Brian's Story

SIBO - Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

I had the SIBO breath test under Dr Jervoise Andreyev at the Marsden in October. It confirmed small bowel bacterial overgrowth. A short course of antibiotics (Ciprofloxacin – no side effects suffered) almost immediately cleared all the debilitating symptoms I had suffered in the 18 months since my Ivor Lewis operation and adjuvant chemotherapy. I entered into a brave new world, free of abdominal pain, bloating, absence of appetite, irregular bowel movement and persistent weight loss. Seven weeks later, I remain free of symptoms: should they recur, they should again be readily treatable.

The reversal is remarkable. My weight had fallen from 92 kilos to 58 kilos. Appetite collapsed. Malnutrition was severe enough for enteral feeding and a stay as an in-patient to be necessary. I had a bout of pneumonia and chest infections, and persistent abdominal pain. I am now eating hungrily, and am pain-free with normal bowel movements.

What may, perhaps, also be of interest is that the recommendation to see Dr Andreyev came from a consultant in a quite different field (a cardiologist, in fact) at a different hospital. It may be that my case is exceptional. But the SIBO test is so simple, and the result can be so life-enhancing, that it seems remarkable that such gastroenterology is not better known.

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