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Hi everyone :)

I know you must hear these stories a lot, but I really hope you can help me. Apologies for the long post. Please bear with me.


About me: I'm 23, female, 5'5", 115lbs, non-smoker, and until this I used to exercise frequently. I almost never drink soda or coffee, and I generally eat a healthy diet.

Medical stuff: history of iron deficiency, and I have hypothyrodism- that's been treated since birth. Dunno if relevant, but had pinworms as a child, was treated.


Right, now that's out of the way, here goes.

I was feeling generally sluggish and tired, so I took some iron tablets (think it was 30mg). I do that sometimes and it appears to help.
Anyway, I got constipated (presumably due to the iron). I stopped taking it and waited for it to resolve itself. Well, it didn't. After a week or so, I started getting REALLY bloated. My abdomen was so distended I could do nothing but prop myself up on some pillows in bed. I thought one day I'd simply explode.

I had a trip coming up, so I went to the doctor who gave me lactulose. No effect. I went again, this time I got sennokot (stronger laxative) and that gave me diarrhoea and helped the bloating a bit. But still I felt.. full, gassy, tired and constipated.

I went on my trip. I saw a doctor there, who gave me more laxatives. But all I passed was.. well, brown water. (sorry, there's no better way to phrase it). And despite drinking lots of water I was dehydrated and felt like s--- hm, no, can't stomach that pun...
I basically spent most of the day in bed, felt dizzy and like I was going to faint if I spent too much time out of bed. Not sure if it's relevant, but I had a fever too.
At this point, I ate nothing but oatmeal and yoghurt as those are easy to digest. Despite being hungry I felt full, so I didn't eat a lot and lost about 10 lbs over those few weeks.

*sigh..*

so I went to another doctor. He listened to my stomach and said it was .. um.. too active? He told me to get off the laxatives. I did. And indeed I started improving. My visits to the toilet became more productive, shall we say. I enjoyed the rest of my holiday and started eating real food again. I thought it had just been the iron and laxatives that messed up my system and without that I would be fine.

wrong.

Didn't last very long till I was again constipated and getting very, very bloated and gassy, especially after meals. So now this has been going on for about two months. I literally feel like my belly is so distended and full, that there's no room for me to breathe in properly. It is a constant source of anxiety and discomfort. This simply can't be right. There must be something I can do, because I refuse to live with this - my mom has similar problems with bloating, but it seems she has given up trying to solve it. That scares me.

Me being generally "skinny" is a curse in disguise as I look ok even when I feel a bit bloated. A friend put it like this: "there are girls throwing up into toilets to look like you." But really it is the feeling of being bloated and gassy constantly that is so demeaning to ones confidence.

I never had problems like this in my entire life. When I was younger I used to eat things like raw broccoli en masse without a fart to show for it. Until recently I had satisfying visits to the toilet at least twice a day, and most days I woke up feeling energetic and light, like my whole digestive system was as it should be. I can't tell you how much I miss that.

soo, I got an appointment to get my blood tested for iron and thyroid levels. I'm not sure what that is going to come of that. If either iron or thyroid hormones are down I wouldn't know why, as I eat a lot of meat and am good with taking my eltroxin (aka levothyroxine).

If anybody here has gone through the same thing and come to a solution, or has any suggestions for tests I should get, please, help me, let me know.

Thank you for reading!


PS: there is one other thing, which i'm not sure is relevant: I am somewhat prone to yeast infections, which seemed to start when I was on antibiotics for an ear infection about 5 years ago. My doctor told me to try just eating probiotic yoghurt, and that helped. In fact, I notice that I tend to get a yeast infection when for some reason I haven't been eating yoghurt.

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Hi Cioness

Thanks for the detailed info - it helps!

Actually, your last paragraph was the most telling - you tend to suffer from yeast infections. It sounds like you've developed a yeast infection within your intestines. If its not yeast, you're probably carrying extra 'passengers' of some description. Laxatives won't make any difference here, and it's not connected with your iron supplements or thyroid medication.

You can test to find out exactly what's happening inside your bowels.

Visit your local accredited naturopath who knows about functional pathology testing (what part of the world do you live in?) They will arrange a stool test which will reveal exactly why you're getting bloated, and then give you the right supplements to fix it (usually the right herbs, plus some probiotics and perhaps digestive enzymes or more, depends on how much inflammation is in there.

Let me know what part of the world you live in, I may be able to point you in the right direction.

Regards, Olwen
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Hi Cioness

Thanks for the detailed info - it helps!

Actually, your last paragraph was the most telling - you tend to suffer from yeast infections. It sounds like you've developed a yeast infection within your intestines. If its not yeast, you're probably carrying extra 'passengers' of some description. Laxatives won't make any difference here, and it's not connected with your iron supplements or thyroid medication.

You can test to find out exactly what's happening inside your bowels.

