H. Pylori possibility
I'm an eighteen year old female college student who is at her wit's end with a gastrointestinal nightmare that has been going on for the past eight months. About a year and a half ago, I experienced a weight loss of around 20 pounds. This was a huge accomplishment for me, and did wonders for my energy level and confidence. It consequently gave me the incentive to take better care of my body through a much healthier diet and regular exercise. I maintained a healthy and happy weight of 125-130 lbs. (I'm ~5'3") as a result of these changes for around eight months. Come February, I started having a problem overeating at night because of a basically uncontrollable need to stuff myself with carbohydrates (mostly cereal, crackers, bread). This came along with a laundry list of gastrointestinal issues (bloating, farting, loose stools, cramps) that basically, along with the overeating, began one day suddenly and has continued up until this point.
As a result of the overeating, I've put on a "significant" amount of weight (probably ~10 pounds, which I know is not terrible but seems so because I was so incredibly comfortable at 130 lbs.). It has been difficult to lose for the same reason, although I exercise at least 5x a week pretty intensely.
I visited the doctor's office in June, during which time I was tested for Celiac's disease and thyroid problems. These all came back negative. As a result, my doctor gave me information on Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which in her opinion was the most likely explanation.
I don't know why, but my body and brain are telling me that there is something more complicated at play here than IBS or a stress-related bowel disorder. The consistency of my symptoms is what really got me thinking that H. Pylori or some kind of bacterial/parasitic infection is the cause of all this. I'm going to provide a breakdown of the kinds of things I've been experiencing for the past eight months. Hopefully someone has had a similar experience, or can at the very least offer some insight into bacterial infections and their symptoms. I'm scheduled for a stool test next week, as well as a gastroenterology consultation.
I'm sorry for the incredibly long post; I'm just ready to feel comfortable in my own skin again! Thank you for bearing with me.
(And, as promised, the list of crazy symptoms >>)
• Very smelly flatulence with a distinct odor (is the same every time), worse after eating a lot of carbs
• Bowel movements that are difficult to pass, generally the same color (reddish orange, yellow or dark green, but never really brown) and consistency (thin, soft) and with a distinct odor; I often feel like I haven’t actually “gotten it all out” and sometimes have leakage afterward
• Infrequently but more often than is normal, I’ll have very bad diarrhea, especially after overeating carbs
• Acid reflux that manifests itself in the left shoulder/chest area; happens most frequently after eating out or consuming greasier, spicier foods
• Ammonia-like smell from sweat or urine, especially in vaginal area
• Intense craving for and frequent bouts of overeating of sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods like cereal and bread
• Stomach pains in the morning (not cramps, just a dull ache)
• Lactose intolerance
• Swollen fingers after walking for long periods of time
• Weight gain because of overeating, even though I exercise very frequently. I have had difficulty losing the weight because of an inability to moderate my carbohydrate intake.
• Rectal bleeding (maybe because of having to wipe so much after bowel movements)
• Within the first two months of my symptoms starting, I had a cold sore that lasted for a number of weeks. I have never had issues with cold sores, but for this one in particular I had to buy a medicated ointment, which was very out of the ordinary.
• On the worst days, the gas and bloating is especially bad at night, and I often go to sleep feeling hot and sweaty. During these nights I don’t sleep well, and have to get up to use the bathroom, often feeling like I have to do a bowel movement and sometimes passing a small one. Sometimes my urine is cloudy, even if I stayed very hydrated throughout the day. The morning afterward, I sometimes won’t be able to sleep in because of waking up with a dull ache in my stomach, which is usually alleviated by eating. These symptoms were much worse in the first few months, happening almost every night as opposed to a few times every couple of weeks now.