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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11407
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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My husband started with eggy burps, eggy flatulence,

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My husband started with eggy burps, eggy flatulence, bloating, upset stomach and diarrhea about a year ago. He had a couple of attacks every few months. In the last two weeks he has had two more attacks he has currently been ill for the last three days. It is quite random. He is having a colonoscopy this week but is me worried about him. He has no nausea or blood in his stools. His health returns to normal and then he has another attach a week or sometimes a few weeks later. They seem to be getting more frequent. His appetite hasn't been affected which is good as once he has been to the toilet he is ok for a few hours and then he may have to go again. Very strange. He is under a lot of pressure at work and we are moving countries soon so there is a lot going on. soda and chocolate do seem to make it worse. The GI thinks it may be a parasite so he is taking zentel. He has had an attack though while on that. How long does it take to work. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks, IM
RickMD :

I am online and happy to help you with your question today.

RickMD :

Zentel takes three cycles of treatment to work completely. First you take the drug for 28 days, then take no drug for 28 days, then do another 28 days of treatment.

Customer: Hi,
RickMD :

This is assuming that he is not in an area where he is constantly being reinfected....

RickMD :

Hello. Welcome to chat.

Customer: thanks. Does it sound like a parasite or ibs?
RickMD :

It sounds like you are on the right track.

Customer: Why does it seem toe recurring more and more?
RickMD :

Here in the USA I would not think of a parasite first but, perhaps, in your area of Bermuda it is more common. The problem is that your husbands symptoms are very nonspecific...they could be from many causes....from a parasite, IBS, chron's disease, vascualar problems, inflammation etc.

RickMD :

If it is from an active problem like inflammation, IBS, chron's etc it can vary in how often it comes and goes and it very well might, as it seems to be doing now, get worse over a period of time.

RickMD :

The good news? The colonoscopy with biopsy will go a long way toward ruling in or ruling out the root cause of what is upsetting your husbands digestive system so much.

RickMD :

It is a good sign that he has not had any blood in his stool up to this point.

Customer: What do you mean vascular problems ? Would stress make it worse?
Customer: he has had no weight loss yet either. I have told him to drink more water and cut out soda and chocolate. Is there anything that might help?
RickMD :

I mean problems with the blood flow to the intestines. This can happen in a number of disease processes.

RickMD :

Stress can make a number of GI problems worse, especially IBS.

RickMD :

From what you have posted I would but IBS near the top of my list of possible diagnosis'

RickMD :

That being said, he is already scheduled for an excellent test that will shed a lot of light on what is going on. I totally agree with having a colonoscopy done.

RickMD :

One thing that might help is to increase his intake of dietary fiber. There are commercial preperations, such as metamucil, that make doing this very easy.

Customer: the eggy burps he gets and the smelly flatulence seems to match up with giardiasis and IBS. His health returns to normal between attacks. If it was a serious thing like chrons are anything else would that happen or would the symptoms still resolve and recur as they are doing now?
RickMD :

Is there a possibility that he could have been exposed to water with giardia? If so, it might be worth doing an emperical treatment round of flagyl. In Bermuda the drug Tinidazole might be available, which is a bit more effective against giardia.

RickMD :

From what you have posted IBS is a likely cause but it is a good idea to have the testing done (colonoscopy etc) to make sure something more serious is not going on.

RickMD :

It sounds like your husband is in very good hands and is getting appropriate care at this point.

Customer: ok long story but the only thing I can think of where he could have got giardia is about a year ago but I am not sure if his first attack was after this or not. In bermuda we have water tanks filled with rain water that is purified. Our tank has two sides, one side was empty so you swap the valve. The water pump was in a bad way, the pipe had bent for some reason so he sucked on the pipe to get the water to flow through it and he swallowed a bit which he was a bit concerned about but we thought nothing of it.
RickMD :

Doesn't sound like a very risky event for contracting giardia.....

Customer: Also he does have normal stools between episodes. He has had several viruses, aching bones, colds etc in the past 2 years since we lived in bermuda so I don't know if that is related to him having intestinal problems. I am not an expert but I think it may be ibs because how quickly it comes and goes and he is pretty stressed and doesn't have a terrific diet. It will be interesting to see if it gets better with this parasite treatment and change in diet. We will up his fibre too.
RickMD :

That sounds like an excellent idea. I think that with the changes you are planing to make in his diet, working closely with a GI doctor and the upcoming colonoscopy, you should have an answer to what is bothering his stomach very soon.

RickMD :

Is there anything else you would like to discuss at this point or have all your questions been answered to your satisfaction?

Customer: No that's it thanks. Goof
Customer: ssorry meant to good night
RickMD :

My pleasure. I wish your husband the very best. Take care.

RickMD :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Dr. Rick, MD and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Isobel,
I was just thinking about your husband and wondering if he has had his colonscopy. If so, did the doctor find anything during the procedure?
I hope your husband is feeling better. Take care and let me know if there is anything I can do in the future.
Dr. Rick MD