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Old 04-19-2011, 04:47 PM   #1
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I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

Hi everyone,

I've been going insane trying to figure out what is wrong with me. My doctors think I'm fine, but I know my body and something is definitely wrong.
I am 22 years old and weigh 104 pounds.

Here's my story...

In 2008, my forehead started breaking out in acne (before then, my skin rarely broke out) and I thought that it was just a reaction to something I ate and it would go away. Since then, my forehead has been consistently hidden behind pimples and scars. No dermatologists could help, they all prescribed me pills that made me puke or sick to my stomach (they didn't work, anyway).
Around the same time, I realized that every so often, I'd get pains in my abdomen after I ate. The pains were usually right beneath my belly button, and sometimes, I'd get a shooting pain that seemed to go from that area and into my back. It would last for a few seconds, but it caused me so much pain.
Then I went to an allergist and had seven tubes of blood taken out to see if I had any food allergies. I passed out, but I was relieved to find that I had no food allergies. I thought I was allergic to something I was eating, and that was causing the acne and the pains. So, I was stumped.
I began eating super healthy. I've been a vegetarian since I was 10, by the way, and I've always loved my fruits and vegetables. In my early teen years, I brought chicken and turkey back into my diet. I can only eat them in small amounts, I never liked meat much.
Anyway, I began eating an abundant amount of fruits and vegetables, brown rice and beans, I cut soda and all packaged foods from my diet and began to drink only water, sometimes water with lemons in it. I stuck to organic foods, took cod liver fish oil, zinc, and ate plenty of flax seed and consumed psyllium and bentonite clay to cleanse myself. I also began running and biking.
In my junior year of college (last year), I went on birth control for about five months. I hated being on it, especially knowing how terrible it is for the body. I don't like putting unnatural things in my body, so it took a little while for me to actually go on birth control. I noticed no side effects.
I went off of it and stayed off until September of my senior year, when I went back on it.
About a month after being back on it, I began to notice abdominal bloating. It worsened after meals, and there has been more discomfort and heavy-feeling than pain, although I do get pains once in a while, including after running and/or working out. I've been running three miles, I bike, and do the elliptical about five days a week. The pains I feel after working out are in the same areas I feel the pains when I feel very bloated. The pains are directly below my belly button, right in the middle of my abdomen, and right beneath my left ribcage. The pain below my belly button is the pain that comes the most and the one that hurts the most.
So, after five months, again, I went off of the birth control pill to see if the bloated would subside. It never did.
I went to a holistic doctor/nutritionist, and she found out that I had a candida yeast infection in my intestines through kinesiology. I took all sugars and cheeses out of my diet (those two things showed to bother me). I began supplementing with a food grade hydrogen peroxide oral spray (I read it's good at killing off candida and intestinal parasites due to its oxygen). After about five months, we discovered that the candida went away.
I thought that might have been causing my bloating, but, of course, it still remained (even when I fasted for two days on only lemon water).
I began to think that there was something wrong with my digestive tract, and went to get colonic irrigation done, twice (you wouldn't believe the stuff that can come out of your body). I felt relieved after, but my bloating, extended abdomen would not go away.
My skin began to clear up when I took sugar and cheese out of my diet (I never ate much cheese, anyway). I also think the hydrogen peroxide spray helped with that. Along with the glasses of lemon water I had daily, and recently, I began drinking coconut water, which seems to sooth my belly. Though I still have some acne on my forehead, it's nothing like it used to be. This is the best my skin has looked in years.

I went to the health center on my campus. They told me they think my swollen abdomen is a build-up of gas and to take Gas-X. Nope. I know it's not. They seemed to think I was insane. They see this tiny woman come in, complaining about her belly. They even mentioned an eating disorder. I do not have an eating disorder, and am very much into eating healthy and getting the right amount of energy for my body (since I run and work out frequently). Though, I do cut down on my food intake because if I eat too much, my belly swells more than it already is.
I also went to a gastroenterologist. He thinks it's all in my head and just wanted me out of his office. He examined my belly as I was on my back, even though I told him it's noticeable when I'm standing or sitting. He wrote me out a prescription for a blood test to check for celiac disease. That came back negative. However, the blood tests did show that I have a low white blood cell and platelet count. I looked it up and read a lot about cancer in the liver or spleen, and how they may be enlarged or have cysts or tumors. called my gastroenterologist and asked him about getting a CT scan done and he said not to because of the radiation. I asked him about a sonogram and he said that at this point, I don't need it.
I would at least like a sonogram done. Something is totally wrong.
I have an appointment with a blood specialist, and after reading up on symptoms of ovarian cancer, I plan to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist (I last went in January and everything looked fine, though the gynecologist did make a comment on how bloated my belly was [At that point, I thought it was due to the candida, so she didn't look into it]). My periods have been regular for as long as I can remember. I have had two (a little early) since being off the pill, and both came with horrible cramps the first day or two (which I only seem to experience the first few periods after coming off the pill).

