutrition – Joint pain 
  • Rashes – Acne – Eczema – Rosacea 
  • Constipation – Asthma 
  • Food Intolerances 

In short, SIBO occurs when bacteria accumulates in our small intestines and produces gas (bloating) particularly when we eat carbohydrates or highly fermentable foods. 

Aside from the uncomfortable bloating, why should we care? Because this condition leads to malnutrition/malabsorption, damages the gut barrier lining, is a key trigger behind food sensitivities and may contribute to a host of other conditions. 

Some of the key causes/risk factors include: 

  • Slow Motility (ex.TBI, high stress) 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Ileocecal valve disorder 
  • Diabetes 
  • Diverticulosis/Scar tissue bowel infiltration (ex. C-section, laparoscopy, uterine ablation, tummy tuck) 
  • SI defect/injury/fistula 
  • Medications (Antibiotics, PPI, immunosuppressant) 
  • History of Food Poisoning 
  • Celiac dx 
  • Scleroderma 
  • Diet high in sugar, carbs, alcohol 
  • Upper GI disorders – (heartburn, H.Pylori) 

Testing options include small bowel aspiration (invasive, mostly just performed for research purposes), 3-hour breath test (regularly ordered, easy home test), stool or urine testing (indicative, not diagnostic). 

Treatment options include antibiotics (highly specific protocol), elemental diet (2-3 weeks), herbal antimicrobials along with a prokinetic and lifestyle modifications. 

SIBO has a very high relapse rate, so essential to get quality advice from a well-versed practitioner. 

Dr. Zachary is one of the rare, vetted practitioners on SIBO who is regularly consulted & interviewed worldwide on the subject. 

It is a highly common yet complex issue to address. Want to learn more? Dr. Z recently taught an updated SIBO class on 4/2 that includes the latest research – you can view it on the Body Love Cafe website free of charge – just click the “videos” tab. 

Contact us by calling (925) 788-6300 or emailing 

By Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, IFMCP with Body Love Cafe, Northgate resident since 2019

About The Author

Functional Medicine & Nutrition
Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, IFMCP
Body Love Cafe

Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, IFMCP discovered the power of Functional Medicine first hand when a “mystery illness” left her declared permanently disabled. Unwilling to accept that diagnosis, she fought back and launched Body Love Cafe, an award-winning holistic health clinic.

BLC is all about natural medicine that meets cutting-edge science to provide answers as to why you don’t feel well. We hear you. We see you. We believe you. It’s not in your head and we’ve got the technique and labs to show why.

Patients have said “Dr. Zachary figures out why you feel like crap but your MD says you’re fine.” 

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