Trouble with D - Crohn's history

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CollegeGirl
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/25/2006 3:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone. I am making an appointment with the GI again, and just wanted some advice.

I'm 22 female, and have been experiencing diarrhea multiple times a day for the past few years. My sister has Crohn's disease (since a very young age with many misdiagnoses and severe problems), so when my stomach problems started, I immediately had a colonoscopy. It came back normal, except for some interior hemorrhoids (which I found weird because I don't ever have hard stools). My grandmother has IBS (severe), and my Dad has Diverticulitis (but is not bothered by it).

After the colonoscopy my doctor said I didn't have Crohn's, which was a huge relief. He said he thought the reason for my problems was IBS. He said to watch what I ate, and avoid those foods that bothered me.

In June of this year I started experiencing very sharp pains in my lower left abdomen. I went to my doctor and he pushed around on my stomach, and said I had diverticulitis. He gave me an antibiotic (2 weeks). Well the pain sort of subsided, but the diarrhea continued as normal.

I have tried cutting out different foods to see if anything helps, but I can't really figure out what bothers me. Its hard to cut out every fruit and vegetable, as well as all dairy products, and anything oily, as they have all caused severe episodes. I have been drinking Metamucil before I go to sleep since June, but I haven’t really seen a change.

One weird thing about my problems it that they seem to happen mostly at night, but I am very gassy all day. It seems like when I let myself relax, like when I start watching a movie or TV, I have to go to the bathroom very frequently, probably about 3-7 times an evening. Tonight I went 5 times.

Fruits and vegetables seem to be the worst for me, and they are almost never digested at all. When this happens the bowel movement is water and food.

Otherwise the diarrhea has a lot of mucus. One other note is that sometimes during one bowel movement it will change colors from light to dark.

I think I should be tested for some other things, and now I am a little annoyed that my doctor just put me on antibiotics without doing any sort of test beforehand. I guess I should have known better. Any sort of list of ideas as to the tests I should ask for would be much appreciated. God bless you all.
 
CollegeGirl - All I did was add a subject to your thread. -- Lil  tongue

Post Edited By Moderator (7Lil) : 8/25/2006 1:44:18 PM (GMT-6)


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/25/2006 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Have you seen a gyno and been throughly checked out? A lot of female problems can cause lower abdomen pain and mess up your stools.

The new big thing, though, in IBS detection and treatment is the breathalyzer. You breathe into it and it analyzes the gasses that you expel to see if, by the presence of gas that humans don't create by themselves, you have a bacterial overgrowth. They then give you specific antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria. Some initial studies are showing that a large number of people with IBS have a problem with bacteria. Unforunately they can be hard to get rid of and antibiotics kill off all the good bacteria in your guts too, which can leave you no better off and, sometimes, worse than before.

Whenever you take antibiotics, the big thing to do to combat their destructiveness is to take probiotics. You can find these in the bowel-products section of a drug store: the two big ones are Culturelle and Digestive Advantage. You can also do acidophillus, but the other two products are probably better to use with antibiotics; you can use the acidophillus pills for regular maintenence. You can also get acidophillus in milk if you drink that a lot and/or you can eat yogurt for maintenence. One of the best yogurts is supposed to be Stoneyfield. And Dannon has a new yogurt out, Actavia, which is supposed to have high numbers of good bacteria in it.

Given that you just had some antibiotics, why not try one of those probiotic products for a month and see if that helps you any? Some people on here have gotten a good deal better by adding them in regularly and watching their diet.

Apples and apple juice is the one fruit you really need to avoid. That pretty much does all of us in. Having undigested pieces of insoluable fiber in your stool is pretty par for the course too if you have diarrhea. I don't know what Metamucil is comprised of, but make sure that it's more insoluable fiber than soluable fiber. I have read that a lot of soluable fiber can just make people with D worse since it's what makes stools softer and easier to pass. Insoluable is what gives stools bulk.

A lot of people have interior hemmroids and never know it. I wouldn't be surprised if most people did. They found them when they did my colonoscopy too. I didn't know I had them and they've never been an issue in the 9 years since.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 8/25/2006 10:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Were you checked for celiacs? Also, don't necessarily rule out the crohns thing for sure...when I first got sick with crohns it started out on my anus with perianal crohns skin tags which were mistook for hemmies, I had these banded (tied off) as they were quite severe and so painful I can't put it into words, they turned out to be these perianal crohns skin tags and the crohns spread right up into and affecting my rectom, colon and part of my small bowel...that was after I had the hemmie sugery, within a month the CD spread and I was then DX right away with crohns. Sometimes even a trained eye doesn't recognize the difference between hemmie and crohns skin tags, unfortunately for me it wasn't recognized because having them banded just made things worse for me.

