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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm new here and really grateful for having found this forum. I'm wondering if a couple of you might be willing to share your experience...I have had IBS-C for a number of years, it usually came in waves, back and forth, but almost always C unless I was just sick for a few days here and there. I now seem to have flipped to IBS-D, which is a big change for me. Then again, it's possible that it's not IBS-D, but rather something else, as I am still waiting for test results to come back. I wanted to ask your thoughts though...1) Has anybody else experienced a relatively sudden switch from IBS-C to IBS-D? I am F and 46. I should mention the change coincided with my contracting a gastrointestinal infection while traveling in a developing country (hygiene conditions not so good). FYI, yes, I am being tested for giardia, worms, etc., but preliminary results are negative.2) What is particularly freaking me out at the moment is that i have started having very light colored D -- today it was almost white, sometimes it is quite yellow, almost always extremely STICKY. From what I've read, it sounds like this is related to malabsorbtion. My question to you out there: Does gray/white/yellow D rule out an IBS-D diagnosis? Searching these boards I don't see too many people talking about it.Thanks very much for your support. I really appreciate it.
 

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ashia - Sorry to hear you are unwell. Some years ago I got jaundice, and it went through the whole family. It took about three weeks to go and we had to eat a fat-free diet during that time. The symptoms were - stomach cramps, nausea, light yellow or white motions. Also, we had very little appetite and our skin and eyeballs went a bit yellow. Worth getting yourself checked for jaundice, maybe.
 

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@Peaches, thanks for your reply. My eyes, etc. seem a normal color (not yellow) and i do not feel nauseous, just have the D and the gray/white/yellow BM thing going on. What's especially frustrating of course is that the first gastroenterologist appt I was able to get was 3+ weeks out -- still over a week away. Since I feel fine otherwise, this doesn't seem to warrant a visit to the emergency room, but I am concerned. I have never experienced anything like this before. I cut milk products, coffee, alcohol and fatty foods out of my diet two weeks ago. The symptoms persist independently of what I eat, but are aggravated by stress
I guess I should focus on not being stressed right now, huh?! LOL Thanks again for your support.
 

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Do you have any pain, sweating, weight loss or fever? Did you when you had the "infection"? I ask because it does sound like you caught something especially since you say you were traveling. If they only do ONE stool analysis that is NOT enough to test for many types of gut infections/infestations. The golden rule is three in a row. So, basically you need several tests to truly rule out that you don't have a bug. That being said, there are many with IBS-D (myself included) who can trace our condition back to one very bad episode that seemed like food poisoning or a bug. Mine started that way and then went to what you have now. I had very yellow sticky foul smelling stools, sometimes explosive diarrhea as much as 10 per day. I did lose a lot of weight. My diagnosis eventually went to small bowel bacterial overgrowth. They are not sure why mine will not go away and I take rounds of Tetracycline to manage it so that I can have a life. You could call the doctor and say you really feel very ill to see if they can move your appointment up. If you have not had a colonoscopy with a biopsy, that might be in order. Your PCP can order a series a stool tests right now without an appointment. You pick up the containers from the lab and follow the instructions. At least this way, you will have SOME tests that might give you an answer or rule out other conditions. If you live in the States, there is a lab (see link) that charges between 400 and 800 dollars to run a complete analysis and provide a comprehensive print out of what might be wrong based on your stool. Menopause can also trigger IBS. https://www.enterolab.com/
 

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@Hester, thanks for your helpful response. Your condition sounds like it has been quite severe. I can only imagine that that has been very stressful. Have you ever had white/gray stools in addition to the yellow ones?At the time of infection I didn't, and I don't now, have any pain per se. No sweating or fever either. I think I might have lost a couple of pounds, but that could easily be chalked up to just dietary restrictions I've imposed on myself in the last couple of weeks (no fatty foods, dairy, alcohol or coffee). I'm having some trouble figuring out what to eat, since it seems to be unpredictable re: what will make me feel better or worse. Last night for example, I ate a home made, very mild vegetable soup and this morning I was sick.Earlier this week I was able to set up submitting stool samples to a local lab. First set came back negative for everything. I'm going to turn in my second set tomorrow morning. Already requested to move up my gastro appt, but unless i go to the ER, which doesn't seem necessary at the moment and probably not helpful, I think next week is the earliest I'll be able to see anyone. I've never had a colonoscopy. I have a feeling one is going to be making its way into my schedule soon though. Given your comments, I will be sure to push for one.Interesting re: menopause and IBS. Hadn't heard that before. I'm not there yet, but have had a few premenopausal symptoms come and go.re: the sudden onset, I know where i was and what i ate. I even knew I was going to get sick when I ate it (although of course not as sick as I am now!), but I was visiting very good, old friends who I hadn't seen in 20+ years and it would have been extremely rude to turn down their welcome meal, so.........there you go, and now here I am, for better or for worse!
 

