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Sudden Intestinal Problem - No Insurance
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Sudden Intestinal Problem - No Insurance

Hello.
    My name is Jay. I do not have health insurance, so I am trying to figure out what is wrong with me before I am forced to go broke at a Dr. office doing tests and all that.  Here's my story.  Three weeks ago, I came home from work late around 9:30pm on Wednesday evening. I felt fine all day and for the days prior. My girlfriend had made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. We ate and went to bed around midnight.  About 2:00am, I awoke and had the worst diarrhea I could remember for the longest time.  It lasted about a half hour with moderate to severe abdominal pain that really didn't subside much after going to the bathroom. I went back to bed and about 4:00am I woke up again and barely made it to the toilet. I felt better after this time. The rest of the day after I felt kind of sick all day and went to the bathroom several times. After the diarrhea subsided, and over the course of the last two weeks, I have been having a lot of access mucus in my stool and I am alternating between constipation and mushy stool. Both stool types have access mucus. Last week, all of my stool and the accompanying mucus was an orange color. Not blood, but kind of like a neon orange color. I was having stomach aches and the constant feeling that I had to evacuate, despite every time I tried to go, It was just orange jelly in the toilet. I bought a liquid at target that makes you go to the bathroom. I took that Saturday afternoon and didn’t go ten feet from the toilet for the rest of the day. Whatever it did, it flushed out all that orange goo and whatever else that might have been in there.  As an additional note: Earlier on sat I had went to the bathroom three times and all three were very large diarreah (diarrhea) episodes (the food did look to be partially un-digested).   I had a plain, roasted chicken breast and a cup of rice, a banana and lots of water on Sunday 8-21. No problems afterwards and no bowl movement Sunday. On Monday morning, I had a normal movement in the morning with no visible access mucus. the stool was brown as it is supposed to look. Yesterday, I started having access mucus in my stool again, as before, but this time its not orange, but just like a clear mucus. Still having excess stomach gassy feeling and a constant urge to evacuate. Today, I went a total of 6 times, 3 of which were just mucus with a couple of "pea" sized pieces of stool. the other three were soft, but brown stools also with access mucus. I am taking an off the shelf pro-biotic and eating one activia yogurt per day, as of Sunday 8-21.  I notice today I am burping more than normal.  I always feel like I have to go to the bathroom, but if anything comes out at all most times, it is drips of mucus. Here has been my diet as of Sunday:

Sunday:
1 probiotic pill
1 cup of activia around 10:00am
1 baked chicken breast, no additives at all, no seasoning with one cup of rice and water around 4:00pm
1 banana, cut into slices, chewed thoroughly around 6:00pm
1 small piece of chocolate cake around 8:00pm
lots of water

Monday:
1 probiotic pill
1 Activia yogurt for breakfast
1 bologna sandwich on wheat (plain) around 12:00pm
1 banana around 2:00pm
1 bologna sandwich on wheat (plain) around 3:30pm
1 bowl of Mrs. Grass chicken soup for dinner around 6:30pm
1 small piece of apple pie for dessert around 8:00pm
lots of water all day

Tuesday:
1 probiotic pill
1 banana around 10:00am
1 bologna sandwich on wheat (plain) around 12:00pm
1 activia yogurt around 2:00pm
1 bologna sandwich on wheat (plain) around 3:30pm
1 bowl of Mrs. Grass chicken soup for dinner around 7:00pm
1 small piece of apple pie for dessert around 8:30pm
1 16oz container of blue power ade around 6:30pm
lots of water all day

Symptoms I am having only as of three weeks ago when I first got sick:

-mushy stool
-slight diarreah (diarrhea) once in awhile
-constipation (small pellets of mucus covered stool)
-Stool was orange and so was mucus until I cleansed now it is brown but still kind of soft
-excess mucus by itself in lumps and coating stool (was orange until I cleansed now it is clearish-brownish in color)
-can feel gas moving through stomach
-burping excessively especially after eating
-always feeling like I have to evacuate
-going several times in one day, evacuating mucus only and excess mucus in stool
-Joint paint in knees and lower back
-sometimes I have black specs in stool
-Seemed to be undigested food in large diarrhea stools on Saturday morning/afternoon
-stool was abnormally smelly when it was orange. now stool is not overly smelly after cleansing
-slight heartburn

Symptoms I am not having:

-not getting sick after I eat
-no blood (dark or bright red) visible in stool
-no visible sign of any worms in stool
-that’s about all I can think of

I have been researching online and all my symptoms point to:

irritable bowel syndrome
chrones disease (minus bleeding, since I'm not bleeding)
parasitic infection
bacterial infection
colitis
cancer


