Gastroenterology Community
31.7k Members
Avatar universal

Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

So after 5 years of no answers for all my abdominal pain, bloating, and severe acid reflux and GERD - my new gastroenterologist diagnosed me with bacterial overgrowth of my small intestine.  I've already taken 2 rounds of antibiotics.  The first time I took them about a month ago, and it relieved ALL my symptoms very quickly, but they all came back 2 weeks after.  I then took the same antibiotics (it's 3 antibiotics in one pill meant to kill a broad range of bacteria - aerobic & anaerobic - taken twice a day for 10 days) and nothing happened.  I still have all my symptoms, and I am so frustrated with the constant pain, acid reflux, bloating, mucus in stools (even burning of passing stools due to change in pH levels, etc.)  I just want it to go away.  I heard taking peppermint oil herb enteric coated pills help (but have side effects of burning sensation when passing stools, etc.)  I also heard that taking proton-pump inhibitors for GERD - such as prilosec and prevacid, can cause these bacteria infections due to decreasing stomach acid, so I stopped taking prilosec because of this. Does anyone have any advice on what I should do?  I also heard about the specifc carb diet - but that seems impossible and not very nutritious. Obviously antibiotics are not working, and I plan on talking to my doctor again soon.  I know these infections cause malabsorption, and I am tired ALL the time so I know I need to find a cure for it before It gets worse. If anyone can help me with this, I would really appreciate it!!    
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Double07, did you have a breath test done that was used in the diagnostic process?

From what I understand, diagnosis and treatment of SIBO contains both the use of specific antibiotics and a concurrent diet. And it can take months of treatment to finally have resolution of the issue.

Did the doc give you a specific diet you're supposed to be following? If not, you may want to check on that component of treatment.
Avatar universal
Yes, I had the breath test done, along with a small bowel follow-through flouroscopy.  I took antibiotics the first time and my gastroenterologist expected the infection to go away with that, but they didn't so I was prescribed them a second time and I still have all my symptoms. He did not give me a specific diet to follow.  Lately I am just so frustrated because after seeing 3 different gastroenterologists over the past 5 years and having several different tests done, they just don't seem like they really care.  
Avatar universal
It can be a very frustating condition to have and to try to clear up. There are probably more antibiotics your doc may want to try if the problem continues, so you're going to have to have patience. Consider talking to him about diet. Bacteria LOVE carbohydrates, so the doc will probably prescribe a low fiber, low carb diet in conjunction with antibiotics. Your GI tract isn't going to change rapidly. In some ways it's similar to what happens when someone has GERD caused by H. pylori. Even after the bacterium is gone, it can take many, many, many months for the symptoms to disappear and the individual to start to even feel half-way normal.
Avatar universal
Just stumbled on this forum.   This may sound strange, but I have a dog with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.   This disease is very often accompanied by SIBO.   What we and others on the forum for our puppies do is antibiotics for a MINIMUM of 30 days, or it will come back.   And ALWAYS a grain free diet.  I hope you are not offended by my information about my pup, but I am just trying to be helpful.  SIBO is SIBO no matter what kind of mammal it is in, the way i see it.   EPI AND SIBO for pups can be explained in great detail at the website   www.EPI4dogs.com    Maybe some of the information could apply to humans.  Again, no offence meant here, I am simply trying to be helpful.  
Avatar universal
Thanks for the help everyone. I want to add that I've had issues with having yeast infections in the past (even with being diagnosed and not having any symptoms other than a positive result when tested) and I recently read that yeast infections can lead to leaky gut syndrome and bacterial infections. Does anyone know anything about this? I'm starting to freak out because I have so many symptoms of this - like doctors saying I might have IBS, and that I have Raynaud's disease because of bad circulation, and ovarian cysts and everything else that comes together with candida and leaky gut syndrome. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Avatar universal
I know this is an old posting, and I hope you are not still suffering. I just read this and it sounded like what I recently went through. I was given Nystatin Oral Suspension for the intestinal overgrowth and Creon to take with my food because I was diagnosed with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. I am so much better and very little to no more heartburn/acid reflux/bloating, etc. I also recommend taking a quality Probiotic everyday because we have all been over prescribed antibiotics.
9777394 tn?1468991122
Have you found the underlying condition that caused your SIBO in the first place? If not,I'd continue searching because, more often than not, if you don't fix the initial problem it'll just keep coming back no matter how much treatment you do.
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem