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Intestinal gas affecting brain functionality?


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#1 hsy

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 10:49 PM

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Hello everyone.I have been struggling with some sort of digestive issue for many years, and I am just starting to come to terms with the fact that this is probably IBS. It's a long story, many doctors, much frustration, now on Xifaxan, been through most modalities of treatment.My most distressing symptom is the brain fog. It is somehow tied into intestinal gas. I can be feeling fine one moment, and then all of the sudden my brain will go dead, I will get dizzy, eyes get red, eyes very heavy, can't think, can't come up with words, feel like i'm going to pass out.This lasts until I have a bowel movement, or until the gas passes.It is extremely disruptive and concerning. This is no minor reaction. It's debilitating.I am curious if anyone else is familiar with this symptom and if there is any more information on what exactly is going on.Thanks in advance.

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 04:07 PM

hi hsy,I have had exact same symptoms as you described for years and just recently attributed them to gas in the intestines. I have no good answer to what causes it but my theory is that certain nerves are stimulated by the pressure from gas which adversely affects brain and in response it releases adrenaline that causes the symptoms.Doctor scoped my stomach and colon and CAT-scanned the rest but found pretty much nothing. I did a breath test which found SIBO. A course of xifaxan had no effect. However, earlier course of Prevpac I took for H-pylori infection they found during my endoscopy had all symptoms go away for a couple of days and then slowly return.I am still looking for answers and pretty convinced that SIBO is causing these horrible symptoms. I found that probiotics help me to manage gas problem and I am also on PPI which seems to help as well.Hope it helps.

#3 Haunted

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 04:14 AM

I too experience similar symptoms when I feel that I have gas inside of me.I often feel hot and uncomfortable and begin to sweat and feel nervous.

#4 Moises

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 02:06 PM

hi hsy,I have had exact same symptoms as you described for years and just recently attributed them to gas in the intestines. I have no good answer to what causes it but my theory is that certain nerves are stimulated by the pressure from gas which adversely affects brain and in response it releases adrenaline that causes the symptoms.Doctor scoped my stomach and colon and CAT-scanned the rest but found pretty much nothing. I did a breath test which found SIBO. A course of xifaxan had no effect. However, earlier course of Prevpac I took for H-pylori infection they found during my endoscopy had all symptoms go away for a couple of days and then slowly return.I am still looking for answers and pretty convinced that SIBO is causing these horrible symptoms. I found that probiotics help me to manage gas problem and I am also on PPI which seems to help as well.Hope it helps.

Hi Alf,Prevpac contains antibacterial agents that work in the small intestine, so it is interesting that xifaxan didn't help but Prevpac did. I have done xifaxan and Vivonex and neither helped me.What is the PPI that you are referring to?

#5 hsy

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 11:17 PM

Thanks everyone. I will investigate Prevpac.This problem has been so horrible for so long. I was convinced for about 10 years that I had a sleep disorder because I constantly felt exhausted, brain fogged, etc.. But eventually I have learned that it is tied into the gas/bm situation. Very frustrating. Hopefully a doctor will be able to help me out somehow (in NYC.) The worst part about this is that I never have any idea when it's going to hit. It's like living with a damacles sword hanging over my head.

#6 eric

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 11:07 AM

"uncomfortable and begin to sweat and feel nervous."This is an exaggerated nervous system responce which can happen with IBS.Distension of the colon releases neurotransmitters that can effect the both the enteric nervous system and the Central nervous systemFYIaltered serotonin signaling and ibs compilationhttp://www.ibsgroup....showtopic=80198You might also want to just look at thishttp://www.psychiatr...amp;url_prefix=
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I am not a doctor. All information I present is for educational purposes only and should not be subsituted for the advise of a qualified health care provider.

Please make sure you have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or a doctor.

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 04:33 PM

Hi Alf,Prevpac contains antibacterial agents that work in the small intestine, so it is interesting that xifaxan didn't help but Prevpac did. I have done xifaxan and Vivonex and neither helped me.What is the PPI that you are referring to?

Hi Moses,Prevpac contains two antibiotics, amoxicillin and clarithromycin, and prevacid proton pump inhibitor (PPI). After seeing the effect I have tried another round of AB similar to amoxicillin and wanted to also try clarithromycin but was told it's not prescribed separately. I have tried almost all PPIs and found that Aciphex works best for me. I found that my symptoms are worst at about 3 hours after meals and that is when food exits small interstine. This agrees well with SIBO which is bad bacteria propagating from colon to small interstine and causing all kinds of problems including gas and intoxication.I will be doing another test for h-pylori this week to see whether I got re-infected and maybe another round of prevpac. I just could not forget how great I felt on the very first day of medication (in fact in 2-3 hours after the first dose I felt the difference) and how much energy I had during that day. Unfortunately it did not last. However, I still feel better than before the treatment, I guess some of it is due to PPI and probiotics. Those brain fog attacks are milder now and less frequent.

