Hi, I collected some posts from the internet that link bacterial overgrowth w/ IBS, and cases where antibiotics either made the symptoms improve, go away temporarily, or be "cured". Please note that antibiotics are powerful drugs and may make an IBS case worse. (I believe IBS cases aren't always a bacterial connection, but a seretonin imbalance in the gut, or some food intolerance) Besides antibiotics have the risk of yeast infections or causing antiboitic associated colitus via overgrowth of C-dificile!All posts are courtsey of the IBSgroup at www.ibsgroup.com One of the best message board on the internet First of all, small intestine bacterial overgrowth and the improvement with antibiotics gained media attention after Dr. Pimental and his colleauges performed a study on it. You can read the links atimental's Vivonex Plus liquid diet study / neomycin www.ibsgroup.org/ubb/ulti...1;t=032598***I have had IBS most of my life. I am now 62. It started as IBS-D and eventally changed to IBS-C. I tried soo many things and sometimes got temporary relief. In May I came down with pneumonia and was coughing up blood. I was very sick. Some of you who responded to my posts may remember. I was put on Biaxin for 7 days which did not get rid of it and I had a relapse. A pulmonary doctor prescribed Levoquin antibiotic for 10 days. After the round of Levoquin in July, I noticed that my stools were normal. I have waited now for 6 months to see if this would continue or if it was just a temporary improvement. Well, I am happy to report that I am still normal. It seems to be important that I continue to drink lots of water but otherwise I am OK. I have been surprised by this turn of events and don't quite know what to think. www.ibsgroup.org/ubb/ulti...7;t=000059***I have suffered with Irritable Bowel Syndrome for the past 18 years.I would have excruciating pain and cramps. I could not plan to go anywhere without having the fear that it would strike. I have had vacations ruined, and have not been able to work out of the house for the past 9 years. I would have alternating constipation and diarrea, but never normal. I have been seeing one of the best Gastrointeroligists in the US for the last 18 years. I have a colonoscopy every 3 years. I have tried everything, all the prescription drugs, peppermint tea, peppermint pills, everything. Then I got a sinus infection.I went to my family doctor and he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic called Biaxin. I had one very odorous spell of diarrea then it was over. That was 3 months ago and I have not had diarrea or constipation. I am eating things that I had not been able to eat in all these years, like nuts, spicey foods, beans, chilli, so far nothing has caused any problems. Back before I got IBS 18 years ago I had taken a lot of antibiotics for my skin and then I started the IBS. I do not know what happened but something was wrong in my gut and now it is better. I feel like a new person. I have my life back by the grace ofGod. I hope this can help someone who is suffering like I was. www.ibsgroup.org/ubb/ulti...7;t=000031***I think I have finally solved my problem of excessive gas. I was farting probably 100 times a day. Now I am down to under 10 which I suppose is normal. Here is what to discuss with your doc.Take a 10-20 day course of either neomycin, flagyl, cipro, or doxycycline. This should kill off the gas producing bacteria.At night take a pediatric dose of erthryomycin (50mg). This has little antibiotic effect. It stimulates the small intestine to contract and help clear it of bacteria. The small intestine is suppose to be sterile#3- Take the probiotic vsl#3. This can be bought at vsl#3.comMy gas always came back in a couple of months after the initial antibiotic and then I would swith to a different one. So basically I was doing 5 or 6 courses a year. The gas has not come back in 4 months now with vsl#3. I think I am onto something. I have tried other probiotics to no avail and was actually convinced they made me worse. This is the only probiotic along with Culterelle that has been proven to be able to colonize in the intestine. This regime has also done wonders for bloating. I hope I am able to help. All you need is a doc who will work with you.I still have no answer for the burping. I think I may have a mechanical problem with my esophagus. www.ibsgroup.org/ubb/ulti...040#000000Antidepressents- no helpantihistamines- no helpPB8- made it worseCultrelle- made it worseNeomycin(antibiotic)- reduced gas fro 80-100 per day to less then 10. Effect would last about 3 months and gas would come backVSL#3- Has it somewhat under control. Still have my moments but much better then beforeLow carb diet- Effective but I'd rather have the gas then eat like that.I recommend a course of antibiotics to kill off everything and then vsl#3 to repopulateHas anyone tried to get off probiotics? If I go off the vsl then the gas gets worse. Why don't these new bacteria take hold for good? Why is it necessary