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Hi all,

There's a lot of backstory here, but then, there are lots of people with lots of questions to be answered -- so in a nutshell, I've had GI issues for over a decade -- almost all of them centered around the lower GI tract (constipation) -- but lately I've been having upper GI issues and I am thinking it could be bacterial.

Here are some issues that I've had to deal with in the last 3 1/2 months or so:

-- Indigestion, belching, feeling of air trapped after meals, sometimes belching for hours
-- Feeling like I can't get a full breath (I had this symptom before when my constipation was at its worst)
-- Loss of appetite


Things got bad enough where I was waking up every night unable to breathe, and had to belch for awhile to clear the gas out of my stomach so I could fall back asleep. This has been a problem for about three months, even though I eat dinner long before going to bed.

Things I've also noticed or did notice as the symptoms developed:

-- Huge increase in body odor
-- Significantly smellier stools
-- Visible intestinal bloating


I had been eating LOTS of bad stuff in the lead-up to all of this, including very sugary candies and even large amounts of dairy, which I generally avoid. All of the above has made me lean strongly towards thinking this could be SIBO. My GI said the foul stool in particular would suggest it, and he gave me a 6-day sample of Xifaxan. I have not taken it yet as I am very wary of antibiotics, as my GI issues originally began after taking doxycycline for acne.

I was originally thinking this might be some kind of a motility issue, and so I have tried betaine HCl + pepsin and Iberogast to move things along, and it seems to help somewhat. For possible SIBO, I've tried enterically-coated peppermint oil for a few weeks now. My symptoms got much better -- even the sleep problem -- but then came back. I've been reading that SOME people think probiotics are a bad idea whilst trying to clear up SIBO, and I've been taking a lot lately -- I've doubled up on Primal Defense, which I've taken for about a decade, and started taking some Culturelle as well.

The past few days, I've upped the ECPO (.2ml x 2 daily) and stopped the probiotics. And, even though I'm still having issues at night, during the day I've been noticeably better, although it does seem like the ECPO may be lowering my appetite a lot.

Anyway, does it sound like I'm on the right track here? Do these symptoms fit with the idea of overgrowth in the small intestine? And am I approaching it the right way with the antimicrobials and cutting back on the probiotics (at least temporarily)?

Thoughts/input appreciated.
 

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Hi jnwp,

Yes, it sounds like it could be SIBO. I also had taken antibiotics for acne- probably within a year or so before my problem started. I was given Tetracycline a few times which would clear up the acne, then the acne came back worse, and was given more Tetracycline until I gave up on it and the Dr. who prescribed it. I had hoped to get Accutane since I was well into my 20s and still breaking out but the Dr. (who wasn't a dermatologist since we had none in my area) refused because of the negative publicity- particularly about birth defects if I became pregnant even though I told him there was no chance of that in the foreseeable future.

I generally had constipation beginning at adolescence. I apparently tore something in my lower right quadrant but could never get any diagnosis other than IBS- not that anyone really tried to find out whatever had happened. Anyway, then I switched to constant lower abdominal cramps and diarrhea. That was 30 years ago. My acne also became severe cystic acne and I finally did get to a dermatologist who immediately put me on Accutane for 9 months. It definitely helped though I still use topical products like salicylic acid to this day. And from what I've read, skin conditions like acne and rosacea can result from gut trouble- many alternative practitioners make that connection but traditional medicine generally doesn't. And yes, some of the antibiotics used for treating it can set the stage for SIBO.

There is a very long and growing thread here that would probably answer some of your questions. Currently, the experts on SIBO, Dr Mark Pimentel and Dr Allison Siebecker are saying NO to taking probiotics if you have SIBO.

http://www.inspire.com/Nanc1234/journal/bacterial-overgrowth-1/#replies
 

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u mean the pouch ...is in the sigmoid? That is where mine is...it fills with stool and flattens when there is no stool. I feel pain like colon is pressing on the colon but doc said no..another Er doc said yes. Columbus Ohio...where can I go? Take care and lets keep helping each other.
 
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