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Somebody help me! I've had diarrhea for almost 2 years straight.
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LotaHossain posted:
Hi, I'm not sure where to get help, and I need some suggestion of where to go, what to do and perhaps any ideas of what may be wrong with me.I will try to give as much detail as possible to allow for a proper response.

I am a 26 year old woman and I have had diarrhea daily for 23 months.

Back in Dec. 2009, my family and I visited Bangladesh. At this time, I weighed 174 lbs. Within days of arriving everybody developed some sort of food-borne (likely parasitical) illness accompanied by vomiting, severe diarrhea, fever, fatigue, and malaise. We went to a hospital and were prescribed Flagyl and were told we likely had Giardiasis. Upon taking this prescription, my son and husband quickly regained their health and while I did get a little better and was able to walk around and hold down my food and water, and the diarrhea lessened in severity, it did NOT go away.

We came back to the US in January 2010 and my Husband and child stayed since without having any diarrhea, except when ill while I still had ONLY loose stools several times a day. Along with the diarrhea daily, I developed chronic muscles and bone pains, intolerance to heat, frequent nausea, weight gain, loss of concentration and ability to stay on task, severe mood swings, urinary & fecal incontinence, and constant, unrelenting fatigue.

These symptoms kept going on and in July 2010, I went to the hospital. At the hospital, they ran a urine test and a visual pelvic examination (no PAP or any other tests), told me I had a mild UTI and that my prolonged menses was likely caused by a hormonal imbalance, prescribed me an antibiotic and sent me home. They did NOT run a fecal culture test nor did anything other than give me a referral to a clinic.

When I went to make an appointment at the clinic, I was told that the fee for the appointment would be $115 and various lab tests would be in excess of $800- I did not and still do not have that kind of money- so I did not make an appointment to get seen because I couldn't afford it.

In January 2011, A family friend whom happens to be a plastic surgeon visited our home and we asked him if he could refer us to someone who could help us without it being too expensive. He pulled some strings and I was able to see a colleague of his pro-Bono who also felt that it was Giardiasis and prescribed Flagyl. We could not afford any tests so again none were administered.

After taking the Flagyl a second time, the diarrhea did not go away, still, but I did at least, start getting solid stools at least a few times a week also.

This diarrhea interferes with my life in such a way that I can't go anywhere that does not have a restroom available because the diarrhea and/or urination can come at any time without warning. It interferes with my sleep schedule because I have to get up 3 or more times per night to use the bathroom.

I have tried changing my diet so many times, but nothing makes the diarrhea go away. Although I have found that oatmeal, lettuce, cucumbers, and other raw veggies, grape nuts cereal, whole wheat, high fiber bread, and spicy and oily or fried foods aggravate my symptoms and cheese, bananas,steamed veggies, potatoes and rice lessen the severity, nothing makes it go away.

Despite daily urinary and fecal incontinence, I am NOT losing any weight. In fact, I am gaining weight and despite adopting rigorous diet and exercise, I cannot lose any weight. I am now 195 lbs.

I don't know what to do or where to turn for help. I'm tired of the frequent bathroom trips. I'm tired of the pain and headaches. I'm tired of not being able to think or concentrate or remember like I could 3 years ago. I'm tired of the weight gain and tired of the pain and head-aches. But most of all, I'm just tired of being tired all the time.

Please somebody, help me. Anything at all, please.
Reply
 
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LotaHossain responded:
I have a few tid-bits to add about my symptoms:

When my diarrhea is severe, it is accompanied by heart-burn, nausea, gas, bloating, abdominal and sometimes thoracic pain and the consistency is pure liquid with perhaps some little pieces of lettuce, cilantro, peas, beans, corn, etc (whatever I may have eaten). Water also seems to make my bowel movements come more frequently and definitely makes me urinate very often (like 2-4 times an hour). I still drink water even though it increases the amount because I would rather go the the bathroom several times a day than suffer the migraines and vomiting that come from NOT drinking enough water.

When my diarrhea is less severe, it tends to be a chunky or peanut-butter-like consistency. White bread and tortillas also lessens the severity of the symptoms.
 
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srkRN replied to LotaHossain's response:
Wonder if your symptoms could be attributed to Post infectious IBS(irritable bowel syndrome) and Functional dyspepsia, caused by Hx of Giardiasis. {From PubMed journal 2010: A paper from Norway reported the outcome of an outbreak of waterborne giardiasis in Bergen that occurred in 2004.22 Out of a total of 1,300 symptomatic cases with Giardia lamblia identified in stool samples, 139 had persistent symptoms despite several treatment courses. An estimated two thirds of these patients had overlapping IBS and FD. Twenty-two post-Giardia infection patients with IBS by Rome II criteria and 19 patients who had recovered from Giardia infection after treatment with metronidazole, were enrolled into a meat soup gastric emptying study. The post-Giardia IBS patients had lower drinking capacity and slower gastric emptying. In some patients sequential duodenal biopsies demonstrated microscopic inflammation that subsided with time despite the persistence of symptoms.23 In a long term follow-up study of 82 patients from this post-Giardia IBS cohort, the authors reported that close to 60% reported exacerbation of their symptoms by specific foods}
If so, IBS and delayed gastric emptying/FD can cause these symptoms. Perhaps small frequent meals of foods that you were tolerating, avoiding fried/fatty foods, trying a low fat low residue diet. Maybe you could also try a probiotic supplement such as Align for IBS-D. A Gastroenterologist would be great for diagnosis and treatment.
 
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LotaHossain replied to srkRN's response:
Thank you so very much for your comment. I will definitely look into finding a GE specialist.
 
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LotaHossain replied to LotaHossain's response:
Another Tid-bit:
I've been looking up my symptoms and asking around and I keep
getting responses about celiac's disease. Except for the symptom of constipation, most symptoms match.

I don't ever get stopped up, in fact, it's just the opposite- I have had diarrhea EVERYDAY for the past 23 months- it varies in severity from a thicker, peanut-butter-like consistency (which is a good day) to explosive burning "water" coming out of my bottom. Even though I have diarrhea, it also feels lie my intestines never fully empty and is accompanied by gas, nausea, bloating, indigestion, pain and sometimes heart-burn. I also have not been able to get any help, have been discharged from the er without them running any fecal/culture tests. The more severe version comes and goes without warning. Alterations of my diet and exercise routines offer little relief and do not make it go completely away. My intestines often feel swollen and often I have a burning and or bubbling sensation traveling sporadically throughout my abdominopelvic area.

I also do not know where to turn for help. People keep saying go see a GE Dr. I do not have insurance and we are a very low income family. I live in Lauderhill, FL, and I have had problems with finding anyone who can offer me any suggestions of any Dr's in this specific field who would be willing to work out a payment plan that fits my family's income limitations. If anyone can give answers. I'd greatly appreciate it.
 
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srkRN replied to LotaHossain's response:
Not familiar with your area, but perhaps County health dept./County hosp. could help you locate Gastroenterogist in your area re: insurance/payments. Celiac disease is hereditary and can be diagnosed w /positve tTG IgA(blood test) and small bowel biopsy done via EGD(upper endoscopy). If positive you would be put on a gluten free diet. Would remain on diet w/gluten until testing done though (would't want a false negative). For diarrhea and burning troubles, perhaps relief can be found with slippery elm supplement, it has been found to be helpful for some w/crohn's, microscopic colitis, sore throats because it sooths the lining of throat, esoph. and intestines, helps diarrhea. Some helpful links re:Celiac and Slippery elm:

http://www.celiac.com/
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/slippery-elm-000274.htm


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