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Food Issues
greengirl2010 posted:
For over 10 years, I've had issues with my abdomen swelling profusely after eating. I've tried eliminating certain foods, which would help for a few days but then a new food would start bothering me. Eventually, it became so bad that EVERYTHING causes me to swell, even water. It does not matter how little I eat, so it's not that I'm overeating. Now, I just stay swollen and it worsens even more every time I eat. To the point that my entire belly is hard and I can't find clothes that fit. I'm asked on a daily basis when I"m due- so humiliating!

I've seen numerous Dr.s over the years, we've ruled out IBS and H. Pilori. I've had a colonoscopy. Dr.s will brainstorm a few ideas, then just blow me off because they don't know what the problem is.

On an almost nightly basis, my gut will just gurgle and groan. Sitting in the living room, my entire family can hear it. It sometimes wakes up my husband. And I'm in pain.

I've tried gas medicine but none work. I've tried Pepto, which helps with other ailments but not with this swelling issue. I've tried eliminating gluten and dairy. I've tried adding fiber and fresh fruits/vegetables. Nothing works - or if it does at first, my body adapts after a few days and symptoms increase.

It's so bad now, that I sometimes skip meals even when I'm hungry because I'm so bloated, I can't breathe. I now struggle daily with breathing, which is getting scary.

It helps to have a bowl movement but I will go for weeks without one. I've tried high fiber diets, fiber supplements, laxatives, stool softeners. Nothing helps. When I do go, it's usually such a small amount that I feel no different. Maybe once a month or so, I'll go enough that I'll feel almost normal, thin, deflated and amazing.....until I next ingest something, then it's right back to where I started.

I'm still pestering my Dr. but she's at a loss. I asked if there's a specialist I should see but she doesn't know because I've already seen two gastroenterologists.

I'm miserable, in pain and embarrassed. Please help!
calgal37 responded:
Greengirl, you don't want a GI doc. Most of them deal with the narrowly-defined paramaters of 'strict' GI issues. If you feel the issue could be food related, and from your description it just may be, find a functional medical doc to work with. Someone who has a great understanding of food intolerance issues.

There are several tests that can be used to try to figure out what's going on. But once you find out what foods are problematic, keep in mind that it will take quite awhile to normalize your system. It's not quick or easy.

The breathing can be intimately related to food issues, as can diarrhea, constipation, bloating, brain fog, rashes and other skin problems, sinus issues and a host of other symptoms.

And if you're going to be tested, make sure IgG and IgA-based testing systems are used. Don't let the doc rely on an IgE-based testing system which is more typically used to pick up issues that are 'immediate' - a couple of minutes to hours. IgG and IgA systems detect reactions to food that can be 'delayed-onset' which are more typical of food issues.
greengirl2010 replied to calgal37's response:
How do I find a competant doctor? I've seen innumerable Dr.'s over the years and they're all at a loss. I don't expect them to know everything but I do expect them to help me figure it out or help me find someone that can. But they don't, they run through the same handful of things that all previous Dr.'s have checked and then just start blowing me off.

My Dr. now is having me come back in appt. after appt. ($110 a pop) but we're not trying anything definitive. She had me try a digestive aid, then come back to report. Now she's stuck on curing an ulcer I wish I'd never mentioned. The ulcer started in 2007 after a week of Ibuprophren all day every day. My crazy gut trouble has existed all my life, but debilitatingly so over the past decade, so it has nothing to do with my ulcer. She wants me to go through a 6 week ulcer treatment and report back. Ugh!!!! I feel like Dr.'s are too busy to LISTEN TO THE WORDS I'M SAYING. It's so frustrating!

I feel like I should stick with one Dr. and develop a relationship. But when they start with all the same things I've told them other Dr.'s have already ruled out and then start blowing me off....I don't want a relationship with them. I feel like when they have me keep coming back needlessly and without trying new options, it's just insurance fraud. This is my health we're talking about and after nearly a dozen Dr's, in the end all they do is fatten their own pockets.

Sorry for my rant. My health issues are difficult enough to deal with but I've become so jaded that I now trust Dr.'s about as much as car salesmen. What does that say about our medical industry?

Thank you so much for the tip on the types of tests. If you have advice on finding a helpful Dr., PLEASE let me know!

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