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I have been tested twice so far for Hydrogen Breath test used for elimination of Lactose Intolerance. First time, I received antibiotic and Flagyll and continued diet of no dairy and no fresh fruits and vegetables. The second testing was done this week and the counts were higher than the first time after antibiotic therapy and diet restrictions. Nurse says next course of action other than a new antibiotic was scheduling of Small Bowel series. My question to the nurse and to you as well is why the stool specimens were all negative if I have such an infection in the small bowel. What do you all make of this? I am getting very impatient to know what they will do for me for the IBS-D that I went to them for. I have been seen by the doctor only for initial visit and the rest of my communication has been through a nurse who talks to you like you are a two year old. I dare to say that I probably know more about GI disorders than she does. She indicated that the Small intestine is sterile and does not contain any bacteria. I do not believe this to be true based on the research I have read. If the digestive tract is one continuous tract, how can one part be sterile when the mouth is considered a non sterile environment and neither is the colon. Someone enlighten me and tell me where it says that the small intestine contains no bacteria normally.
 

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It is true that the contents of the small intestine are normally sterile. http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/.../G/GITract.html I think the stomach acids kill the bacteria. Furthermore there is a valve which separtes the small intestine from the colon. And then there are housekeeper waves which sweep all the bacteria out of the small intestine. Small intestine overgrowth is not like a typical infection. Just that the bacteria from the colon are residing there when they shouldn't be.
 

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quote:I have been tested twice so far for Hydrogen Breath test used for elimination of Lactose Intolerance
Antibiotics and lactose intolerance have no connection, so it sounds like you had a lactulose breath test for small bacterial overgrowth, not a test for lactose intolerance.
quote: and to you as well is why the stool specimens were all negative if I have such an infection in the small bowel. What do you all make of this?
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is not an infection but an excessive growth of generally non-infectious bacteria that ordinarily live in high numbers in other parts of the gut, namely the colon. As bonniei explained, the small intestine is normally sterile.
 

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Sorry for butting in, but how does the bacteria find its way into the small intestine in the first place, and why does it keep coming back (in some cases)? The million-dollar question, I guess...
 

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It is a motility problem. Sort of like acid reflux. It is a bacterial reflux. It does that because the housekeeper waves do not function properly. Also if there is too little stomach acid. Or a problem with the valves.
 
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