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Chronic Diarrhea_Husband and Wife
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Chronic Diarrhea_Husband and Wife

Hi,

My wife and I began experiencing occasional diarrhea about 4 or 5 years ago. The diarrhea was accompanied by nausea, dizziness, stomach cramps and fatigue. We assumed it was just a passing bug. However, the incidences became more frequent.

When we started having bouts of diarrhea every 2 or 3 weeks, we started going to an MD who practiced holistic medicine. We did stool tests, which turned up the parasite- blastocystis hominis. The doctor prescribed Gentian, Pro Biotics and Wild Oregano. He said that low-level infection was diificult to treat and could take a while to get rid of.

The possible causes we discussed- my wife working with very young children and changing diapers, improperly washed organic vegetables, travel and using drinking water collected from an outdoor spring (the source for Great Bear spring water)

We followed the treatment with mixed results. We continued to get lab tests of our stool samples. Two different labs did the tests. One was a very complete test. The b-hominis did seem to be going away. However, the diarrhea persisted along with the symptoms. We told the doctor we were concerned about our persistent symptoms. He still did not recommend the use of antibiotics.

Then this past fall, my wife had a lab test done by a different lab(lab #3). This test showed the presence of Citrobacter and Campylobacter. At this point, we started seeing a new doctor. She saw the spring water as the likely cause for the infection. She looked at the lab results and immediately put us Cipro for 5 days.

Within 2 or 3 days, we felt better than we had for a long time. Our bowel movements returned to normal as well. When we went off the antibiotic, the diarrhea and symptoms returned. The doctor then prescribed 3 weeks of Cipro.

This time, the results were less dramatic. Our symptoms improved but never totally went away. After going off the antibiotic, the diarrhea and symptoms returned. We did more lab tests that came up negative for campylobacter. My wife did a blood test that showed increased levels of Eosinophil.

We are both experiencing frequent bouts of diarrhea or gloppy bowel movements accompanied by headaches, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. I am finding it harder to get through each day due mainly to the dizziness and fatigue, which is now occurring on a daily basis.

My wife is going through menopause and is experiencing difficult periods which I am sure are compounded by our diarrhea problem. I am 47 yrs old. My wife is 45. We are definitely experiencing the same symptoms. The symptoms often seem to be occurring at the same times for both of us.

Have you ever heard of cases of campylobacter infection that are chronic like this? Why did it only turn up in one test? Was Cipro the best choice? Can b-hominis still be considered? Can we get a more definitive lab test done somewhere? (7 tests each so far)

How do we proceed if our tests are negative but our symptoms persist?

Thanks,
Brad
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Hello - thanks for asking your question.

You note chronic diarrhea.  Possible blastocystis hominis, citrobacter and campylobacter.  Treatment with an extended course of Cipro.  Possible increased eosinophils.  

Typically infection with campylobacter do not last this long, especially with treatment with antibiotics (Cipro).  Cipro can treat campylobacter appropriately, but resistance frequently develops.  Erythromycin and azythromycin are antibiotics of first choice and should be considered if you are continuing to have symptoms.  

Regarding B-hominis - I would repeat the ova and parasite tests on the stool to document whether it is still present or not.  Typically a concentrated stool sample is used.  Metronidazole, furazolidone, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX), quinacrine and pentamidine are used to treat this parasite and may be considered if the Cipro is ineffective.  The fact that the eosinophils are elevated may be suggestive of a parasite.  

If the infectious route is a dead end, then it is time to consider endoscopy - either a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.  Tests for Clostridium difficile (a bacteria associated with antibacterial use) and malabsorption (i.e. fecal fat tests, lactose intolerance tests) should be considered.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Check the site called Moldmaster,testing kit for all at home depot type stores. Just a thought.Know a similar situation w/this but Doc will know better.Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Nothings for certain , but the more negative test results for yur dramatic symptoms , the more chance it.s a yeast infection!!! I assure you Candida infections are ENDEMIC check out the reply I gave on the 1 May , And please get back to the forum with any conclusions.
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Avatar_n_tn
I think you got good advice from the doc and Paj.

You may want to check into possible:

--bad intestinal bacterial infections, due to the antibiotics,

--Candida albicans (yeast) infections, due to the antibiotics

--gluten intolerance, possibly acquired due to bad intestinal infections. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, oats, barley & buckwheat. Brown rice is gluten-free. Corn is also gluten-free, but is very "allergenic" to many. Kamut & Spelt are types of wheat, and have gluten in them. Celiac Disease is one type of gluten intolerance, and may involve both severe indigestion and severe mal-absorption, leading to greasy (fatty) stools, etc.

--lactOse intolerance (from lack of production of the enzyme lactAse that normally helps to digest/break down milk sugar/lactOse). If one's small intestinal microscopic villi (finger-like projections) have been harmed from various causes (intestinal infections, genetic predisposition, etc.), less or no lactOse enzymes would be produced. Taking lactAse enzymes along with milk, can help, BUT...

--intolerances to milk "proteins" can also cause digestive problems.

Also, have you both tried eating some milk-free, gluten-free PROBIOTICS, such as "Dairy-free Maxi Bifidus" (by Ethical Nutrients), or something similar? This preparation is simple, but powerful, and contains only 2 ingredients: Bifidus infantum (the probiotic, related to Acidophilus), and rice maltodextrin (supposedly gluten-free).

You may want to avoid the FOS's (fructose oligo saccharides), found in some probiotic formulations, because FOS's can be irritating to some people's digestive tracts.

Check out Dr. Kenneth Fine (MD)'s helpful website about non-invasive stool sample testing to determine possible food sensitivities, at <a href=http://www.finerhealth.com>http://www.finerhealth.com</a>

Good luck to you both!

Sincerely, Concerned lady
http://cantbreathesuspectvcd.com
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Avatar_n_tn
Real sorry for you guys, hope you will feel better. You might find it useful to check this site:
http://bara.idx.com.au/info/parasite/parasite_home.htm       They have information on Blasto and stories of successful medical and herbal treatments, too.
Good luck.
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