Does anyone know what can be causing this? I'm a tiny woman, and this extended belly looks ridiculous on me. I don't want to wear my bathing suit in the summer, and am tired of sucking in my belly. I hate the way I look. I look six months pregnant and it's so embarrassing.

 
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

DSC00931.jpg

My belly before I ate anything a few days ago.

 
Old 04-22-2011, 07:43 PM   #3
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Re: I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

I hav no clue nor do I know what to say to you except it seems you know what you want done and are doing a great job at trying to find out the cause of your bloating. My belly sits on my lap Which is due to my meds. I too was 104 but gained so I lose it when it sits with me. Just keep on the drs and see what the gyno says. Keep us posted. I am looking forward to what the cause is.

 
Old 04-23-2011, 07:45 AM   #4
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Re: I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

Thanks to the last two for responding.
I did have candida, but I got rid of it. I'm still following a strict diet. I stay away from sugars, carbs, breads, gluten, and dairy.
I'm going to see a blood specialist on Monday to check out why my white blood cell and platelet counts are low. Perhaps they're related.

 
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:40 PM   #5
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uglies HB User
Re: I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

Hey, wondered how you were getting on? I too have been dealing with a very extended stomach for the past decade and years of doctors, specialists, surgeons, diet alterations and supplements have done little to alleviate or change it.

 
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:16 AM   #6
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Re: I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

Hi Uglies,

Every time I think I'm making progress and things seem to be going well for me, it's only a matter of days before my symptoms come back worse than ever. The two symptoms I've been persistently experiencing are a distended abdomen (mainly after I eat, even a little bit of something healthy, it always brings discomfort, sometime pain) and acne on my forehead and in between my eyebrows. It's certainly embarrassing at this age, as I would think it would be at any age, but I'm a 22-year-old recent college graduate looking for a job and my appearance tears apart my confidence. Sometimes I won't want to go to social events because of my forehead covered in acne, and then usually there is food or alcohol around that bloats up my belly and when I don't eat anything or drink, people get confused and force it on me and won't even bother to understand. These symptoms have been taking over my life since I was about 17/18 and they haven't stopped. I'm a health nut and run 5ks, work out at the gym, I don't eat red meat and I eat plenty of greens and white meat, no junk foods or sodas and I stay away from alcohol, for the most part. Yet my skin breaks out horribly and my belly/abdominal area swells up and makes me look pregnant! It's noticeable because I'm such a thin and petite woman.
Anyway, I went to a gastroenterologist in the spring and he thought I was insane when I explained to him my abdominal discomforts, especially after eating and how I think they're related to my persistent forehead acne. I've read that forehead acne is due to poor digestion, especially in the small intestine and liver. Anyway, he said, "You're so tiny, if you eat a pea you'll bloat!" and clearly just wanted to leave the room. I asked him about ultra sounds and blood tests, he asked me about a colonoscopy, then said he didn't think I'd need it. I mentioned to him I had went to a colon hydrotherapist twice only weeks before and explained to him the gross stuff I saw come out of my little body. I didn't think it was possible! At one point, the tube was solid black. Each session was 45 minutes and the whole time, things were flowing out. I went to the bathroom twice before both sessions and thought I was empty. The therapist said that everything seemed normal within my large intestine and at that point, I was trying to get rid of candida. She said she saw a very little bit during the second session. For my candida, I took candida herbs, chopped up pieces of garlic and swallowed them, took olive leaf extract, and a food grade hydrogen peroxide oral spray (under the tongue), and stuck to the candida diet. I think that got rid of it, because my next visit to my holistic doctor, she performed the keniseology on me and said the candida was gone. My yeast infections disappeared as well. That was a relief. She told me that I still had problems with my ileocecal valve and massaged it and told me it may be stuck open and told me to keep taking my herbs (magnesium, oil of oregano and evening primrose oil. So, after the gastroenterologist around this same time period, he ordered me a few blood tests and pushed me out of his office. My blood test results came back showing a low white blood cell and platelet count, so he referred me to a hematologist. She ordered me an ultra sound and some more blood tests, looking for autoimmune disorders. They both came back normal, all though the blood tests still showed a low white blood cell count as well as me being very low in vitamin B12 (mainly found in meat, which I don't eat much of). So, I started bringing eggs and chicken into my diet and took a B12 supplement. I felt more energy and my bloating didn't seem as bad, and my acne cleared up for a few weeks (I got some spots here and there but nothing like usual). Then, everything went back to their old ways. I was so frustrated, did some more research, and started taking a zinc supplement, along with liver cleansing herbs like yellow root and liver and gallbladder cleanse drops (with dandelion and milk thistle) that I take with organic apple juice. I also did a liver and gallbladder cleanse (you can find information about this online), and I actually went through with it. I fasted for a day, which I've done before, and took two glasses of olive oil mixed with lemon. Not the most tastiest beverage, but I believe it did help. I was going to the bathroom all day, but my skin looked vibrant and I did not have discomfort after eating. That was about a week and a half ago, as of three days ago, my forehead is broken out worse than ever (also between my eyebrows) and my bloating has been back to normal. It was so bad two days ago when I made a pizza and ate two slices of that. I just wish I had a normal digestive system. It's embarrassing to explain and to have to deal with. It kills my confidence and makes me just want to hide and no doctors can help, and they all give me so much help at first. I booked a visit with the gynecologist. My appointment is in October. I think it's best to get everything that I can checked out. I'm considering finding another gastroenterologist and asking about an endoscopy to check out my small intestine, and also I'd like to be tested for bacteria in my gut, since I did have candida and my father did have h. pylori that he got rid of with strong antibiotics last year.
I hope something works. My life revolves around curing these problems on my own.
Thanks for checking in. I didn't mean to write such a huge response! I hope you find a solution as well. It really doesn't seem fair. I know people who eat total garbage and abuse their intestinal system/bodies so much (the majority of Americans, I'd say), and they're beautiful! Clear skin and in shape. It doesn't make sense...