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I only had the gray/white stools when I took a lot of antacids or after a barium study. I am wondering if it could be fungus. You should ask them to add testing for fungus to your stool study. That might make it light or white. I have heard of some conditions with the gallbladder and also enzyme issues making the stool very light. Check out this online chart for some ideas.http://www.buzzle.com/articles/stool-color-meanings.htmlI hope you are in the U.S. for your colon exam. It is nothing like it used to be. They usually give Versed to you so you won't remember anything. You need to ask before you go to ensure you get some type of anesthetic. It will help. Just make sure you have a "driver" and do NOT make any phone calls or go to work afterward. (You will feel GREAT, but still be rather out of it. I made a bunch of work phone calls after mine and totally screwed up - LOL) I think you are on the right track. I had the 800 dollar stool analysis and found it to be very useful. My GI doctors used a lab in Texas and my insurance actually covered the test. I do have a number of issues but am finding ways to cope. It is not as stressful as it used to be since I can actually LEAVE the bathroom!
I am glad your doctor is doing three in a row! I think your condition might be different than run-of-the-mill IBS but that is just a layperson's thoughts. Have you tried any digestive enzymes?
 

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From what I am reading, my combination of symptoms with sticky gray/white/yellow stools seems to indicate a malabsorption issue, which could be linked to giardia, other intestinal parasites, gallbladder issues or pancreas issues. I can't believe I am praying that I have giardia or another parasite, but I am, because at least it would be easy to treat.For better or for worse, the colonoscopy will not be done in the US, but I live in an area with good health care services (in Europe). It just takes a long time to get an appointment, so that's why I'm going especially stir crazy.Of note: yesterday I started drinking dandelion leaf tea, which I've read will stimulate bile production and today my D returned to an almost normal color, still light and a bit yellow, but not totally out of range. We'll see if the trend continues...Thanks again for your support. Oh, and thank you very much for the tip about not going back to work! That could be embarrassing...
 

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Parasites are very hard catch in a stool analysis. I hope they do several samples from different days and you use different parts of the stool including any liquid. A parasite may only "shed" once ever few weeks it attaches to the wall of the intestines. Hence, you may be the sample QUEEN! That being said, I was leaning toward a pancreatic enzyme defiency or gallbladder. These two organs would need a CT scan with contrast to examine them. Perhaps there is also blood work that can be telling. You are on the right track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh boy, I think I'm going to have a fun summer...!On a more positive note, (funny to be saying I'm happy about this), I think I may have found something in my latest BM that could be a parasite. I scooped it up and sent it off to the lab along with stool sample #2. Might just be undigested food, but at the moment I don't think so. This is hysterical, I can't believe I'm crossing my fingers for such a result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No, fortunately, urine color is fine and I'm trying to drink a lot of water and herb tea, esp ginger and dandelion. Also do not have any signs of jaundice and have no "pain" that is unrelated to just abdominal discomfort relating to D and/or bloating. What I'm finding though is that the problem seems to be progressive -- things I could eat two weeks ago started making me sick last week, so I reduced my diet range and now things that I could eat last week are making me sick this week. Bad cycle and I'm definitely losing weight - already thin/petite to begin with :/ Compared with many of you on these boards, I have been dealing with this D for a relatively short time. You have my real respect for your determination and coping. I'm truly grateful for your willingness to share here.
 

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Those ginger and dandelion teas could be affecting it. I know they're good for the liver and all that, but they also stimulate bile production and cause the gallbladder to contract. If your GB is contracting hard and spitting out tiny stones (not big enough to cause biliary colic) or sludge, it could be occasionally blocking bile flow (white stool) or slowing it down a lot (yellow stool).
 

