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GI Bacterial Overgrowth


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hi all -

i keep telling myself "no posting" until i finish my paper (24 pages down...) but i'm curious & procrastinating to boot.

has anyone else had problems with bacterial overgrowth in their (small) intestines b/c of slow motility? i don't know yet if that's the case for me but my GI doc thinks it's a strong possibility as it has currently come to light that i have multiple vitamin/mineral/nutrient deficiencies and yet all in all i can eat pretty well these days. not comfortably, but plenty well as evidenced by my continued weight gain (enough already! that's what i get for wanting to gain weight, eh? :rolleyes: ).

anyway, i'm either low or just above the margin for B12, B1, B6, phosphorus, potassium, & - i think - D (i may be mixing that one up though). i'm on potassium supplements & B12 shots now but we're trying to get at the cause.

i also had a bit of a fever today at the office & a higher BP than normal which could be consistent with the overgrowth. or i suppose from the cough i've had (but thought was finally getting better). will get that checked out at regular PCP appt tomorrow...

another possibility is celiac as i had some positive antibodies for it last year. my last biopsy (early june) was clean and we're trying to avoid another scope soon if possible b/c they really wreck havoc on my system. thus - pending the +/- of the bacterial overgrowth test he may run the blood titers again first to see if they've changed at all.

the test for the bacterial overgrowth is a 3 hour breath test so nothing too invasive, just long. i'm scheduled to do it next thursday.

my mom's question to me (and a good one at that) was how to fix the problem if it is in fact the problem. obviously antibiotics, but if my motility is "good" for me these days relatively speaking and that's the cause of the overgrowth then it would likely just come back again? obviously i'll cross that bridge if/when we come to it but i'm hoping to not have to add constant antibiotics to my list of fun, which can of course bring an entirely new set of issues.

has anyone else had problems with bacteria sticking around too/much long where it shouldn't & stealing precious nutrients from you?

B) melissa

p.s. in case others are interested, two informative links about bacterial overgrowth are:



Edited by Sunfish
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I'm assuming your UC is under control? My son has it and even though he's doing pretty well, he's not absorbing well either, so wonder if it's more malabsorption than bacteria?

It's how they found his hyperparathyroidism. His gastro says not malabsorption and his endo says it is. Oh these wonderful bodies we have.... :(B):) I'll have to look into that for he and I both I guess..

So what I'm saying is, gee I don't have a clue, but can sympathize...time for bed....goingtobedmorgan

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yeppers morgan, you guessed right. my UC has been totally on the down low for some time (as i'm now jinxing myself). if only the rest of my crazy body could similarly go into hibernation B)

even with my original flare up last year (i haven't had more than minor flares since and not since summer) it was only in the lower part of my intestines which doesn't have much to do with absorption of nutrients so i doubt that would be an issue for me. i do know some folks that have major issues with absorption b/c of crohns or colitis so it was a good thing to throw out....never know when the docs & yours truly might miss the obvious :(

and yes, i love it when docs aren't on the same page about the exact same thing. i have that going on with some other stuff so can empathize with your son on that one.

thanks for the thoughts,

:) melissa, who should most certainly be sleeping now

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Hey Melissa!

I've missed talking to you. I have time to catch up today if you're available/able to talk. Anyway, i wanted to respond here real quick about your nutrient issue.

I don't know much about the bacteria overgrowth, but i know that you can have celiac disease and not have it show up during an endoscopy. I know i've said this before, but a gluten free diet wouldn't hurt you and it could make a lot of difference in the way you feel and improve your absorption of nutrients. If it doesn't work, you haven't really lost anything. You can still eat all kinds of things on the diet like fruits, veggies, meat, and there are even some great gluten free breads and desserts on the market.

If you want any recipes or product suggestions, my grandma and mom have a boatload of stuff since my grandma has celiac sprue. We eat meals with her all the time and she doesn't suffer too much from lack of food options. I actually like a lot of her stuff and have been on a gluten free diet myself when my stomach was flaring badly.

Anyway, this is way longer than i meant it to be, but i just wanted to encourage you that a gluten free diet wouldn't make you lose out on nutrients or taste. Plus, it's better than antibiotics. B) At any rate, i hope the doc can get to the bottom of this. You've had to cope with so much and you are so strong and brave to 'keep on keeping on' through these trials with such a positive attitude.

Talk to you soon!!


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I have suspected malabsportion that is mostly based on symptoms, not on real tests. I am already taking a million vitamins and supplements, so my doctor figures no point in testing if there's nothing else we can do to fix it. I have an inability to gain weight, gas that smells horrible at times, and frequent yeast infections. So he thinks I have some GI and bacterial issues going on, as well as systemic yeast overgrowth. So yes, but I don't know what to tell you about how to remedy it.


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