By: Dr. Michael Morsillo, Naturopathic Doctor

It’s amazing to think about just how important bacteria are to our overall health.  We’re often fearful of bacteria because we’ve often associated these with a variety of infectious diseases. However, it’s important to realize that there are many more bacteria that are actually helping us maintain our health.

I find two of the following numbers fascinating:
1) There are approximately 10 trillion human cells in the average adult human body.
2) There’s actually 10-40 trillion microbial cells in the human body.
This is incredible – it means that at least half our bodies are microbial cells.  It’s no wonder we’re finding out that this balance of microbial cells and bacteria can really help or hinder our overall health.

These bacteria are found everywhere, but most reside in our intestinal tract. Under normal circumstances, we can thank most of these bacteria for helping us with the following:

1) Getting rid of harmful bacteria.
2) Digesting our food.
3) Producing nutrients that our bodies need.
4) Reducing inflammation.

When our “friendly” bacterial counts are excessively low, or we have an imbalance amongst these different types of bacteria, we will lose out on the benefits listed above, and unwanted bacteria will be able to proliferate.

The proliferation of unwanted, harmful bacteria in our gut is referred to as “Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth”, or “SIBO” for short.  SIBO can give rise to a variety of symptoms, such as :

– Bloating
– Belching and gas
– Abdominal pain or cramping
– Constipation
– Diarrhea
– Nausea
– Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome
– Malabsorption

Keep in mind that some people can have one or more of these symptoms briefly without having SIBO.  However, if these symptoms are chronic, persistent, or more severe, it’s important to look into SIBO as a possible underlying cause.

At our naturopathic clinic, we use a simple breath test that is sent to a lab, which is able to detect the presence of SIBO.  If SIBO is detected, we will typically implement a SIBO-specific dietary regimen and supplement program to help turn this process around.

Dr. Michael Morsillo, H.B.Sc., N.D.
Newmarket Naturopathic Doctor
16655 Yonge Street
905-898-1844 ext. 135