I am 31 years old and have been suffering with GI problems for the last 6 years. They consists of terrible gas stomach aches, bloating (to the point I dont fit in my clothes and look pregnant), girggling/trapped air in my chest, chest pains and the worst of them all.. severe constipation (don't go for 2 weeks and when I do its rock hard and barely anything). I have seen 4 different doctors getting various opinions that range from a regular dr who put me on Amitiza low dose and when that didnt work recommended me to see a gi dr. That GI dr told me "oh its just IBS..nothing we can do for you." Then I went to the city to see a dr at a well known university hospital and they ran a million and one tests on me...........
1.) Sigmoidoscopy Result = hemmrhoids internal due to straining, some irritation and redness but biopsies say no cancer
2.) Upper scope = some irritation and redness but biopsies say no cancer
3.) Mannometry = lower esophagus is weak causing the trapped air and pains (taking Aciphex and Gas X for this, avoiding gas causing/acid causing foods)
4.) Empty Stomach Study = stomach is emptying in a normal range
5.) Physical Therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction = not the cause of constipation. When this did not work I begged my gi dr to do a colonoscopy to set my mind at ease.
6.) Colonoscopy = they found I have a very long and very torturous colon.. my GI dr was not able to complete the whole thing.. she got to my ascending colon and had to stop. She says surgery is not needed unless there was a knot or blockage (pretty much on my death bed) but this definitely is why I am experiencing gas, upset stomach and bloating. I begged her to give me something for some relief now that she knew this was the cause. She took me off of Miralax and put me on a high dose of Amitiza. This time I didnt stop taking it because it didnt do anything but because it made me VERY sick. I missed more work because the side effects made me feel as though I had the flu (aches, pains, chills, hot flashes, headaches). I took it as instructed with a meal to not get nauseated which does help... but when ever I finally have a BM I become nauseated before, during and after. I still didn't go to the bathroom for a week or two so the side effects were not worth the results. I was then taken off of of it and put back on Miralax.
7.) Barium enema xray = because my colon is so long and loopy they had to fill me up with 3 bags of barium instead of 1 and had to flip me upside down for quite a long time to even get the test going. The results showed the same thing as the colonoscopy. Longest 2 hours of my life. Worse procedure EVER!
At this point the GI dr told me there was really nothing they could do for me but continue running more tests to eliminate other things. She continued to tell me that surgery was not an option even though my colon was so long, loopy and making my life miserable. I took it upon myself at this point to see the colon surgeon to see what he had to tell me etc as I kept reading and hearing about colectomy surgeries. The surgeon looked over all my files from all my various drs....
8.) Sitz Marker Xray = I have colonic inertia. My stomach and small intestine are working but my large intestine is not. I actually went to a colon surgeon after not getting any treatments answers from my GI dr.
The colon surgeon called and spoke with my GI dr whom I was trying not to go back to as I was done with getting no answers from her. He gave me the option to see a constipation specialist that she recommended at the hospital I had all the tests done at. The colon specialist told me I needed to have 2 procedures done to make sure my rectum and everything else was functioning before proceeding with surgery on my colon.
9.) anal manometry = pretty normal results. A little loss in sensitivity but nothing to be alarmed about
10.) barium defecography = shows that I have anterior rectocele which is causing a blockage
My GI dr/constipation specialist referred me to a surgeon that he highly recommended that was suppose to help me move forward with treating the anterior rectocele and that Dr visit was a complete waste of time and money.
1.) she is a colon and rectal surgeon who works in womans health and pelvic issues but she is not a urogynocologist!!! (and I already saw a colon and rectal surgeon so I am a bit upset the constipation specialist recommended I go to her for this) there fore I have to go back to see their Urogynocologist about the anterior rectocele. So I really just went and saw a colon surgeon which I have already done. So no anterior rectocele surgery appointment set. Ugh.. more run around..
2.) she feels the anterior rectocele is not what is causing my 2 -3 week back ups of constipation and stomach aches etc... and feels my colon is to blame....there fore she does not agree with constipation specialist that sent me to her......she feels I have 2 completely different problems.. the colon being one problem which no one seems to know why and the anterior rectocele just being a completely second problem that I have.....she also seemed boggled on what was wrong with me..I could tell with the way she talked that she didn't really know how to answer me as to what she considered wrong with me and my colon. She said she wanted to discuss my case with the constipation specialist and then have a meeting with him and myself to decide what we should do about my colon. She mentioned colon surgery but is highly against removing the whole colon like the first colon surgeon suggested to me. It just didnt leave me feeling very confident. I really don't want to be experimental with my organs. I am nervous that we will meet and they are gonna come up with what they think they should do and then what if they are wrong...
I submitted my case to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I am currently on their waiting list to see their gastro doctors.
I have an appointment schedule with a urogynocologist that came highly recommended from a close family member and I see them in a few weeks. In the mean time I started to research chronic constipation and came across sites that talked about yeast overgrowth and candida diet.
I had told every doctor I saw that I have had issues with rashes and hives my whole life.. and they are random and unexplained.. I also have had chronic yeast infections where I have been given Nystatin just incase I am irritated and was on fluconazole for 9 months. I was instructed to take it before my period to avoid yeast infections coming back etc. I have been on birth control for 13 years. Have experienced numerous UTI's and until I started to take a probiotic would get sick with sinus infections, colds and flus all the time. Anytime I was around anyone sick or got stressed I could predict getting sick. The more I read about candida overgrowth the more I am starting to wonder.... could this be the cause of all my issues.. or a side effect of being chronically constipated and not getting any answers.