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:55 AM

Hello everyone.I have been struggling with some sort of digestive issue for many years, and I am just starting to come to terms with the fact that this is probably IBS. It's a long story, many doctors, much frustration, now on Xifaxan, been through most modalities of treatment.My most distressing symptom is the brain fog. It is somehow tied into intestinal gas. I can be feeling fine one moment, and then all of the sudden my brain will go dead, I will get dizzy, eyes get red, eyes very heavy, can't think, can't come up with words, feel like i'm going to pass out.This lasts until I have a bowel movement, or until the gas passes.It is extremely disruptive and concerning. This is no minor reaction. It's debilitating.I am curious if anyone else is familiar with this symptom and if there is any more information on what exactly is going on.Thanks in advance.



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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:59 AM

I too have had these stupid digestive problems....the intestinal gas and bloating and feeling dizzy, nauseous, sweaty and like im going to pass out. i get the brain fog and feel like almost tunnel vision sometimes. it affects me at work, home, while driving, and etc. i am so tired of feeling this way and people who don't share this problem look at you like you're nuts. dizziness from gas???? i too understand but do not know what to do about it. i am just so glad to hear that someone else on the planet feels these same symptoms. i also feel the dizziness and stuff goes away after defecation or after releasing the gas whether by burping or flatulence. thank you for posting and sharing.

#10 TheIBSExperience

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 03:49 AM

I too experience similar symptoms when I feel that I have gas inside of me.I often feel hot and uncomfortable and begin to sweat and feel nervous.

Me too, I am feeling so much pressure that I get sweaty even the weather is cold and so much if the weather is hot then I become unresponsive when someone is talking to me and then embarrassment. I can't control these gases.

#11 eric

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 11:02 AM

Gas distends the colon. When the colon gets distended it releases neurotransmitters. The gut brain and the brain are constantly communicating back and forth.So the gas is distending the colon, but its not really the gas causing brain fog but the neurotransmitters and how the gut brain and brain work together.IBS can also effect the HPA axis and continued stimulation of the HPA axis can cause fatique, brain fog and other symptoms including triggering IBSsymptoms.webmd"Question: I have suffered with IBS for 24 years. My question is what causes the following symptoms: Out of nowhere I start feeling very nauseated, then I start to sweat, feel faint, have heart palpitations, and have terrible stomach pains. Usually a bowel movement or just passing gas helps. Does the bowel pain bring this on? I've heard of many people that have the same symptoms. Answer: If a bowel movement relieves the discomfort, it is consistent with IBS. The likelihood is that at her age it would be IBS. However, if this is an acute, or short-lived, intense type of pain, it might also be an intestinal infection. If it's been going on for several weeks or months, then it's likely IBS or another type of intestinal disease, such as Crohn's disease, or if there is blood in the stool it could be ulcerative colitis. But in young people those disorders have perhaps one-hundredth to one-thousandth the frequency of IBS. The key element is that if it has been going on for a while without blood in stool or weight loss and you experience relief after passing gas or a bowel movement, it's most likely IBS. Symptoms, such as pain, sweating, heart palpitations, and feeling faint are related to the exaggerated nervous system response to eating that occurs in people with IBS. -- Douglas Drossman, professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and co-director of the UNC Center for Functional GI and Utility Disorders. "http://www.webmd.com...le/65/79521.htmYou can get that aside from eating as well if the gut- brain connection is stimulated.Causes Question: What progress has been made in finding a theory in the development of IBS? Answer: IBS occurs when there is a dysfunction in the regulation of how the brain and gut talk to each other. Diet, stress, hormones, and infection can all affect a person's sensitivity to this condition. There's a brain-gut connection, and if the bowel is distressed, it's not unusual to get anxious. Mental stress may also cause the bowel to become distressed. -- Douglas Drossman, professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and co-director of the UNC Center for Functional GI and Utility Disorders. What's happening now is that there is an increasing recognition that IBS is a problem that is occurring in both the central nervous system and the gut and the interplay between the two. That is giving us a much better handle on mechanisms involved. Therefore, we now have a lot of new ideas and more scientific evidence that are leading to more effective treatments. -- Ray E. Clouse, MD, professor of medicine and psychiatry in the division of gastroenterology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. http://www.webmd.com...le/65/79519.htm
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I am not a doctor. All information I present is for educational purposes only and should not be subsituted for the advise of a qualified health care provider.

