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Differences between Helicobacter Pylori y SIBO

PORTADAS WEB_helicobacter pylori vs sibo
26 Mar 2024
1 Min
Health and advice

Gastrointestinal disorders such as Helicobacter pylori and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) may seem similar, but they have key differences in their definition, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Here’s a brief comparison:

What are they and how to distinguish H. pylori from SIBO?

Helicobacter Pylori: It is a bacterium that lodges in the stomach lining and can cause gastric ulcers and gastrointestinal problems.

SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth): It is a bacterial imbalance in the small intestine, with an overgrowth of bacteria that are normally found in other parts of the digestive tract.

Causes of H. pylori and SIBO

Helicobacter Pylori: The infection is often acquired in childhood and is believed to be transmitted from person to person.

SIBO: It can be caused by a variety of factors such as intestinal motility disorders, previous surgery of the small intestine, or intestinal valve problems.

Symptoms of H. pylori and SIBO

Helicobacter Pylori: It can cause abdominal pain, indigestion, nausea, and, in severe cases, gastrointestinal bleeding.

SIBO: Symptoms include abdominal distension, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nutrient malabsorption.

Diagnosis of H. pylori and SIBO

Helicobacter Pylori: It is diagnosed through breath tests, blood tests, stool tests, or endoscopies to detect the bacteria and evaluate gastric damage. The breath test, in particular, measures carbon dioxide in the breath after the patient has ingested a urea solution marked with a specific isotope.

SIBO: It is detected through breath tests that detect gases produced by bacteria in the small intestine. The hydrogen breath test measures exhaled hydrogen and methane after ingestion, especially of lactulose.

Treatment of H. pylori and SIBO

Helicobacter Pylori: Treatment involves antibiotics to eradicate the bacteria, along with medications to reduce stomach acidity.

SIBO: It involves administering antibiotics to reduce excess bacteria in the small intestine, along with dietary changes to prevent recurrences. A low FODMAP diet is also commonly recommended to reduce the intake of fermentable carbohydrates.


Although Helicobacter pylori and SIBO may present similar symptoms, understanding the differences is crucial for receiving proper diagnosis and treatment. If you experience persistent gastrointestinal problems, consult a healthcare professional for guidance and specialized care.

At Paracelso Sagasta, we have a Digestology Unit comprised of a multidisciplinary team of highly specialized professionals in the precise diagnosis and personalized treatment of multiple gastrointestinal disorders. Feel free to contact us and take control of your intestinal well-being.


Digestive Medicine
Helicobacter Pylori