HELP! Multiple food sensitivities, gut sloshing, low stomach acid, etchypochlorhydria sloshing dysbiosis
Posted 22 September 2015 - 05:54 PM
Hello, everybody. I'm writing this for my wife who is not active on the internet. She is 37 years old and has been suffering from IBS symptoms for at least 15 or so years now. Her problems have gotten steadily worse and we're currently trying to get to the bottom of the problem with the help of doctors.
Her symptoms include general indigestion, gas and bloating, burping after meals, loose stools and diarrhea and occasional constipation. One particularly unusual symptom she has is an audible liquid/air "sloshing" in her abdominal area when it is pressed or she moves around. I've seen others mention this on the forum. Have anyone figured out what this is yet? Her's is VERY noticible and uncomfortable. Her GI doc suggested it might have to do with her stomach being slow to empty but it's something we're still investigating.
She has become sensitive to almost ALL foods at this point. Greasy, spicy or "juicy" foods are immediate triggers. Bland foods are best tolerated but there are limitations there as well. Raw vegetables for the most part badly tolerated. The only foods that seem to be OK at this point are grains and sugar, which is certainly not something to make a diet out of. She eats lots things like baked breads, muffins, cakes, pancakes and waffles. In spite of her high sugar and carb intake, she doesn't gain a lot of weight, which is also disturbing. She's found that Mylanta helps with her indigestion because it "coats her stomach" while other remedies like Rolaids and baking soda are less effective.
Interestingly, her most effective remedy is vanilla ice cream. If she eats it with greasy or irritating meals, it seems to also have a soothing, stomach-coating effect that helps her tolerate the other food. Has anyone else here experienced a similar effect with vanilla ice cream? The relative blandness of the vanilla flavor seems to be required for her.
Some other symptoms that seem to be related are signs of malnutrition including hair loss, muscle atrophy and an inablity to develop fat in a unified manner. The only place she seems get fat is in her abdomen, which is often bloated as a result of her food sensitivities.
She's had one visit with the GI doc so far. He ordered an upper GI endoscopy and abdominal ultrasound. Both tests came back more or less normal. The endoscopy found some gastritis, espohagitis and gastroparesis but nothing severe. No ulcers were found and all biopsies came back normal. One note on the endoscopy report says "Suspect gastroparesis due to retained gastric contents."
She had a full blood panel done along with a celiac disease test and H. Pylori breath test. All were normal. The only abnormal finding was slightly low Vitamin D. We had to switch to another GI doc for her follow-up next week and I just wanted to be as prepared as possible about what to ask and any further testing she might need. We've been having to wait a long time to get appointments, so I want to be ahead of the curve as much as possible to avoid drawing this out.
Another significant factor we discovered recently is that she might have low stomach acid. Looking up "retained gastric contents" I came across hypochlorhydria or low stomach acid. We got some Betaine HCL w/ Pepsin pills and started out with one pill with a protein-rich meal, then two and so on. At this point she's up to 7 pills of 600mg Betaine and 60mg Pepsin each with no ill effects. She's no longer taking them because it's too difficult to take so many large pills at once and it requires her to drink a good amount of water with her meals which creates problems for her stomach. She prefers to have as little liquid when she eats as possible because it worsens her problems. Most of the time, even just drinking water alone without a meal is also upsetting to her stomach. So according to what I've read, a person with a normal stomach acid level will have an adverse burning/tingling reaction taking even one of these pills. Since she can take 7 and possibly more, I'm thinking this must mean she has low stomach acid.
Another thing that I'm thinking is a factor is dysbiosis, a gut flora imbalance. She's had a very poor diet for a number of years, so I imagine the microbial environment has been thrown off quite a lot. She may have Candida since she eats and craves lots of sugar and wheat. I've read a bit about SIBO which could be a factor as well due to the possible low stomach acid.