Please make sure you have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or a doctor.

#12 Girl

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:13 AM

My god, this is exactly what I suffer from, it is destroying my life.What can we do guys? I think that if the problem of incontrollable gas won't stop, we will keep to feel all this horrible pressure on the head, this is a true disability. I wonder how I will be able ever to explain this problem to someone, people can't understand how it likes to have this, everyday is to go through hell, and it's a horrible weight on the brain, so sometimes people talking with me, and I... like, can't concentrate and don't understand what that talking to me cuz I am in the situation of holding in the gas :(I soon have turn to a protologic clinic, I feel so exhausted, my brain and body are all weak from having this problem for 9 years. Anyone have other advices? maybe together we will find a way to ease our pain.
Support group for Ibsers: http://health.groups.../Ibsersfriends/
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#13 cynthia

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 09:19 AM

Hi all,My son also suffers from the gas/ brain thing. Just curious - when you are all talking about gas, are you referring to upper or lower? Do any of you get relieved from burping, or is it all farting? My son has upper (stomach/ small intestinal) gas and has brain fog and dizziness which improves when he burps - but then it comes right back. Thanks.

#14 hsy

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 03:38 AM

just checking in on this topic - i did a 10 day course of 1200mg xifaxan and while i have not had a single loose stool since then, i still suffer from this awful gas that totally causes my brain to shut down - some days i wake up feeling like i haven't slept - dizzy, out of it, can barely keep my eyes open - then x number of hours later the gas begins exiting and slowly my mind begins to recover - the depression lifts, and i am fine - no matter what i can do i can not determine what is causing this - i am undergoing stool testing, h pylori, parasite testing, colonoscopy and i am hoping for some information but it's not looking promising - the worst is the days when i just feel a little run down and i know it's a small amount of the gas impacting my energy level vs actually being run down - THIS IS HORRIBLE!

#15 eric

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 01:27 PM

Its not the gas per se, but the gas distening the colon and that will release nuerotransmitters that then can effect the brain.Normals with gas don't get these problems really. Gas itself can cross the brain barrier.
I am not a doctor. All information I present is for educational purposes only and should not be subsituted for the advise of a qualified health care provider.

Please make sure you have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or a doctor.

#16 hsy

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 02:13 PM

thank you for reiterating that - has your research yielded any solutions/directions toward solutions/hope?besthsy

#17 hsy

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 02:31 PM

also, have you ever discussed this with a doctor who agrees with you? not via quoting text or journal, but actual contact. do you yourself experience this problem?

#18 hsy

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 02:35 PM

this is a message for "girl"Girl - girl the problem i am talking about has nothing to do with being distracted by holding in gas - for me i would do anything to have what's in me OUT - be it gas, etc - the problem is that the gas that's IN THERE that won't get out is having a disabling effect on my brain causing exhaustion, sleepiness, dizziness, visual field distortions etc.

