Possible post-infectious IBS?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/5/2008 10:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm currently traveling through South America. In September I got hit with two concurrent infections: giardia and then salmonella. They were treated with Nitazoxanide and Cipro respectively and I felt fine after then.
But after a week, a couple symptoms have stayed: massive amounts of gas, rumbling stomach noise, and sometimes small and loose but regular stools. No diarrhea. The stomach noise and gas seem to go hand in hand. I found that red meat, caffeine, carbonated beverages, tomatoes, and thick dairy seems to make it worse. I go a couple days with almost zero symptoms, then a week with symptoms. I haven't lost any weight and my appetite is normal.
One doctor gave me another round of cipro and that did nothing. Back on nitazoxanide and that did nothing as well. I'm still in south america so it's difficult to find a competent english-speaking doctor.
Ive been downing active yogurt daily and trying to eat simple foods. Comments/suggestions? The gas is the most annoying symptom. My stomach can be completely empty but large amounts of gas are coming from nowhere. Most of the time it doesn't smell.

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Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7056
   Posted 1/5/2008 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to Healing Well, cableboy! Sorry about your recent gut infections. Your symptoms don't sound a lot like IBS but anything is possible. Excessive gas and rumbling is often a result of the types of food that one eats. There is good information about what foods can lead to excessive gas at MedicineNet. Scroll down to the section on What Causes Flatulance?

Another cause of excessive gas in bacterial overgrowth. From MedicineNet: "...bacterial overgrowth can occur in the small intestine. Under normal conditions, the bacteria that produce gas are limited to the colon. In some medical conditions, these bacteria spread into the small intestine. When this bacterial spread occurs, food reaches the bacteria before it can be fully digested and absorbed by the small intestine. Therefore, the bacteria in the small intestine have a lot of undigested food from which to form gas. This condition in which the gas-producing bacteria move into the small intestine is called bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine (bowel)."

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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 1/6/2008 12:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum, Cableboy...hopefully we can give you some helpful hints.

I too traveled in South America and contracted several parasitic infections, including giardia. Sounds like you were on a strong anti-protozoal drug (Nitazoxanide) and antibiotic (Ciprofloxacin). Two courses of each drug should have eliminated the infections, although it's possible that you still have them. You might need to go to a larger hospital to see someone who speaks English and also is familiar with treating parasitic infections. What country are you in right now?

Post-infectious IBS actually can frequently present with the symptoms you describe. Sometimes the medicine itself can cause side effects of altered bowel movements, etc. Usually this will clear up but some people will continue to have problems for a while. The link Ides posted will help you in figuring out if this may be resulting from something you're eating. You might want to also stay away from dairy products if you can. Be careful with everything you're eating and keep drinking bottled water. Also, if you can get your hands on a probiotic formula (something with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria in it - comes in various pill forms) that might give you some relief.

Let us know how you're doing...
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/8/2008 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the comments. It sounds like it could be bacterial overgrowth, especially since I feel the rumbling underneath my stomach, but bottom line is I need to see a doctor who will do tests instead of just prescribing my medicine.

I'm in Paraguay right now but will be going to Brazil soon where I hope to find a good doctor. The symptoms aren't affecting the quality of my life as much as some of the serious cases I read here, but I know what is going on isn't normal so it's freaking me out a little. Until then I will avoid foods that make it worse.

I will keep you updated if this gets resolved. Thanks again.
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