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Blind Loop Syndrome or Stasis Syndrome: Causes, Signs,Symptoms, Treatment, Complications

Blind loop syndrome (BLS), also referred as Stasis Syndrome is a syndrome that happens when the typical bacterial verdure of small intestine multiplies to numbers that cause noteworthy problems to the ordinary physiological procedures of digestion and ingestion.

The presence “blind loop” implies that food and waste products might not move regularly through the digestive pathway. The outcome of bacterial abundance due to the slow movement of food materials and waste products is often diarrhea, loss of weight and scarcity of nutrition.

Blind loop syndrome (BLS) is generally a complication of stomach surgery however it can likewise come about because of other diseases. Now and again surgery is expected to rectify the issue; however antibiotic treatment is most effective.

Blind Loop Syndrome or Stasis Syndrome

Causes of Blind Loop Syndrome (BLS) or Stasis Syndrome

The small intestine being the longest segment of the digestive tract it is the place where nourishment blends with digestive enzymes and nutrients are assimilated into your circulation system.

Though small intestine have less number of bacteria compared to large intestine, due to blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome nutrients in the evaded small intestine turn into a perfect breeding ground for microorganisms like bacteria. The overgrowth of bacteria may create poisons and additionally hinder the absorption of nourishment.

Bacterial overgrowth and the complexity of the disease depend on the length of the small intestine involved in the blind loop.

Trigger Points of Blind Loop Syndrome (BLS) or Stasis Syndrome

Following are some causes to initiate blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome:

  • Complications during stomach surgery like gastric bypass for overweight, gastrectomy to solve stomach cancer or peptic ulcer.
  • Some therapeutic conditions like crohn’s ailment, radiation enteritis, scleroderma, celiac sickness, weight and diabetes can moderate mobility of nourishment and waste items through the small intestine which is the prime reason for bacterial over growth.
  • Structural issues of small intestine like scar tissue outside the bowels, swelling pockets of the tissues that project on intestinal wall which is called diverticulosis.

Signs and Symptoms of Blind Loop Syndrome (BLS) or Stasis Syndrome

Blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome frequently include following symptoms:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Abdominal torment
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Disturbed feeling of fullness after eating.
  • Diarrhea
  • Unplanned weight reduction.

When is the Right Time to Visit a Doctor for Blind Loop Syndrome (BLS) or Stasis Syndrome?

If the following symptoms are seen, you should immediately visit a doctor for full assessment, particularly in the event that you have had a stomach surgery.

  • Continuous diarrhea.
  • Quick and un-planned weight loss.
  • Abdominal torment enduring more than couple of days.
  • Bloating.
  • Nausea.

Risk Factors for Blind Loop Syndrome (BLS) or Stasis Syndrome

Components that can expand your danger regarding blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome include the following:

  • Surgery for ulcers or obesity through gastric surgery.
  • Defect in the structure of small intestine.
  • Injury in internal wall of small intestine.
  • Abnormal fistula between two portions of bowels.
  • Scleroderma or intestinal lymphoma in the small intestine.
  • Bad effect for radiation treatment to the stomach area.
  • Diabetes
  • Diverticulosis in the small intestinal area.

The following are the observations which are to be made ahead of time:

  • You should write down the signs regarding, when they began, how are changed or compounded after some times.
  • You should carry your restorative records, particularly in the event that you had surgery at your stomach, digestion systems or have gotten radiation therapy to your belly.
  • Make a rundown of every one of your drugs, vitamins and also supplements.
  • Write down your key therapeutic data, incorporating different conditions to be analyzed. Make sure you tell your specialist about any kind of major surgery.

Tests to Diagnose Blind Loop Syndrome (BLS) or Stasis Syndrome

The initial phase for diagnosing blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome is typical tests to ensure the presence of the disease, for example:

  • X-ray test of the abdominal area.
  • CT scan test of the abdominal area.

You may also have to take part in some extra tests for detecting excess bacteria in small intestinal system, fat absorption problem or other different issues that might be creating or adding to your disease indications. Those tests could be as follows-

  • Barium X-ray test for small intestine uses barium for coating the covering of your intestine system with the goal that it emerges unmistakably on X-ray. Barium X-ray might uncover a blind loop, diverticulosis, the structural narrowing of digestive system or other abnormal issues. In addition it detects slow travel time of food particle within the intestine that can bring about bacterial abundance.
  • CT enterography test, which is a bit more delicate than routine CT scan test or X-ray test. It aids identify aggravation or auxiliary issues in the bowel and abnormal activities in different organs, for example, the pancreas.
  • Hydrogen breath test, which indicates the quantity of hydrogen you exhale out in the wake of drinking a blend of glucose with water. Quick ascent in hydrogen demonstrates poor starch processing and excess bacteria in the small intestine. This particular test is not enough productive than others.
  • D-xylose breath test which is more precise than a hydrogen breath test, measures the measure of carbon dioxide in your breath. A large amount of carbon dioxide says bacterial excess.
  • Test for fecal fat can decide how the small digestive system absorbs fat. A lot of undigested fat may be created by bacterial excess. A high-fat eating routine is maintained for three days to measure fat in the stool. However usually undigested fat is produced from different conditions, for example, chronic pancreatitis.
  • This is a vital test to detect bacterial abundance. It is called small intestine suction and fluid culture. To acquire the liquid specimen, specialists pass long, adaptable tube along the throat up to the small intestine. A sample of intestinal liquid is pulled back and afterward tried in a research center for the detection of bacteria.

