A Tale Of Ineffective Antibiotics – Meet A SIBO Warrior Abigail Dancause

We sat down with Abigail Dancause – a competent healthcare professional who has been battling SIBO for the last seven years. Here are some of the things that jumped out:

  • She has taken several rounds of different antibiotics – Rifaximin, Neomycin, Ciprofloxacin, Vancomycin, Metronidazole but none of them made a real dent in her SIBO symptoms.
  • It took a long time, multiple doctors, and several diagnostic procedures including endoscopy, colonoscopy, abdominal ultrasound before getting a SIBO diagnosis.
  • She felt the most relief when she focused on improving motility via herbal supplements
  • Persistence is her key to progress. She continues to stitch together little improvements in diet, supplements, and lifestyle one step at a time and stays hopeful.

Listen to the entire discussion below

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The Future of Anti-Microbials For SIBO – A Discussion With Dr. Bryan Davies

Dr. Bryan Davies is one of the leading researchers in the field of antimicrobial discovery and development. We had an insightful discussion with him on the future of anti-microbials for SIBO. Here are the highlights:

  • Cancer treatment has moved on from small molecules to biologics and cell-based treatments. Why is SIBO treatment still stuck in the world of small molecules discovered decades ago with a simplified theory of killing bad microbes and promoting good microbes?
  • Differences between conventional antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides. Why is there so much excitement for antimicrobial peptides?
  • Antimicrobial peptides work by targeting the bacterial membrane, so it is relatively harder for bacteria to develop resistance.
  • Colistin – an antibiotic from 1960’s targets the bacterial membrane just like the antimicrobial peptides. It is non-absorbable and shows low toxicity in the gut. Should it be considered as a second line of treatment for SIBO?
  • Lot of antibiotics – Rifaximin / Ciprofloxacin work great in the petri dish but not in the human body. We need better in-vitro assays and animal models for SIBO.
  • The future of Gut therapeutics maybe delivering highly targeted antimicrobial compounds via engineered good bacteria. This way the bacteria can get to the specific location in the intestines, pierce through the gut mucosa and biofilms, and target the specific pathogens without harming the beneficial bacteria.
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A Better Antibiotic For Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth | Target Product Profile

An estimated 700 million people are adversely affected by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), that is one out of every ten people in the world. While IBS is not a life-threatening disease, it has a significant impact on quality of life. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is implicated in majority of the cases of irritable bowel syndrome (1). Beyond digestive disorders, SIBO has also been shown to have a positive correlation with a wide spectrum of diseases including Alzheimer’s (2), Parkinsons (3), Multiple Sclerosis (4), Coronary Artery Disease (5), Psoriasis (6), and Cancer (7). The treatment of SIBO is multi-faceted, but a major aspect is addressing bacterial overgrowth via use of antibiotics.

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The Missing Piece Towards Improving And Standardizing SIBO Breath Tests

I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Research suggests Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth can explain IBS symptoms in as much as 78% of the cases (1). So, I reached out to the top doctors across the country to get properly tested and diagnosed. Here is what I found out:

  • Stanford and Augusta recommend SIBO detection via Glucose breath tests
  • Cedars Sinai recommends Lactulose breath test
  • Mayo Clinic does not recommend doing a SIBO breath test at all for IBS-C patients

If the top institutes cannot agree on an important protocol to identify whether problem lies in the small intestine, then the patients don’t have a prayer to get properly diagnosed and treated. There have been efforts to drive consensus (2) but so far that has not moved the needle for something as basic as deciding between Glucose vs Lactulose breath test. So, what is the problem?

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