 
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:52 AM   #7
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Re: I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

Dear Nicjac. I see you are looking up info and trying different cures to help to the best of your abilities and going to the doctors for tests and answers. Just keep doing what you are and don't give up. I hate it when you go to a doctor and explain what is going on with your body and what you want done and they look at you like you have three heads. You know your body better than any doctor! I hope some doctor will find the cause of your bloating and the acne and give a cure. I know both are extremely embarrassing for you and my heart goes out to you. I know this will probably won't help but when I was in high school and we didn't have much money, I had bad acne. I wiped my face twice a day (sometimes more) with rubbing alcohol. I did help quite a bit. Give it a try if you want. You take care and keep us posted. dee088

 
Old 07-27-2011, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

I'm envious of your petite body, I must admit. I'm virtually twice your weight (but then again I actually do GENUINELY have a broad bone structure, do zero excerise and don't count calories)! However, being overweight, it's far easier for me to disguise my extended stomach than it would be for someone tiny like you, and because I'm fat all over people are less likely to assume I'm pregnant.

As for the acne... all over my face since 5th grade. It continues to this day, although by far not as bad as in previous years, and has left me with a face looking like the skin of an orange and the surface of the moon.

I too had a colonscopy. It revealed nothing other than a few benign polyps.

Had candida several times; it seems to come and go as it pleases and in effect has no relation on my gut or acne problems.

Took vitamins on and off since my acne began, never seemed to do any good but then again perhaps I was too hasty in quitting and re-starting them.

I'm now trying to eliminate certain foods from my diet for a few months and see if that has any effect. Gluten, dairy, soy and sugar intolerances are often responsible for a lot of gut problems.

Anyway, I hope you get to the source of your problems, and please check back in soon!

 
Old 07-28-2011, 09:49 AM   #9
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Re: I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

Quote:
Originally Posted by NicJac View Post
Thanks to the last two for responding.
I did have candida, but I got rid of it. I'm still following a strict diet. I stay away from sugars, carbs, breads, gluten, and dairy.
I'm going to see a blood specialist on Monday to check out why my white blood cell and platelet counts are low. Perhaps they're related.
Hi
I have the same and its only happened in the last month. I really dont know what it is have you found out anything else.

Jan
x

 
Old 06-02-2012, 10:14 PM   #10
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Angry Re: I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

Hi! I really hope you are still reading updates on this because I am in your exact situation! I am 14 years old, and I love swimming and tanning, and doing fun things, wearing cute clothes, but allot of my favorite things are now uncomfortable because of my 'extended abdomen'. (that's what my doctor called it...)

My stomach in my opinion looks like I am 3-4 months pregnant but I have never had sex, never been on the pill, and my doctor tested me for pregnancy just in case and it was negative. I don't eat as well as you, but I do eat allot of carrots, salad, and try to avoid eating to much every day and try to avoid constantly eating fast food and greasy/fried foods. I've cut down my soda intake to 1-2 cans a week. (Previously it was allot more.)

And I also have very bad acne, and after I cut down on soda, started using clinique cleanser, a spin brush the wash my face, and my doctor prescribed me DUAC, my acne is not gone but it is allot better than before, the main thing I have problems with are previous scars and blackheads.

I have been to different hospitals (SINIA, Johns Hopkins, Patomic Physicians, etc), gotten allot of blood drawn, seen a surgeon, and also been to many checkups just to see how things are going and allot of checkups that were pretty much questionnaires on everything about me to check off every possibility of what it could be.

My doctor prescribed me a miralax like powder, but it is in a prescription looking white tube. I mix it in with my drinks and it's supposed to soften my stools. My doctor prescribed it because on my X-Ray they think all that's there is poop.

It has helped soften my stools, and I have noticed that if I take a brake from it it is allot harder to go to the bathroom, but I'm not sure if it's helping my extension any.

I am also pretty desperate for answers on this I also have a huge doctors/needle phobia so I hate hate hate having to keep going to the doctors and getting blood drawn

 
Old 06-05-2012, 03:52 AM   #11
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Re: I'm a small woman, but my belly is constantly extended

I suffered from the same thing I went on a very low carb diet (Atkins) and litterally after two weeks I was back to normal. you may also want to investigate pcos.

 
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