BLIND LOOP SYNDROME occurs when part of the intestine becomes bypassed, so that digested food slows or stops moving through the intestines. This causes bacteria to grow too much in the intestines and leads to problems in absorbing nutrients.
The name of this condition refers to the “blind loop” formed by the bypassed intestine. This blind loop does not allow digested food to flow normally through the intestinal tract.
When a section of the intestine is affected by blind loop syndrome, the bile salts needed to digest fats become ineffective. This leads to in fatty stools and poor absorption of fat and fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin B12 deficiency may occur because the extra bacteria that develop in this situation use up all of the vitamin.
Blind loop syndrome is a complication that occurs:
After many operations, including subtotal gastrectomy (surgical removal of part of the stomach) and operations for extreme obesity
As a complication of inflammatory bowel disease
Diseases such as diabetes or scleroderma may slow down movement in a segment of the intestine, leading to blind loop syndrome.
Fullness after a meal
Loss of appetite
Unintentional weight loss
Treatment generally starts with antibiotics for the excess bacteria growth, along with vitamin B12 supplements. If antibiotics don’t work, surgery to help the food flow through the intestine may be considered