Small intestine is in between the stomach and the large intestine. It is the longest portion of the digestive tract (more than 6 meters). Small intestine plays a major role in digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates contained in the food that is consumed. The essential nutrients are absorbed through the lining of the small intestine and are transferred to the blood stream.
Blind loop syndrome:
Blind loop syndrome is also known as stagnant loop syndrome. It is a medical condition which occurs when a part of the small intestine is bypassed. This impedes movement of food through the intestine, facilitating proliferation of harmful gram-negative bacteria. The bypassed portion of the intestine is known as blind loop. Blind loop syndrome impedes absorption of essential nutrients. Person affected by this medical condition usually suffers from deficiency of vitamin B12. Loss of appetite, nausea, bloating, weight loss, diarrhea and fatty stools are some symptoms of this ailment. If blind loop syndrome is not treated appropriately it may cause complications like intestinal infarction.
Doctors diagnose this medical condition using abdominal CT scan, abdominal x-ray or contrast enema study. Hydrogen breath test may be conducted to detect bacterial overgrowth. Blood test may also be used to diagnose this ailment. Bile acid breath test, D-xylose breath test and faecal fat test are useful in revealing the functionality of the small intestine. Doctors use antibiotics to treat this medical condition. This is done in order to eliminate the bacteria. Generally tetracyclines (like oxytetracycline) are prescribed. But these are not effective. Some doctors prescribe rifamixin. This is a non-absorbable antibiotic. Metronidazole is found to be effective in treatment of blind loop syndrome. It is a nitroimidazole antibiotic.
Doctors recommend lactose free diet for patients with blind loop syndrome. Vitamin B12 supplements are prescribed for patients with blind loop syndrome. Some doctors prescribe medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Iron, calcium and vitamin D supplements may be prescribed. Surgery may be recommended if the patient does not get cured by antibiotics. But generally patients respond to antibiotics. Probiotics were found to be effective on animals. But they are not yet tested on human beings. Research is still going on. Persons with symptoms of blind loop syndrome should consult a certified physician in order to avoid further complications.