Bacterial Infection

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hukleberrie
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Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 4/18/2008 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
What are the symptoms of a bacterial infection? How do they test for one?
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Lynn
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Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 492
   Posted 4/18/2008 6:53 PM (GMT -7)   
In the GI tract I would think diarrheal along with cramping etc. Maybe fever. I would think they can check for one with a stool sample. If it is somewhere else I would imagine they just run blood tests to see what is going on with the white blood count. Viral infections do not generally elevate the white count if I remember correctly.
Dx'd with crohn's 1983, resections 83,85 and 89 Double Strictureplasty 2005, Dx'd COPD 2000, Psoriasis 2002 and Fibromyalgia 2005.
Currently takeing Humira, Pentasa, Lomotil, Elavil, Sinemet, Skelaxin, Advair, Abuterol, Oxycodone and Xanax as needed


hukleberrie
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Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 4/19/2008 4:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't really had D that much at all. Just frequency.... My WBC was slightly elevated, but the GI thought that was due to IBD. I have had low grade fevers once in a while... They have not tested my stool, other than for blood, but I did have two c-scopes. Wouldn't it show up on those?
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


Crohn'snme
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   Posted 4/19/2008 6:17 PM (GMT -7)   
My doctor requests stool tests. Sometimes they can give false negatives, last time I had a colonoscopy and it was actually my Crohn's that had spread like wildfire and not a Bacterial Infection. I do take Probiotics now. I'm hoping that will prevent future outbreaks.

hukleberrie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 5/3/2008 5:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, I am coming off the prednisone now. I am totally off the azulfidine. My GI is not sure, but thinks maybe I now just have bacterial infection induced IBS. Has anyone heard of this?

My questions are these:
Would a bacterial infection cause the "inflammation" that showed up on my small bowel series? (but my last colonoscopy was normal.)
Would a bacterial infection cause blood in the stool & a 50 lb. weight loss?
Would a bacterial infection be cured by prednisone? (I have NOT had the type of antibiotics used for a bacterial infection.)
How can we be sure this was a bacterial infection since I have had no tests confirming it?
Would that cause the "lump" I have been getting? (my GI just thinks I am too skinny & that's what is causing the lump.)

I would love any suggestions. I see her in 2 weeks & I just want to be sure that I do NOT have crohn's, although I still feel I do. I do HOPE it's just IBS, but I am just not sure. I am kinda surprised she thinks it could be a bacterial infection that I had.....
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


Razzle
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Date Joined Aug 2007
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   Posted 5/3/2008 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Would a bacterial infection cause the "inflammation" that showed up on my small bowel series?

It could. SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) can present as inflammation.

Would a bacterial infection cause blood in the stool & a 50 lb. weight loss?

It could. C. Diff. is a bacterial infection that presents with bloody stool. Weight loss is a common sign of a GI infection of some kind or another.

Would a bacterial infection be cured by prednisone?

No, but Prednisone could mask the symptoms because it suppresses the body's response to the infection and can make you feel a false sense of euphoria (i.e., you feel wonderful even if you are horribly ill).

How can we be sure this was a bacterial infection since I have had no tests confirming it?

There are breath tests that can tell if you have a bacterial overgrowth in the small bowel. Also, some blood tests looking for antibodies may be diagnostic. Stool studies may or may not be helpful, but usually regular MD's don't have a clue about this sort of thing ~ Genovo or Great Plains labs do this sort of testing. A Naturopathic physician may be more helpful.

Would that cause the "lump" I have been getting?

If you have had dramatic weight loss, it could be a bony protrusion or something. Infections can also cause masses or enlarged lymph nodes that feel like a big lump.

And of course IBD can do all of the above as well. SIBO can occur secondary to CD in the small bowel, especially in the setting of strictures. Sounds to me like you need to have further discussion with your doctor about all your questions. Keep asking until you understand the answers you're getting from the doctor, and if they refuse, go to another doctor. You have a right as a patient to be informed of WHY the doctor is diagnosing you what what they are diagnosing you with, and if they can't or won't explain it, that's a good indication that it's time to go elsewhere.

Good luck,
-Razzle
Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD (Lupus?), Osteoporosis, Anemia, T- & B-Cell Lymphopenia, malabsorption/malnutrition, Lyme Disease (Igenex Lab IgM WesternBlot positive/CDC negative), etc.
Meds:  Pulmicort, Injectable Vitamin B12, Herbs, Nutritional Supplements, Homeopathy.


hukleberrie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 5/3/2008 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I do have a good GI. She was really sure that I had IBD. The small bowel series seemed to confirm that. Then I had a colonscopy & it was all normal so now she says it's NOT IBD, instead I must've been a bad bacterial infection that took a while to "heal" and now it has caused IBS because of the mucus & frequent BMs. It's just confusing to me. How can I be sure that I am all fixed? I just don't understand how she thinks I am healed just because of the colonoscopy. I haven't had any tests to confirm a bacterial infection. I just don't understand how if I did have a bacterial infection, how it could have been "healed" without taking any antibiotics for it.....??????????