If your specialist finds out that bacterial excess is present, he might start your treatment with antibiotics instantly without further testing.

Treatment for Blind Loop Syndrome (BLS) or Stasis Syndrome

Blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome is such a problem that doctors wants to treat it based on the underlying condition. The treatment actually carried by doctors repairing surgically the post-operative blind loop, fistula etc. But the blind loop cannot be reversed at all times. In such cases, instead of surgery doctors pay more attention on providing the nutrition and getting rid of bacterial overgrowth.

Treatment Through Antibiotics for Blind Loop Syndrome (BLS) or Stasis Syndrome

Most doctors prefer to treat blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome with antibiotics. It is an elementary way to stop unnatural bacterial growth. If the symptoms and also medical background suggest it, the doctor may start your treatment. But some doctors also start this treatment even without any test. If the anti-bacterial medicines do not work, then further tests are conducted.

A fix dose of antibiotics are enough to decrease unwanted bacteria. But there is a possibility of return those bacteria when you stop taking those antibiotics. So it is recommended to take treatment for the long time. It is a point to be noted that although having blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome some people may not need antibiotics for a long period but others must continue it punctually.

Different kinds of antibiotics are also recommended by turn by the doctors which can help you to reduce the overgrowth of bacteria. Antibiotics are able to wash out almost all kind of intestinal bacteria. In a result of it antibiotics may initiate some problems that they are trying to treat; diarrhea is an example of it. If you change your antibiotic with the advice of doctor, these problems can be reduced.

Nutrition Treatment for Blind Loop Syndrome (BLS) or Stasis Syndrome

Proper nutrition is a very essential part for those people who have blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome, especially for those who have a problem of weight loss. It is possible to cure malnutrition but damage due to malnutrition can hardly be regained.

These are some suggestion which may improve patient’s nutrition shortage, decrease intestinal distress also help to regain the proper weight:

  • Nutritional supplements. Patients of blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome may require vitamin B-12 besides calcium or iron tablets.
  • Lactose-free food. Small intestinal problems will cause the problem of indigestion of milk sugar or lactose. To cure this it is important to eliminate lactose-containing foods.

Some people may be able to handle yogurt as the bacteria in the yogurt will break the lactose down naturally:

  • Medium-chain triglycerides. Majority of dietary fat components contain molecules named triglycerides. People with blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome candigest medium-chain triglycerides little easily.
  • Medium-chain triglycerides often are prescribed for the patients with severe BLS.

Complications You May Face for Blind Loop Syndrome (BLS) or Stasis Syndrome

A blind loop syndrome (BLS) or stasis syndrome may cause complications including problems like:

  • Weak Absorption of Fat: Bacteria in intestine breaks down the digestive juice salts required to ingest fats. So, your body cannot absolutely ingest soluble vitamins like A, D, E or K. Incomplete absorption of fats results in diarrhea, loss of weight and also nutriment deficiency disorders.
  • Deficiency of Vitamin B-12: Bacterium within the gut absorbs vitamin B-12, which is important for the conventional functioning of the system also for the blood cells or deoxyribonucleic acid. Severe deficiency of B-12 will cause weakness and numbness in the hands and in advanced cases mental confusion. Injury to the central system ensuing from deficiency of B-12 could also be irreversible.
  • Osteoporosis or Brittle Bones: Through time intestinal damage from excess bacteria causes weak calcium absorption and might cause bone diseases like osteoporosis.
  • Stones in the Kidney: Weak calcium digestion might also eventually lead to development of stones in the kidneys.


  1. Kao, D., Rozenfeld, R.A., Lee, W.P.A. and Pirofsky, B., 1971. Stasis syndrome: diagnosis and treatment by a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of chlortetracycline. Gastroenterology, 60(5), pp.741-748.
  2. Floch, M.H. and Binder, H.J., 1971. Therapy of the Stasis Syndrome: A Study of the Effects of Chlortetracycline, Hydrocortisone, and Antioxidants in Various Combinations. The American Journal of Digestive Diseases, 16(1), pp.33-46.
  3. Iacobellis, A. and Binda, C., 2014. The overgrowth syndrome: microbiota and virome. Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology, 7, p.273.
  4. Mathur, R., Amarasiriwardena, C., Ruzal-Shapiro, C. and Argos, M., 2020. Stasis syndrome in the bariatric population: A case-control study. Obesity Surgery, 30(1), pp.186-192.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2023

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