Bacterial Overgrowth in Small Bowel

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/29/2006 10:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone. I am new here. I have had IBS since I was 17. I am now 29. I have extreme diarreaha, cramps and nausea. I've been to my family doctor and tried many different meds like Bentyl, but with no success. Recently I was to a Gastroenterologist. I had many different tests done. One was a H2 breath test to check for Bacterial Overgrowth in the Small Bowel. I tested positive for it right away. My doctor told me that this is probably what is causing my IBS. I was put on antibiotics and sure enough the symptoms went away. I was so excited! All those years!!! However, a few weeks later, the symptoms returned. I called my doctor and she put me on another course of antibiotics. Two, in fact. They worked well and I am feeling good again. My doctor told me that this may reoccur and I may have to go on and off antibiotics all my life. I don't mind if I get results like this. It is nice to have a normal life again. Not having to always look for a bathroom! I just wanted people to know. Maybe you can suggest to your doctor about the test. Also suggest a H2 Fructose breath test. You may test positive for that and that could be causing IBS symptoms. I tested borderline positive for it, but never really experienced any problems eating or drinking anything with fructose in it. Anyways, just thought I would tell someone. I hope all you feel better and can get your IBS problems straightened out. I know how bad it sucks!!!! :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 9/30/2006 12:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Nice one!! Congratulations my friend.

I had a lactose intolerance breath test came out negative. I guess i should go back for the bacterial overgrowth test too. I've heard with IBS-D patients they don't always return a positive result for bacterial o/growth, whereas IBS-C they almost always do if they have bacterial overgrowth.

May I ask what antibiotics you were treated with? Was it rifaximin by any chance? And how long on each course? I've read on here that targetted antibiotics is effective in getting rid of the cause for ibs. Also was told by the head of pharmacology at my local university that he subscribes to the theory that IBS is more than just the "brain-gut connection".

Anyhow, well done once again.

DX'd with IBS May 2006

Current Medications :
None, but occasionally carry Seirogan for fast relief from D.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 334
   Posted 9/30/2006 2:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Emmy,
I usually post in the lupus forum, but have been in here because of recent bowel problems. My daughter suffered from the age of 6 weeks with diarrhoea, cramps and extreme nappy rash. It took us 3 years to get a diagnosis. They said she had bacterial overgrowth. Hers is due to having IGA deficiency. This is another thought to some of you, it's easily tested for in a blood test. Just thought I'd add incase this helps anyone. My daughter had antibitiotics for over a year, and thank god in time for her starting school she's finally pain free and no longer has the diarrhoea.
Chillblain Pattern LE, tachycardia, unknown bowel problems

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 9/30/2006 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
To the best of my knowledge, I've always understood that antibiotics killed everything, which is not good...what about taking a good probiotic to create gut flora of bacteria balance, I take primadophilus rueteri, it's been said that while taking anitbiotics it's important to take your probiotics at least 2 hrs apart.


New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/2/2006 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Yowie, Lion00, and Pb4 for your feedback. Yowie, you wanted to know what anti-biotics I was on. I first started with Noroxin. It worked well, but the symptoms came back in a few weeks. The doctor then put me on Tetracycline, but I did not tolerate that at all. Made me soooo sick! The antibiotics that worked for me were a combination of two. They were Flagyl and Bactrium. I was on the generic form of those two. They worked well and I was able to tolerate them. I appreciate you well wishes too Yowie...thanks! I think that you should have the bacterial overgrowth test done. It is very simple and if positive you can start the antibiotics right away. If you do get this done, I hope all the best for you. No one deserves to suffer this way.
Lion00, I am so glad to hear your daughter is doing better. That is great news! I have had blood test after blood test done. They didn't find anything wrong there. I did recently have a small bowel series done. They make you drink that horrible barium stuff and take e-rays of your bowel every half hour for two hours. I have yet to find out the results of that one. My doctor can not give me a reason for my bacterial overgrowth. Hopefully, she can sometime soon.
Pb4, I just take the antibiotics because they work and they are what my doctor prescribes me. What are probiotics? Do they really help? Where do you buy things like that? I'd like to give them a try or ask my doctor about them. Thanks for your help.

Thanks all for your help. Hope you all are feeling better soon. Take care.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/2/2006 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Probiotic is a term that denotes the naturally occurring, "friendly" bacteria that contributes to the health and balance of the intestinal tract. These cultures of microorganisms are able to multiply in the intestinal tract to create a balanced microflora (healthy intestinal culture), thereby preventing the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria in the intestinal tract. In addition, these "friendly" bacteria produce a natural antibiotic-like substance called bactericine, which helps to eliminate unwanted coli forms. This results in a healthy intestinal lining that is capable of optimum nutrient absorption. Researchers have found links between bacterial imbalances in the gastrointestinal tract and many illnesses. If you have ever experienced any of the following symptoms or illnesses, you may have a bacterial imbalance:

Chronic Fatigue / Diarrhea or Constipation / Intestinal Gas and Indigestion / Rapid onset of Osteoporosis / Poor Immune Response / Chronic Bladder Infections or Vaginal Infections / High Cholesterol Levels / Candida or Yeast Infections / Allergies / Skin Conditions / Menstrual Complaints / Chronic Bad Breath / Vitamin B Deficiencies / Sensitivity to Dairy Products / Viral and Bacterial Infections / Colds and Flu

Environmental factors and the consumption of certain foods and products can also cause the growth of pathogenic (harmful) bacteria, some of which are as follows:

Antibiotic Usage
Excessive Consumption of Sugar and Refined Flours
Over Consumption of Carbohydrates
Intake of Chlorinated Water
Use of Over-the-counter and/or Prescription Anti-inflammatory Drugs and Painkillers
Frequent Consumption of Colas and other Carbonated Beverages
Excessive Consumption of Fatty Foods and Fatty Meats
High Stress Levels
Exposure to Chemicals and Pollutants

You can generally get them at healthfood stores, or buy them online...

VSL3, Iflora and primadophilus reuteri are all good ones, I use the primadophilus reuteri made by natures way, it's very affordable and VSL3 is one of the most expensive.

I also just posted a link about IBS and Probiotics, you may want to check it out, it's at this forum.

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