I am a 29 year old male who has suffered from IBS type symptoms for the last 10 ish years. I've always suffered from C and D (sometimes in the same BM), gut pain, abdominal cramps, very burpy and gaseous, but the main aggravating symptom was pitritus ani (or itchy anus). Up to July last year this has been my biggest gripe. I've been to the doctors about this countless times and the only thing they have given me is hydrocortisone creams, steroids, and a stool softener. The creams will make the symptoms subside for a while but it always recurs. I've only recently found that steroids thin the skin so I won't ever be using them again. I've also had anal fussures (cuts) which have been caused by the constipation which I was given the stool softeners for.
I have consistently tried all the online suggestions - I wear cotton boxers, cotton gloves to bed, nails short, wash thoroughly after each BM (in fact I have a shower after and don't even wipe as it gets too sore), i only use aqueous cream to wash, fragrant free shower gel, fragrant free washing powder, no spicy foods, no wheat, gluten or dairy, I take piritun at night to stop skin reaction. I've wormed myself about 5 times in the last 3 months. I've even tried tying my hands up at night to stop me scratching. However, I think I must be a descendent of Houdini as I always seem to get out of my shackles and wake myself up scratching.
In 2010 I started in the gym as I wanted to put on some weight (I've always been quite skinny - think DJ Qualls off of the film Road Trip).
At the same time I also read about the benefits of an OTC drug called "5 - HTP", so I started taking a small dose every day. After 6 months my anal itch symptoms had gone and I was feeling the happiest I had in forever. My BM's were predictable in occurrence and consistency and I went up to a weight of 74kg (162lbs). Everything was rosy.
My life was changed when hit by a car whilst riding my bike to a football match. I sprained my wrist quite badly and had severe lacerations to my face and gums since my face went through the cars windscreen - this meant I had to eat through a straw for a couple of months and stopped exercising. After 4 months I was able to get back to the gym - but I had lost all my weight, back to 60kg and the worst thing the anal itch had come back. I immersed myself in the gym and work, to try to get back to the winning formula that had got me there. sadly this failed.
At this time I started having some other problems with sex organ sensitivity. I also read somewhere that 5-HTP could cause this so decided to stop taking it.
After a few months of failure I decided I needed a specialist to help me, and tried to get my incompetent GP to refer me explaining that all the treatments that she and the other doctors had tried before had failed. At this point she refused to refer me as I had evidence of anal fissures so she me prescribed lactulose to soften my stools to allow for healing. It made sense so I took this for a few months but it never seemed to stop the problem. The doctor also told me that I had IBS, gave me a little leaflet and said that I would need to manage the symptoms myself - possibly through diet control. (she refused to refer me to a dietician on the NHS).
So I went privately to a dietician - she was very helpful asked lots of questions, did a stool analysis test which found an overgrowth of candida albicans and another weird bacteria.
The dietician advised that I would need to follow an anti candida diet - first strengthening my gut with probiotics and then killing off the candida with tanalbit. I was poised to start this. Stupidly I decided to go to Global Gathering (a dance festival in England) to have one last alcohol fuelled weekend before accepting a life of mundanity. This turned out to be possibly the worst mistake of my life.
Whilst at the festival I started having intense constipation and horrific gut pains. Then the stool that I finally passed was tarry/dark black
not great when you're in a grimey festival toilet. Constipation, horrible gut pain and black stools persisted for a few days until i got back home. I then passed a stool that was black and very bloody. A huge pool of blood along with a lump of what looked like my intestine came out. I rushed to A&E who did some stool, blood and urine tests but found no problems. But would need an endoscopy and colonoscopy. In total I had 3 blood covered stools. Within 4 weeks I'd had an endoscopy (horrible experience) which found no problems and within another 4 a colonoscopy (even more horrible) which found no physical problems. Only that I had a very spasmy intestinal wall.
In these 8 weeks my guts became increasingly painful, constipated and bloated. I couldn't pass wind. I've tried to describe the pain many times - the closest would be a combination of twisty cramps, bloated, stabby, hot pain. Meaning that I had to leave my job and move back in with my mum. The mebeverine (anti spasmodic), movicol (to reduce constipation) and nortriptyline (anti depressant) that the gastroenterologist prescribed didn't noticeably help.
After the colonoscopy the gastroenterologist advised that I have IBS and referred me to a dietician - also mentioning that I would be put on a FODMAP diet.
Since I was in such excruciating pain I decided to research this and start following this diet.
The low FODMAP diet to reduce IBS symptoms is from researchers in Australia. They have coined the term FODMAPs to describe a collection of short-chain carbohydrates found in many common foods. FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols - which increase gas and distension.
I had been waiting to see if the specialist was going to prescribe any steroids or anti biotics before I started the Candida diet - now that it didn't seem as though this would happen and since the FODMAP diet and anti-Candida diet are quite similar I decided to start both at the same time.
The FODMAP and Anti candida diet seemed to have an immediate affect - so much so that I could start to do some mild exercise again. I found that eating boiled low FODMAP vegetables reduced my symptoms noticeably. If I add meat it causes a lot of problems feels like my body struggles to break it down. Also the same for vegetables that are uncooked. I can almost feel the undigested foods travelling through my guts. It is very uncomfortable and I have to take a pain killer.
So after 2 weeks of consistent exercise - running 40 minutes every other day and going to the gym, doing yoga, eating soup, drinking lots of water, taking laxatives 3 times a day, along with mebeverine with Nortryptaline (and magnesium) at night - I feel like I can reduce the symptoms to a certain extent. It feels nothing like normal but at least I'm not in agony.
To make matters worse for the last 3 months I've had severe and persistent anal fissures which was probably caused by the constipation - I was prescribed Rectogesic 4 weeks ago. Applying this 2 times a day along with 2-3 sitz baths a day has thankfully and finally healed them up. Even the horrible headaches were worth it.
Since the fissures have healed up the anal itch has returned with gusto. Its a horrible niggle that drives me crazy in the day, but I can control the urge to scratch it. At night its a different story and I'm finding it impossible to stop myself scratching my anus to pieces.
So this brings me to today. It would be great if any one has any comments or if they've had any similar experiences. I feel like my life has ground to a halt and don't see a real future at the moment.
Has anyone had any similar symptoms? How have they managed them? Has anyone tried the Anti Candida diet?
Has anyone has a persistent anal itch and then found a cure?
The anal itching may be from hemorrhoids. You could have a hemorrhoidectomy if that's the case. Take magnesium citrate in the morning and calcium and vitamin D3 at night. Take a probiotic and glutamate powder to heal your gut. Try aloe vera juice.
They didn't find colitis on the colonoscopy? IBS doesn't usually cause bloody stools unless its bright red blood from hemorrhoids.
thanks for the response. I've seen many doctors and have had a colonoscopy - they have never found any haemorrhoids. I take magnesium at night and take a very good multi vitamin in the morning along with a probiotic. I've also recently purchased l-glutamine tablets which i think i'll start taking.
no the doctors did not find colitis during the colonoscopy.
really struggling with what to do next :(
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