Join Date: Dec 2012
7 years of Issues - looking for some direction
I'm hoping someone out there might be able to give me a bit of guidance or point me in a direction to investigate. I had a number of tests a few years ago but at the time I didn't think to get the results and I didn't know what to ask for. Since then, I've changed doctors and have an upcoming appointment to see if she has any ideas of what's been going on with me. I'm wondering if any of this sounds familiar to anyone.
One of the big reasons I'm so actively investigating my issues again is that I'm going to be TTC in the next two years and I want my health to be under control before that point.
I'm 27 years old and have been dealing with a number of strange GI symptoms since I was about 20. I've had Type 1 Diabetes since I was 10; my 23 year old sibling has rheumatoid arthritis - because I already have an autoimmune disease and because all my symptoms seemed to start around the same time, I strongly suspect I have a second autoimmune disease that's undiagnosed.
Before the age of about 20, I had no GI or digestive problems either than heartburn, and I never noticed any discomfort after eating the foods that now cause me issues.
All symptoms began around age 20 - previous to that, I had no regular food or allergy issues.
- regular diarrhea 2-7 times a week, 2-5 times a day - sometimes watery and loose, sometimes full on diarrhea - I don't notice cramping too often but it's definitely there at times; there are also some small anal fissures, but they've never been infected or really caused me much discomfort - they occasionally bleed during bowel movements and sometimes there is a burning feeling
- unable to tolerate most artificial sweeteners (diet coke and gum give me bad cramps)
- unable to eat egg yolks
(began at 20 - previously no issues, I ate scrambled eggs almost every day for breakfast during high school with no stomach issues);
when I've accidental eaten anything like mayo I have diarrhea within 30-60 minutes, nausea, headache, foggy feeling, very hard to think, usually lose my appetite for 2-3 days, food moves right through me;
I can tolerate egg whites with no problem
(I accidentally ate about 1/2 teaspoon of mayo on Wed and 30 minutes after I had diarrhea, a terrible headache, brain fog, no appetite - 2 days later I'm still experiencing these symptoms)
- yeast infections off and on, typically 8-12 per year, nearly every month (first occurring at age 21); after cutting wheat out for a while and having a negative ceoliac test, I tried to re-introduce wheat into my diet recently and experienced weight gain, an increase in heartburn, and yeast infections - the infections have been monthly for the last 8 months, and nearly monthly for 5 years except for the 9 months I was gluten free (clearly a sign that for some reason my body hates wheat or gluten)
- heartburn issues all through high school and twenties - disappears when I take wheat out of my diet; heartburn is usually triggered by any kind of starch or acid.
- sore, crampy, burning feeling in my stomach when I eat sometimes, especially starchy foods
- tea of any kind (green, black, herbal, caffeinated, non-caffeinated - specifically peppermint, orange pekoe, chai, lemon, chamomile, chocolate, vanilla, cranberry, and ginger) always makes me extremely nauseous and gives me a headache very similar to the "egg headache"; began noticing around age 22 - there hasn't been a tea I've tried in the last 4 years that DOESN'T give me these symptoms
I attempt to test this every so often on an empty or full stomach, but either way, I immediately feel like i have to throw up and get the same kind of headache the eggs give me
- unable to tolerate probiotics (5 billion active cells, 1 billion active cells, different brands) - they are guaranteed to make me throw up on an empty stomach and even with a partially full or full stomach I usually come very close to throwing up. The probiotics have been helpful with the yeast, but I have to ensure I only take them after eating a large meal;
I tried to take one in the middle of the afternoon yesterday after I had eaten lunch and 30 minutes later I was throwing up and had a similar headache to the egg/tea headache
- I have been tested for Celiac disease but had already stopped eating wheat. I prefer to eat a gluten free diet even with no knowing as I've felt healthier overall, however, I haven't been strict about this over the last year.
- I don't seem to have obvious reaction to gluten the way i do to eggs and tea
- I have had one allergy test that said I was midly allergic to eggs (In the allergists words, "I'd be surprised if you had any kind of reaction."), midly allergic to pears, and kiwi's but all food related allergies tested extremely mild and I was told I would not have to worry about them.
- I recently was told that medications such as trazodone can interefere with the test - I was taking both trazodone and citalopram but was never told they could affect my test - I'm finding articles all over the 'net that say you shouldn't be taken either of these for 3-7 days before an allergy test. I'm not taking any medication either than my insulin now, so I would like to be re-tested
- I have my thyroid tested regularly (every 1-2 years) and nothing unusual has ever presented
- I have blood tests every 6 months but they usually only check my A1C and glucose levels
- I had ceoliac tests until I was 13 (due to type 1 diabetes) and nothing unusual ever presented
What I'm really looking for is a bit of guidance as to what I should be asking for or looking into - I really don't know where to start - even a book or website suggestion to start to get a better understanding of GI disorders would be a start for me. I often feel like I don't do a good job of explaining my symptoms and that I downplay them a bit to doctors but I'm sick of not knowing what's going on with my body.
If I know what foods to avoid and what kind of diet I need, I'll be happy to start following it - I just don't know where the heck to begin and I don't want to be put on extra medications. The only foods I know for sure that irritate me are: egg yolks, tea, wheat, and artificial sweeteners.