:)

CollegeGirl
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/25/2006 1:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank-you for yor quick replys!

I am definately going to ask for the breath test, also probably a stool culture. I've read that people on antibiotics can get C. Difficile, which mimics IBS. I also haven't been checked for lactose intolerence. I guess thats why I decided to post, because I feel like I have been told I have something, without really ruling out all of the other possibilities. What kind of Gyno problems? I had a checkup with my Gyno in January, with the Pap and everything, and everything was good.

I haven't been checked for Celiacs either, do they need to do an endoscopy for that? I will definatley keep in mind what you said about the hemis/and crohn's tags. I know Crohn's can be difficult to diagnose, as my sister was diagnosed and undiagnosed and rediagnosed since she was 16. Then finally they had to remove part of her intestine, and finally said YES its Crohn's. But I have a feeling my problems are not Crohn's.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/25/2006 2:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Ovarian cysts can cause pain and bowel problems, as can fybroid tumors and endometreosis and ovarian cancer (very rare in someone your age). I think they can diagnois some of that by feel at the examine and by symptoms. A hormone check can also point to a problem.

Are you on birth control? Lil--and I think some others--found that her birth control made her IBS symptoms worse. That might be something you want to explore, especially if you notice you get worse around your period.

I don't know if you can be checked for lactose intolerence. If you suspect it, just cut out all dairy and see if you feel better. If you can't tell if you feel better or not, try drinking some skim milk. If that upsets you, then it's probably lactose or dairy intolerence. If you're no worse off, then milk's probably not your problem (although fat in milk may be).

They can do a blood test for Celiac's disease, but the endoscopy biopsy is supposed to be more accurate. But again, you can try and see for yourself if going off gluten makes you better or does nothing. Sometimes people who don't have Celiac's still can't tolerate gluten; it's just a matter of their guts not wanting to deal with it. So whatever makes you better, do it, regardless of tests.

Oh, and try Caltrate 600 w/vitamin D. It's a calcium supplement (Walgreens sales a generic version for a lot less). That kind of calcium can help dry up diarrhea. And being a woman, it never hurts to have some extra. Try taking two a day and see if that helps any. You can mess up your kidneys if you take too much, so don't take more than the two a day. If it works a little too well, cut back to one a day. I take one every morning because that's when my diarrhea is worst. If that is true for you too, try one right before bed and another in the morning. If you are prone to acid reflux, you may want to take it along with breakfast, but I take my one on an empty stomach and several hours before breakfast and it never bothers me.

I'm sure you don't terribly appreciate coming from a family with such bad gut genes, but you do have one thing to be thankful for: a lot of people on here are very much alone in their gut problems. Some have family members (even spouses) who think they are hypochondriacs, who think nothing's wrong with them, who get mad when they can't do something because of their guts. So at least you have people who can understand and share your misery with you. Just make sure to have Christmas in a house with more than one bathroom!

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 8/25/2006 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
You can be checked for lactose intolerance, one way is a breath test the other is a blood test...with the blood test you drink a small amount of lactose they give you at the lab then they draw blood from you 3 times in total every 1/2 hr...this is how I was tested and confirmed that I had lactose intolerance...I was tested for celiac via blood work.
 
With your sister having CD and it being hereditary, don't rule it out completely, even if that's not the problem you're having at the moment, always keep the idea of the possiblity of you also getting it, better to play it safe right :)

:)

CollegeGirl
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/26/2006 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hehe, I am so grateful that I have an understanding family. I can't imagine having family who thought I was overreacting, that would be so painful. Its also great knowing that I have this outlet as well, knowing how many people are affected by this, and how you cope with it, its not only a great resource, but very comforting, it kind of makes me not so depressed about it.

Thank-you for all of your advice, I have made a big list that I am going to talk with my GI about. I also added the hydrogen test to the list, which I saw on another thread.

Hope you are all feeling a little better than yesterday.

kim123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 8/27/2006 6:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I see the JAMA has found that IBS can be caused from a bacterial overgrowth in the gut. If you have a bacterial overgrowth, I would suggest an antifungal diet. The antibiotics you have been on may be possibly contributing to your problem. These antibiotics are one cause of bringing a fungus into your body and the foods we eat (the great American diet), will feed the fungus causing us to have the symptoms of IBS, or whatever. I had UC for 13 years, read about research on this "fungus" thing, followed an antifungal diet, and now don't have symptoms or need to take drugs-the symptoms disappeared so I didn't need them anymore! Just a thought. I would also consider all the great advise you've been getting from others on this forum too. Lots of good ideas, but I wouldn't discount the fungus thing. By the way, you can't actually "see" the fungus in any test the doctor runs, so it may just be something you try to see if our symptoms get better. Good luck!
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