thank you for the advice and support. Without this board, I think I'd be totally lost and frustrated, but the great advice I get here gives me hope.
As for the IBS symptoms, they started before I started taking the antibiotics. The first "attack" that I can recall occurred in 8th grade during a very stressful time in my life. My family had just moved and I very much missed my old neighborhood where all my friends lived, etc. The new place kind of freaked me out (It was an old house). But that's not the only potential cause. Up to that point, I had always been a poor eater. By that I mean I always stuffed myself at pretty much every meal and pretty much everything I ate was cooked or processed. I treated raw fruits and vegetables like they were the enemy. Like a kid, I just ate what tasted good. Loose stools and cramps became the norm back then.
I think I got on the antibiotics the fall of my senior year in high school and the antidepressants (wellbutrin) in the winter. Since by that time my stomach was in pretty bad shape, I didn't eat breakfast b/c I didn't want to have to make a run to the bathroom during class. So I took both drugs on an empty stomach every day in the morning, which probably wasn't such a great idea.
Once I got to college, my insides had become very sensitive, I constantly had cramps that made sleeping difficult, and I would have loose stools pretty much right after every meal. If it was something like pizza (dairy and gluten), then sometimes the urge was right while I was eating. In the middle of my sophomore year, I saw a gastroenterologist, he did some tests and he said I might have celiac disease. So I went on the gluten-free diet. But over time, I noticed I was developing more food allergies. Suddenly, on top of dairy and gluten, I had trouble eating soy, peppers (green, red, black, etc.), and eggs. Then I thought that maybe it was something else.
My junior year (my current year) I did more research online and I kept hearing about enzymes and how our diets today lack enough natural enzymes. So I began taking two types, a general enzyme and one that specifically targeted gluten and soy intolerance. These helped quite a bit since I no longer had to be so careful that everything I was eating was entirely gluten free, etc. I thought I had figured it all out. How naive I was. I was still taking the antibiotics and antidepressants, one in capsule form and the other in a time-release tablet form. After awhile, my body started to develop a problem digesting these big, unbroken-down objects and it was causing more loose stools and stomach aches. So once I got off both of them, I noticed less stomach pains and more formed stools (this was also the time I was reading about and eating more raw foods, not a lot, but a significant change from the past). I think this was also around the time that the B.O. problem started, which was about 4-6 weeks ago. For the longest time I just thought that I needed to clean my clothes or cut down on the gas-causing foods I was eating. I didn't realize how bad it was until recently. I'm still not eating a full raw food diet just because a) it's expensive and b) I just can't. I need some flavor in my food. I still try to stay away from gluten and dairy though. I do soy occassionally (like in salad dressing and peanut butter), but it does give me gas.
As for the odor problem, I have been taking the Body Mint, up to 7 tablets in one day (though crushed up, again because my body doesn't take too well to big undigested things), but I think it's been giving me diarrhea. It's either that or the new probiotic I'm taking now, Jarro-Dophilus w/FOS, which contains maltodextrin, which usually has gluten in it. I have been trying to find the right probiotic to take for a couple of weeks now, but for one reason or another, I can't really find one. I tried the chewable raspberry GNC brand, although I don't really think that worked too well because the number of live bacteria that were actually making it down to my intestine wasn't great, I think. Then I tried Acidophilus Pearls, but again the pearl things gave me a stomach ache. I just started the Jarro-Dophilus yesterday. I was thinking of getting Primal Defense, but I know you said that that didn't work for you and I also read something very negative online about HSOs, something about how once they are in you they are hard to take out. So basically, I'm looking for a proven probiotic, in powder form that has no dairy, gluten or soy, and no long-term negative health effects.
I've started taking enzymes on an empty stomach now (until the clay arrives) because I read somewhere that it helps clean the walls of the intestine or something like that so it can absorb more. As for the odor though, I'm still looking for that quality probiotic, also that isn't too expensive.
One final thing, what I don't understand, and maybe you can explain this, is how exactly the antibiotics when stopped, cause such a bad odor? If the smell is caused by bacteria that have repopulated, why is it that only the "bad" bacteria come back and not the "good," which presumably help fight off the bad? But, if the smell is caused by built-up toxins, wouldn't the body have started the eliminating these toxins even while I was still on the antibiotics? Or does the antibiotic prevent the body from being able to eliminate toxins?
Sorry, for the long post.