BTW, the lump is in my bowel area, lower right side next to my belly button, and it comes & goes. It is definitely NOT a boney protrusion. It shows up mostly when it's been a while since a BM, usually in the evening. The GI said it is probably just due to my being so skinny... has anyone else had this because they were skinny?
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 5/3/2008 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Lots of things can show up non-specifically on a small bowel series. My own SBFT showed narrowing in the duodenum with prominent mucosal folds, but this was a non-specific finding. So while it's a good test to start a work-up, it's not the most "specific" test there is. A colonoscopy and EGD is much more thorough and illuminating.

Any gastrointestinal illness that is severe enough to cause the symptoms you describe can result in enormous weight loss. As you probably remember, I too lost 50 pounds during the course of my illness...but do not have inflammatory bowel disease that we know about.

Bacterial infections can certainly clear up on their own. The body has innate mechanisms to heal itself and could clear a foreign invader without any "outside help" - antibiotics just help the process along in most cases. So it's not out of the realm of possibility that you had a bacterial infection that has since resolved, but left you with chronic symptoms.

If you are thin, you'll definitely feel a bit "lumpy" compared to your not-so-thin counterparts. Our innards are full of lumps and when you don't have a hefty layer of adipose tissue surrounding them, you'll certainly feel some of that bumpiness or even see it with your own two eyes. Your doctor surely has palpated your abdomen a gazillion times, right? When he palpates your abdomen he is looking for abnormal masses, widening of the abdominal aorta, enlargement of the organs, etc. and with enough experience these are all easy to spot.

I am a bit lumpy myself. I am learning to feel what is pathological in a person and what is normal...it's difficult for the inexperienced hands, that's for sure!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.


hukleberrie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 5/3/2008 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
This was the results of the SBFT:

Findings
The stomach has a normal contour and appearance. The mucosa in the duodenum and jejunum appears normal. Most of the ileum has a normal appearance. There is no separation of bowel loops, and no focal scarring detected in the small bowel. There is a clumping of contrast in the region of the cecum. I suspect this is within cecum. It is potentially within some small bowel loops in the right lower quadrant overlying the cecum. I suspect this is a focus of some inflammatory process. Especially given the history, an inflammatory etiology is highly likely. There is no evidence of mass.

Impression
Clumping of contrast in the right lower quadrant. Potentially, this is within the distal ileum, or perhaps, even more likely within the cecum. I suspect this is related to inflammatory bowel disease, and other etiologies are not entirely excluded either.

The lump comes and goes with my stool, and I am sure it's stool. My husband sees it & has felt it & believes that's what it is too. It is in the same spot every night. Problelm is, the GI has not been able to feel it since I wasn't having it the first time I saw her (didn't happen until about 2 weeks after the SBFT). I didn't see her next until my colonoscopy day & she couldn't feel it of course, because I was all cleaned out. It doesn't show up until evening time, usually around 10pm I start to really feel it. It feels funny, like I'm pregnant and it's an elbow or arm or foot sticking out. I just know my body & this is all new.

Sarita~ so what WAS your illness? Maybe it's like mine? I don't recall....

I just wonder if the potential is there that just because the colonoscopy was clear doesn't mean I still don't have a problem in "some small bowel loops in the right lower quadrant overlying the cecum".

Funny thing is, when this was all happening in march with my ovarian cyst, the gyno did a pelvic and felt a "mass" on the left. (This was during the time I was asking my doctors about it & my PA felt it was from my IBD.) I was scheduled for surgery. Had surgery, they didn't see anything & the cyst had since burst, so surgery for no reason. I guess I am just leary of doctors. I was told I had colitis that could be fixed. I was told I had so many things... it's just so confusing.... and frustrating....

I mean, I do HOPE it's NOT IBD, but it's just so confusing.... And the funny part is that I went to the doctors for my pain, which I still have (and now that new hip pain, which by the way the osteo said is probably related to my hip pain, but not sure. He thinks the hip pain is from my hip flexor. He's surprised that I didn't do anything for it to happen. It happened gradually & I have had it for months....)
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 5/3/2008 6:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Ah, hukleberrie, I so feel your pain. I know this is an incredibly frustrating process.