#19 eric

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 12:30 PM

MY IBS can effect my brain and my brain can effect my IBS.I have had this coverstaion with some of the worlds leading experts in IBS.Its physically not possible for gas to effect your brain, except through neurotransmission of nerve fibers in the digestive system. Its also how the system works. Its also what they are finding out in years and years of IBS research.FYIThere are very complex connections to the gut and the brain and one part of this is the emotional motor system or Limbic system. This is also connected to the HPA axis or bodies stress system. The bodies stress system is also used to FIGHT INFECTION as well as the fight or flight responce.Constant activation of this system drains the body, like draining the batteries."Emotion involves the entire nervous system, of course. But there are two parts of the nervous system that are especially significant: The limbic system and the autonomic nervous system. "http://www.ibsgroup....a...f=1&t=90595So the limbic system (and Emotions) are connected to the autonomic nervous system that helps control digestion, heart rate and breathing amoung other things. This is one reason why emotions often effect digestion. Even subtle emotions."The hypothalamus is one of the busiest parts of the brain, and is mainly concerned with homeostasis. Homeostasis is the process of returning something to some “set point.” It works like a thermostat: When your room gets too cold, the thermostat conveys that information to the furnace and turns it on. As your room warms up and the temperature gets beyond a certain point, it sends a signal that tells the furnace to turn off. The hypothalamus is responsible for regulating your hunger, thirst, response to pain, levels of pleasure, sexual satisfaction, anger and aggressive behavior, and more. It also regulates the functioning of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, which in turn means it regulates things like pulse, blood pressure, breathing, and arousal in response to emotional circumstances. "http://webspace.ship...mbicsystem.html(This is also one reason why a person can get hot and cold chills before an attack as well as dilated pupils, increase heart rate and breathing ect..)"The first is to the autonomic nervous system. This allows the hypothalamus to have ultimate control of things like blood pressure, heartrate, breathing, digestion, sweating, and all the sympathetic and parasympathetic functions. "Importantly it helps regulated "It also regulates the functioning of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systemsThis is how it breaks downCentral nervous sytemThe Autonomic Nervous SystemThe organs (the "viscera") of our body, such as the heart, stomach and intestines, are regulated by a part of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is part of the peripheral nervous system and it controls many organs and muscles within the body. In most situations, we are unaware of the workings of the ANS because it functions in an involuntary, reflexive manner. For example, we do not notice when blood vessels change size or when our heart beats faster. However, some people can be trained to control some functions of the ANS such as heart rate or blood pressure. The ANS is most important in two situations:1. In emergencies that cause stress and require us to"fight" or take "flight" (run away) and2. In nonemergencies that allow us to "rest" and "digest.". The ANS is divided into three parts:The sympathetic nervous system The parasympathetic nervous system The enteric nervous system.The enteric nervous sytem is called the "Gut Brain" and has 100 million neurons as many as the spinal cord.http://faculty.washi...udler/auto.htmlThis is really important in IBS and how some of it fits into IBS. Importantly there is a cell embedded in the gut wall that is directly connected to the HPA axis and the fight or flight.FYI"You have two brains: one in your head and another in your gut. Dr. Jackie D. Wood is a renowned physiologist at The Ohio State University. He calls the second brain, "the-little-brain-in-the-gut." This enteric nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system and contains over one hundred million neurons, which is as many as are in the spinal cord. This complex network of nerves lines the walls of the digestive tract form the esophagus all the way down to the colon. This little brain in the gut is connected to the big brain by the vagus nerves, bundles of nerve fibers running from the GI tract to the head. All neurotransmitters, such as serotonin that are found in the brain are also present in the gut.Dr Wood has discovered that this little-brain-in-the-gut has programs that are designed for our protection and which are very much like computer programs. They respond to perceived threats in the same way that the limbic system or the emotional brain does. So the threat of a gastrointestinal infection can activate the program that increases gut contractions in order to get rid of the infection. The symptoms are abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Dr. Wood has determined that a type of cell found in the body and the gut, called the mast cell, is a key to understanding the connection of the big brain in the head with the little-brain-in-the-gut. Mast cells are involved in defense of the body. In response to certain threats or triggers, such as pollen or infection, mast cells release chemicals, such as histamine, that help to fight off the invader. Histamine is one of the chemicals that causes the symptoms of an allergy or a cold. When an infection of the gut occurs, such as food poisoning or gastroenteritis, the mast cells of the gut release histamine. The little-brain-in-the-gut interprets the mast cell signal of histamine release as a threat and calls up a protective program designed to remove the threat – at the expense of symptoms: abdominal pain and diarrhea. The brain to mast cell connection has a direct clinical relevance for irritable bowel syndrome and other functional gastrointestinal syndromes. It implies a mechanism for linking allostasis and the good stress response to irritable states (e.g., abdominal pain and diarrhea) of the gut. Mast cells can be activated to release histamine in response to perceived psychological stress, whether the stressor or trigger is consciously perceived or not. So the end result is the same as if an infection activated the program in the-little-brain-in-the-gut: abdominal pain and diarrhea."http://www.parkviewp...nuggets/n5.html So over activation of the limbic system emtional motor system can cause fatique.Emotional Processing & Physical HealthIrritable bowel syndromehttp://www.emotional..... syndrome.htm
  • un800 likes this
I am not a doctor. All information I present is for educational purposes only and should not be subsituted for the advise of a qualified health care provider.

Please make sure you have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or a doctor.

#20 karoe

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 12:35 PM

I've had brain fog for about 10 years. It happens every afternoon. I have to take a nap to get rid of it. If I don't take a nap, like at work, I just feel progressively worse all afternoon. This is no minor thing. I really feel like I shouldn't be driving when this happens. I finally found someone who's seen it. Read Dr. Pimentel's book. He's got two pages on it. He thinks it's toxins that the liver couldn't handle.





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