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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/14/2007 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello all
I just registered on these forums after coming to my wits end with my stomach issues.
I am a 25 year old male, and for almost a year now i have been having stomach/defecating issues. Unfortunately i do not have health insurance and i have yet to see a real doctor about these issues. Little History: I quit smoking over new years, i used to drink a great deal but now drink only on weekends. I run, i haven't lost any weight recently. My problem is my stools never seem normal, and i am almost always in some sort of gastro-intestinal pain. I don't have diarhea frequently, but my stools rarely are as firm as they used to be. I tried taking Pepcid, zantac, etc. Thinking it was acid. As of late i take pepto in the morning and at night. Everything seemed pretty well under control as far as the stools go (going once to twice a day, pretty firm stools) but the last two weeks something odd has happened. I go out drinking with my friends on a friday night, and saturday morning i am awakened with diarhea. I take some pepto and then later on in the day my stool is semi-normal. However my stomach hurts all day. This is starting to alarm me. I saw a product in walmart the other day called "digestive advantage" ibs. I haven't been diagnosed with IBS, and it scares me actually to think i could have it. But my symptoms seem to fit. One thing i should mention though is i work at an animal hospital, and the Vets there have suggested i see a gastroenterologist, again though i dont' have insurance. Im scared i might have picked something up from the animals? Its just starting to affect my life in a way that i don't want to go further down this path sort of thing. LIke when i go out i always worry if there is a bathroom nearby. Even though ive had diarhea only a handful of times in 7 months, its just the feeling that it might show up out of nowhere, or increased urgency to defecate even if its a semi-normal stool. Anyway, sorry for writing a book. JUst need information before i shell out tons of money by going to a dr. thanks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 4/14/2007 8:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome to HealingWell! :-)
Have you tried eliminating alcohol completely and seeing if you GI distress disappears? I feel that if D and pain the day after drinking is your only problem, then it might be related to alcohol. Start by not drinking and seeing what happens. If your abnormal stools and pain doesn't go away then I would see a doc.
Digestive Advantage is basically a pill with a combination of probiotics and digestive enzymes. It worked great for me. It helps relived C and D and also gas. You can give it a try, unless you are allergic to sugar alcohols it should affect you negatively.
Unless you are handling animal feces and not washing your hands properly, I'm not sure your symptoms are related to the animal hospital. If your symptoms continue, however, you might want to see a doc and ask about having a stool test to check for parasites. That seems highly unlikely to me unless you've traveled to 3rd world countries or somehow ingested animal feces.

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/14/2007 9:02 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks for the reply.
There are many things at the animal hospital that can be contracted without direct contact/ingestion of animal feces. However i agree that it is highly unlikely. Giving up alcohol completely is an option, but it seems to be only when i ingest it in great quantities. I am planning on tryign that this week and seeing how it goes. I would like to know if i can/should still take digestive advantage with antacids or pepto? I can try it out and see how it goes, i had added yogurt to my diet and was wondering if i shoudl also add some sort of probiotic or fiber. The main thing is i guess i should see a dr. first. Im beginning to think that its probably not IBS the more i research it, but who knows. LIke i said, the diarhea isn't usually accompinied with any other symptoms, but there are days at work where i feel bloated and have gas pains. Or in the morning i feel more of an urgency to go. Just not what it used to be like. Of course now im obsessing over it and it could be 50% mental. Oh well. Thanks again for the reply!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 4/14/2007 10:46 PM (GMT -7)   
digestive Advantage is a probiotic. I don't think i would add one to it though maybe someone has. I usually take that or another but not both. Alcohol is really tough on the stomach, many alcoholics get stomach cancer. It is pretty corrosive. You may have gotten you stomach really off kilter. It has happened to me after drinking and I had to stop for a while completely, take the probiotics, Pepto and anti-acids for about 3 months and then I didn't have the problem anymore. I did not go back to drinking very often though. You could have picked up something at the place you work. Giardia can cause the symptoms adn it is not that hard to get thru water. I think a stool sample would not be that expensive.  You do need to find out what it is though. Perhaps your boss can figure out something to see if it is work related. First try the no alcohol.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 4/16/2007 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Alcohol is pretty tough on IBSers, it's true. Most people have the most problems with beers and other carbonated alcoholic beverages (and non-alcoholic carbonated beverages, for that matter). Wines and wine coolers are next on the list, with hard liquor actually being the most tolerable. Some people find their symptoms improve when they have a small dose of hard liquor, but many others find that it does bother them, just not as bad as beer and wine. You probably don't drink frou-frou American drinks, but DEFINITELY stay away from drinks with coke mixed in, or the new trend, those "energy drinks" with high amounts of caffeine, like Surge. Caffeine is an irritant and a stimulant, so it's not good for IBSers even in regular cokes, coffees or black teas, but it's even worse in Surge and expressos, or paired with alcohol.
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