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Avatar universal

Tummy problems - bloating etc

Does anyone else get a lot of tummy problems from Lyme?

I used to have diarrhoea all the time, very severe, (up to 20 times a day) and when I started on abx it settled down and all was much improved.
Now, after 18 months of abx, I have recently developed constipation instead. I also have incredible bloating - I look about 7 months pregnant!!! Sometimes I have a lot of wind, but not always, so that cannot explain the bloating.

I did develop low thyroid over the last year and that does cause constipation, but I am taking thyroid supps now and the constipation is still just as bad. Has anyone else had anything like this? It is driving me nuts, going from one extreme to the other.
12 Responses
1763947 tn?1334058919
The constant diarrhea is how mine started, like you, I had it  over 20 times a day.  The gastro dr did every test, looking for something and there was nothing the "oh you are nuts' face came over him after a while. My thyroid also went down and I went on the meds for that only I am not sure if those pills caused the diarrhea to slow down or what but if finally did and I am sorry because I know how miserable the whole situation can be. Wish I had a better answer for you.
Avatar universal
I have lots of gut involvement thanks to Bartonella.  I was fast and loose for a couple months until a fellow Lymie recommended I go gluten free.  Within 5 days, I wasn't so loose anymore, and the burning and itching greatly decreased. But I still had bulky stools and undigested food.

I used one supplement called UltrainflamX for a month. It's a medical food for IBS sufferers. I believe it helped.  The one I have stayed on is Intestimax. I like the capsules better than the powder. The powder doesn't mix well. It really does soothe my intestines.

Before my last GI analysis came back, I had bouts of uncomfortable bloating, mostly without gas.  Even my hubby agreed I looked pregnant! I think it was  because my yeast levels were so high in my gut. I have been on Nystatin for 3 weeks now and it is definitely getting better.

I have also increased my fiber intake and cut my sugar intake. The overall tenderness in my intestines is way down from before treatment, but still there sometimes.

After 4.5 months, my gut is still not 'normal'.  I still have a continuous dull ache in my stomach, but it is so much better than the severe pain I had earlier.  I have a whole new empathy for sufferers of IBS, IBD, Crohn's, and Celiac Disease!
Avatar universal
And one more thing I learned from my GI analysis... I was very alkaline.  I hear it is common for Lyme to mess with our Ph levels. I add 2-4 Tablespoons of lemon juice to water and drink a little at a time over the course of the day to add acidity back in.  

Someone else recommended sipping it all day, but my mom warned me that it would eat the enamel off my teeth. On top of my dry mouth from a medication, that is not a good thing. (I just learned I have two small cavities, which is rare for me.)  Now I drink more in one sitting and rinse my mouth afterwards.

When I stop the lemon juice, I notice an ammonia smell in my stool within a couple days. From what I read, ammonia comes from being too alkaline.
Avatar universal
Very interesting about the alkalinity.
How did you have that analysed?
Do you have low stomach acid? - I am pretty sure that I do, and I have been wondering how to deal with it, adn wondering if that could be part of the overall problem.

I'll ask my doc about intestimax.

I had better grit my teeth and cut out sugar too, arggh! as candida is perennially a problem for me.

Thanks for all the advice - really helpful.
Avatar universal
I take antifungal supplements like Candex or YeastCleanse or others -- they have a combination of anti-fungal herbs and supplements like

caprylic acide
pau d'arco
grapefruit seed extract
garlic
licorice
tea tree oil

along with some Vit C, calcium, magnesium and zinc.  That's what I just took from the label on one of them.  

I got a huge yeast infection throughout my body when I had Lyme and went on a very strict diet of healthy foods, along with Diflucan.  The dietary change adjusted the pH at some level, so that it made my body less hospitable to the yeast.  (I had also been taking yeast-based probiotics, which it turns out I am sensitive to, so had to stop that.)

Hang in there, you'll figure it out -- Lyme and its co-infections combined with our different genetic make up and own medical history makes it a continuing puzzle, and there isn't a one size fits all -- you are taking a thoughtful approach to unraveling what works and doesn't work for you, and that's the best approach, in my experience.

Hang on, you'll figure it out!
Avatar universal
My LLMD likes the full GI panel from Metametrix, a lab in Georgia (USA). Supposedly, it is very comprehensive and not many labs do that much testing.  They check the good bacteria levels, short and long chain fatty acids levels, Ph, digestive enzymes, et.al. They also look for yeast, parasites, campylobacter, and h.pylori levels.  I had them all!  It was very useful in finding medications and supplements to help my digestive system, which in turn helped me feel a lot better.

I still have some bloating and tenderness in my stomach, but it is nowhere near what it used to be.

Have you read Virginia Sherr's article called "Bell's Palsy of the Gut?" (Bell's Palsy is when the 7th cranial nerve is affected and paralyzes one side of the face.) It really explained a lot of my issues.  She says that when Lyme infects the 10th cranial nerve, it in turn affects breathing and digestion. (I have problems with both!). She reports the worst gut symptoms in people who also have Bartonella.

Parts of the digestive tract can be paralyzed, or get incomplete signals that tell them what to do. This can result in an inability to control stomach acid, resulting in too much or too little. If the intestines are partially paralyzed, constipation can result.

I knew nothing about all this 6 months ago.  I hadn't even heard of a cranial nerve before all this!
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