All the symptoms I am having basically point to every possible bowl symptom I could find.  Very frustrating.  Equally frustrating is that before three weeks ago, I felt perfectly fine. No prior history of any "bathroom issues" in my life, ever. I wonder if I got some kind of infection, maybe the meat for the meatballs was bad?  My girlfriend has chrones disease and is takign humira. She has had no symptoms of being sick in three weeks, unlike myself.  I'm sure I will need to go to the dr. eventually, but as stated before, If there is a chance I can skip the Dr. (since I can't afford it), I thought it was worth a try. In closing... If I HAVE to see a Dr, do you think I should go to a general dr. for treatment?  If so, I risk getting referred to a gastroenterologist... quite pricey...  Or should I pass go and head directly to the gastro Dr.?  Either way, I fear my wallet is about to be emptied.  

Thanks for your help in advance....


Eagerly awaiting your reply,

Jay
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Avatar_f_tn
Jay, I am not anyone to give advice although I lived in Guadalajara (Mexico) for 10 years and had every parasite, amoeba or whatever that existed I think. You may find something in those tests await. In my case, I was fortunate to have had a great doctor who knew exactly what to look for in each case and prescribed the correct medicine. I am impressed with your schedule to take care of yourself. (Maybe you can find a health policy with lower premiums and no "stop gap" in the fine print as opposed to going broke.) You may not feel like researching that now. Sounds like u are on a serious budget so try to find food stores with fresh foods with better prices. Anything is better than processed food with all the junk that clogs up your liver.  And be sure to take good probiotics to replace the good bacteria in case you are taking anti-biotics. Try to rest if you can. I will be interested in what the lab tests say.
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18 Comments Post a Comment
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1403958_tn?1300027091
Possibly -     Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?
Various bacteria are present in the human small intestine as part of normal intestinal flora, but when they overgrow, they may cause diarrhea. They may also break down bile acids, necessary for absorption of fats, thus reducing absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E. In severe cases, bacteria may damage small intestinal wall thus impairing carbohydrate and protein absorption resulting in malnutrition. Anemia may develop, when bacteria break down vitamin B12.

Symptoms of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth may include:

Early satiety (feeling full after only “few bites”), bloating and nausea, which forces many patients to avoid food, resulting in weight loss.
Sulphur burps  
Some patients with SIBO crave sugar.
Chronic diarrhea - may appear weeks or even years after the causing event, like surgery (1).
Whitish, floating, foamy and sticky stool due to unabsorbed fats.
Muscle weakness and bone pains due to vitamin D deficiency.
Anemia with pale skin, weakness or tingling due to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Impaired night vision due to vitamin A deficiency.

Or Viral gastroenteritis - here is a Mayo Clinic link  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/viral-gastroenteritis/DS00085/DSECTION=symptoms

Other things you can try as a natural remedy if it's a bacteria infection or parasite.
Here's a link for home remedies
http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/blog/human-intestinal-parasites.html
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for the information! I will take a look now...
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1410292_tn?1281541722
Your diet is not good.  Stop the bologna, for one thing.  Orange stool usually means the food is going through your digestive system too fast and this occurs when you have diarrhea.  Small (pencil thin) stools are also a sign of this.  It seems to me you may be reacting to something in the food.  Many people develop problems around red meat.  I suggest you go to mayo clinic and look for low residue diet.  Stay on the low residue diet for a couple of weeks (boring but it works!), this will rest your large bowel.  Then SLOWLY introduce fiber (very slowly, don't rush it) AND keep a food journal.  Don't add new things two or three days in a row, see how your body is reacting to the food you added.  Stay away from processed meats (all of them), beef and pork, and be very aware of the wheat products you're eating as you may have celiac disease (this can develop suddenly in adults).  Drink LOTS of water: at least three to four pints a day.  STAY AWAY FROM ACTIVIA.  NEVER eat that stuff if you have ANY diarrhea, it will make it much worse.  If you have developed lactose intolerance because of this problem (seems lactose intolerance goes hand in hand with sudden gastrointestinal problems including gastroenteritis), the Activia won't help at all.  I think the place to start, if this regimen doesn't help, is with a primary care physician for blood work (cbc, check white blood count, celiac panel).
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Avatar_n_tn
Good advice above. Keep up with the probiotic supplement. You aren't consuming anything green. Green foods like lettuces, cucumber... They balance your bodies PH levels. Look into wheatgrass juice also. Read up on enzymes, from food and supplements, and the role amino acids have in digestion. Your diet is woefully lacking in nutrients, so it's trying to tell you that in a very obvious way. For now, eliminate processed foods, sugar and sodium from your diet too) When you can, always chose raw, natural foods.
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Avatar_m_tn
Update... Last night I couldn't take it anymore. So I bit the bullet and went into the ER.  After 5 hours and numerous blood tests, urine tests and fecal tests... the diagnosis is.... they don't know..... They said my blood is good, blood pressure is good, sugar is good, urine shows no signs of trouble and my fecal sample, despite being mixed diarreah (diarrhea), that same slime stuff and some hard stool came back "normal" on the tests that could give results within those 5 hours. There was also no blood at all in my stool and a very low white cell count. Dr. said that they are running additional tests for parasites, amoebas and some other things that will take 72 hours to process for results. I don't have insurance,  so at this time, atleast, he didnt want to put me through a CT scan because that would cost me thousands with no insurance. I really appreciated that under the circumstances. He said my gall bladder and liver are perfectly fine, So thats some good news.  He prescribed me a medicine called "DICYCLOMINE" 20MG. He gave me 2 pills before I came home and I am to take 4 of these per day for 5 days and see if it helps.  My understanding is that this medecine is a muscle relaxer for the stomach and intestinal system only. It's supposed to stop me from going to the bathroom 9 times a day, although, so far its not doin much for that considering I have went 7 times already since this morning. It's still just mucus stuff with a tiny amount of small stool. I guess after I get the test results on Monday, and assuming they come back with no problems, I may have to make an appt with a gastro dr. and go from there. Dr. advised that I not change anything in my diet while taking these pills to get an accurate picture of how the pills are working.

