I have been a vegetarian all my life (27 years), I have asthma, sinus problems, hayfever and was also dx'd with MS 2 years ago ...over the last 5 or so years i've ALSO gained an eating problem.
At first it was taking me ages to eat a meal, i would always be last to leave the table. It would take forever for food to pass into my stomach and felt like it was sticking half way down.
I had a endoscope/biopsy taken and consequently was diagnosed with EO, which is an inflammation of my oesophagus probably caused by bacteria growth in my stomach. I have been given various treatments for the inflammation in the throat to make it expand a little so food can pass easier. However, my stomach still seems to be my main concern.
My stomach is bloated, bloated to the extreme of being unable to put food into the mouth for fear of throwing it back out. I need to burp about 50-100 times before/during each meal in order for food (small portions) to digest. To make thing worse, my bloated-ness has got to the stage where every morning i am throwing up 'air' (my body's natural reaction) because of the amount of gas in my stomach.
I believe if i can sort out my eating disorder (stomach), it will help massively towards some of my other illnesses. I would appreciate anyone replies with idea's or similar experiences (especially with food allergies).
Purpleball, I've recently read about a condition called "Gastroparesis" and nearly all of the symptoms you described fit this disorder. Basicly it is when the lower part of the stomach does not physicaly grind the food by contracting. The food just lays in the stomach relying on acid and digestive enzymes to break it down and on gravity to empty the stomach. A person could very well have all or most of the days meals in the stomach well into the evening. Considering that the stomach is about twice the size of a fist you can see where all the bloating and discomfort might originate. A gastric or stomach emptying test is the best method of diagnosing the condition. If you do a little searching on the net you should be able to find enough information to see if you believe it's worth asking your doctor about. I really wonder if this problem is at the root of a lot of peoples problems and find it interesting that I'v never heard anyone mention having the stomach empting test done. It seems like anytime someone mentions that they are having sometype of stomach problem or GERDS type symptoms they just start throwing PPI meds at you. With this condition the acid reducing meds are not very helpfull. Let me know what you think after you do a little reading. Wish you the best of luck.
Since you are a vegetarian, I'm wondering if you aren't vitamin deficient in some area........like maybe the B's?
I had a horrible problem with bloating. I began a beta blocker and aciphex at the same time, and assumed it was helped with the aciphex. But since I've come off the beta blocker and have lots of my previous GI symptoms, I'm wondering if it has something to do with an imbalance in the sympathetic nervous system.
If I were you, I would definitely try a PPI first for a couple weeks and see if that helps.
I'm sort of into holistic stuff, and think we should always take a good look at our entire systems, to figure out what is off balance, before we start taking alot of medications.
Do you have any trouble with wheat? You don't have to have a positive celiac test to have alot of trouble with wheat.
Just do tons of research and reading. Make sure that you're not vitamin/mineral deficient in anything first. Are you on any medications or supplements?
I have gastroparesis (GP), and I have definitely mentioned it as well as having the emptying test, which confirmed it.
Mine is "mild", but like purple, I get scared it will get worse.
There is no cure; but then, there is no cure for GERD either (no good 1 besides surgery), and that itself can lead to esophageal or throat cancers, albeit small chance.
Basically they keep you on PPIs to reduce the damage done by refluxing, and try you on a motility drug.
In the US, the ONLY legal motility drug for this is Reglan. I was anxious to try it, although I knew all about the many bad side effects, both scale and scope. I hoped I would be spared those and get mostly good out of it. But Reglan gave me tremors and major heart palpitations after 1 week on minimal dosage (sent me to ER after I stopped - and I am NOT a worry-wort who goes to the ER at every turn). I'm still struggling (minimally) with heart palps. I haven't bothered using Reglan since (but still have a whole bottle of it!).
The idea with motility drugs is that they, too, are maintenance drugs as are PPIs. You'd need them to keep it going, as GP supposedly doesn't go away. Motility drugs don't cure it, they just help it.
Although, apparently in rare cases, if you have a GP problem caused by some VIRUS infection, you should eventually lose the GP. But mostly, this isn't the case.
1 mention here: if you have GP, the recommendation is to go LOW fiber. That means meats are better than veggies, and you have to be careful about what veggies you have; high-fiber foods are bad because they are difficult to move as they do not break down. In bad cases these can ball up into a bolus that gets stuck in the stomach and causes more problems.
Hope this helps with some info. Feel free to ask and I'll answer what I can. I'm no expert - I've only known I have this for ~8 mos, and it's "mild", never mind I'm not a doctor! But as a hypochondriac I tend to read like crazy!
Last edited by Ol'Line Rebel; 05-09-2007 at 08:02 AM.
Thanks for your knowledge guys; these message boards are priceless...
Just to answer a few of your questions,
I undertook a recent endoscopy which showed no visible sign of any ulcers in the stomach. Digestion has been fairly good apart from the occasional bad day, but nothing out of the ordinary.
I have had the celiac blood test which turned out negative, Iím unsure about any wheat or dairy allergies; however I think that there is a chance it could be this. I have had periods where I would eliminate a certain foods for a week or so to determine any improvement, but no results as yet and to be honest I havenít been 100% strict as I should be (e.g. milk with tea). I had a food intolerance test taken recently which only showed a problem with tomatoes and chocolate (since which I have stopped eating, with no improvement). It was a 'Vega' test, and research shows itís not the most accurate food intolerance test. Does anyone know where I could take a more accurate intolerance test (UK) or would you guys recommend I just do trail and error with different foods?
