The Doctors: Mysterious Bowel Condition & Painful Gas
Dr. Travis Stork asked what if every time you went to the bathroom, instead of finding relief, you felt “four months pregnant.” The Doctors put gastroenterologist Dr. Su Sachar on the case to figure out “the bizarre bowel mystery.”
A woman named Carol suffers from endless stomach pain, stomach swelling after a bowel movement, and extremely painful gas. Carol told Dr. Sachar about her bloating after she has a bowel movement and said the pain lasts for days. She said it’s been going on for five years and affects all aspects of her life including exercise and eating.
Dr. Sachar wanted to first make sure the issues weren’t due to an infection of the gut, and she was able to test for that using a simple breath test right there in her office.
The Drs TV: What is SIBO?
Dr. Sachar and Carol were on the show to share what they discovered. Dr. Sachar said that fortunately, Carol didn’t have the bacteria in her stomach. She said that with women of a certain age, when it comes to bloating, you have to make sure it’s not ovarian cancer or something else going on with the gynecological organs. Carol had been checked out for that and it wasn’t anything of that nature either, fortunately.
Dr. Sachar then explained that Carol had some previous surgeries, which could lead to some scar tissue. She said Carol could be experiencing what they call SIBO, which stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, where the gut is like a garden hose and once you have any sort of abdominal surgery, it’s like wrapping duct tape around that hose. So instead of having a “nice long tube, now you have kinks in that tube.”
She said as the gut bacteria is supposed to get swept down, it’s getting caught in the kinks, causing bacterial overgrowth. She said to prevent the side effects, it’s important to eat the right foods and get on the right kind of probiotics.
The Doctors: How To Choose A Probiotic
In order to make sure you purchase the right kind of probiotic, Dr. Sachar suggested making sure it’s manufactured in a good laboratory, that it has the probiotic strands that have been found to be beneficial in GI patients in studies, not just word of mouth, and also making sure you alter your diet to include pre-biotics, which are the food that probiotics eat.
Dr. Stork said fermented foods are also loaded with probiotics, so yogurt is a good food to eat.
Carol said that seeing Dr. Sachar gave her hope. Dr. Stork said they lined up a no-cost colonoscopy for Carol at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.