Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome

Bacterial overgrowth occurs due to stasis of luminal contents resulting from strictures, fistulas, jejunal diverticula, blind loops, pouches, or motility disorders. The intestine becomes excessively colonized with both anaerobic and aerobic organisms. The latter use vitamin B12 and other nutrients for their own metabolism; they deconjugate bile salts and in so doing prevent their use in fat absorption. Normal dietary fat should be substituted by medium-chain triglycerides. Hypoalbuminemia (low blood albumin concentration) may develop and cause oedema. Antibiotics should be given to eradicate the bacteria; surgery is sometimes required.

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