So, now I am even more confused.  Dr. said he can't rule out IBS or some other intestinal disorder by what he did... I'll probably need a colonoscopy to determine that. I asked him if I should follow a specific diet and he said "no, just eat like you normally do".

I just wanted to make an update..... anybody have anymore comments?  I really appreciate those who have answered me so far.  I'm a 30 yr old guy, but I'm scared right now because of this situation.  Mostly becuase, I don't know how Im gonna work having to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes. Hopefully I'll be better soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
Ya, it's always frustrating when they tell you everything is normal and you STILL have symptoms! Don't lose hope. Maybe this experience will incourage you to eat more healthfully and keep you healthier in the long run. If I were you, if I did nothing else, I would add a probiotic to my diet, like plain yogurt, acidophilus milk, or a probiotic supplement for the good bacteria. These can only help your digestion, not hurt you. Also, broad spectrum digestive enzymes from the health food store, taken before every meal, will help ease the food along. Finally, eat something green, dude! Green vegetables are so nutritious. Have some everyday, preferably raw dark green lettuces and spinach, and I bet a lot of your symptoms will disappear.
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Avatar_f_tn
Jay, I am not anyone to give advice although I lived in Guadalajara (Mexico) for 10 years and had every parasite, amoeba or whatever that existed I think. You may find something in those tests await. In my case, I was fortunate to have had a great doctor who knew exactly what to look for in each case and prescribed the correct medicine. I am impressed with your schedule to take care of yourself. (Maybe you can find a health policy with lower premiums and no "stop gap" in the fine print as opposed to going broke.) You may not feel like researching that now. Sounds like u are on a serious budget so try to find food stores with fresh foods with better prices. Anything is better than processed food with all the junk that clogs up your liver.  And be sure to take good probiotics to replace the good bacteria in case you are taking anti-biotics. Try to rest if you can. I will be interested in what the lab tests say.
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Avatar_m_tn
This morning around 09:30, I got a call from the ER nurse practicioner.  She said that my stool test came back positive for "GIARDIA", which is an amoebic parasite.  They didn't specify how badly I'm infected with it, but they said they are calling in a script for a medicine that I only have to take one time to get rid of it. After researching, I assume that medecine is "Tinidazole".  Thats the only one I can find that is a single dose solution. Wikipedia says that infection can last 2-6 weeks... makes sense since I'm going on about a month almost of these symptoms. I have no idea how I got this parasite. I drink filtered water, our home is extremely clean and well kept... I do on occasion eat a bean or tomato out of my garden that i dont wash. I guess its possible I could have picked it up from doing that.  I guess contact with surfaces and maybe other people who don't wash their hands would do it too. They did say this is primarily water bourne, though... So I'm not sure. I have to admit, I am very grateful that they called with this information.. I was very scared they weren't going to find anytihng and I'd have to go through gastro dr.'s and all this irritable bowel stuff, which is what it seemed like I had if it wasn't an infection of parasite. I have to ask the pharmacy if I should continue to take the "digestive advantage" probiotic I purchased over the counter and dicyclomine that the e.r doctor prescribed to me when I take this new medecine.  I pray this works and is the only problem I have.  Here's to hope, right?  I appreciate all the comments that were left... and I will continue to update you guys here to see what happens after I take the drug.. My hope being that this might be able to help somebody else someday.  :)