to supplement daily? Any ideas www.ibsgroup.org/ubb/ulti...352#000028***Hello,I am a 41-year old male who, at age 39, contracted a condition that was characterized by a gastroenterologist as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I am now symptom free (without the benefit of medications) and have been so for about 6 months. I am sharing my story here in the hope that it could offer some encouragement to at least one other person, if not many others.It all started in the autumn of 1999 when I came down with a sudden case of acute diarrhea on a Friday evening after attending a high-school football game where I had consumed a couple of concession-stand hot dogs (not something I would normally eat, but I was really hungry at the time). The diarrhea lasted about two days (through the weekend), but then my bowel movements were never quite normal afterward. Specifically, I was experiencing soft stools, gas, mild stomach pains, and general discomfort, some of which were relieved following elimination. In addition, there was the typical IBS feeling of incomplete evacuation. These symptoms persisted for about 4 weeks before I decided that they weren't going away any time soon and I needed to do something. For the record, I was a healthy, average-weight American white male with no existing diseases, conditions, or other problems, not on any medication (only some vitamins), and who eats a relatively healthy diet with relatively little meat.First, I went to the internet to research the symptoms to try and get a handle on what it could possibly be that I had come down with. As I looked around, I kept coming across IBS and, as best as I could tell, I had most, if not all, of the typical symptoms. Wanting to do more research, I went to the Biology library of the local state university and researched as many technical and medical journal articles as I could find on the subject. In spite of most of the information that I found, I was convinced that I somehow had ingested some sort of pathogen that had started causing and continued to cause the conditions to persist. Also, I was very unhappy to find that there was no certainty as to how IBS starts, how it is cured, or how long it lasts. It was very difficult for me to accept such an indefinite fate, which became a prime motivating factor for me to find a solution!I even went so far as to make direct e-mail contact with Dr. Barry Marshall, the Australian doctor who challenged the conventional thinking of the medical profession and discovered Helicobacter pylori as the agent cause of many stomach ulcers. After conferring with him and perusing his website, I began to believe that H. pylori could quite possibly be the cause of many other diseases and conditions, perhaps even IBS, or at least MY case of IBS.I eventually made an appointment with my "primary care physician" from my health maintenance organization (HMO), who in turn referred me to one of the HMO's preferred specialists (a gastroenterologist, or GI doctor) who confirmed my worst fears and diagnosed my problems as indicating that I had contracted IBS. I expressed to this doctor that I wasn't absolutely convinced I had IBS, but that instead I couldn't help but believe that some sort of "bug" had merely invaded my gut and was too comfortable to leave any time soon.The GI doctor was incredulous as to my having anything other than IBS, and reluctantly let me, at my insistence, try a course of ciprofloxacin (aka "CIPRO," an antibiotic of the "quinolone" family). This, I was told at the time by a friend, had helped his father to recover from a recent bad episode of gastroenteritis. Interestingly, the CIPRO completely eradicated all the symptoms, BUT, it only lasted for the 5 or 7 days for which the prescription was for. A day or two or three following the brief course of antibiotics, all the IBS symptoms returned to my system in full force. The GI doctor could only suggest that there may have been something in the CIPRO that briefly controlled the condition, but was unable to cure it. The GI doctor then suggested a colonoscopy, just to eliminate any concern that the condition I was suffering had anything to do with something more serious going on in my bowels. The procedure was scheduled several months in advance. In the meantime, I asked the GI doctor to authorize a test for Helicobacter pylori, just in case it had a role in my condition. The GI doctor disagreed with my pathogen theory, but nevertheless indulged me and agreed to order the test. Well, the test came up negative, and so there went that theory, I thought! Frankly, I was crushed because I had become certain by that point that H. pylori was the culprit.I eventually underwent the colonoscopy and, to my great fortune, the doctor discovered a polyp, which was removed during the procedure. He later said to me that it was a polyp in an advanced stage that was very near to becoming cancerous. In fact, as my gastroenterologist said at the time, it was a good thing that I'd undergone