There is evidence that intermittent fasting is good for SIBO.
SIBO happens when there's too many bacteria in your small intestine. To lower the numbers, we can use antimicrobials to kill them and special types of diet to starve them. But that's not all. SIBO is often accompanied by a disrupted migrating motor complex (MMC).
The MMC is a cyclic, recurring motility pattern that occurs in the stomach and small bowel when you haven't eaten for a while. It sweeps food and bacteria on its journey down to the large intestine, keeping the small intestine relatively clean.
But every time you eat, it's interrupted.
It occurs every 90-120 minutes, but only while fasting. Research has found that allowing the MMC to take place could stop SIBO from happening, or stop it coming back when it's already happened.
Giving your digestive system a break is a good idea even if you don't have SIBO. A lot of us today are used to constant snacking!
What time should I eat, when intermittent fasting?
There are many ways to use intermittent fasting, for instance the 16/8 method involves fasting every day for 16 hours and restricting your daily eating window to 8 hours. That could mean having breakfast after 9.30am and eating your last meal no later than 5.30pm, for example.
While this may be beneficial for many people, if you're trying to beat SIBO, we recommend leaving 4 to 5 hours in between your meals, with only water or herbal tea to drink.
This will allow your MMC to happen after every meal and give your gut the best chance of fighting SIBO.