Vitamin B deficiency, it could also be. Over the last couple of years I have lost count of what I have and havenít been tested for. This might sound a silly question but how important are vitamins? Do you think I could see an improvement by taking supplements? I am skinny & find it increasingly difficult to gain weight, would you suggest protein/weigh gain shakes etc? I have also considered taking probiotic tablets; do these help with the good bactaria etc.
Iím a fan of alternative medicine, and always looking for the route cause rather than drugs that counterbalance the symptoms. Iíve recently tried acupressure and ayurvedic but with no avail. I also hear yoga can be very helpful with these sorts of symptoms. The recent medicine I have been prescribed so far has been for the Oesophagitis. They include a pump similar to an asthma inhaler which was swallowed rather than inhaled, then I tried Nexium and now Iíve finished a monthís supply of Singlair, all prescribed by my gastroenterologist none of which have helped.
Based upon the above my history, what do you suggest I could try?
Hi again Purpleball,
I know a person who tested negative for celiac but her doctor was bright enough to tell her to cut out wheat anyhow........and she showed major improvement. So don't assume because the conventional test for intolerances is always reliable.
I know how hard it is to give up foods that we've been raised on......but give it a week or 2 without the wheat. Look up rice recipes/bread/etc. And learn to read labels really well.
Is your gall bladder okay?
Vitamins and minerals are extremely important. They are how our bodies get things done.....like make important enzymes, nerve transmission, etc., etc.
I get a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out what vitamins/minerals I might need, so I do internet searches and look for a list of which vitamins do which things. For you, you could focus on the ones that seem to be most important to digestion and the nervous system.
Just start taking a good multi-vitamin every day. Then add to that a good B-complex vitamin. I like taking the sublinqual B12 tablets. One also comes with folic acid and B6.
I used to think just eating a well-balanced diet takes care of all the vitamins, but I learned how depleted of vitamins and minerals our soil has become, and how alot of our junk food actually depletes them in us.
You should really look up vegetarian stuff on the internet. I remember learning a long time ago that vegetarians easily become deficient in the B vitamins, and so you are supposed to be sure to get plenty of beans..........but do an internet search.
One thing I was thinking..........and I'm not sure how much to believe this........but supposedly not having enough stomach acid can cause similar problems as having too much. I think "Betaine" or something like that can be taken to give you more acid. You could try that.
You could also try some digestive enzymes and see if that helps move things along.
Vitamins and supplements can be overwhelming when you just start to learn about them. Get a paper and pencil and sit down at the computer, and start educating yourself slowly on what things help what in our bodies, and go to a reputable health store, and start to try out just a few of the things that seem to point to your symptoms..
The body is so complex. We might think its just a matter of our stomachs freezing up, when it could be a small deficiency in something that really messes up the whole works.
The Omega 3's and 6's are important too. Are you eating fish, and olive oil?
Back when I had incredible bloating, I used peppermint oil capsules, which helped somewhat.
Probiotics are very important. Eat lots of yogurt and find a good probiotic pill to take.
My bloating problems started after I had a horrible bout of the flu and pneumonia. I assumed the virus really messed me up, but I've always wondered if the antibiotics somehow damaged my GI tract. Unfortunately, probiotics don't seem to help me, but they might help you. It was at that time that I could eat very little, and I would blow up like a blimp. I just had to really limit what I ate.
Another thing........and I don't know if this guy has been around here, but on another GI forum I'm on, there's a guy who's written a book on how carbohydrates cause GERD.
Even if you don't have a wheat problem, you should try to cut back alot on your carbs and see if this helps. His theory is that our bodies weren't meant to eat as many carbs as we eat, and when our GI tract is overwhelmed by carbs, it quits digesting them and starts fermenting, and then everything shuts down, with tons of bloating.
I would say if you try something, try to do it for at least 2 weeks at a time, and see how you feel.
The reason I was asking about wheat and dairy intolrances, is because my ex has intolrances to these.
His stomach also used to really bloat and feel uncomfortable and gassy. He then cut out all dairy products and ALL foods containing wheat. Now his stomach is flatter and he doesn't have the problem with gas and also his toilet problems have eased off.
Coincidently he is also a vegetarian. I will say one week to cut out certain foods and to expect results is expecting a bit much too soon. Really you would need to give it at least a few weeks to see if there are any results.
I would also say being a vegetarian, you have to be careful about getting plenty of zinc, iron as well as B vitamins in your diet to make up for what you are missing by not eating meat.
I bet as well as being thin you are also very palid in complextion?
My ex eats lots of nuts, as well as marmite which is brilliant for B vitamins. Also probiotics are great for diagestion problems, like the yoghurts that you can get .
If your problem is linked simply to food allegys, then the gas is obvioulsy being caused due to the fact your body isn't able to digest and break these down properly.
Don't forget when you try the ellimination (please excuse spelling lol) don't add ANY milk to your drinks.
I hope it isn't the other more serious problem that another poster suggested, and that it is just a simple case of food allegy.
Another thing I forgot to mention is have you thought about chinese medicine, or even going to a herbalist? going to a doctor they are always keen to just hand out drugs, which I think just adds more poisons to the body, as well as side effects.
Chlorella and or Spirulina might be something benificial to supplement your diet rather than a bunch of individual vitiamin supplements. I don't know if they would have any direct impact on the digestive issues but it sound as if they would be a good companion to a vegan diet and should cover any possible nutritional holes. There is a lot of informatin on Chlorella and Spirulina on the net and I found a free "E Book" by Mike Adams online titled "Superfoods For Optimum Health: Chlorella and Spirulina" this book had lots of information. If you do a search you should have no trouble finding it it's about 40 pages. I personally haven't used these so called "super foods" but the information out there sounds very impressive and I'm starting to give it some serious consideration. Does anyone have any experience with them?