the colonoscopy because, had it continued to go undiscovered, I could have easily wound up like Katie Couric's husband (who died from colon cancer at about age 40, shortly after diagnosis). Following the colonoscopy, I enjoyed about 4 days free of IBS symptoms. Once again, I got my hopes up thinking that either the procedure itself, or the removal of the polyp had somehow "cured" my IBS symptoms. But it was not to last and the symptoms returned.Frustrated with the seeming finality of having an apparently incurable condition, I went about my life at least thankful that in dealing with one, albeit lesser, problem, I'd been lucky to inadvertently discover the more serious problem of the soon-to-become colon cancer. I continued to research IBS, mostly from the internet. I came back to a web page that I'd previously found and bookmarked, and decided to try its advice. The page was titled, "All Stomach Burning Should Receive Antibiotics" and was authored by a Gabe Mirkin, M.D. (Author's note - I just checked and am sorry to report that this web page no longer exists at its original URL). On this web page, the doctor explained that there are a host of different parasites that can invade the gastrointestinal tract and which can cause pain, not only Helicobacter pylori, but other species of Helicobacter, in addition to other species of different genera. As I mentioned previously, one of the symptoms I'd noticed was an intermittent and mild stomach pain ever since contracting the condition.Between the advice on this web page and the original information from Dr. Barry Marshall and his website, I decided that I should go back to the gastroenterologist and see if he would indulge my latest idea which was to have him prescribe for me the 2 antibiotic/1 antiulcer - acid inhibitor standard treatment for H. pylori-related stomach ulcers. I figured that if it wasn't H. pylori I was dealing with, then the treatment would likely knock out what other bug I may have been dealing with. It was a shot in the dark, but I had nothing really to lose, either.After about two days into the treatment, all of the IBS symptoms completely disappeared and I was restored to full stomach and bowel regularity. This sense of eradicating the condition, or at least the symptoms, continued while I was on the remainder of the course of medications, and has continued ever since. Before getting my hopes up, however, I decided to wait a reasonable amount of time before celebrating. As the weeks, and now months, passed, I became convinced that I'd finally found the right cure for what had been ailing me.I can only speak for what was MY experience with an unpleasant gastrointestinal disorder and don't want to get anyone's hopes up that there is an easy cure for their IBS or other GI-tract ailment just around the corner. As I said before, my only hope is that this may provide encouragement to someone who suffers a similar condition, but who otherwise has given up hope of ever being restored back to gastrointestinal normality. For me, had I followed the conventional thinking of many, including my own assigned gastroenterologist, I would perhaps have been relegated to taking pills for the rest of my life that would only treat the symptoms, without ever directly addressing the problem.It will be immensely worthwhile to me if this helps anyone. Never give up the hope that, in some cases, your health can be restored.B. Calder *Thanks very much to all who responded and a big Thank You for all your kind comments and for sharing your IBS stories!!For those interested in what I was prescribed, I contacted the pharmacy today and got the following information:Biaxin (antibiotic) - 20 pills at 500 mg each; one pill twice daily for 10 daysMetronidazole (antibiotic) - 30 pills at 500 mg each; one pill three times daily for 10 daysPrevacid (a "proton pump inhibitor") - 20 pills at 30 mg each; one pill twice daily, before meals, for 10 daysEarlier I'd reported that the non-antibiotic of the combo was an "anti-ulcer" drug. I may have got it confused with something else, unless a "proton pump inhibitor" IS an anti-ulcer drug (who knows?). Anyway, this is the combination that the reluctant GI doctor prescribed for me (his selection), and it seemed to work for me after suffering with the symptoms for nearly a year and a half. Those interested in this further may be much better served to visit Dr. Barry Marshall's website [www.vianet.net.au/~bjmrshll/index.html] where on one of his pages he suggests as many as 5 or 10 different possible combinations of drugs to combat Helicobacter pylori. Someone made an excellent point in saying that it may take other combinations to finally eradicate a particularly stubborn pathogen from your system. I would not at all let yourself become discouraged if only one combo of meds was taken and it didn't do the trick. Also, as I mentioned, I was able to actually get Dr. Marshall himself to directly respond to my e-mail, so he may be available on at least a limited basis.