Suffering for 5 years story (help)
Posted 03 July 2020 - 05:58 AM
My Leaky Gas Story (sorry a long one)
Hi I am a 21 year old female, from London, who has suffered from what I think is leaky gas for 5 years now. It started after a stressful episode whilst completing my GCSE exams at school when I was 16 (in 2015). Before the stressful episode I took antibiotics to treat a chest infection and was also recovering from an eating disorder (gained 15kg in less than a year because I was at a very low BMI from very restricting eating when I was 14/15) so I do not know whether this could have also contributed. The stressful episode also brought on tension headaches and tinnitus, which I can manage now. At first the leaky gas was not so bad and very infrequent where I would pass gas involuntarily and the smell was more discreet. I was still able to do well in school.
It worsened a few months later after a camping trip where I must’ve drunk water that was not suitable for drinking and my leaky gas would start filling up rooms and I could not socialise with anyone. The main smell was rotten eggs. I went to my GP they said to take probiotics and I had a urine and stool test. Nothing detected. They diagnosed me with IBS and told me to make a food diary and eliminate foods to manage it as there was nothing they could do. I feel like they were not taking me seriously and suggesting the smell could be in my head but I was certain it wasn’t due to the unpleasant reactions around me on a daily basis. Especially at college.
I thought that maybe dairy could be causing the issues, so I eliminated dairy from my diet. I’ve been vegetarian my whole life so I was effectively following a vegan diet after eliminating dairy (I do not eat eggs). The rotten egg smell was gone however there were still other smells that I cannot really describe but other people would say ‘was is that suspicious smell?’ or ‘why does it smell of weed?’ or ‘so smelly!’. After I had an incomplete bowel movement people would say why does it smell like sh*t? On the bright side I do not think it filled a large room but could not really tell anymore to be honest. Luckily the college I was at was quite old so most of the classrooms had a musky smell so people would not comment as frequently.
Fast forward to now where I am now at university. University has been actual hell. Especially in first year (2017) where I was living in student halls. I just isolated myself in my room. I do like my course but I have been almost failing due to the embarrassment of my leaky gas and missing lectures/reviews. I guess it does not help that I study Architecture a very demanding and stressful course. I was already feeling quite suicidal at college but at University I was literally making plans to end my life due to my leaky gas and on top of that the stress from not doing well in my course and disappointing my family and being very close to dropping out before my final year. The sniffs of my course mates and tutors grow louder when I am near them and I just cannot take it anymore. For some reason my parents cannot smell me but my extended family make comments like ‘who farted and what is that smell?’. I have managed to make 2 friends at university who are not judgmental and the kindest people I have ever met but I feel like I am burdening them with my smell. I have not talked to them about it because I am embarrassed about it. I have talked about it to my parents but they think I am mental because they cannot smell anything.
Right now, I have been relatively happy in the covid-19 lockdown, living with my parents because I have had no reactions due to not being in contact in person. However, I have had a few crying episodes and suicidal thoughts thinking of past reactions and how they will continue when things go back to normal and I go back to university for the very stressful final year. Help.
I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I have tried everything diet-wise eliminating dairy and also gluten now (has made no difference). Taken all different brands of probiotics, tried benzo, charcoal tablets, apple cider vinegar etc. My GP is of no help. I guess I could go to a private IBS clinic or something but it costs too much money. I have been practising mediation and yoga to say sane and be grateful otherwise I think I would’ve ended my life by now but did not follow through because I do not want to cause pain and suffering for my parents so that is not an option anymore. I feel like I am just living for them though and have no other purpose in life but to burden people with an unpleasant smell. Other digestive problems that I have with leaky gas is heartburn, itchy anus, mucus in stool, incomplete bowel movements, alternating between constipation and diarrhoea and to add my stool literally smells like an animal has died in the toilet. Not kidding. Other symptoms I get are brain fog, fatigue and low mood.
I have a lingering smell 24/7 whether I have eaten or not. It worsens when I swallow food or drink and after eating any size meal no matter what food. I have tried fasting before but this triggers me due to my past eating disorder and why I am so reluctant in eliminating a lot more foods. There must be some really awful bacteria in my gut causing such bad smells I reckon or parasites? I could’ve also damaged my gut with my eating disorder and the stress I put myself under. I just don’t know anymore.
Posted 03 July 2020 - 07:17 AM
First I must congratulate you for choosing architecture I hope you finish your final year despite it being difficult and stressful.
I'm so sorry you are having such a hard time and feeling helpless and isolated. It is great that you managed to beat your eating disorder and you should be extra careful with fasting and food restrictions as they could really harm you. Why are you vegan if I may ask? Maybe you should modify your diet in a way to include animal products if this plant based diet is not helping you..
Bacteria that can cause bad stool smell are H.pylori(rotten eggs) and C.difficile(very intense awful smell) infection for example. Have you tested negative for them? Also you might check your vitamin and mineral levels regularly such as B12(depression),zinc(afects the intensity of body odor, the lower it is the more you stink) and Mg (too low can be the reason for bad odor). Don't know what else to tell you since I don't have this problem personaly..wish you all the best!
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Posted 14 July 2020 - 06:29 AM
I would argue that you almost certainly have IBS. You also seem to have acquired it the same way as I did - in a period of immense stress. A low FODMAP diet will help you, even though for me it has not gone away completely for 2 years, and the literature suggests it never will.
Furthermore, if you are like me, all that horrible gas completely changed your pelvic floor muscles dynamics. In other words, all that clenching might have made them too tight and by extension too weak to hold the gas in. I actually did Kegels to strengthen my muscles and it only made it worse. Many people claim that pelvic floor stretches + reverse Kegels (look it up) can be dramatically helpful, albeit after a couple of months, not days.
So yeah, what I can suggest is:
- low FODMAP diet to reduce gas formation (also you say you are vegetarian, keep in mind that some veggies will produce the most obnoxious gas smell)
- stretching + reverse Kegels to try to get PF muscles back in order
I think substituting Keto diet for low FODMAP would be an interesting try as well. They do overlap somewhat.
Posted 20 July 2020 - 08:48 AM
I've had some very similar issues. An awful smell is generally caused by bad bacteria.
I went for a colonoscopy and the colonoscopy prep helped immensely to clear out all the bad stuff in my guts.
You basically drink a special laxative powder mixed with lots of water until you squirt clear / slightly yellow liquid out the back.
You could do the prep without the colonoscopy, and follow it with probiotics and good diet.
You could buy a kit from a chemist / pharmacy, they are definitely available at hospitals and colonoscopy clinics.
Talk to a professional / your doctor about it first though.
I have also heard of people using antibiotics but I would only attempt that as a last resort. I have read about rifixamin used with some success.
For the leakage, you said you have itchy anus, that's a definite sign of hemorrhoids. Get checked out by a hemorrhoid specialist (colorectal surgeon).
There is a type, called 3rd degree prolapsed hemorrhoid which only comes out during BM or straining, but its invisible to the outside. This can cause leakage.
For your digestive issues, you can try supplementing with Vitamin D and 5htp to help mood / brain fog. These changed my life.
Also try organic bone broth, it really helped me. You can make it yourself fairly easy.
Basically, you gotta get the bad stuff out and put good stuff back in
it's so awful to smell bad everyday, I've been through that living nightmare too.
I hope this info helps you.