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Avatar universal

Chronic Diarrhea

I have had intestinal blockages for as long as I can remember. When I was very young I remember sitting in a hichair in the hallway of a hospital with some type of wiring stitching on my belly. I was abandoned at a young age and don't have much information about all that happened. What I was told was that my intestine did not grow with my body and they had to make some modifications.
Than while going through elementary and high school I had several bouts of bowel movements, that couldn't wait. I was told when I was about 25 that I had a blockage of adhesions and pancreatitis. They did a resection, and a partial pancrectomy the tail was removed and clipped. I still have several bouts of diarrhea a day.
In 2009 the diarrhea was very bad a GI doctor did a colonoscopy, endoscopy, an gi series and other than polyps, and adhesions. Found only a bacteria that he said came from eating bad seafood. It is almost a year and a few months later and the diarrhea has started again. My ALT level was very elevated. I also at this time had Several blood tests HIV, Liver biopsy, all came back negative. Recently I was hospitalized for eight days. The ER doctor said I had an ILEUS, but , the GI doctors said there is no blockage, for safety sake they are going to do an endoscopy they did a biopsy and said they suspect CELIACS disease. They did the blood test for CELIACS and that was negative.
My doctor is out of ideas, doesn't understand the diarrhea and how to treat it.
I have been prescribed Carafate four times a day if I take it four times a day I end up with extreme stomach pain. The diarrhea turns into constipation.
can you give any ideas or recommend anything.
I am desperate for any ideas, I can not control when I have to go and it is making my life a living mess.
1 Responses
Avatar universal
Well, first of all, ask your doc if you can cut back on your Carafate to two or three times a day instead of four times, to help prevent constipation.  Now, could be you have some strictures, or narrowing of the intestine, from your various ops.  Also, you may have other mechanical gastro problems, from way back in the beginning up to now, like with the muscles in the anal area, for example, to where those muscles are not holding in waste for the appropriate time to release it.  

I think a really good gastro SURGEON should do a CT scan of your abdomen and get a good visualization of what's going on in your entire intestines.  Perhaps the original childhood bowel problem, then those early surgical procedures, as well as the resection and pancreas operation, may all be conspiring to create this uncontrollable diarrhea, and the scan might give the gastro surgeon a good overall picture of everything that appears to be irregular in the maze of intestines.  With that scan as a base big picture of your digestive tract, he might then repeat the colonoscopy and endoscopy procedures, and perhaps even elect to do some more surgery to once and for all straighten you out.

But now, I think it's interesting that last time you had this diarrhea, the regular gastro doc found a bacteria from food poisoning, and I assume he gave you antibiotics to clear it up, and you've been fine until a year or so later.  Therefore, could be you have another intestinal infection from food or just a garden variety of bacteria in there, even tho bloodwork didn't show anything this time, and so another round of antibiotics just might clear it up.  So, when you find a really good gastro surgeon to sort of get your guts back into good working order, he can also look for any bacteria that isn't helping everything, that's for sure.  The best docs can be found at a hospital in a university setting, your state or a nearby one should have a top group of gastro surgeons who can evaluate you and take your case.

I really feel for you with all this diarrhea disruption in your life.  In fact, it sounds to me like you really have had NO real relief for your entire life.  I know you've probably been thru various diaper solutions and so forth, but it could be if the new gastro surgeon cannot "fix" you no matter how hard he tries, then a colostomy might be in order, they make them so good now that no one notices them, they are comfortable and with a little practice are easy to manage, and you'll never have to worry about when your digestion is going to fly out of you and ruin everything.  You have to weigh lifelong unpredictable diarrhea with the mechanical device next to your body, and the choice becomes obvious.  And they can always reverse this solution if you just cannot bear it.

So, ask about cutting back on the Carafate, find some gastro surgeons at a university hospital and get a new workup, consider a colostomy if all else fails.  And in the meantime, slowly introduce more fiber like oat cereal, wheat bread, and salads, don't get dehydrated, and keep up with regular exercise especially long relaxed walks.  Hope this helps and let us know how things go for you.  A lot of people in this forum can surely sympathize with you and know how wrenching these things can be to a life.

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