Last Updated on August 6, 2020
You’ll likely never get rid of SIBO by relying on antibiotics, whether it’s amoxicillin, or rifaximin, or Xifaxin.
There are a lot of naturopaths in the US that prescribe rifaximin.
I’ve seen hundreds upon hundreds of cloents that have taken rifaximin with minimal results. They may initially have seen some improvement but then they relapsed and had to go back on rifaximin.
Rifaximin doesn’t get absorbed well in the gut. Essentially, it acts in the gut and then gets excreted. That’s why it isn’t good for anything except a small bowel problem. It generally doesn’t have much of an impact on the large bowel.
In my opinion, relying on antibiotics for SIBO is a complete waste of time in nost cases. It means you’re taking your eye off the ball and thinking that a drug is going to cure all your GI problems. Well, that isn’t going to happen in most cases.
Relying on an antibiotic to fix SIBO means you’re not looking at other options.
Ask yourself, “Did I look at all my herbal options before I started taking antibiotics?”
Herbal options tend to be more broad-spectrum. Unlike rifaximin they can also have an impact on small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO).
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Most of the clients I have seen have got multiple gut imbalances. They have some fungal issues and many also have parasites. Many have low pancreatic enzyme levels, low secretory IgA, and poor immune function.
An antibiotic that works on SIBO is not going to address all the other gut issues.
My suggestion is to get a comprehensive stool analysis based on three stool samples. A SIBO breath test is not enough. The stool analysis will give you an overall idea of your gut problems. It will also provide a susceptibility panel that is specific to your situation.
Another reason I don’t think rifaximin is the answer to your SIBO problem is that probiotics aren’t considered thoroughly. In some cases, probiotics have a better effect than antibiotics.
If you have low to nil counts of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria along with SIBO, probiotics are far more important than antibioitics.
Managing SIBO is not just about killing harmful bacteria. It’s also about building up the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Thirdly, the possibility of a poor migrating motor complex (MMC) is often missed if antibiotics are considered the “answer” to SIBO.
The MMC is responsible for cleaning up the small bowel between meals.
The vagus nerve, part of the parasympathetic nervous system, and a variety of hormones are involved in regulating the activity of the MMC.
If you’ve got sympathetic dominance through stress, you’re going to have parasympathetic depression and weak vagal tone. The result is poor MMC activity followed by bloating, gas, and other digestive problems.
Antibiotics do nothing to address poor vagal tone. You need to address the issues that are causing your stress.
In my opinion, when it comes to GI health, lifestyle trumps just about anything else in life, including your diet.
Antibiotics also don’t address any structural problems that may be contributing to GI dysfunction.
I had one patient, a police officer, who was told he had a mast cell disease affecting his gut. Turned out that his holster, weighing umpteen pounds, had impacted his 11th and 12th thoracic vertebrae and the nerve supply to his small bowel. When the chiropractor addressed his vertebrae problems, his GI issues resolved.
Think about your occupation; think about your life. Don’t think that an antibiotic is going to cure SIBO. It’s not in most cases. You need to look further afield.