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TheGermDoctor
TheGermDoctor, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  17 years as a physician, Board Certified in both Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine.
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Chronic unresolved digestive issues. ANY ideas

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Chronic unresolved digestive issues. ANY ideas appreciated!!!
In late December 2010 I somehow caught a parasite (cryptosproridum parvum). I had nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, gas, general indigestion and excessive hunger. I was treated with 2 rounds of Alinia and retested after that. The parasite was gone but I still have lingering symptoms. I still had pretty much every symptom except the diarrhea. Some of the symptoms started to decrease a little after a month (specifically the hearburn, bloating). However, the rest of the symptoms remained up to present day. As of today I have a lot less heartburn, and less excessive hunger but I'm still nauseous with an upset stomach every single day.
I have had an upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, HIDA scan, abdominal ultrasound, pelvic exams, celiac disease blood test, probably more I'm spacing on at the moment. All my test turned up negative for anything relevant. There were slight erosions found in my terminal ileum which 2 GI doctors said seemed inconsequential and unlikely to have been causing my symptoms.
I'm at my wits end. I'm miserable every single day and I'm giving up. I don't know what else to do or what else to try.
Side note: I'm lactose intolerant so its not that.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  TheGermDoctor replied 6 years ago.

.

Hello-

It sounds quite clear that you have post-infectious irritable bowel.

You have had an extensive work up for ongoing infection and other causes and they seem to be negative. It is not uncommon to develop an "irritable bowel syndrome" after an acute infection- the symptoms as you describe, with bloating/ indigestion etc...

The couple things that you did not comment on is if you were tested for Giardia ( a different parasite) and for helicobacter pylori ( a common bacteria that can cause many similar GI symptoms.

If those two tests are negative as well, I would suggest "supportive care"- this may include increasing fiber in your diet, avoiding foods that do worsen symptoms- like lactose products, but also greasy or fatty foods, and taking antispasmodic or antacid medications as needed.

Good luck.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I was tested for both Giardia and H Pylori and both were negative. I've had several stool tests done actually checking along the way to make sure I didn't catch some new parasite. So far my diet is pretty minimal. Def no greasy foods cause I can hardly stomach anything at all. I haven't increased fiber because I was scared of that causing more gas. Antacids pretty much don't work. I've tried prilosec, prevacid, zantac, pepcid ac, tums, maalox, pepto bismol is the only thing that even kind of works and apparently I can't take that anymore now that I'm pregnant. I'm not sure what antispsmodic meds are?
Expert:  TheGermDoctor replied 6 years ago.

Anti-spasmotics are medications that work on bowel spasm- like Bentyl.

I would not, however, advise you take that in pregnancy.

I would try to increase fiber and see if that improves symptoms.

After pregnancy, there are several treatments for irritable bowel that you may want to ask your doctor to try, including rifaximin, tricyclic antidepressants, Amitiza, or antispasmodics like I mentioned before ( Bentyl, Levsin). I would not use any of those in pregnancy however.

I do think you can be pretty confident you do not have "an organic" cause and this is an irritable bowel.

Good luck.

Always ask if you need clarification/more information.

If I have answered your question, please click the ACCEPT button so I can get credit for my work.

POSITIVE feedback & a BONUS are warmly appreciated.
Please note that answers are for information only, do not take the place of an IN PERSON assessment by your doctor,
and does not establish a patient-physician relationship.

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