And there's one more thing that could be relevant that I've read about on this forum. Bacteria from tooth decay getting into her stomach from her saliva. She was been extremely doctor-phobic for most of her life. In fact, her recent visit to the doctor for this problem was her first appointment in 25 years. She hasn't seen a dentist in equally as long and it's likely she has a lot of tooth decay going on. I realize this is something we need to take care of as well but we're just trying to go step by step here.
At this point, these are the tests I want to ask the GI doc about:
Stomach acid test
Candida test (if such a thing exists)
Comprehensive stool analysis
Can you think of any others? If anyone can relate to any of her symptoms and issues, particularly the odd ones (gut sloshing, ice cream soothing, specific food sensitivities, tooth decay connection), please reply. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:31 PM
I'm also at the same stage of diagnosis ( or lack of diagnosis). I've had so many tests done, which all came back normal except for my hydrogen breath test which was low, indicating low levels of good bacteria in the gut. I also have low testosterone and iron. Ive recently been reading about gastroparesis and slow stomach emptying also which I believe may be my problems, but I cannot figure out the cause of it. As well as you I have considered that my bad teeth (and recent root canal after an infected gum) may be upsetting my stomach but I cannot afford to have my teeth fixed currently so I can't rule that out. I might get one of those gum guards that you wear at night to see if that stops any bad bacteria from getting in my stomach. Amongst other theories I have are ...nervous system problems/vagus nerve, leaky gut, toxic build up in my colon ....I really don't know.
I am thinking of asking the doctor for a barium meal to check how fast food travels through me even though I know that my stomach empties very slowly. I can eat a meal and burp six hours later and still smell it.
Anyway, I hope you are still on this forum and that we can keep in touch with any updates so we can help each other. Best of luck. Victoria from the UK
Posted 03 December 2015 - 08:04 PM
Posted 04 December 2015 - 06:43 PM
Parasites (toxic buildup perhaps), too much estrogen from dairy STOP ALL DAIRY until she is healed
Kidney issue because of hair issues that you mentioned.
May be a severe lack of vitamin C and/or vitamin A
Look at the fingers for clues on overall health. They should have no moons (except thumb moon is ok). thumb is vitamin A zinc, pointer is vit B cobalt, middle is vit C iron, ring is vit D calcium, pinky is vit E selenium
Parasite cleaning tonic drink, drink this at 7:00-10:00 pm
agave tequila tablespoon, aloe tablespoon, 8 oz pineapple juice
Most of all, she should be the one that wants to change and heal. No action should be taken and no karma is put forth unless she wants it so.
Posted 07 February 2016 - 08:57 PM
Hi. I came across your post after I searched googled for my symptoms. Your wife's symptoms are pretty much exactly the same as mine. She is the first person I have found that has this, I have felt so alone!
Hello, Victoria. I just saw this message. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. She does share some of the symptoms you describe. Her upper parts of her limbs are thicker and the lower parts are very thin. She seems to have some muscle deterioration going on, especially in her bum which is very bony making it very uncomfortable for her to sit. She does have very white skin from a lack of sun exposure, which also likely behind her vitamin D deficiency. It does seem to take her cuts a long time to heal and she does often feel hungry even after eating a good amount of food. And like you, she will burp many hours after eating and still taste what she last ate. This seems to be due to her delayed stomach emptying. She's since had a gastric emptying study which did confirm this, although we were told that marijuana use can contribute to delayed emptying which is something she does do. But she had this problem before ever using marijuana so it's definitely not caused by it, only probably exacerbated by it. Have you had a gastric emptying study done?
Right now we're working with a functional medicine doctor who suspects she might have SIBO. Is that what your hydrogen breath test was for? You said your level was low so that's confusing because I thought the SIBO test showed how high the bad bacteria level was. Stomach acid still could be an issue. At this point she going to have several tests done. The SIBO breath test, a Nutreval blood and urine test and a comprehensive stool analysis. Based on those findings, the functional doctor will recommend supplements and diet changes. It's going to be hard because she's totally addicted to sugar and wheat. She had an IgG food allergy bloodspot test done as well and it showed a severe reaction to whey (meaning most dairy), eggs, gliadin (essentially wheat) and corn. Those ingredients are in so many things, it's going to be hard to exclude them. She's also a very picky eater and has basically been living on wheat, dairy, eggs and sugar for years.