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Ashia: Are you sure you can wait to see that GI doctor. It does sound like something other than IBS. I know you are hopeful that "white" thing was a parasite. I hope so too. However, the way this is progressing, it is sounding more like gallbladder or pancreatic issues. Sometimes people with gallbladder issues don't always have pain. Pancreatic issues usually cause a lot of pain. Enzyme, Vit B malabsorbtion, thyroid or even sprue could also be the cause. Is your hair falling out or getting course or your voice changing? Are you having trouble sleeping?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Jack - I'm actually feeling mildly better today and my D was almost normal color. It doesn't seem to *stay* gray or yellow, it kind of cycles through. Odd. Does connect with what you are saying about gall bladder issues. I just hope they don't take forever and a day to get through further tests. I'm trying to remember whether my father had gallbladder issues - I think he did. Do you know whether they can be [email protected] - According to the lab, the "white" thing was not a parasite, still waiting for the ELISA to come back though. So many possibilities of what it *could* be, jeez. I just hope I like this doctor that I'll be seeing. Sigh. Re: my hair, no, my hair seems fine and my voice does too, no specific problems sleeping. Feel a bit lethargic, but that's not surprising given that I'm probably not getting a lot of nutrients absorbed. Also a bit sad/anxious about what's going on. I suppose that's obvious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Jack - meant to say, I've only been doing the ginger/dandelion tea regimen for a couple of days and there's actually been improvement in that time, but....who knows what's lurking underneath it all... Thanks for the support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@Hester et al, well....I just had my GI appt and it sounds like you may be right. The gastroenterologist's first thought was giardia lamblia (a parasite), but since tests have now basically ruled that out, and ultrasound showed my gallbladder to be fine, his thoughts turned to Celiac's disease, whose active onset was likely triggered by the infection I had while abroad. One thing he said which may be of special interest to people on these boards is that according to him, super greasy, sticky stools do not fit with a classic IBS diagnosis. I'm wondering though (does anybody know?) whether it's possible to have both Celiac's and IBS. The reason I am asking is because prior to this stomach bug I got in March, my tendency was clearly IBS-C, although it had never been diagnosed as such. Then all of a sudden after the stomach bug i started getting D and having greasy/sticky stools plus the lovely color BM changes I've described previously (gray/white/yellow).Any thoughts?? Hope all of you are faring okay today. Thanks again.
 

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I'm wondering though (does anybody know?) whether it's possible to have both Celiac's and IBS. The reason I am asking is because prior to this stomach bug I got in March, my tendency was clearly IBS-C, although it had never been diagnosed as such. Then all of a sudden after the stomach bug i started getting D and having greasy/sticky stools plus the lovely color BM changes I've described previously (gray/white/yellow).Any thoughts?? Hope all of you are faring okay today. Thanks again.
Anything is possible, but one would hope that treating Celiac cures your IBS and possibly some other maladies you might be experiencing, like joint pain / arthritis, asthma, or high blood pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@Jack, that would be lovely, wouldn't it? The only one I have from your list is asthma caused by tree pollen allergies, but if going gluten free helps me get rid of those, i will certainly accept that gladly. The whole prospect of a Celiac's diagnosis is very weird to me because I have never had problems with wheat in the past. Then again, maybe I just didn't know I was having problems...
 

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I think you need to read a lot more about genetically modified foods. You would be surprised how sick we can get from eating foods that we cannot digest or that leave or create something toxic. Sprue can be tested for either by blood or biopsy of the small bowel. However, being negative does not rule-out food sensitivities. I would get the sprue tests if i were you! Just to be sure. Other things to test might include your Vit B levels, Vit D levels, calcium, and pancreatic enzymes. Oddly, enough I do remember developing a sticky black stool from taking drugs for arthritis and inflammation. Are you on a medication that could have brought this on or aggrevated an underlying condition? (Use a Google to type in the name of any meds you take followed by the words "package label" or "package insert". Many, many drugs are very hard on the GI tract. You still could have small bowel bacterial overgrowth which is pretty hard to cure and nearly always requires targeted antibiotic therapy for extended timeframes and/or specific probotics. This is what I have to do to control my condition.
 
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