I'm going to do some research on what you suggested about the insurance... I'm going to have to try to find a way to afford it.  I did pick up an application for charity assistance from the hospital to help pay the bill. Can't hurt to try, right?
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Avatar_n_tn
Yay! Glad to hear there is an actual solution to your dilemma. Yes, keep up with the probiotic, absolutely. It will keep your good bacteria intact while you battle this invader. Just wait a couple hours before or after taking any antibiotic, or it will cancel out its effectiveness.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you... I'm so happy thats what it is.  I took my dose of Tinidazole today.  4 big horse pills, 500mg each.  The instructions were to take them all at once, so 2000mg, or I guess 2g all at one shot.  I took them about 3:00pm today. I don't know how long it takes the pills to go through my system and kill these parasites, it dosen't say on the literature and the ER Dr. wasn't available for me to talk to. I might call back and ask the nurse practicioner on duty and see what he/she says....
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Avatar_m_tn
I called and talked to the nurse and he said that it will stay in my system about 7 days even though I had to take it all at once. He said it should take about all that time to eradicate the parasites. I guess I still have to follow up with my regular dr. incase more antibiotics are needed.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I just did a search on Tinidazole out of curiosity. It looks like your stomach might still feel yucky from the possible side effects, but whatever kills the little buggers, right? And it said something about not drinking grapefruit juice with it. I can't tell what kind of medicine this is, so I guess to be safe, check to make sure about probiotic supplements for now. You could also go on ask.com to find out.
    It's funny- My sister-in-law likes to go to Mexico every year, and it seems like every year she comes back with what the drs call "The Amoeba", and whom we've jokingly nicknamed the Mexican hitchhiker "Pedro". She "brings home Pedro" so often, she loads up on the Mexican prescription and keeps it on hand just in case! But for you to get a parasite here, how wierd.
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Avatar_m_tn
I think they call that montezuma's revenge, right?  I've never had it, but I hear its a terrible thing to get...   According to my research today, there are a couple of other marketed names for this medicine I found out... one is "Tinidazole", the other one is "fasigyn".  The drug they gave me is a safer alternative than the drug called "metronidazole"... which apparently has very bad side effects.... and not used anymore unless absolutely neccessary. With this medicine they prescribed me, there are some things to avoid. Consuming alcohol will make you violently ill on this drug. Grapefuit juice or other acidic drinks like soda can cause a very sour stomach due to the bacteria being killed and the stomach wont know how to handle it. Some other side affects are upset stomach, bitter taste, and itchiness... so far I have had none of these...we'll see what happens tomorrow... I actually already feel better after taking the medicine... I've only went to the bathroom 2 times today so far... considering I went 14 times yesterday, that is fantastic in my opinion...  even though, the two times I went was just mucus.  Like the nurse said, it will take about 7 days to completely kill off the infection and according to him even though I took all the meds in one dose, they meds will still stay in my system for all 7 days.. so no alcohol or those other things for 7 days atleast... that will be easy since I don't drink... :)  I guess the follow up with my dr. will help me understand more how I will heal after this... I dont know how long it will take for my intestines to stop producing this extra slime stuff from being irritated.. hopefully it won't take too long... it is driving me crazy....

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Avatar_f_tn
This is so great that they found the bug and gave you the meds. It will take care of it! Yay! Just follow the advice and you will be fine.  It is good you don't drink alcohol cause that could ruin the effect of the meds. Good luck on getting the insurance. It would be good if you could get a good agent to help you weed through the policies. Obama has a website too to help folks get coverage too. It will take a while to heal but knowing what it is is most the battle.
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Avatar_n_tn
No, what my sis-in-law keeps getting is worse than Montezuma's. It's an amoeba that's hard to kill and I think it's from eating as opposed to drinking. I keep asking her what on earth is she eating down in Mexico!  
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Avatar_m_tn
Ya really.... that is weird... Maybe she should consider "where" she is eating... lol

It's really amazing how unsanitary other countries can be... but considering I got sick here, It makes you wonder what the heck I got into.

I found this website with some natural cures for Giardia.... If you wanna check it out.

http://www.diagnose-me.com/cond/C172355.html
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Avatar_m_tn
Well it has been 7 days since I took my antibiotic dose for Giardia.  It has been an on and off week for my symptoms, with yesteday being my best day so far.  Today, I went 5 times with the stool being in "shooter marble" sized balls with some mucus. From what my Dr. tells me, I could have some intestinal issues for another week or two from these little nasty buggers. What a pain in the butt... literally...
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Avatar_m_tn
Sounds like things that have happened to me.
Stop all Gluten and see how you feel
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