Learn About Blind Loop Syndrome

What is the definition of Blind Loop Syndrome?

Blind loop syndrome occurs when digested food slows or stops moving through part of the intestines. This causes an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines. It also leads to problems absorbing nutrients.

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What are the alternative names for Blind Loop Syndrome?

Stasis syndrome; Stagnant loop syndrome; Small bowel bacterial overgrowth

What are the causes of Blind Loop Syndrome?

The name of this condition refers to the "blind loop" formed by part of the intestine that is bypassed. This blockage does not allow digested food to flow normally through the intestinal tract.

The substances needed to digest fats (called bile salts) do not work as they should when a section of the intestine is affected by blind loop syndrome. This prevents fat and fat-soluble vitamins from being absorbed into the body. It also leads to fatty stools. Vitamin B12 deficiency may occur because the extra bacteria that form in the blind loop use up this 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.

What are the symptoms of Blind Loop Syndrome?

Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatty stools
  • Fullness after a meal
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Unintentional weight loss
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What are the current treatments for Blind Loop Syndrome?

Treatment most often starts with antibiotics for the excess bacteria growth, along with vitamin B12 supplements. If antibiotics are not effective, surgery may be needed to help food flow through the intestines.

Who are the top Blind Loop Syndrome Local Doctors?
Highly rated in

Cedars-Sinai Health System

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

8700 Beverly Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Mark Pimentel is a Gastroenterologist in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Pimentel has been practicing medicine for over 30 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Blind Loop Syndrome. He is also highly rated in 18 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diarrhea, and Blind Loop Syndrome. He is licensed to treat patients in California. Dr. Pimentel is currently accepting new patients.

Highly rated in

Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute Of Medical Sciences

Lucknow, UP, IN 

Uday Ghoshal is in Lucknow, India. Ghoshal is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Blind Loop Syndrome. He is also highly rated in 31 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Tropical Sprue, Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth, Blind Loop Syndrome, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

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Highly rated in
Internal Medicine

Phoenix, Arizona

13400 E Shea Blvd 
Scottsdale, AZ 85259

John Di Baise is a Gastroenterologist and an Internal Medicine doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Di Baise is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Blind Loop Syndrome. He is also highly rated in 22 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Blind Loop Syndrome, Short Bowel Syndrome, Malnutrition, and Gastroparesis. He is licensed to treat patients in Arizona and Nebraska. Dr. Di Baise is currently accepting new patients.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Blind Loop Syndrome?

Many people get better with antibiotics. If surgical repair is needed, the outcome is often very good.

What are the possible complications of Blind Loop Syndrome?

Complications may include:

  • Complete intestinal obstruction
  • Death of intestine (intestinal infarction)
  • Hole (perforation) in intestine
  • Malabsorption and malnutrition
When should I contact a medical professional for Blind Loop Syndrome?

Call your provider if you have symptoms of blind loop syndrome.

Digestive system
Stomach and small intestine
Biliopancreatic diversion (BPD)
What are the latest Blind Loop Syndrome Clinical Trials?
Clinical Utility of Handheld Hydrogen Breathalyzer in Identification of Non-immune Mediated Food Sensitivities (AIRE Study)
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The Efficacy and Safety of Xuefu Zhuyu Capsule in Treating Qizhi Xueyu Zheng (Qi Stagnation and Blood Stasis Syndrome): a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Adaptive Enrichment, Multicenter Controlled Trial
What are the Latest Advances for Blind Loop Syndrome?
Short-course Rifaximin therapy efficacy and lactulose hydrogen breath test in Chinese patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.
The Effect of Ursodeoxycholic Acid on Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth in Patients with Functional Dyspepsia: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.
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Treatment of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in systemic sclerosis: a systematic review.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : October 17, 2019
Published By : Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Harris JW, Evers BM. Small intestine. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 49.

Shamir R.  Disorders of malabsorption. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 364.