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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 4 years ago I mysteriously gained about 30-40 lbs while dieting and exercising, i went from 115lbs to about 150 lbs. I was devastated and tried everything I could to lose the weight, nothing worked. I got every single blood test you can imagine, everything was normal. I started seeing a new doctor and she had the idea that maybe I didn't gain fat, maybe it was bloating. She suggested I take a stool test to see if I had any parasites or candida. It came back positive for both, I went on antibiotics, herbal treatment, and a very strict diet for a number of months. I took another stool test and everything came back normal. GREAT, I thought....but nothing changed. I have been doing a paleo diet for the past 2 years, and although I feel slightly better when I am not eating grains (ALL GLUTEN FREE, I HAVENT HAD GLUTEN IN 3 YEARS), it isn't enough, i still have massive bloating.

When I cut out gluten free grains I have some relief, but then I get constipated. When I eat gluten free grains, I get horrible pain, extreme bloating (10 lbs in a matter of hours), BUT i can go to the bathroom daily, and easily! This just doesn't make sense.

I feel like I cant lose a single ounce of weight, despite my best efforts because my body is constantly bloated! What can I do to help this?

I have only gotten relief from two different things:

1. SCD Intro diet (ONLY PLAIN MEAT)

2. vivonex shakes

Which are two completely different diets, one is all protein, no carbs, and the other is mainly carbs!

Also, one of the symptoms I have is after I eat grains or some carbs, my entire body feels bruised. Mostly my stomach, but even my arms and breasts will feel bruised as well.

What can I do to feel more normal? I just want to lose weight and not be in pain.

Thank you so much for reading this!

I forgot to mention, I just got off of 21 days on vivonex, I got down to 125lbs! I have only been eating food, HEALTHY FOOD, for about a week and today i was 133 lbs!!! I am so uncomfortable, if I could I would stay on vivonex forever but the cost is outrageous!
 

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You could have a bacterial overgrowth or SIBO. There is testing for this but it's not always accurate. I've found the best foods to reduce gas and bloating are well cooked low FODMAP veges, as well as proteins like meat or fish. Non-gluten grain breads made from potato, tapioca, corn flour etc are all extremely high in starch and I think starch is the worse food for me. Mashed potato and sweet potato are more easily digested than french fries or oven baked. The method of cooking does a lot to reduce starch, FODMAPs and fibre, all our problem foods. Bacteria feed on carbohydrates. Starch is the digestible part of carbs and fibre is the indigestible part, and bacteria feed on both. I follow a low starch diet like the SCD as well as a low FODMAP diet but I'm always cheating, it's so hard to keep to. A lot of bloating is also from incomplete evacuation but again the cure for this isn't easy either - it involves a long wait on the toilet. An elemental diet like the vivonex shakes would work for SIBO so it's not surprising it helps but it's very expensive isn't it. Try the well cooked low FODMAP veges like potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, green beans, carrot. Lunch is the hardest meal for me. I tend to have toast even though wheat is a problem food, starchy and a high FODMAP as well. Toast seems to be more easily digested than bread. Very ripe bananas seem to be OK for me. The more boiling and mashing you do the more you reduce the complex sugars and long polysaccharides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply. I thought that I could have SIBO too, that's why I did the vivonex for 21 days. I figured that after completing the 3 weeks, most people only do 2, that I would be ensuring that my SIBO is gone!? Why as soon as I eat food again it has come back with a vengeance, when I supposedly starved it out? This is confusing and stressful.
 

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Interesting about the Vivonex- I'm just hearing about this treatment recently. One thing I have read from several people who did that option was that they ended up with Candida after finishing it. How long ago were you last tested for that? A few things that come to mind are that perhaps you are still consuming something that you are allergic to or intolerant of. I agree with the above post regarding FODMAPs- maybe a trial of the low FODMAPS diet will help you to identify if there are some other foods that are contributing to your symptoms. Most people get relief in as early as a week on it if they are going to respond to it. Also, have you tried a probiotic after the Vivonex?

I am a dietitian and not promoting myself here, but just wanted to say that it might be beneficial for you to work closely with a dietitian to help you figure out what is going on. There are many RDs that specialize in working with people with GI issues, and one might be able to help you identify those problem foods. Sometimes unexpected foods cause these problems! I know it is extremely frustrating. IBS in and of itself is so frustrating cause it can have so many triggers and can be hard to narrow down! Hang in there and best of luck to you. - Kate
 

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I have a few questions for you:

1) Were you taking antibiotics when your onset occurred? For example, had you been taking tetracycline for acne for a number of years? Or did you have another acute infection like bronchitis or strep throat, anything that required the use of anti-biotics near the onset? The good bacteria in your system is supposed to take care of parasites and yeast and bad bacteria. If you took antibiotics and upset that balance, the candida and parasites and bad bacteria may be running wild in your system. These organisms excrete their own gases into your intestines. If you have a super excessive amount in your system, you may be becoming bloated as a result. In this case, you should take probiotics but get a test to see which ones you need. Alternative MDs offer this kind of test. I can find out the name of the test if you want me to.

I'm not a fan of just trying things because they worked for someone somewhere. You need to find what is the root cause of your specific problem. Isolating foods that upset you is a good idea but if you were once able to digest food normally without picking and choosing what you eat, you should be able to again. I'm not saying you shouldn't eat healthy but food is not the SOURCE of your digestive issue unless you have always had problems digesting certain kinds of food. You can at any time in your life develop an allergy to anything but it doesn't sound like you have any food allergies.

2) Did you try an anti-fungal medication to treat the candida? Diflucan?

3) Have you had your gallbladder removed? If yes, did you take hormonal birth control or hormone therapy prior to surgery? Do you take it now?

4) Do you take echinacea or oregano oil? (Not saying you should but both have anti-bacterial properties and could kill off good bacteria. Oregano oil *might* be of some benefit though since it is known to have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic properties.)

5) Do you have difficulty eating fatty foods? Does your bloating worsen from eating fatty foods? If you don't know, you can try experimenting. Eat lots of fat one day (any kind except coconut oil or palm kernel oil as these are not digested the same way as other fats) and eat chicken breast and some sort of fat-free starch (preferably fibrous so as not to block you up) you can tolerate the next. See if one day feels better than the other. It doesn't sound like a fat digestion issue but it could be. Poor fat digestion can lead to rotting food in the bowel causing excessive bloating and gas.

6) Is it possible you picked up a parasitic infection in a foreign country? I'm not saying you couldn't pick up one here but it's more prevalent in third world countries.

7) Do you have enough acid in your stomach? Here's one way to tell: Take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Chug it. If you feel like you're going to have a heart attack, you have enough acid in your stomach. If it burns but the sensation quickly fades, you don't have enough acid in your stomach. Stomach acid kills off bad bacteria and parasites. It's not a fun test but it works. DON'T DO IT IF YOU HAVE AN ULCER!!! Or are positive for h-pylori!

I am not a doctor but I've been doing research for 13 years on a lot of health conditions because I am extremely ill. Most of the systems in my body started to fail after my gallbladder was removed in 2001. Your condition sounds like an extreme imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria in your system. If vivonex is high in sugar/carbs, that will only feed the bad. Can you better explain what vivonex is? I looked it up but all it seems to be is a way of sustaining your gi tract while healing from other conditions that don't allow you to process regular foods well. That sounds like a bandaid solution with the potential to make your situation worse.

I'm not trying to be nosy or bossy. Just trying to help. Answer or don't answer. Up to you. Either way, hope you feel better soon. :)
 
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