top of page

SIBO and Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a system that quite literally becomes fatigued over time. One of the most common causes of adrenal fatigue I see in my clinic, is chronic stress. Stress can cause gut issues, which can exacerbate dysfunctional immune system responses, which can cause more stress. The process can quickly become a vicious cycle. Here’s how adrenal fatigue often develops:


->First, stress causes less stomach acid to be released.

->This allows more deleterious bacteria to grow in the gut.

->Low acid levels also cause bacteria to travel down the gastrointestinal tract into the small intestine, where it doesn’t belong.

->This impairs motility of the small intestine, which worsens bacteria overgrowth.

->Finally, this cycle leads to SIBO and leaky gut, which can make you very sick.


Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is the new boy on the block in the world of gut issues – in the sense that we’ve known about SIBO for less time than other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a very prevalent condition, impacting a large proportion of western population. Though many now believe that IBS is actually caused by SIBO. I suspect SIBO is much more prevalent than we currently realise. These conditions are strongly associated with adrenal fatigue and in many cases originate from chronic stress. There's a home test kit (breathalyser for testing for SIBO).

In my clinic, I get far better results when I stop treating the adrenal test results and focus on my patient. By listening to the symptoms and finding the underlying cause of their adrenal fatigue, I find the resulting treatment is much more effective.

Research supports my findings. A systematic review of high-quality studies on adrenal fatigue found testing for the condition to be highly inaccurate. In fact, more 50 percent of the time there was no correlation between the test results and the condition. This means you could save yourself time, energy, and money by skipping adrenal testing. Though if you want to be tested, it can easily be arranged (see information in the File tab).

On my website, you’ll find more detail on what adrenal fatigue actually is and how you can go about finding long term solutions. As you now know, a lot of cases begin in the gut. You’ll also a lot of information on exactly how you can begin the process of healing your gut – as your body needs it. Healthcare should be personalised, though I do realise that it can be quite frustrating dealing with the NHS.

Instead of wasting money on adrenal testing, take the steps to find what makes you healthier personally. A good place to start is (and you might want to seek professional help to help you with it):

->Beginning the process of identifying the root cause of your health issues.

->A system that allows you to identify some triggers on your own.

->How to prioritise any lifestyle changes so you only use what’s necessary.

->Reducing the amount of medication, testing, and protocols needed.

->Ensuring you’re on a health journey specific to your body.

The future of medicine is personalised healthcare. It’s my belief that every patient needs solutions unique to their body. No more blanket protocols, no more black and white limitations. Instead of being a victim to your health, try to acquire the tools you need to find what works for you.

bottom of page