FOOD and DIGESTION- pleasure or pain?

Jenny Crissman MS L. Ac.


If you have experienced what is commonly labelled IBS :Irritable Bowel Syndrome you have probably also experienced the vexing problem of how to treat it.  Consistent and often debilitating abdominal pain, distention,  diarrhea and/or constipation lead many Gastroenterologists to prescribe antispasmodics and fiber.  However, this prescription often does little to solve the symptoms.  Often the syndrome is frequently attributed to anxiety and stress and sometimes antidepressants are prescribed.   Current research is indicating that another measurable cause is the culprit:  SIBO:  Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

The most Common SIBO/IBS symptoms:




Abdominal Pain/Cramping


Diagnosed with IBS

Food Intolerance


History of long term antibiotic use or high incidence of food poisoning

Recent studies have shown that this change in small intestine bacterial overgrowth can be treated with herbs and diet.  There are also special antibiotics that are shown to be temporarily effective sometimes with lasting effects if combined with diet.

The initial trigger for the onset of SIBO is unclear.  Some believe it may be a bout of food poisoning or simply some stimuli that lead to changes in the composition of gut flora.  With severe alteration in gut flora dysbiosis is established and immune function can be effected secondary to the by products of bacterial digestion.  These by products cause irritation of the intestinal mucosa triggering the immune system to overreact.  Some of the immune cells can start attacking the intestinal walls and the nervous system in the intestinal wall that control contractions.   Once the contractions become altered they may allow the food to sit too long and allow more bacterial overgrowth. 

Eventually the bacteria migrate from the large intestine to the small intestine and interfere with normal digestion and absorption.  These bacteria also produce large amounts of gas causing bloating, distention of the intestinal wall and further impairment of the intestinal nervous system.  All of these lead to the typical symptoms of IBS.  Eliminating the bacteria can end this vicious cycle!

How to Diagnose SIBO?:

Lactulose breath Test:

How to Treat SIBO:

SIBO Dietary recommendations:

I provide nutritional supervision to help maintain adequate intake and maximize digestion with the aid of acupuncture.


A variety of herbs may be rotated through to kill various types of bacteria and address any issues that may also be a result of candida over growth.  These will be prescribed as needed.  I use various types of antibacterial herbs,  some examples:


If you suffer from any of the above mentioned discomforts, get in touch with me! - help is an email orphone call away!