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Hi - my first visit to this site. Opinions and help from others re my symptoms will be most welcome!I have had abdominal problems since I was in my early 20s – I am now 43 (female). Over the years I have had several investigations including stool sampling, barium enema, sigmoidoscopy, and cervical / ovarian scan (family history of ovarian cancer). I eat very healthily (I do not eat meat - I do eat fish - and never eat processed foods). I have tried elimination diets in the past but don’t seem to have found one cause for my symptoms. I have accepted over the years that I have to live with IBS (if that’s what I have) but recently have wondered if I have candidiasis.My symptoms are erratic, occurring in bouts, for no obvious reason – bouts do not appear to be stress related (if they are, I am not aware of the stress). Symptoms include:Abdominal cramps and extreme distension particularly AFTER a bowel action first thing in the morning (which I believe is rare with IBS - it's usually relieved by a bowel action). My lower bowel then feels irritated and almost “nervy”. The distension extends the whole of my upper and lower abdomen, making me appear several months pregnant. This lasts for several hours, and sometimes several days. Often the distension is accompanied by pain in the lower right abdomen (I believe this region is called the iliac fossa).When the “IBS” is at its worst, stools feel hot when being passed. I either get constipation or loose stools, the latter being more frequent.Sometimes when I am having a bad IBS attack, I get an itchy vagina, often with a white, strong smelling discharge. I have an active love life with a wonderful man so this is not a welcome symptom at all! I also get night sweats – sometimes for several nights in a row, then no sign of them for weeks.I also have what has been diagnosed as chronic urticaria – small intensely itchy skin hives that sometimes (without scratching) weep with clear serous fluid. These hives look like flea bites and occur primarily on my neck, scalp and upper back, although they can occur on other parts of the body. They are made worse or an attack can be precipitated if I have drunk too much alcohol.I also have constant athletes foot – which reappears within a couple of days of treatment if I forget to apply cr�me on just one day.I have been better over the past few months since removing gluten and potatoes completely from my diet and thought I had found the source of the problem, until last week when the whole thing flared up again with no obvious cause.Acupuncture has been of significant help in reducing all my symptoms in the past – but it’s an expensive thing to keep doing for years!Anyone have any new ideas or know of a good specialist in Oxford or London, UK? Many thanks indeed.
 

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Hello!I'm not an expert at all, but I can understand why you're wondering whether your IBS might have something to do with candida - the athlete food and vagina problems sound really quite suspicious. By cutting out the gluten you've probably also cut out a number of foods that fed the candida, so no wonder it got better for a while. But I think it's very easy to get tested for this (stool sample) and your GP should be able to do this (though having lived in England until recently I know very well how hard it is to get them to do any tests at all....). Maybe this is the cause for your IBS, or just contributing, but any little thing helps. As to IBS symptoms being relieved by a bm, this is not true for me either. I get exactly the same as you, afterwards my bowels start cramping and hurting, feeling 'nervy'. My theory is that of course after emptying itself to a great part, it seems natural that the remaining contents are kind of reshifted and moved along (reshuffled?), and so peristaltic activity goes up for a while with the known side effects. What's helping me tremendously with this (as well as with the urgency in the morning) is soluble fibre. In England I tried Psyllium husk from the health shop, but it seemed to give me more bloating. But my GP prescribed 'Celevac', which is just plain Methylcellulose. I can't describe the difference this has made for me. At the time I was bed ridden and it felt like it saved my life, and I'm still taking it two years later. You can also buy it over the counter, but then it's �4.50 for a two-week supply (I used to take 8 per day). I used to take two before breakfast, two at around 11 am, two at four pm and two before bedtime. With the knowledge I have today, I would probably take at least three to calm down my bowels after the morning bm, say an hour later or so and another three in the afternoon, when again things seem to stop moving efficiently. Here in Germany there is no comparable product, so I've tried so called 'flea seeds', which have the same soothing and regulating effect on the bowels but turned out to work even better for me then the Methylcellulose, and do not cause any bloating at all either. To my surprise the fleaseeds (they look just like little black fleas) turned out to be Psyllium, too, but it's still very different from the Psyllium husks capsules you buy at the health food shop in England (don't want to bore you with the details). In any case, I am not sure fleaseeds are available in England at all, but if you ever visit the continent you could give them a try (you can buy them at any pharmacie, not expensive). I've actually been wondering whether I should start a little export/import company from Germany to England!! Finally, about the hot flashes, I just read something about pre-menopause or peri-menopause. This can hit you five years or more before you actually start menopause and is due to the hormones getting out of balance (of course every change in our bodies comes slowly). I'm almost 42 and my IBS is definitely heavily influenced by hormones and in particular, progesterone. I'm just following this new lead at the moment. I would love to hear more from you because in all the years in England I never met any fellow sufferer (my age). All the bestSusaloh
 

