Bacterial Overgrowth (methane) and Cleanses

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/21/2007 10:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone - I've been suffering from constipation, bloating, stomach cramps, etc. for a few years now and after a hydrogen breath test the doctor finally determined that this is caused by a bacterial overgrowth in my small intestine (I'm a methane producer, so you can blame me for global warming) 
I tried two different rounds of antibiotics and VSL priobiotics but nothing has helped yet.  I avoid greasy, starchy foods that tend to cause the stomach cramping.
Someone at work told me about Total Health Secrets which has a cleansing program.  I'm normally vary wary of these sites but this one looked interesting.  Has anyone tried it?  Or can anyone suggest any alternative treatments for getting rid of the bacteria?  I'm sick of not being able to button my pants!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 2/21/2007 11:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi rblum,
Welcome to HealingWell!  :-)
What type of IBS do you have... are you prone to constipation or diarrhea?  Are you taking any meds?  How about fiber or probiotics? 
I think your best bet would be to load up on good bacteria... get your hands on some yogurt and some probiotic supplements.  If you can stick to probiotics everyday for a few months you'll get much better.
As for the Global Warming thing... I hope you drive a Hybrid.  tongue
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 334
   Posted 2/22/2007 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I just wanted to ask what kind of antibiotics you have taken, and for what length of time?? I ask because my daughter from being born suffered with serious diarrhoea, causing very bad complications. She was hospitalised many many times. It took until she was 3 before they found out the cause. She had IgA deficiency with bacterial overgrowth. We found a fantastic paediatrician who was simply a lifesaver. She put my daughter on a years course of antibiotics (cefelexin) and after about 3 months we started to see the benefits. She was able to attend nursery, make it to the bathroom, not scream in pain from stomach cramps and best of all, no open weeping sores on her private parts. I'm not sure if any of this helps, but although she still has the igA deficiency and the bacterial overgrowth it is now under control. The consultant explained that any antibiotics must be taken for a least six months, and further courses may be necessary in the future. It's not something which can be fixed quickly. I hope you find some help with this, because I know how it can affect your life. A word of warning about total cleansing. Be sure to ask your doctor first as we were told washes and cleansing can sometimes make this worse. Take care x x
Chillblain Pattern LE, tachycardia, unknown bowel problems, migraines.
One gorgeous daughter age 5 after many many IVF attempts

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 2/22/2007 10:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Lion00 is right about the cleanses: frequently they wash a lot of good bacteria out of your colon, which not only makes your problem worse, but, in your case, when you already have way too much bad bacteria in there, it just gives the bad bacteria that hang on room to grow. Daily doses of probiotics (and, in your case, you might want to try and work up to taking more than is recommended--it won't hurt you) may help some, but will take a long time to push out the bad bacteria all on its own. They are best used in combination with antibiotics (which sounds like what you were doing).

This stuff is hard to get rid of, and it's not uncommon for people to need to take multiple rounds of antibiotics--and usually exremely strong ones. I'd just go back, get put on another round, and start popping those probiotic pills like they're candy! And you may want to print out what Lion00 mentioned and take that to your doctor too. He may want to test you for that igA defeceincy AND it may change how he prescribes antibiotics to you. Maybe you're just not getting a long enough treatment to eliminate enough of the bad stuff that the good stuff can have time to take back over.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/22/2007 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the responses - I will definitely check in with my doc about additional rounds of antibiotics. My problem is constipation - i didn't even really have much D when I got prepped for a colonoscopy!

I've been taking the VSL probiotics, no change yet. The cleanse that was recommended addresses the "good vs bad" bacteria and actually includes probiotics - my co-workers swore by it, they claim it is all very safe and healthy but I will definitely have my doctor check it out. The website is and they are based in Oakland, CA. At this point I'm willing to try anything...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 649
   Posted 2/22/2007 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Was your breath test looking for the h. pylori bacteria? I understand that is one tough bug to get rid of, so you still might be infected. Do you think another test might be worthwhile before pursuing any other treatment?

By the way, I love your sense of humor about the whole thing, and keep it up! Whenever bowel troubles crop up, it brings along a host of embarrassing and humiliating tests, and the only way I could get through it was to laugh about it. Good for you! :-)
Living in the Republic of Texas minus a gallbladder, appendix, uterus, and 18" of colon; but living with my wonderful husband, 2 dogs, 1 cockatiel, and 2 gold fish. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 2/23/2007 12:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know what VSL probiotics are, but maybe try stwitching to another brand? They all have different combinations and loads of bacteria, so maybe you would benefit more from one that has a higher concentration of a different strand.

If you're having problems with constipation, there are several things you can try. One is more fiber. You can get this from pills, drinks, or good old-fashioned prunes/juice. Look for products that have a higher level of soluable rather than insoluable fiber. I read online that insoluable fiber doesn't dissolve in water, and it what provides bulk to stools for people with D. Soluable fiber dissolves in water and provides the moisture that people with C need. You can't (at least I don't think you can) get fiber that's 100% one or the other; they all have some of both. But most products lean towards one or the other, so look for soulable. Prune juice will be very soluable.

Next, you can try magnesium supplements. Magnesium is what they put in calcium supplements to keep normal people from getting constipated (if you are taking calcium supplements, or in a multi-vitamin, you should stop or take less, unless you were put on them by a doctor; calcium is naturally constipating).

The other easy thing to try is aloe vera capsules. These are a natural laxative.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 2/23/2007 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I should add that I'm prejudiced against the colon cleanses because I have to be very careful I don't get D all the time. Giving yourself D on purpose seems crazy beyond all measure to me, lol. Of course, I also had terrible constipation once when I was 5 and my mother held me down and gave me an enema and that's still a highly vivid and traumatic experience in my mind. Of course, a lot of the trauma was the constipation, but the enema wasn't fun. Can't understand why people would want to have anything done like that either, unless it was absolutely medically necessary.
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