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Hi! I'm writing because like many of you, I'm at wit's end and I want to see if anyone has any suggestions.
I'm a 34-year old Canadian who has had a sensitive digestive symptom my entire adult life. Mostly I'd have frequent bouts of diarrhea, fissures, intense bloating, stomach aches, gas and occasionally, heartburn.
1.5 years ago, I had an episode where I woke up in the middle of the night, nauseous and insanely hungry which no food could satiate. I had something very vinegary that night and believe I picked up a stomach bug from my nephew. A month later, my stomach was still sensitive so I took Pantoprazole for a month without any noticeable issues. Abdominal ultrasound returned unremarkable.
10 months ago, my stomachaches got worse and the weird hunger pangs started again. The dr. prescribed Zantac and Pantoprazole. After upping to a high dosage on my dr's recommendation, I started experiencing really bad acid reflux and non-stop belching. It felt like a bubble was over my chest, I had trouble swallowing food and I lost quite a bit of weight. I stopped it about 3 weeks later after a colonoscopy/endoscopy returned normal except for some mild inflammation in my colon. But since then, I have had daily digestive issues with alternating symptoms between upper and lower GI tract.
I'm seeing a Gastroentologist but I've come to the conclusion that he will not help me.
My symptoms over the last 10 months:
* Violent burping. Loud, large, long embarrassing burps. Sometimes, I get the sensation of a burp spasm in my upper abdomen but air does not expel. Occasional hiccuping too.
* Nausea, often after eating or drinking lots of water. Can be relieved with burping. So I believe it's from trapped gas.
* Low satiety. I'm often hungry after eating.
* Lots of undigested food in my stool
* Alternating between loose (but not diarrhea) stools and constipation but having daily bowel movements
* Intense bloating
* Extremely loud stomach which makes very squelching, sloshing and other noises
* Feeling of liquid in my nasal cavity
* Mucus in stool or pellet-like stools
* Swallowing problems - food feels stuck in my chest - which seems to happen when my reflux is bad
* Intense hunger pangs which get bad when I have ingested something acidic like an apple, red wine and vinegar. But it can happen even without acidic food, especially when I wake up. Food doesn't usually help. Having a bowel movement can sometimes help. I don't experience this symptom all the time.
* Left-side pain
What I've tried (nothing has helped so far):
* FODMAP diet and Gluten Free/SCD diet, eliminated all refined carbs, fruits, added sugar. (with the help of a dietitian). Sadly, other than acidic foods causing me hunger pangs sometimes, no pattern to food and disturbances to my tract.
* Probiotics (Florastor and Bio-K). Trying align right now
* Naturopathy (I'm skeptical but I may try a different one again)
* Aloe Vera
* Apple cider vinegar
* Allimed, oregano oil
* Digestive Enzymes
* Domperidone, Metoclopramide. The former made me feel worse
Currently trying Nexium (on day 4) but I'm actually quite scared to be taking it given the last reaction I had to a PPI. I've decided to trial it for 2 weeks. On the diet front, I'm mostly eating chicken, fish, zucchini, spinach, bananas, oatmeal. My reflux has been better the last couple of weeks but it seems to come and go. I still have the feeling of liquid going up my nasal cavity sometimes.
I'm a normal weight (it's been fluctuating but I haven't lost significant amounts), BMI of 19.5, fit body type, very active (not as much of late) but I do love carbs/sugar/salt. About 2 months after the digestion issues got really bad, I started also getting irregular periods after having experienced regular ones my entire life. I was later diagnosed with bilateral polycystic ovaries but I don't know if I have PCOS or just PCO.
Friends/family are concerned and are suggesting different things like body detox, colonics, chinese medicine, iridology, naturopathy, and more. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. Anyone have any suggestions as to what could be the problem? And potential solutions.
A few things I've though about:
* Diabetes? Dr is checking right now and I don't think I have it, my blood sugar was low last year. But reading up on PCOS, it makes me wonder if insulin issues could be contributing
* Hormonal problems??
* SIBO??? Gastroentologist was dismissive. What is the likelihood of me having this after my PPI bout?
* Malfunctioning sphincter?
* I've also have had significant anxiety since these issues started last year and I cannot stop thinking about it. I've stopped obsessively looking for symptoms and potential causes but the burping especially has really impacted my social life and the nausea means I can't exercise like I used to. I started Zoloft but worried about the effect on my brain, I stopped it pretty soon after. I wondered if the burping was due to stress but I don't think so.
Thanks for reading this long long message.
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