5 Beverages to Avoid If You Have SIBO
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, is a debilitating condition that occurs when bacteria in the colon reach and multiply in the small intestine. Its causative factors include surgery and certain medical conditions that slow the passage of food and waste products along the gastrointestinal tract. Common SIBO symptoms include acid reflux, cramping, diarrhea, gas, and malnutrition. When left untreated, these symptoms increase in frequency and severity, resulting in a reduced quality of life among sufferers.
The SIBO diet involves significantly reducing carbohydrate consumption to cut down the food supply for these harmful bacteria. Learning about SIBO foods to avoid and following the SIBO diet lead to the eradication of bacterial growth in the small intestine and reduce inflammation along the gastrointestinal tract.
Strict adherence to the SIBO diet can effectively restore the perfect balance of the microbiome and improve overall health. Here are the beverages contraindicated for SIBO sufferers.
Carbonated drinks can be tricky for those suffering from SIBO. Although the carbon dioxide component of these beverages does not feed the abnormal growth in the small intestine, it places an extra burden on processing and eliminating gas in the gastrointestinal system. Reducing the introduction of carbon dioxide into the body effectively eliminates harmful bacteria in the small intestine.
To alleviate uncomfortable SIBO symptoms, it is best to refrain from consuming carbonated beverages like soda, energy drinks, and sparkling water. There are many ways to quench thirst without loading your GI tract with bubbles. Start by sipping plain water throughout the day, or try herbal teas, vegetable juices and lemon water infused with mint. These options are easy on the digestive system and keep you refreshed and hydrated while avoiding aggravating your SIBO symptoms.
Coffee is a favorite morning drink for many people, but those diagnosed with SIBO must consider eliminating it from their diet to improve their overall condition. Caffeine stimulates the intestine, leading to abdominal discomfort, bloating, and excessive gas. Not only that, but coffee may also reduce bacteria-fighting stomach acid, so it’s best to limit or avoid it altogether when fighting SIBO symptoms.
For those looking for a good alternative for their morning dose of energy, experts recommend switching to herbal teas or decaf coffee. Additionally, adaptogen-rich drinks like kombucha or mushroom elixirs are great substitutes to boost your energy without worsening SIBO.
Sweetened beverages can be detrimental to SIBO patients because the sugars are quickly absorbed in the small intestine, leaving little room for other nutrients. Common sweetened beverages that you should avoid as a SIBO patient include soft drinks, sports drinks, juice drinks, milk teas, and energy drinks. Those dealing with severe SIBO may also need to eliminate the use of natural sweeteners like agave and honey.
An excellent alternative to sugary drinks would be smoothies made from low-FODMAP fruits and vegetables. Drinking nutrient-rich herbal teas or lemon- or ginger-infused water whenever thirsty is also a healthful choice.
Alcohol has long been a part of our culture, embraced as an integral component in celebrations and special occasions. However, those afflicted by SIBO must abstain from drinking alcohol altogether due to the immense risk it poses for worsening their condition. Overconsumption of booze heightens one’s susceptibility towards developing SIBO and encourages the growth of unhealthy bacteria that lead to unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and nausea.
Doctors recommend SIBO sufferers refrain from drinking alcoholic drinks, including beer, wine, and spirits. The good news is that there are many excellent alternatives for SIBO sufferers looking for fun beverages minus unwanted symptoms. Some great choices include non-alcoholic beers, low-histamine wines, ginger beer, and mocktails.
Milk and Dairy Products
Milk and dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and ice cream, can cause an unwelcome reaction in people with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. This is because dairy products contain lactose, a sugar not easily digested by people with SIBO. As bacteria consume this sugar, they produce gas leading to bloating and discomfort.
Those who suffer from SIBO should stay away from dairy products. The good news is that numerous alternative drinks on the market contain minimal lactose content, including plant-based milk like almond or oat milk. Instead of full-fat yogurts, sufferers can try Greek yogurt with lower lactose content. No matter which alternative you choose, ensure it has no added sugar to keep your SIBO symptoms under control.
For Best Outcomes, Drink Wisely
Living with SIBO can be challenging, as it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and identify potential triggering foods and drinks. The beverages listed above should be avoided when possible. Instead, opt for water and tea as they are highly effective in keeping your gut environment healthy without adding potential irritants that can worsen symptoms. While focusing on the nutritional aspect of SIBO management is imperative, it is always best to consult a doctor and dietitian to assess your condition and develop a personalized SIBO diet plan tailored to your unique needs. Getting the right care, guidance, and support is key to healing and recovering from SIBO.