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Normally, bacteria are found in the trillions in the LARGE INTESTINE, where they perform various symbiotic functions for the human body.
SIBO is a condition where bacterial overgrowth occurs in the absorptive area of the body the SMALL INTESTINE.
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The ileocecal valve (which connects the large and the small intestine) is dysfunctional, allowing large intestinal bacteria to migrate upwards into the small intestine, where they wreak havoc.
The normal cleansing wave of the small intestine is disrupted, or stopped. This cleansing wave is called the Migrating Motor Complex (MMS), and occurs approximately every 90 minutes, typically between meals. The function of the MMC is to wash out accumulated bacteria and propel them toward the colon. The MMC is not related to the peristaltic waves of the large intestines.
The result is bacteria are allowed to grow and proliferate throughout the small intestine (a little over 6 meters in length).
SIBO causes damage to the absorptive surface of the small intestine - the ability of the body to absorb nutrients from food.
The absorptive surface of the small intestine is likened to a shaggy carpet, with finger-like protrusions called villi. The surface of the villi contain microvilli, which act as the interface of absorption—microvilli secrete enzymes called “brush border enzymes” which break starches into single molecules and proteins into single amino acids, so these can be absorbed.
Small Intestine - absorbing nutrients from food
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