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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18680
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I am 32 year old male with no medical history. I recently

Customer Question

I am 32 year old male with no medical history. I recently had 3 days of very bad nonstop diarrhoea from Friday - Sunday with some breaks inbetween some aches and pains but no vomiting. I thought it was some takeaway pizza which I had but my wife had the same food and was not sick so this makes me think it was a stomach bug. It has stopped, today is the 5th day since it first started I feel much better but my stomach keeps making bubbling noises and feelings and I have some gas. I have also had some smelly flatulence as well. I went to the toilet today and it was quite soft and light coloured is this normal after a stomach bug? Can it take some time for stools to become formed again, what about the gases?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnwer.

Yes, it is common for there to be soft stool and increased gas after any diarrheal infection of the GI tract. The gas can then cause the noise and flatulence that you describe. It is typically due to an alteration in the good germs in the gut. When there is severe diarrhea from any cause, it can flush the good germs out of the gut.

It is also possible for an acute infection of the GI tract to cause altered muscular activity of the gut, also called irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, which can cause the soft stool and gas. IBS is more often a primary condition, but it can also occur as a post-infectious condition. While primary IBS tends to be a chronic and recurrent condition, IBS that occurs after an infection will typically resolve spontaneously over several months or a year or so.

When these symptoms occur, the usual first step in management would be interventions to replenish the good germs in the gut, such as with yogurt that contains active culture or a probiotic supplement. This will usually replenish the good germs and ease symptoms over several days to about a week.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for providing some confirmation on this. How can I tell if it was Infact food poising or a stomach bug? Also is possible to have permanent sensitivity in the stomach after this type of stomach flu by this I mean for diaorrhea to keep going and coming back and going and coming back, or for there to be a parasite? Also can you have stomach flu without vomiting and just very bad diarrhoea? What is causing the smelly flatuenlce after the diarrhoea has stopped?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

After the fact, there is no way to determine whether it was food poisoning if only one person was affected. Statistically, a generic infection is much more common, but the tests for food poisoning would need to be done during the acute symptoms.

The post-infectious changes would not be a permanent problem.

Yes, a viral gastroenteritis can cause diarrhea without nausea and vomiting.

The smelly flatulence would be for the reasons noted above.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you once again for responding. What would your advice be at this point, besides taking some probiotics and drinking fluids. How long would it typically take for the stomach to return to normal in terms of the consistency of the stools also? Is it a case of giving the body time? What about parasites how do you know if something like that is caused by a parasite or is viral gastroenteritis more common?!
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

The advice would be the management that I noted above, and the time frame for improvement that I noted above is for each of your symptoms.

A viral gastroenteritis is far more common than a parasite, and as long as the symptoms improve in the timeline that I noted above, there is no reason to be concerned about less common causes of symptoms. However, if the symptoms persist, then there are stool tests that can be done for parasites.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also what I notice is that whenever I eat something my stomach bubbles and it's almost as if I have an urge to go to the toilet but don't nessevarily end up going is this sensation because of the imbalance in good germs in the gut? From what I have described During our conversation does this sound more like a virus of the stomach to you or something else?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Yes, this sensation can also occur from either the loss of the good germs or the post-infectious IBS.

It certainly sounds most likely to be a viral infection of the GI tract with altered good germs of the gut causing persistent symptoms after the infection has resolved.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is post infectious IBS a serious condition or can it become permanent as the result of a GI infection?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

No. Like primary IBS, it is more of an irritating condition than a serious condition. It typically does not become permanent.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay thank you. I have one more follow up. I still continue to have very very small cramps in my stomach they are not as bad as the first few days and have reduced a lot the last few days but are still there and I feel them more after I eat is this normal after viral GI? And what does it indicate that the infection is not gone or that the stomach is still getting back to normal? As I say they are no where near as bad as the first few days.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Yes,either of the above conditions can also cause small cramps after a viral gastroenteritis.

The GI tract not yet being back to normal indicates that one of the other conditions noted above are present.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You mean either imbalance in the gut bacteria due to the GI viral or some IBS?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Correct, although the alteration in good germs would be the most likely.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can the good germs restore themselves on their own? Or do you have to take probiotic supplement or will it correct itself over time? Also this doesn't sound like some parasite does it are the presentation symptoms of a parasite different?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Absolutely, but it may takr much longer for the good germs to re-populate

No. It sounds like what I said above. Since you have not taken any medicine for a parasite, there is no reason why a parasitic infection would get partly better.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay thank you again for confirming. But with parasites would symptoms be continuous until you take some sort of medication? Or can they be intermittent and go and come back?
Also what would you say are the best natural probiotics would you say natural yoghurt? Or something else. Also I don't know if I mentioned this but light coloured stools is this also common after a bad GI?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

The pattern of symptoms that you describe is not typical for a parasitic infection. Your immune system can get rid of many different infections, so it may improve without medicines, but when that happens, it would get better, not just partly better.

There are many good probiotics. Yogurt would certainly be the most natural, but many of the probiotic supplements are excellent. However, the most readily available probiotic that you can rely on being a good product is called Align.

Yes, you mentioned the light colored stool and it was considered in the above answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay thank you doctor for your help and support and patience. Just another thing I wanted to ask how would i know if it's post infectious IBD? That could last for some time?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

It would be called IBS, not IBD. IBD stands for inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease.

There is no test for IBS, so the diagnosis would be made in someone with persistent symptoms and an evaluation that excludes any other possible causes of the symptoms. But that is also why resolution of symptoms with restoring the good germs is evidence that it is not IBS, because the symptoms would not be persistent.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay thank you. I will buy and start taking some probiotics. Do you think what I have described above could result in IBS? From what I have mentioned?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you able to advise on the last point?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry for the delay but I had stepped away from the computer.

However, I already commented above upon the fact that the symptoms could be due to IBS.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Apologies I have been away from my computer I did have one last question before closing and assigning a rating. My stomach is much better now, the only thing I notice is that the muscles in the stomach still feel a bit sore and occasionally contract or hurt when I press them, is this normal after a bad bout of stomach flu and diaorrhea is it because they have been over worked, will this resolve over time?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Yes, this is common after a GI tract infection and will resolve with time, usually a few days to a week or so.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello apologies I had one last question I thought I had already closed the chat. It's been more or less a week since I had the stomach virus, my stool is now back to normal. But I still have sensitivity in my stomach as in I get occasional very slight spasms, is this normal will it take some time for this to resolve? As I said my digestion and my stools are now back to normal.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Yes, this is common and will typically resolve with time.

Please remember to provide a positive rating so that I am credited for assisting you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you know what causes these residual spasms that occur after a stomach virus?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

It is similar to the soreness and tightness of any muscle if you overuse that muscle. The muscles of the gut and the abdominal wall get overused when there is severe diarrhea.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay so the muscles need to recover before these spasms can reduce and stop? So this is common with stomach viruses?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Yes, as I said above.