Anyone in a similar situation as me and find out that it was all caused from candida overgrowth? I am wondering if this could be the cause of if I do have it could be yet another side effect. Either way I want answers before someone tries to remove my large intestine.
this has been a total of 6 doctors and 13 procedures. The urogynoclogist I see on May 9th will be my 7th opinion. This has been going on for the last 6 years.. which I realize.. this started during my 7 year life change as well. Just some added information
In my opinion, candida overgrowth is mostly bogus. If you have questions about this, I would recommend posting in the alternative medicine community. The tortuous colon is not causing your gas and a rectocele is not causing all of your problems. I have both of these conditions too. The rectocele is most likely due to chronic constipation. The problem with a tortuous colon is that it makes it difficult for gas and stool to move throughout the colon which can cause pain, bloating, and constipation. What things have you tried to try to cut down the amount of gas you are having?
I have cut out gas causing foods and take Heather's Tummy Tamers, Medicinal Eaters Digest Tea, Gas X when needed.
Have they told you they could resection your colon? One surgeon told me resectioning my colon would be pointless if the colon itself is not working. I had the sitz marker test that showed my small intestine was fine but the large intestine wasn't moving along the way it should be. He said it was colonic inertia and that they could remove the large intestine and then connect it to my rectum. However now I have the rectocele which means they can't do that. I believe the rectocele was caused from the constipation as well.
The side effects you mentioned with Amitiza actually sound like a reaction which is called Herxheimers or die-off. This and your overall sympyoms lead me to the thought you have either bacterial overgrowth (the gas causes the constipation), candida (ditto) or even parasites (they can block the colon completey, but cannot be seen with barium or ct scan or whatever). To see if any of this is actually the case, I suggest to go onto the intro diet of the special carbohydrate diet and after that try the SCD diet for three weeks. SCD was developed for crohns, but since you remove most sugars and starches completely and add fibre instead, bacteri, fungi and parasites have nothing left to eat and starve. You will have a few very horrible days with flu-like symptoms once your start, so start on a weekend. I have parasites, and I was able to control my symptoms with this diet until the diagnosis was made. look up scd lifestyle, they have awesome tipps and motivational podcasts, as well as a great, free download for the intro diet. After that, read your way around the pages of pecanbread and reintroduce stuff according their stages. Also, if you have problem with bugs, avoid honey, yoghurt and nuts for the first few weeks. Good luck!
Yep, my GI docs have said they could remove my entire colon (for colonic inertia, not a tortuous colon), but they wouldn't be able to connect it to my rectum as my rectum doesn't function well. They are also very hesitant to do this because my small intestine doesn't function well either (CIP) along with my stomach (GP).
The reaction you had to amitiza sounds like side effects and it doesn't sound at all like Herxheimers or die-off. Some people (like you) get these severe side effects to Amitiza and there is no reason to think this is something else than just a side effect.
I am on large amounts of magnesium for hypomagnesemia (4 g of magnesium gluconate through my J tube every day and 6 g of IV magnesium through my tunneled IJ line every day) and this has actually helped my constipation more than anything else. Magnesium is known to be a laxative and many laxatives are based off of this (magnesium citrate, milk of magnesia). However, I don't recommend IV magnesium as a laxative because the risks are much much greater than the possible benefits (and no doctor would agree to it). Just telling you my story.
I am going to go overboard beccause there are so many loop holes to Candida diets. But I am going to use this http://www.womentowomen.com/digestionandgihealth/guidelinesforfollowingayeastfreediet.pdf as a guide to replace certain things in my diet with better choices and avoid what I can. Candida might not be the cause of my issues but it might be a side effect of my issues since I do not go regularly and that is a lot of bacteria sitting in my intestines etc. for 2 - 3 weeks at a time. I am sure its probably why I have so many other issues (rashes and other skin issues and recurring infections). I am also going to talk to the urogynocologist about my birth control and how that is effecting my health too.
My reaction to Amitiza was definitely a well known side effect.. I also get sick if I try laxatives.. I get aweful sick because its forcing my colon to do something it can't keep up with or do.
Does it make you really sick leading up to going and during and after you go to the bathroom. Laxatives that force me to go make me terribly ill. Miralax is the only one that doesn't but it doesn't make me go more .. just makes it easier to go.
There is evidence that Candida overgrowth is real. I've been on a Candida diet myself for a different reason. The diet has been the only thing truly effective for the problem. It may not resolve every last digestive issue, or at least not quickly by itself, but it's been the only way I could kill the yeast infection I definitely had. My doctors haven't wanted to prescribe the oral antifungals that can speed up the kill off, but as I am quite sensitive to pharmaceuticals, this is clearly best for me. But, they did recognize that I had the yeast infection I'm talking about.
Be sure to use a probiotic while on the diet. The idea is to bring the gut flora back into balance.
I agree about the loopholes. I researched a lot before starting and noticed that many sites say some things are allowed in phase one and others say that those things should not be included during phase one. But, I'll certainly check out the link you provided. I'm familiar with that site. They have information on adrenals and thyroid, too.
I get the cramping, too. I haven't found anything to relieve this (IBS-C). Drinking more water (sort of) reduces the cramping a tiny bit if I have used a laxative. I like the natural laxative called TAM. You can take it in the day time, if you follow the directions, or at night time when taking all the tablets at one time. Sometimes I take just two of the tablets during the day time and that will work a bit more like a stool softener rather than too much stimulation as a laxative.
My doctor put me on Hyoscyamine for every day cramping and upset stomach. I dissolve 2 tablets under my tongue every morning. And then I am allowed up to 2 more later in the day if I need it. It doesnt do much for the way you feel from a laxative forcing you to go.. that makes me feel like my body is losing its insides and I feel like barfing
urogynocologist confirmed that the rectocele is not to blame for my digestive issues. I convinvced my GI doctor to order me to have a hydrogen breath test. He said I should do the glucose hydrogen breath test. I am scheduled for this on June 15th.
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