I have been dealing with a tricky stomach for 5 years now. Past couple of years since I was pregnant...symptoms went away. Now they are back again.
Am at the point where I really don't know what is causing this. Don't know what to eat.
My symptoms range from normal days to 1/2 month of days where I feel like garbage. On good days I have little to no symptoms. Mild- moderate days cramping, stomach upset, need to go to the bathroom more than usual (I have more bm's than usual) rash on my bum. On terrible days, I have to run to make it to the bathroom...and usually spend the evening there...with nausea, cramps, sweats...on and on.
I have this great little newborn...I want to figure this out. I have started a food diary...
Also, I am allergic (skin test done) to kiwi.
Have had blood test for allergies, none shown. Also, did a follow up scratch test which found nothing.
I am really at a loss at what this could be? I wonder if it could be the bacteria in the intestine, or food intolerance, or something else?
Don't know if I should go to a gastro specialist and have the do a colonoscopy...
You could have food intolerances and the only way to eliminate them is by keeping a food diary after you eat to see the culprit. I as well just had a little one not that long ago and have not been right since. I took out dairy, any gluten products, sugar, fruits nuts and soy after 2 weeks I slowly started to add them back in, I have rounded up my suspects to wheat dairy and sugar. I did speak with my dr and we thought mabie intestinal yeast overgrowth due to antibiotics after c section but I took 4 weeks of pro biotics and it still didin't fix it so she thought IBS and post partum depression not the case so now I am going to have allergy tests done. From what I understand intolerances will not show up and if you feel certain foods bother you then find out by elimination which ones and eliminate them and if you feel better then you found the problem but if not then must be IBS which there is no cure for either . What happens to me is sever bloating and alot of water retention so much that I can't bend my fingers. The alergist said that the water retention almost always says that there is some kind of sensitivity to food.
Charlotte, not everyone responds to skin testing (our allergist said that maybe only 25% do so, this is why they move on to injecting the allergens in the arm after the scratch test is negative). Allergists will not inject food allergens into you, though. The blood tests only test for IgE allergies not IgG allergies. Allergist do not really believe in the IgG allergies. This is what all of my daughter's food allergies were, however, and I stuck her with an epipen once after she ate peanut butter.
My food allergies only had symptoms of stomach upset/pain, reflux, and anal inflammation with occasional runs to the bathroom after eating an offending food. (I actually thought I only had this with food combinations of my worst foods). Both my daughter and myself got treated at an alternative doc and she is eating everything now and I am just about symptom free. There are about 50 docs in the US who have this training and treatment available for food allergies. They could certainly test you better and see what is going on with you.
Charlotte, I see you are in Maine. The closest that I saw for a doc was Montreal! Many people travel distances to get this treatment, though. We drive a 3 hour round trip. Yes, regular docs are no help! For myself I only got a food, etc. allergy shot (LDA - Low Dose Allergen). My daughter, however, needed a lot more therapy because she had something called leaky gut and the doc told us that her allergies were metabolic and genetic and mine were just genetic. Yours sound like mine so maybe all you would need are some shots. You go for your first visit and then come back for allergy testing and then go again for your shot. My daughter only needed 3 shots and now she will only need occasional boosters. I am getting my 4th shot tomorrow (children progress more quickly). The shots are 2 months apart for the first 5 or so and then you start spreading them out until they are yearly and then after that every few years. You only need about up to 18 and then you are done.
Dr. Françios-Guy Doré, in Montreal, Canada is the doc that looks closest to you. I noticed improvement (no symptoms) with my first shot and then after five weeks it started to wear off and some symptoms returned but it wasn't like it was. At 8 weeks I got my second shot and didn't get symptoms back until after the five weeks and the symptoms were less. Same progression with the 3rd shots with less symptoms returning. My toiletry allergies are basically gone. These were my worst allergies. I tested positive to around 85% of what was tested but I didn't react to all of these. After a few shots and improvement with my worst allergies then your immune system gets the space to react to the other allergens that it was too busy to react to before. This is where I am at now. Had to learn how to deal with new pollen allergies (Just took a shower before bed. I already kept the windows closed because of my daughter's allergies.) and this seemed to work. I also can't drink coffee now because it causes my throat to swell (not anaphylaxis, just some constriction). The coffee was the only allergen that I had physical symptoms to during the allergy testing. I got dizzy with it during the test so I guess it is a big allergen for me even though I didn't realize this before. My doc tells me that these new allergies should go away with this 4th shot. So basically, my toiletry allergies are very good and food is pretty good except for the coffee and I am waiting for the inhaled allergies to get better (the inhaled allergies were my least before). Feel free to ask me any questions. I would be very happy to share this secret! I have never quit eating any of the foods that I was allergic to. Coffee is the only food that I have ever given up. (You are restricted around the time of the shot and possibly a week or so afterwards depending on how bad the allergy tests are.) My daughter also eats whatever she wants and she could barely eat anything before this shot. It is a miracle.
