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Chronic diarrhea after gastroenteritis
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Chronic diarrhea after gastroenteritis

For the past year, I've had chronic diarrhea, nausea, severe belching (no bloating though), nausea and vomiting off and on, low grade fevers, and my stomach makes horrible, loud watery gurgling noises all day. It all started with an "intestinal flu" that EVERYONE in my workplace contracted last March, (right after a co-worker's dog suffered an "intestinal infection" which cleared with metronidazole.). We all had fever, severe watery diarrhea (10+ BMs a day) and all symptoms I listed above, lasting for at least four weeks for everyone, and up to four months for some!  My diarrhea went down to three to six stools a day, and stayed that way. The symptoms are disabling because along with the diarrhea I feel weak, exhausted, achy, and sick all day - like I have the "stomach flu". I also recently developed muscle and joint pain, particularly in my knees, hips, and muscles of the legs which is quite severe. I have no solid stools at all - just water. I have no appetite. I also find that if I fast and drink nothing but water for a day or so, I still have gurgling and numerous watery bowel movements the next day. I also sometimes have severe epigastric pain, not relieved by antacids or PPIs.
1. Rheumatology workup was negative - sed rate, ANA, RF, etc. all normal, NO fibromyalgia "tender points" ; stool culture negative for ova & parasites, blood, etc.; colonoscopy & biopsy neg.; CBC good; blood test & biopsy for Celiac negative; upper endoscopy neg.; H. Pylori test neg.;  HIV, STDs, diabetes neg.
I have tried: Levbid, Imodium (immodium), codeine, fiber, antidepressants, calcium, pepto-bismol, and special "IBS" diets, which don't help. In fact, fiber of all types (even apple pectin and other soluble fibers) makes it much, much worse. Proton pump inhibitors also make the diarrhea and stomach gurgling a LOT worse.
I have seen rheumatologists and gastroenterologists. They say IBS. I'm wondering if it's still possible there's an infectious component?


Tags: IBS, diarrhea
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There has already been a comprehensive evaluation that would rule out many of the major GI disorders.

To exclude an infectious component, sending the stool off for culture and analysis should be repeated.

I would also send the stool off for fat malabsorption studies.  

Otherwise, IBS is indeed a possibility in light of the negative testing thus far.

Obtaining another GI opinion at a major academic medical center should be considered for further evaluation.

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 patients education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
www.kevinmd.com
3 Comments
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Oh, and I forgot to mention I had a cast iron stomach before this "IBS". Always take probiotics, was always regular, great appetite, could eat ANYTHING!! And I'm wondering if there is an immune system issue that's making it hard for me to "clear" infectious diseases - I typically have 10 or more colds and flus each year, which last for weeks or months, resulting in sinus, lung, and ear infections, even after the simple cold. I also had numerous pneumonias, bronchitis, mono, colds, flus, skin infections (after cuts) that kept me homeschooled during my childhood, they were so severe. I also battle chronic/recurrent yeast infections which has been going on for five years, which treatment has been unsuccessful for. Don't know if that indicates an immune issue that's making me unable to recover from this "gastroenteritis".
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I read your post with empathy.    When you mentioned how frequently you are getting colds, etc., I wondered if you have ever been tested for heavy metal toxicity or even food allergies.  I would look for a holistic doctor that can text for these metals and can treat you if you need it.  A typical alopathic doctor is not trained in this area.  We are exposed to thousands of chemicals daily and according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), we are all toxic waste dumps.  While I am not a medical practitioner, I would encourage you to explore these possibilities since it seems like you've done all the other tests.  By the way, be wary of corticosteroids.  They are potent anti-inflammatories that can raise your eye pressure without you even knowing it.  Good luck!
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