Understanding Unrecognized Medical Conditions like SIBO, SIFO, and Mast Cell Activation Disease

There are times when people with seemingly inexplicable symptoms are unable to get a proper diagnosis or are misdiagnosed with a completely different condition. This can be frustrating and can lead to mismanagement and worsening of symptoms.

But did you know that certain medical conditions are often unrecognized or overlooked by doctors?

These conditions can seriously impact a person’s quality of life. In this post, Chadwick Robertson Pharmacist, will delve into three medical conditions: SIBO, SIFO, and mast cell activation disease.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO is characterized by an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.

Normally, the small intestine only harbors small amounts of bacteria. However, bacterial levels increasing beyond normal limits can lead to a laundry list of symptoms, including bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and nutrient deficiencies.

A breath test is the most common way to diagnose SIBO.

Management usually involves dietary changes, antibiotics, and sometimes probiotics. SIBO is still not well-recognized by many conventional doctors, which means that many people suffering from unexplained digestive symptoms could be living with this condition, unaware of it.

One way to prevent SIBO is by maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which can be achieved through a nutritious diet and regular exercise.

Additionally, it’s important to address any underlying conditions that may be contributing to the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. These could include food intolerances, poor digestive function, or structural issues.

Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO)

On the other hand, SIFO denotes an overgrowth of fungi in the small intestine. It presents similarly to SIBO with symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea but may also lead to other symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, and rashes.

Due to the similarity of symptoms between SIFO and SIBO, it can be difficult to get an accurate diagnosis.

One of the tests used to diagnose SIFO involves a stool sample to detect fungal overgrowth. Treatment for SIFO usually involves antifungal medications and dietary changes.

Additionally, SIFO is often linked to antibiotic use, as antibiotics can kill off both beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut and lead to an imbalance that allows fungal overgrowth.

This further highlights the importance of responsible antibiotic use and taking probiotics to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut.

Mast Cell Activation Disease (MCAD)

Mast cells are immune cells crucial to the body’s response to allergens and pathogens. However, in some people, mast cells can become overactive and release excessive amounts of histamine and other inflammatory substances into the body.

This is known as Mast Cell Activation Disease (MCAD).

Symptoms of MCAD may include hives, swelling, flushing, itching, digestive issues, headaches/migraines, and brain fog. MCAD is often overlooked or misdiagnosed as other conditions, such as allergies or autoimmune disorders.

Treatment for MCAD usually involves antihistamines and medications that target the overactive mast cells. It’s also important to identify and avoid triggers that can cause mast cell activation, such as certain foods, medications, chemicals, and stress.

In addition to these three conditions, many other medical conditions may go unrecognized or misdiagnosed.

This highlights the importance of advocating for your health and seeking multiple opinions if necessary. It’s also important for doctors to continue educating themselves on lesser-known medical conditions to diagnose and treat their patients effectively.


Chadwick Robertson Pharmacist, understands that unrecognized medical conditions like SIBO, SIFO, and MCAD can significantly impact a person’s quality of life.

Both patients and doctors need to be aware of these conditions and their symptoms to achieve proper diagnosis and management.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, being mindful of antibiotic usage, and seeking multiple opinions when necessary can help prevent and manage these conditions. It’s time to shed light on lesser-known medical conditions and improve the lives of those affected by them.

So, let’s spread awareness about SIBO, SIFO, MCAD, and other unrecognized medical conditions.

Let’s work towards a healthier future for all.