Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO is a condition where abnormally large numbers of bacteria grow in the small intestine. In addition, the types of bacteria may change and resemble those found normally in the large intestine (e.g. Gram negative bacteria and anaerobes). Under normal circumstances, the small intestine contains a relatively low number of bacteria (less than 10,000 bacteria per ml) whereas the large intestine contains much larger numbers of bacteria (more than 1,000,000,000 bacteria per ml). Overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine may occur in a number of diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes, scleroderma, diverticulosis or following surgery. In addition, some doctors believe that some people with irritable bowel syndrome also suffer with SIBO. The most common symptoms of SIBO are abdominal fullness or bloating, abdominal pain or cramps, or diarrhoea (usually watery). Other symptoms may include fatty stool (more smelly and more difficult to flush away), nausea and weight loss. SIBO can be diagnosed by the hydrogen breath test.


At West Kent Gastroenterology, we work hard to provide our patients with top-class care. You will enjoy friendly, fast and modern treatment by a highly experienced gastroenterologist. We carefully review patient satisfaction and feedback, and at West Kent Gastroenterology we are continuously making improvements to our services, ensuring the highest level of care possible.

Clinic Locations

Nuffield Hospital
Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

Spire Hospital
Fordcombe Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 0RD

Sevenoaks Medical Centre
London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2JD

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