It does seem an HCl supplement is going to be necessary because that is often a contributor to gastroparesis and SIBO. They say not to take it if you have gastritis. Is that something you've been diagnosed with? Otherwise, I wouldn't worry too much about taking the HCl pills. You can just take a pill, see how you feel and then take two next time and so forth until you feel some warmth, then you know how much is too much. And then apparently over time, your body will start producing it on its own and you will feel warmth with less pills so you keep decreasing it until you don't have to take them anymore. At least that's my understanding. I'm not a doctor, so you should check with yours just to make sure.
The teeth thing could still be a factor as well. She's just trying these first steps with the functional doctor to see what we can find out. Do you have them over there in the UK? Let me know how things have progressed with you and I'll keep you updated as well.
P.S. Do you get the stomach sloshing like she does?
Posted 13 February 2016 - 08:33 PM
Ask about the low-fodmap diet. It has some pretty impressive results for IBS sufferers. Bread soothes my stomach, too, but it is on the list of things to eliminate from your diet. There is a ton of info available online about this diet.
Posted 22 March 2016 - 07:14 AM
I did consult with a naturopath who said that she thinks I'm definitely not producing HCL. And also, I tried an experiment once where I drank a little bicarbonate of soda half an hour before a meal, and I felt so incredibly I'll and dizzy after I ate. But I believe the low HCL just a symptom of something else. I have been leaning towards the idea that there is little or no blood flow to my stomach (no blood flow means no production of digestive juices, which is exactly what happens when you are nervous, as the blood flows to other parts of the body, for fight-or-flight. The vagus nerve controls blood flow to the stomach). And since I do not actually feel nervous, I'm led to believe that I may have damaged my vagus nerve in my stomach, or disrupted it somehow, perhaps from gastritis which I had for ten years previous to this. Although I never had pain or ulcers, just swelling and discomfort (tightness). I came to this idea after I spoke to the naturopath so haven't run it by her, but amongst her suggested treatments for me was a type of vagus resetting mental therapy, but I still think that my mental anxiety was only a trigger to the stomach issue, not an ongoing cause.
I have not requested a test for a gastric emptying test as I already know that I have delayed emptying. I did gave an MRI but have yet to hear any results, so I doubt they found anything serious. I am supposed to hear the results this week so I will let you know what they say.
As for the SIBO. I think they were expecting to find high bacteria levels (high hydrogen levels in breath), but they found the opposite, that a produced very little hydrogen. the doctor said I likely don't have enough good bacteria. I did not take any antibiotics so I don't think low bacteria is any cause of these problems either. Again, just a symptom. If you're stomach is slow, the food will ferment and create a very acidic environment in the bowels, which I've read inhibits growth if good bacteria.
So currently, I'm still convinced that I damaged my stomach nerves, and that lack if blood flow to the stomach is the root cause of everything. I am planning to visit an acupuncturist for some intensive treatments. I will let you know if this helps me.
Also, I am thinking about trying the GAPS diet to heal my stomach lining. I'm hoping if I give my gastritis a chance to settle down that my vagus nerve will heal too.
I could be way off with my reasoning, I am someone who believes in 'energy blockages' and holistic healing as well as the regular kind. Whatever works!. Since the NHS are not making any progress with me, I will continue to try alternative treatments.
I find that liquidising things helps a bit with the hunger feeling I get after eating. So your wife could try that.
Someone posted on these forums that 'if your stomach does not produce enough HCL, it will overproduce gastric, which contains many hormones including the one that tells the brain it's hungry'. If it's true, it explains why I always feel hungry. So that was one small step for me, as I often thought that I felt hungry due to lack if nutrients.
I will post anything else I can think of or any progress I make. I hope you will do the same
Good luck. Keep in touch