Charlotte, toiletry allergy - I was allergic to all soaps, shampoos, conditioners except simple olive oil soap. I could only pin down a few foods that would cause reflux and stomach pain - garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, and tofu (I could eat soy in smaller amounts). I always had an inflammed anus. Maybe that was all the other foods that I tested positive to? What is the change of flora and fauna?
Charlotte, I just went to the list of providers of the LDA and found the one closest to you. We go to a doc in Cincinnati. My daughter was born with leaky gut syndrome and her food allergies just kept getting worse and worse and I was always on the lookout for anyone to help her. I was surfing the net and came across a website that a woman had who was helped with this LDA. I had my daughter up at that doc ASAP. After he cured her I let him work on me.
There is another woman here, Cad, whose problems started after pregnancy (but yours improved with pregnancy). I had trouble with my normal flora when I was pregnant and this is due to hormone changes. Maybe your normal flora is a bit off balance too/leaky gut?
Charlotte, you can find more info about these shots by googling Dr. W.A. Shrader, Jr., M.D. He is the doc who brought these shots to this country. No, insurance does not pay for them. Our shots cost $230 plus you have to buy some supplements that cost below $100 and about half of these last at least a few shots.
Leaky gut syndrome is when your normal flora is way off balance and it causes inflammation in your gut which then causes food to leak out into your bloodsteam. This food is seen as a foreign invader and you then develop antibodies against food causing all the food allergies. Regular docs do not know anything about this. Medical research is just starting on the importance of our normal flora in our guts (this is where our immune cells are).
I did not have leaky gut. My allergy test was foods, etc., injected into my arm and it swelled/reacted so = food allergy.
Again, thanks for all the information. It is so helpful.
Did you do the elimination diet to find your intolerant foods?
How do they test you for food/chemical intolerances? I know with kiwi they placed on the skin and pricked the skin...huge hive. How do they do that with intoleraces?
Do you have to go prepared to tell them what foods make you sick. Meaning, should I be sure what foods are causing certain symptoms? I have different symptoms for different foods.
How many shots have you had now? I know you said about 18 shots...for a 4K price tag..do they promise you will be healed?
Charlotte, I didn't need to do the elimination diet to figure out what caused symptoms. I would eat tomato sauce or eggplant and get massive heartburn. I would eat garlic or tofu and get a stomach ache. I never did figure out what gave me anal irritation. Maybe the elimination diet would have done that? But you see, I didn't even know that I had food allergies until I went to this doc for my bad toiletry allergies and then he told me I think you have food allergies too. I said "NO WAY". I drove home that day, though and said "hmmm, maybe this is why my stomach hurts and I have reflux and anal problems"? This is when I narrowed down the tofu and garlic. I never realized that reflux was an allergy symptom.
My doc went down a list of foods and just asked me how often that I ate them and if I had any symtoms with those foods. This was how he decided what to test for. You don't have to have every allergic food tested for because this shot is a standard mix for everyone. About 30 -50 foods, and a mix of chemicals and inhalants. (You don't get all 3 shots unless you need all three). The way that the shot works, it works different from standard allergy shots.
I actually just got back a few hours ago from my 4th shot!
For the allergy test this doc injects the allergens into your arm and sees if they swell or not. If you have a bad reaction to a food like anaphylaxis or something just tell them and they will take your word for it and skip testing that food. I don't believe in "intolerances" and I don't think that these docs do either. If your arm swells it is an allergy.
These 18 shots take years to finish because after the first 8 shots or something it is just once per year I think. My doc has gotten them. He started in 1992 and now he hasn't had one in 3 years (because he is symptom-free). I think that he told me that he has had 14 shots or something. My shot is working well and it certainly worked well for my daughter. The doc who brought them to this country has received them too.
I never thought of the cost of all 18 shots before (you actually could need only 12). Because you are symptom-free before you finish all of the shots, I look at them as only the cost of each one (you are symptom free or almost symptom-free after each shot, until the shots wears off and you then need to go get another one).