Hi, I am sorry if this is posted in the wrong area (IBS), but I couldn't find a general Digestive forum.
I am a 34 year old male in good health. In general, I eat pretty healthy and I go to the gym 4-5 times a week. However, I have been trying to figure out a stomach/GI issue that I have been dealing with for the past couple of years. When it started a couple of years ago, it only occurred every once in a while. Then it started happening a couple times a week. Well, in the past 4 or so months, it has been occurring every day and has become progressively worse. Basically, I am dealing with abdominal bloating/distention and intestinal gas. When this issue started a few years ago, it seemed like the intestinal gas was the more prominent issue. However, it is the daily distention that is affecting my quality of life. It is extremely uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful (the pressure); not to mention it can potentially be embarrassing. When it is bad, I don’t feel like doing much and the pressure buildup also leads to more frequent urination. I have tried many things that don’t seem to help. Basically, it starts off in the morning where I feel slightly bloated, but it isn’t that bad. I would say on a scale of 1-10, it starts off at about “2” on a daily basis. Then throughout the day, the gas pressure/bloating builds and peaks (anywhere from 7-10 on the scale). It seems like it peaks in the early afternoon during the week because I start my days early. On the weekends, it seems to peak in the late afternoon because I usually eat breakfast later than during the week. My doctor is perplexed because these are the only symptoms. Because my symptoms don’t include any elimination issues (i.e. diarrhea, constipation, etc.), he says that IBS and other similar diseases/issues are unlikely; I don’t fit the profile. I have tried the following supplements/items, but none have worked:
Lactaid (for dairy)
Beeno (digestive enzyme)
Peppermint oil capsules (to help alleviate intestinal gas/bloating)
Papaya enzymes (to help alleviate intestinal gas/bloating)
Fennel seeds (chewing them is supposed to help intestinal gas/bloating)
Prilosec OTC (tried this for 2 weeks even though I don’t have heartburn)
Digestive Advantage – IBS (even though I don’t have IBS, this is supposed to help bloating by restoring the balance of good bacteria in my GI Tract. This will only work if the bacteria count is skewed)
My doctor tested me for Celiac disease and for the H. Pylori bacteria. Both of these blood tests were negative. Recently, I took the lactose intolerance hydrogen breath test and found out that I am not lactose intolerant. This explains why the Lactaid didn’t help me, but unfortunately, none of the other things mentioned above helped me either. Not even when taken in combination. Although I am not lactose intolerant, I just found information related to a milk ingredient called Casein. I have heard that this could cause GI issues, but from what I understand, is a lot less common. I also had an abdominal ultrasound. The results were normal. The only thing noted was that there was a small mass on my gall bladder which the doctor wasn’t at all concerned with. He said that it is most likely a cholesterol polyp which is nothing to worry about and would not cause the symptoms that I am experiencing. I also sent in my hem-occult slides to my doctor’s office.
I have been keeping a daily food journal to see if there are any specific food items that seem to cause these symptoms. However, I have been unable to find ANY correlation between items.
At this point, my doctor seems to think that I have some type of food intolerance (not allergy). However, I am a bit skeptical because I am waking up bloated. I thought that symptoms from an intolerance would disappear overnight. Before, I thought that I was starting at “0” in the mornings, but I just don’t think I realized that I was actually waking up slightly bloated. I tend to hold my stomach in because it helps with my lower back pain. The only other suggestions that my doctor has at this point is to try two different dietary changes. The first one would be to try a modified Atkins diet/reduced carb diet. If this doesn’t make a difference during the two-week trial, he recommends that I try a two-week gluten-free diet. I am willing to try anything to find a resolution to this issue, but a gluten-free diet would be extremely difficult for me to follow based on my normal daily diet. I was going to start the first dietary change in a couple of days, but I have decided to try this Digestive Advantage product first. I don’t want to change my diet yet because then I won’t know if this product is working.
Any information that may help relieve or resolve this frustrating problem would be very much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this.