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[quote recently have wondered if I have candidiasis.[/quote]Some years ago, Dr. Orian Truss proposed that the yeast Candida albicans, could make people sick all over. Shortly after that, William G. Crook popularized this notion in a book called The Yeast Connection: A Medical Breakthrough. In it, he explains that many nonspecific symptoms (included in his list are a dizzying array of symptoms including common ones like headache, fatigue, and insomnia) are the result of a chronic, often systemic infection by this yeast, a condition commonly referred to as Candida-related complex (CRC). According to his hypothesis, the problem starts from faulty dietary habits (e.g., diets high in refined sugars, alcohol) and consumption of antibiotics and birth control pills. These allow Candida to take hold in the body, producing toxins, which in turn weaken the immune system, causing symptoms. Rather than providing scientific evidence (such as a demonstration of Koch�s postulates, a set of requirements considered the gold standard for demonstrating the infectious origin of a condition), he provides anecdotes, especially from patients who have improved on anti-fungal therapies (some of his own devising) ( ). Aside from this flimsy evidence, his proposed relationship to Candida and body symptoms is inconsistent with the medical literature on real candidiasis. According to that, only a select group of individuals, namely those whose immune systems are compromised, such as those with AIDS or those with cancer on chemotherapy, or those on long-term antibiotics are at significant risk of acquiring candidiasis ( ). In addition, when it strikes these individuals systemically, they become very ill requiring hospitalization ( ). Often, the infection is limited to the mouth and esophagus of the GI tract ( ). When infecting the mouth, it is called thrush. (It is important to distinguish this from another common condition called hairy tongue. The latter condition is a manifestation of an overgrowth of the filliform papillae of the tongue ( ) and is often due to either local irritation, such as smoking or to a systemic cause, such as antibiotics [though antibiotics can cause thrush as well]. The actual mechanism that brings a hairy tongue about is unknown, although Candida is not involved.)Despite this discrepancy, a few studies have examined CRC hypothesis directly. In a study of 100 persons suffering from chronic fatigue, ( )[to be filled in]. Concerning IBS, there was an interesting study in the journal Mycosis where thirteen people who believed they suffered from therapy-resistant intestinal candidiasis were carefully tested ( ). Only three had Candida albicans in their guts, but in none was there any infection present. One of the glaring inconsistencies with the CRC diagnosis is the rationale behind the now famous anti-Candida diet. This diet is specifically geared to withholding food that the yeast depend upon for survival, specifically simple sugars. It seems based on a super-simplified premise that the body is nothing more than a simple box with yeast sitting at the bottom and ingested food simply falls upon the yeast for their consumption. Were it so the case, then virtually all bacterial infections could be treated in the same way as virtually all life depends upon simple sugars for survival. Of course, it is not that way at all. Consumed food is digested and absorbed. Simple sugars are the first ones to get in the bloodstream so that they can supply the body cells, which require them to survive. Thus unless a person is malabsorbing sugars, very little sugar will reach whatever yeast there are living in the distal intestine. And were it the case that the yeast were systemic, it is physically impossible that any diet could limit the amount of sugars reaching them as the body must maintain blood glucose levels within a limited range; otherwise, the body cells themselves would quickly starve and die. Ironically, simple organisms, like yeast and bacteria are hardy creatures able to withstand environmental extremes, such as being starved, far more easily than the cells of complex organisms, so even if it were possible to starve a pathogen without starving the host simultaneously, that would not necessarily affect kill them.In addition, the manufacturer of the liquid form of the common anti-fungal drug Nystatin is in a 50% sugar solution ( ) and that is one of therapies Crook recommends for treating the condition, an apparent contradiction of his own anti-Candida diet.A logical question following this is how those claiming to suffer from this condition actu-ally find relief from the anti-Candida diet. As previously mentioned, there are a number of ways that questionable medical practices work; however, in this case, changing one�s diet is a standard practice in IBS therapy, and the anti-Candida diet may coincidentally achieve that effect. Incidentally, it does not necessarily follow that this particular diet is wise in IBS therapy, for it is not really well balanced.
quote:Anyone have any new ideas or know of a good specialist in Oxford or London, UK?
You could go here: http://www.mds.qmw.ac.uk/gastro/
quote: the athlete food and vagina problems sound really quite suspicious.
They could be misdiagnoses!
 
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