Visit your local accredited naturopath who knows about functional pathology testing (what part of the world do you live in?) They will arrange a stool test which will reveal exactly why you're getting bloated, and then give you the right supplements to fix it (usually the right herbs, plus some probiotics and perhaps digestive enzymes or more, depends on how much inflammation is in there.

Let me know what part of the world you live in, I may be able to point you in the right direction.
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Hi There.. Mrs. Anderson. So do I take the red pill or the blue pill? (sorry, I could not resist the matrix)

no problem- i'm just glad someone bothered to read it and reply- thank you.
I do have to say that I don't really believe in naturopathy and that kind of thing. I'd rather have a GI specialist do the same test... does it have a name, btw? But heck, if my doctor can't help me then maybe I will try that down the line. (I live in Ireland).

thanks :-)
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Hi Cioness

The test is called a 'comprehensive stool digestive analysis'. Many doctors who practice in functional medicine will already use this test, if you feel more comfortable consulting a doctor.

The test was pioneered by Genova Diagnostics in USA, (they have a web site) but is now used widely in Australia too by naturopaths and some doctors.

Search for a doctor or specialist who practises in nutritional medicine, in functional medicine, or who practises in anti-aging medicine - any of these are likely to know about the 'comprehensive stool digestive analysis' (CSDA for short). Alternatively, take a look through the directory of whatever body accredits naturopaths in Ireland and that may uncover a practitioner in your area who knows about it.

Good luck. Let us know how you go.

Regards, Olwen
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I'll have to look into that, thank you!

So far symptoms are ongoing :-( I'm told I'll get my blood test results back within a week. I'm not sure whether I will go to see my doctor before that, or if it makes sense to wait for the results. Anyway, I will keep you posted.
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Can you tell me more about this? I have never heard anything about CSDA and I'd like to know what you'd expect from the process. That would help me out a lot. Thanks!
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I used to get this all the time and found out later that I had a sensitivity to wheat. Try going off all wheat for at least 5 weeks and see if you have less gas and bloating. If not try omitting dairy from your diet for 5 weeks. It took me alot of tries to figure out which food I was having trouble with but once I found it I feel so much better.

Have you tried any of the gas products that have symethicone in them? Or pickles sometimes help something about the dill helping with gas. It does work cause babies gripe water has a pickle flavour to it too.
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Update:

went to my doc, blood test not back yet, but he referred me to a GI at a nearby hospital. Now I have to wait for them to contact me for an appointment.

I've been good and eating rice soup, which, while it hasn't fixed the root of the problem, has certainly helped temporarily with the bloating. Only problem now is eating enough- I weighed 108 lbs this morning: not in a lean and healthy way, just in a crappy wasting away kinda way. So, I'm gonna try adding more foods to see what I can eat with only minimal bloating for the time being.

I'll keep you posted.
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update: eating more things, still get bloated and constipated all the time, but it's a lot better with eating simple, bland things. I've fallen in love with pearl rice. I also ate an entire tub of peanut butter in a week, so that probably helped- I'm back to my old weight.
I haven't been eating much gluten, so I think i'd know if it was that by now.

I still have to go in and talk to someone about it. One thing I noticed is that my eosinophil is 0.80 when it shouldn't be higher than 0.45, according to the printout I got. I am going go in and talk to somebody about the results soon. No word from the hospital yet about seeing the GI.

I'll keep ya posted.
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oops, that paragraph was meant to go like this:
cioness wrote:


I got my blood test results back. One thing I noticed is that my eosinophil is 0.80 when it shouldn't be higher than 0.45, according to the printout I got. I am going go in and talk to somebody about the results soon.

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Cioness, glad to hear that thigs are giong better for you. I appreciate reading how you're doing and I'd like you to keep doin git if you can. Thanks!
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Hi Bluedog - you wanted to know about the CSDA (comprehensive stool digestive analysis). This is a functional pathology test we use to discover
- whether there are parasites, yeasts, funghi or a bacterial infection present
- how effectively you are digesting protein, carbohydrates and fats
- how the balance of good bacteria is, like lactobacilli for instance - do you have enough?
- whether there are food remnants in your stool, indicating a lack of digestive enzymes
- whether the epithelial cells that line the intestines are being fed well (they do the absorption work, so they're really important in bowel health)
- where there is red blood cells, white blood cells, mucus, or pus present in the stool. (If any of these come up as 'yes' then its off to the doctor's surgery for disease pathology testing)

On a practical level, because we then know what bugs are present, we know what remedy to use. Also what digestive enzymes are required, if any, or if probiotics are required, or just soothing and feeding of the epithelial cells. It enables us to give a more focused, effective treatment.

Is this what you wanted to know?

Regards, Olwen :-)
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That's exactly it! That is very comprehensive too! Thank you so much for the information. I was not very educated on it. Thanks again :-)
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You're most welcome! Glad to be able to help :-D
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