This is my first post here. I've looked around a little bit, but I'd like to give my short background, and maybe someone here can shed a little light on a similar situation, or a suggestion... Maybe :)
I'm 24, Non-smoker(never have been), Don't do drugs, rarely drink. My girlfriend is a raw food/vegan "healthy" food type person, but will now eat chicken, and pork occasionally. I used to be very "Meat, corn and potatoes with a side salad" kind of an eater, but since I've been dating her (about two years), my tastes and food habits have turned to more veggies and fruits, but I still love me a steak and potato meal every once in a while.
(note, I use the word stomach here loosely. I'm not sure what causes the problems I'm having, but it's definitely in my gut somewhere )
I'm not sure when my stomach issues started exactly. Lets say they started in 2005 or early 2006. Started getting intense stomach cramps(as in make me tear up). These cramps would be off an on for maybe an hour, with time between them somewhere in the range of 5-10 minutes. After about a half hour to an hour of these followed by almost explosive, liquid diarrhea, followed by lots of wiping and cleaning up, and sitting on the toilet for another 45 min or so. Had a colonoscopy, tried different medicines including bentyl, and lomotil, and immodium. None of these worked for the cramping, and honestly, I don't remember what my BMs were like when this wasn't happening. The doctors pronounced it IBS, and have since resorted to "hey take this drug!" Which i'm tired of.
This petered off somewhere in the last couple of years. The last time I had a cramp/Diarrhea attack was more than two years ago. since then, my bowel movements have been very... loose, but not liquid. On the bristol scale, they are a Type 6: "Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool" They typically included a fairly prominent sense of urgency, and were very very messy to clean up. It wouldn't be abnormal for me to spend more than five minutes cleaning up, and at home, I kept a box of baby wipes to help along the process. At this time, I'd also had a very itchy anus. Not sure the case of that part either, but I could attribute it to not being able to get fully clean, and therefore irritating the tissues around the opening. This type of stool was my every day, twice a day exorcise. Although every once in a while, I had a stool that I didn't have to wipe more than once, and was very firm, and not "slimy/sticky" on the outside; in other words, it came out clean.
This was the case until a few weeks ago, when I had my wisdom teeth pulled (all four at once.. got dry socket, still hurts... story for another day). I was awake during the removal, and on Nitros-oxide (Lauging gas). Afterwards, he gave me a script for Tylenol 3 W/Codeine, and 800mg of Motrin. I took all of these at the proper times throughout my mouth recovery. Interestingly enough, IMMEDIATELY after the operation, my stool was coming out clean. Every time, for about a week and a half, which was 4-5 bms (note, My normal before this was 2bms/day). In the past day or so, my bms have been slowly going back to being messier and messier, and much more frequent. Seems to be trending back to how it was before the operation.
The thing is, that I would much rather have the clean stools than the messy ones (duh, right?) but I'm not sure what could have caused them. So I'm throwing this out to the community and want to see what comes back.
Does anyone have any suggestions or comments to this? Why would this have happened so abruptly? I'm very interested in joining the navy, but there's no way in hell that I would be able to make it INTO the navy, much less through "boot camp".
I realize this is a long post, and If you have made it all the way through it, I appreciate your time!
The reason why your stools become more normal after your surgery is that medicines like codeine can be constipating so they would make your stools more solid. I think you need to have a stool sample done to check for things like parasites and other things. I also think you need to try eliminating different things from your diet. This could include eliminating 100% of all lactose for 2 weeks or eliminating 100% of all gluten for 2 months.
I think it could be an intolerance, and in my opinion the best way to test for these are to just avoid the foods and see if you improve. The stool sample should at least check for blood, infections, fat, and several parasites (ex. giardia, cryptospiridium).
I don't think that you have a food allergy but I think you might have a food intolerance. There are blood tests for food allergies and there is a semi-accurate blood test for celiac disease (gluten intolerance).
I like the way that the blood test was termed as "semi-accurate", because while it's a good test, one can't rely on it entirely. And, there can actually be gluten intolerance without Celiac. A good site that describes a healthy way to determine food sensititivities or intolerances when one is experiencing symptoms but blood tests aren't giving the answers is http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=diet&dbid=7
It's a good over view and it even explains how if one were to go with a more in depth Elimination Diet that one should definitely see a specialist, such as a naturopath. And, there are naturopaths that operate with a sliding fee schedule, too. Anyway, the reason I like this site is that it explains things thoroughly enough for people to understand really well.
So, this is definitely a good site to start with if you find that you get negative test results for "true" food allergies. Food sensitivities are a bit different. The conventional blood tests will show negative for foods that you are sensitive to without having a true allergy. This is an important distinction to understand. My allergist truly does understand this, because he talked about an anonymous patient who tested negative for a milk allergy but this person could drink the milk in front of him and still have a reaction to the milk right there in front of him. So, it's important to know about this. If you test negative for a food allergy, the good news is that if you do ingest this food that you are sensitive to, you won't have anaphylaxic shock or break out into hives. This won't mean you're off the hook in regards to this food. A food sensitivity is sometimes referred to as a "hidden" food allergy. It basically means that your body still reacts to this substance in a negative way and this food will still make you feel sick. But, at least you won't have an immediate life-threatening emergency to the substance with something like anaphyactic shock.
I have met people on this site who explained this to me. For example: I am definitely "sensitive to" or "intolerant to" pepper corns. And, it doesn't matter which color they are, because they are all actually from the exact same plant--just in different stages of ripeness. Plus, if you look closely enough at the white pepper, you'll see that the black wrinkly outer shell has been removed. So, it's actually the same thing as the black peppercorn with the outer shell removed and is used by chefs for two different reasons: the flavor is different and the white pepper won't show up against certain colored foods which might be unsightly for certain dishes. I thought I would explain this tidbit about the culinary bit about the peppercorn before I proceed, because people do get confused and think that if it's a different color that a person might not have a reaction to it--because they don't know that it's the exact same thing at a different stage of ripeness.
I won't go into anaphylactic shock from what is called a "true" allergy and I probably won't even test positive for being "allergic" to peppercorns. But, I will react badly to food that has a high enough proportion of black pepper in it.
Contrast my milder reaction to the person I met on Medhelp who has such a high allergy to black pepper that she is practically confined at home. This is because even a trace amount of pepper from someone else having eaten it is enough to cause her to have a life-threatening anaphylactic shock emergency. With all the people who consume black pepper without so much as giving it a second thought out there walking about, you can see how this could become life-threatening to someone who can't even be around the most miniscule amount or trace amount of the substance.
I just thought it would be helpful to understand the difference between a food allergy you would definitely test positive for and a food sensitivity you most likely will still test negative for.
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