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Terrible digestive troubles since bad sickness 2 years ago

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Old 07-12-2006, 02:03 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
rdrr_oz HB User
Unhappy Terrible digestive troubles since bad sickness 2 years ago

Hi all

[firstly, sorry for the length of the post]

I've had a problem for a couple of years now and all the doctors and specialists I have seen haven't been able to cure me. So I'm now turning to the web.. which is rather odd as it has taken me a long time to ask for help from the web and I'm an IT geek (network admin). I should have checked here first.. anyway, here is my problem, I hope you can help.

Up until about 2 years ago I could literally eat anything and almost never had any stomach troubles. Now, I have nothing but. When I was in London for work, I got very sick. It came on very suddenly and forced me back to my hotel. I got a really bad stomach ache, had diarrhoea and felt quite nauseas. I spent a few hours on the toilet then fell asleep and seemed ok in the morning. I had diarrhoea on and off for the next few weeks. The doctor I saw after I got back to Australia thought I might have picked up Giardia so gave me a very strong drug to whack it (can't remember the name but it came as 4 tablets I took all at the same time and I couldn't drink alcohol for 5 days). That seemed to work for a time but the symptoms (see below) soon started again. About 6 months later a different doctor prescribed a different drug again on the suspicion that Giardia was to blame. Same result.

Since then, I have seen a range of general practioneers and specialists without any luck.

Medical tests
- Numerous blood tests have shown normal levels of everything you could possibly measure in my blood. I think I've had over 15 blood tests now.. quite extraordinary. The _only_ thing that was found was the "marker" for Glandular Fever (I believe it's called "Infectious mononucleosis" or mono in the US) - the doctor can't say if I have it now, only that the marker is in my blood which means I have had it at one time or another.
- Stool tests (while suffering a "loose" movement period) revealed no parasites or virus.
- Endoscopy - revealed nothing sinister. Tested for Celiac's disease, lactose intollerance and stomach cancer - all negative. Did not some of the cells around where the stomach meets the oesophegas were inflamed. Tested these cells which were benign.
- Colonoscopy (aren't these fun! ) - I'm not sure what he tested for but they didn't find anything out of the ordinary.

The symptoms tend to come and go every few weeks. Most annoying as I can't predict when I'll have the symptoms and when I won't. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason.

- Excessive belching (belching further increases if I exercise - eg running, roller blading)
- Feeling of mild heart burn that is there 90% of the time (like now)
- Feeling in my stomach that is hard to describe, it's like my stomach never stops digesting. Even hours after I eat, it feels like I still have food being digested in my stomach.
- Bowel motions varying from constipation one day to very loose (not diarrhoea, just loose, greasy (ie sticks to the bowl easily) and somewhat yellowy) the next. When loose, I don't need to run to the toilet but when I do go, it's loose and the smell is akin to diarrhoea.
- Swings in body temperature (feeling cold one minute then a fever the next)
- An "unwell" feeling in my entire belly - not nausea, more gassy and bloaty and generaly "not right"
- Increased need to urinate
- Slightly runny nose (clear)
- General weak feeling
- Lowered sex drive
- Recently I have also noticed an issue with my heart that I believe is an arrithmia. A few times a day it feels like my heart skips or double beats. I read this could be associated with increased stomach acid or the heart burn feeling.
- Loss of appetite
- Slightly swollen glands around the neck and ears

One thing I should note is that these symptoms are not debilitating. More annoying and "weakening" than anything. Only once every 4 months or so do I get floored and then I usually just sleep for a day and I'm ok to go again.

I thought it might be something in my environment but I moved house last Christmas and I still have the problem. No one else at work has any problems like these.

I've kept a food diary and can see nothing common. Even if I keep to very bland meals for a week the symptoms can swing in out of nowhere.

Also, as I said at the outset, I used to be able to eat anything.. however, I do realize that allergies can develop over time.

I have wondered if it might all be a mental problem.. if so, how do I determine that and then how would I deal with it?

As you can see, I've tried just about everything traditional modern medicine would suggest with no luck. So, any help would be gratefully received. I love my food and exercise.. but most of all I like to feel well!

Thanks in advance!


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Old 07-12-2006, 09:32 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Charleston
Posts: 5,526
Harry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB User
Re: Terrible digestive troubles since bad sickness 2 years ago


Very interesting story. I am glad you made it so complete!