I don't have IBD (so technically probably shouldn't even be posting here, but I'm somehow tolerated here and so y'all are stuck with me, LOL), but it's unclear what I DO have. I was diagnosed with Grave's disease (autoimmune hyperthyroidism) about a year and a half ago, but that is currently under control with daily meds and should not be causing my bowel symptoms. Basically, I got a nasty parasitic infection while living in Africa in 2000, and haven't ever fully recovered. I used to have watery diarrhea up to 20-30 episodes per day, plus a massive weight loss intermittent high fevers (103-105), upper abdominal pain, etc. I was worked up the wazoo! Now I have "cycles" of really bad diarrhea and other symptoms, but overall am doing a bit better (and have also learned to cope with it). I've started taking a high-dose probiotic and my diarrhea has diminished to <10 episodes per day, which is a huge feat for me. I also haven't lost any more weight for a couple of months now. I do have the beginnings of renal insufficiency, though, and I think it's related somehow...still trying to connect that piece.

I don't know what is going on with you, and I know you'll have moments where you just want to throw your hands up and give up, but you can't - I mean, you just keep going, despite all the crap. Some people on this board have been dealing with this kind of crap for years and still don't have a good answer, just like you and I don't. In the grand scheme of things you might say that you are only in the beginning stages of the diagnostic process! There is still a lot to be figured out for you. This is a good and bad thing. Good because you haven't run into a total dead-end yet, but bad because...well, it's just bad.

Have you had a capsule endoscopy or a balloon enteroscopy? These are tests that can visualize the small intestine MUCH better than the colonoscopy can (the scope in that case only reaches your terminal ileum).
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.


hukleberrie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 5/4/2008 6:07 AM (GMT -7)   
No I haven't had those tests. No capsule endoscopy, no balloon enteroscopy, no serum blood test (the GI was talking about doing this test, but hasn't requested it yet.)

I have been doing this for about a year now & I am just about done. I have always been so healthy & just don't get why they can't figure it out. I really haven't had D much, just frequency & weight loss & blood in my stool now & again. Lots of mucus. Pain. Pain is why I went to the doctors in the first place.

The first colonoscopy showed ulcers, but the second one (6 months later after taking pred) was normal. So I guess I am all healed or something. I don't know. It's just so confusing. I don't feel healed. I don't understand anything anymore. I guess when I come off the prednisone Tuesday I will find out how I really feel. I have already started to lose weight again, is that normal when you come of prednisone, to lose weight?

I am just trying to get my life back to not have to go to the doctor. I am so tired of it. I want off all drugs & want my life back. A year ago, before this all began, I hadn't been to the doctor in 3+ years for ANYTHING! It had been 7 years since I had a check-up. I miss those days....
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.


Razzle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4200
   Posted 5/4/2008 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, it is normal to lose weight when coming off steroids ~ the steroids cause your body to retain water, and so coming down off the drug releases this stored water.

I sympathize with your dilemma, not knowing what's causing your symptoms & wanting to be normal & healthy again, and wishing the MD's could figure it all out. I strongly suspect the medications you were taking masked whatever was going on so they didn't see anything during the colonoscopy. A lot of doctors think Prednisone doesn't affect the scope results, but that's bogus, because the drug is used to treat the abnormalities found during scopes! Doesn't make any sense to me...

Anyway, about the "IBS" ~ there is some research suggesting food intolerance or bacterial infection may be causing the symptoms diagnosed as IBS. I would strongly encourage you to consult with a Naturopathic physician, as they have much, much more experience with restoring proper bowel health than regular GI doctors do in the setting of the nebulous IBS diagnosis. If you don't want to do that, I understand too. So what may help you regardless of whether you see a Naturopath or not is a probiotic supplement to restore proper balance to the gut bacteria that are supposed to be there, because when an infection is present, the normal gut bacteria get out of balance usually. VSL #3 is the most studied probiotic, but there are other good ones available in local health food stores. Be sure to get one that is kept in the refrigerator, as these tend to work better for most people. Eating yogurt is ok, but not likely to restore proper gut bacterial balance because there simply aren't enough critters in yogurt to do that.

Good luck,
-Razzle
Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD (Lupus?), Osteoporosis, Anemia, T- & B-Cell Lymphopenia, malabsorption/malnutrition, Lyme Disease (Igenex Lab IgM WesternBlot positive/CDC negative), etc.
Meds:  Pulmicort, Injectable Vitamin B12, Herbs, Nutritional Supplements, Homeopathy.

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