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Upper gut bacterial overgrowth is a potential mechanism for Glucose Malabsorption after Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Published on: 31st October, 2017

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 7317655960

In 1955, nutrient malabsorption following upper gut surgery was shown to be related to altered upper gut microbiome. In individuals with abdominal symptoms after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, we have reported that small intestinal glucose malabsorption is associated with upper gut bacterial overgrowth. We hypothesize that individuals with abdominal symptoms after vertical sleeve gastrectomy have glucose malabsorption associated with upper gut bacterial overgrowth, and to test this hypothesis, bacterial overgrowth and potential glucose malabsorption are examined after sleeve gastrectomy. This is a retrospective study of individuals with medically-complicated obesity who underwent sleeve gastrectomy from 2013 to 2016 with subsequent glucose hydrogen breath testing to evaluate abdominal symptoms. A fasting breath hydrogen or methane of ≥10 PPM or rise of ≥8 PPM ≤45 minutes after oral glucose is bacterial overgrowth, while glucose malabsorption is a second rise of ≥8 PPM at >45 minutes. Seven females (mean age: 48.0 years; mean body mass index at surgery: 45.7 kg/m2) are described. Five subjects (71%) have an early rise in hydrogen or methane, while three (43%) have a second rise in hydrogen or methane >45 minutes after glucose. The mean percent excess weight loss at one year was 40% in three individuals with a second peak and 46% in four subjects without a second peak. After sleeve gastrectomy, subjects have glucose malabsorption associated with the presence of bacterial overgrowth. Completion of a larger prospective study is needed to confirm and expanding upon these findings. Further work should examine the potential effects of bacterial overgrowth on expression of intestinal glucose transporters.
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