It sounds like your digestive tract that contains over 400 different bactria is out of balance. This results in some problems and medical tests cannot determine the bad bacterias that are giving you problems. It is constant warfare going on there and right now -- the bad ones are in control-- you may even have a yeast infection.

I think you need to use a shotgun approach and try several things at once to re-balance your friendly flora. Some bacteria aid digestion and some are resident in the small intestines and different ones in the colon.
Also, limit your sugar and simple carb intake since yeast/candida thrive on it.

Find a good brand of yogurt that contains alot of different cultures and eat some 3 or 4 times daily.
Drink about 4 oz of Kefir several times daily--it's loaded with alot of friendly bacteria.
Also, find a good probiotic supplement or several and take them twice daily on an empty stomach.

I will try to find out what brands are available in Australia. A good health food store should be able to help.

I wish you well~~~Harry

Last edited by Harry; 07-12-2006 at 12:16 PM.

Old 07-12-2006, 12:13 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Charleston
Posts: 5,526
Harry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB UserHarry HB User
Re: Terrible digestive troubles since bad sickness 2 years ago


The probiotic that is sold in Australia that I am very familar with is lactobacillus reuteri.

It is one of the best I have ever used-- and it is sold by the name of Forbiotic distributed by Blackmores in Australia.

Here in the US the same product is distributed by Nature's Sunshine.

The other probiotics can be bought at a health food store and I am not familiar with your brands.

Last edited by Harry; 07-12-2006 at 04:52 PM.

Old 07-12-2006, 04:42 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
rdrr_oz HB User
Re: Terrible digestive troubles since bad sickness 2 years ago

Hi Harry

Thanks for that info. I will take a look at the healthfood store and see what I can see.

Hopefully I can get myself back in sync. I'll surely have more questions but thanks for now.


Old 07-05-2007, 03:38 PM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 2
avsgirl21 HB User
Re: Terrible digestive troubles since bad sickness 2 years ago

Hi Andrew,

Your symptoms sound very similar to mine. My symptoms started about 1 - 1 1/2 years ago and have been getting more frequent over time. When they first started, I would get the symptoms about once a month. Now, I get them almost every other week and they last for about 3-7 days each time. Sometimes the symptoms are mild, other times they are pretty severe. The strange thing is that my best friend and I get the symptoms at the same time. There are several different symptoms and I don't get all of them every single time I have whatever this stuff is. Here are my symptoms:

extreme tiredness (I feel drugged sometimes)
loose bowels
muscle aches (a general achey feeling in my joints)
severe heartburn that does not go away with Zantac, Nexium, etc.
gas (sulfur-smelling)
nausea (everything I eat makes me feel generally bad--I can't find a pattern with specific foods either)

I have been tested for H. Pylori, allergies, Cyliac Disease, and have been scoped and they have found nothing wrong. I am getting really frustrated with feeling so bad all of the time. I did get food poisoning a little over a year ago and the ER diagnosed me with Giardia.

Recently I began taking multiple digestive enzymes and acidophilis, which seemed to help at first, but now the symptoms are back. I wish I could find out what this is.

Old 07-06-2007, 10:21 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
rdrr_oz HB User
Re: Terrible digestive troubles since bad sickness 2 years ago

Hi avsgirl21

I'm sorry to hear you (and your friend) are having this issue. It's far from fun. I'm actually, finally!!, going pretty well now. How did I get here:

I went on a very strict, very boring diet. I basically ate rice and chicken with lemon or fish (I learned to love canned tuna! ), rye bread, bananas and generally all those foods your mum would give you after you'd been sick. I did that for 3-4 weeks then started adding the "safe" foods back in: non-acidic fruits and vegetables (brocolli, spinach, zuccini, avocado, pairs, apples, potato, pumkin (no skin) etc), lean beef, lean lamb. Then I started experimenting with the more risky foods (if you do a search for food alergies, you should get a list of foods to stay away from). Basically, I found that I was good if I didn't eat _anything_ (not even a tiny bit) of the following:

curry (some of the spices set me off)

I also found that the combination of natural yoghurt (I eat Jalna with the dark green lid - think it's an Aussie one) + InnerHealthPlus + Forbiotic helped a lot.

I still avoid those foods and each the yoghurt and supplements pretty regularly and on the whole I'm pretty good. Dropping tomatoes has been the worse as I love Italian and Mexican food.. try finding dishes that don't contain tomatoes!

Anyway, that's my story. I hope it helps you and anyone else reading this.

Let me know if you have any questions.


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