Abdominal pain & bowel changes - 10months

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Firstly i'll apologise as this will probably be quite a long post, and will probably contain alot of graphic detail regarding my bowels 😃

Roughly 10 months ago i developed some mild stomach pain, which was diagnosed as Gastritis. When this didnt clear up after a month on PPI, i was tested for H.Pylori which came back positive, and i was prescribed Amoxicillin, Clarythromycin, and Lansoprazole for a week. At the end of the weeks treatment i developed diarrhea and vomiting, and then again a week later (both times my GP believed it was viral). After developing diarrhea a few weeks later again, i was swaped from Lansoprazole to Ranitidine (600mg daily i think), which i continued to take for the next 4 months, but the diarrhea and abdominal pain continued.

I was also tested for Celiac which came back negative, H.Pylori again which came back negative, and my caprotectin levels were tested, which came back as 50 (normal) and 450 (raised). I then had a colonoscopy, which showed no signs of inflamation/crohns/colitis etc, and some biopsies were taken (i'm still waiting for the results).

For approximately the past 3 months my symptoms have been fairly consistent. I have abdominal pain of varying intensity located centrally and about 1.5inches below my belly button. It tends to feel alot like trapped wind, but sometimes its at a low intensity but can last all day, other times its higher intensity but in waves. In the space of approximately 1 hour i can have a bowel movement which is rather constipated, then normal, then unformed with the consistency of porridge (ill probably never eat that again), then diarrhea. At this point i'll take some lopperamide (so that i can at least half function for the day), then the next 3-4 days ill have no bowel movement, then one that is constipated, then repeat the above.

Aside from this, i'm otherwise healthy. Im 5'10, non-smoker (quit 1 year before all this started), non-drinker. I was 186lbs when this first started (February time) and currently weigh 154lbs. I appreciate i could have done to lose a few lbs originally, but ive lost 32lbs without trying, and my activity levels are less than they were before.

My current medication is Buscopan (when required) and Lopperamide (after diarrhea). I did try Fybogel which for 1.5 weeks after my colonoscopy i thought i'd reached the holy grail as my bowel movements became rather normal, but eventually they returned to the abnormal cycle described above. I've also got some Probiotic capsules (50billion i think) which i've only been taking for a day so far.

I suspect my GP may just say its IBS, but i'll be asking them to look into SIBO as i think that could be related.

Suggestions???Ideas???Anything???

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  • Posted

    I would speak to your GP about SIBO. If you do have a bacterial overgrowth you don't want to be putting more bacteria in so I would stop the probiotics for the time being. Your GP can refer you to a gastroenterologist who can arrange the hydrogen breath test for you.

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    • Posted

      If you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria, the good bacteria will need to be replaced. Probiotics can help to increase the good gut flora so that it eventually outnumbers the bad.

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    • Posted

      One person says use probiotics. The other says don't. It just proves what a minefield the digestive system is though. At least with a broken bone it can be diagnosed pretty simply. My biggest gripe is that after having 'this' for 10 months, I still don't know what 'this' is.

      Thank you both for your input though 😃

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    • Posted

      Pippa, I suggested stopping the probiotics for the time being as this was what my consultant told me. I was diagnosed with SIBO recently and have just finished a two week course of specific antibiotics (unfortunately not available on the NHS) then have to wait 7 days before starting probiotics. The antibiotics I had do not affect the good bacteria in the colon only the bacteria in the small intestine. We are all different but after nearly 5 years of feeling unwell along with other unrelated health problems it was good to get a diagnosis other than IBS! I just hope it all works.

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    • Posted

      There are similarities between bacterial overgrowth symptoms and IBS and the two can be confused. However, I was glad of my IBS diagnosis because for me, IBS is both non threatening and simple to deal with and this is what I had hoped for. Knowing I only had IBS, cured my health anxiety and my IBS got better. Had I been diagnosed with something else, I would have been very disappointed and would have found it harder to come to terms with. I do recognise that for others, IBS can be very disabling and not so straightforward.

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  • Posted

    keep taking the probiotic....prefer flora 50 billion critical care that need to be refridgeratored. also get a perscription for cholestraymine.....it worked for me. had same symptons and was eventually told had IBS! WHICH I DIDNT HAVE???? good luck!

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