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GI answer. I have been having diarrea for two months. At…

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I have been having...

I have been having diarrea for two months. At first I thought I picked up a bacterial infection. It started in Wildwood, NJ after I was in a public pool. Had an urgency to rush to the bathroom. I thought this was odd as I had not eaten anything to upset my stomach and not eaten since the night before. This was late afternoon. After a week later, started having bout of diarrea. It got increasing worse over the weeks, 4 accidents at work... now wearing diapers. I went to my GI, he ran blood test, bacterail tests, stool test, all negative. I had low grade fevers for three week. He finally put me on cipro and flagyl (500 mg. each 2 to 3 times a day - 5 tablets each day for a week. Condition got better and not such an urgency to go to the bathroom. I finished the antibiotics a week ago and having diarrea again. Now my top of my feet are swollen along with ankles. Feel intense fatigue and fall asleep on a dime. I am due for a colonoscopy next step on Friday. Can not reach doctor about swelling. I hope I don't have heart issues due to low potassium or dehydration. Can you advise me what to do next? Doctor is not in until Thursday and Colonoscopy is due on Friday.

Doctor's Assistant: Is this a time sensitive issue? What type of specimen are they testing?

Tested stool, blood, antibodies, white blood cells...all negative

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?

I don't have history of heart disease but suffer from anxiety. Do feel sense of malaise and extreme exhaustion. Having intermetient chest pain from time to time, but that can be due to my being nervous about this condition. I take thyroid medication for low thyroid.

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 19 minutes by:
10/2/2017
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago
Dr. Mo
Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2,048
Experience: Board Certified MD
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Hi, Dr. Mo here with JA. Please let me review the information and I'll reply shortly.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
o.k. feeling dizzy now.
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

What you are describing is not a heart issue, that would present differently. Instead it´s an imbalance of your salt-water pathways. With prolonged diarrhea you´ll lose potassium and with potassium loss there is Sodium loss. Then you drink more water which gets abosrbed and you get swelling.

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Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

What are you drinking and eating these days?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I have been drinking powerrade zero gatarade drink and mixing it water. I started eating a regular diet after the antibiotics but I see it is only enducing the problem more. I was eating rice, salmon, chicken, turkey, trying to stay away from diary, cheese, chocolate, etc.
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Could my potassium levels be low? the electrolye drink has sodium
Maybe that is why I am bloated.
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Can IBS set off top heavy swollen feet and ankles
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

Your potassium levels are most likely quite low along with your sodium based on what you´re describing.

I would start pedialyte even though it tastes terrible. I would switch to more fruits/vegetables and less rice and chicken.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I will go back to that diet today. Mainly concerned now about the swelling in my feet and ankles.
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
also exhausion. no matter how many hours I get too sleep, still very tired.
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

No IBS can´t cause any swelling in the limbs.
However you will be ruled out for IBD by your doctor through the colonscopy which can cause the many symptoms you have been having.

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Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

Based on what you have described your sodium and potassium are both likely quite low.
I recommend starting pedialyte and stopping and water or gatorade.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Will a colonscopy show if you have a bacterial bug? Will he have to conduct a biopsy?
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

Also, switch from rice and chicken to mostly fruits and vegetables.

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Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

Yes, a colonoscopy will show a bacterial infection. A biopsy would be needed if any anomaly is seen.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I was told to stay away from vegetables and juice. Eat yoguart and bananas .
Why would I have the swelling?
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

The swelling is due to a sodium and potassium imbalance.

With prolonged diarrhea you´ll lose potassium and with potassium loss there is Sodium loss. Then you drink more water which gets abosrbed and you get swelling.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Should I go to the ER or wait to see him on Friday? Do you think this is of urgency?
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

Agree that if you have diarrhe for the most part you should minimize veggies and fruits but once you start with the elctrolye imbalance you´re describing you will need to switch to those.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
o.k. so what can I do to avoid the swelling. Is this a concern? Can I wait until Friday? Should I go to the ER?
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

I would switch your diet and I think you will feel a lot better. Going to the ER would be a bit too drastic at this time. I think you can safely wait another 24 hours.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I have to wait until Friday. Should I eat more bananas and yoguart?
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Can having diarrea for two months make you exhausted?
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

I would cut back on the yogurt and bananas are a good idea.

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Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

Yes because it depletes your electrolytes as is happening with you which will make you feel weak and exhausted.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
what is pedilyte? Drinking the water with the gatarade is not good now? I still don't understand what I need to do. I just don't want my potassium levels to drop to such a low I will end up in the hospital.
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

https://pedialyte.com/

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Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

No, drinking water with gatorade will decrease your potassium and sodium.

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Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

Here is a list of the things you need to do in order to improve your sodium and potassium levels as I mentioned already above:

  • stop chicken and rice and yogurt
  • increase your fruit and vegetable consumption
  • start on pedialyte and stop any water or gatorade
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Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago

Please let me know how I can clarify the above.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I was told not to eat fruit and vegetables because of the diarrea.
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I have been eating salad which has not been bothering me from time to time and corn
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago
Please do as you see fit. I can only make my recommendations here as a physician expert.
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I was told to stay away from butter, oil, fried foods, gassy vegetables and fruits, fruit juices.
Doctor: Dr. Mo, Board Certified MD replied 10 months ago
Agree that you should stay away from fatty foods which will add to the diarrhea.
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