Background & objectives: Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) leads to several gastrointestinal (GI) problems and complications leading to malabsorption. The effectiveness of probiotics in the treatment of SIBO syndrome has not been well studied. This pilot study was aimed to assess the efficacy of a probiotic consisting of lactobacilli in the treatment of SIBO.
Methods: In this study, 30 cases suffering from chronic abdominal pain or diarrhoea and with a positive hydrogen breath test were randomized in a double-blind manner into two groups: probiotic drug user and control group. After an initial 3-week aggressive therapy with broad-spectrum antibiotics, a 15-day maintenance antibiotic therapy with lactol was administered for the study group and the same regimen without lactol for the control group. After six months the HBT result and the GI symptoms were analyzed and compared between the two groups.
Results: The result of hydrogen breath test and the clinical symptoms in patients receiving the maintenance regimen with lactol probiotic showed a better response. The hydrogen breath test turned negative in 93.3 per cent of those receiving lactol compared to 66.7 per cent of the controls. In all the cases receiving lactol, the abdominal pain disappeared completely ( p =0.002). In addition, other GI problems including flatulence, belching and diarrhoea significantly improved in the study group ( p < 0.05).
Interpretation & conclusions: Based on the preliminary data it seems that adding lactol probiotic to the maintenance therapy of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth patients on routine antibiotic therapy will be beneficial in preventing the complications of this syndrome.