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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would you feel content with my situation? I know you have probably read my story before but I need to know if I am just paranoid or need to find someone to help me out. Apr 98 � Got sick from seafood poisoning, I think, but don�t know it just came on abruptly. Doctor wrote me off for two weeks with a severe AGE. (in the meantime, the smell of food made me sick, couldn�t even sip water, had high fever with chills and shakes, tingling, and could not sleep as my heart was pounding constantly) Three weeks later after losing 20 pounds and no sleep, my husband took me to military ER. Tests begun but was not hospitalized although noticeably and considerably dehydrated. Stool tests were performed at this time even though I had pretty much evacuated everything in my system plus not getting any nutrition. In fact, the size was very small and I had to strain extremely hard almost passing out to get them the samples. They turned out negative for parasites. Supposedly all of these blood tests were done all coming out negative. They told me I was tested for Lupus, Graves disease, cancer, malabsorption, Lyme disease, pancreatic cancer, just to name a few. They would be sent to Texas from California via military and I would have to wait 3 weeks in between for results. (I checked out my folder the other day to research my labs to help put my mind to rest and guess what THEY AREN�T THERE!!) Diagnosed with CFS due to my fatigue and fever that lasted over 6 months. Still never hospitalized. One year and a half later finally referred to a supposed �reputable� GI doc. I say this because he worked on my 86 yr old grandmother and diagnosed her tumor before any tests were done. He also has worked on several other members of my family with great results. Here is the story. I went in and chatted with him for five minutes. He poked, you know, the HELLO part, and my stomach and within five minutes said you definitely have IBS and no tests are needed. Other than this you are a �healthy, normal, 23 yr old.� SO there you have it. 1. I have had one set of stool tests throughout this ordeal. Two weeks after my symptoms started and solids were back in the picture. 2. Blood work, extensive supposedly done, but no proof in my files. When I asked my present doc of the day (that is what you get in the military sometimes, a person that has no clue except what they read in your file) about the missing labs, they said this was normal and not to worry about it. The doc did put in a lot of detailed notes, but with no numerical figures as to my levels of the tests. 3. Diagnosed with CFS but now have IBS. That choice decided in 5 minutes. 4. I have seen a psychologist to maybe see if I could get some help on how to cope. The guy just listened to me and said, man I can�t believe it, and couldn�t believe my tragic story. Well, I quit seeing him because after hearing that I have reacted in a total normal way and that I am �normal� I figured I could save the money and time. 5. After two years of begging them, I have finally been given a chance to see a dietitian. I go next Tuesday. I am sorry this is long, and I would really like some scientific types of input here. If this is normal, I guess I will have to cope with it. However, my immune system is shot, and I have IBS symptoms to top it all off. Should there be room for concern on my part, or should I just lay my curiosity to rest. Sometimes, I feel that if I could just see a set of labs I would feel so much better. Should I venture out on my own and spend maga bucks that I don�t have to settle my mind? I ask you again, would you feel content? Thanks so much for any feedback, I really appreciate this board and all you do for each other.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OOPS, I forgot one thing. The thyroid was tested and repeated 3 times. The first was a little abnormal, the 2nd the same and the third time back to normal. They said this could be due to my malnutrition.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you been checked for Crohn's Disease and Celiac Disease? They involve problems with malabsorption and have similar IBS signs.HOWEVER considering it came on so suddenly, I'd REALLy be asking for more testing. Can you afford this through civilian lines? To be so sick so suddenly is more an acute problem, not chronic like IBS.Kylie
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know if I have been tested for either of the two that you have mentioned. I can't remember because there were so many and I was scared out of my mind at the time. In order to see a civilian doc I have to get a referral through Tricare or pay on my own. Yes, it can get very expensive. My husband is on military pay and now that I have been sick for 2 yrs now, I don't make enough anymore. (I lost a great job with big $$ attached due to this, unfortunately.) I guess if I knew where to start, I would seek other opinions, but at this point I do not know where to start.
 

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If you were tested for Crohn's or Celiac they would have stuck a long tube either up your rectum or down your throat respectively.They may have put you to sleep at that time, were you ever put under during your testing?IBS quite often starts from a bout of food poisoning. Basically your immune system in fighting off the infection (even if it works poorly it can do this) injures some of your cells (friendly fire as it were) Generally people's colon's can be funny for a month or two after severe food poisoning, but in some people the damage is not repaired well and IBS is the result. (Inflamation has been shown in lab animals to destroy nerves in the gut wall and it takes a very complicated well functioning neural net to run the digestive system).There are a number of treatments for IBS, but since many doctors do not understand this disorder, you may not find one in the military that does. If possible I would see if you could get a referal to a GI doc in the area that specilized in irritable bowel syndrome as it can be treated fairly effectively for most people. If you cannot get out-of-system treatement there are somethings you can try on your own, at home to help.1. Changing your diet. Adding fiber can help both diarrhea and constipation (it regulates water in the bowel and both of those have water probelem, either too much or too little). Keep a food diary of what you eat and how bad your symptoms are. Avoid trigger foods. Lactose (dairy) Sorbitol (sugarless candies and apples pears peaches and prunes) Alcohol and Caffiene are known to trigger diarrhea in normal people (although they may be useful for constipation prone people)2. Supplements. Peppermint (tea or capsules) and Chammomile tea can both relax the gut and ease spasms.Calcium can constipate people so helps some.Magnesium can cause diarrhea so helps others.3. Gut-directed therapy can help, but your unlikely to find a specialist you have access too. Two sets of hypnotherapy tapes are commercially available. One is ~$25 from www.ibstherapy.com and the other is around $100 at www.ibsaudioprogram.com aka "Mikes Tapes".If you can find a doctor willing to work with you, there are antispasmodic drugs available by prescription (Levsin, Levbid (the long acting form) and Bentyl for example). Quite a few people get relief from diarrhea from Questran which is usually prescribed to lower cholesterol. Some of the antidepressants work on both CFS and IBS, so that may be another avenue.Hope you feel better soon.K.------------------I have no financial, academic, or any other stake in any commercial product mentioned by me.My story and what worked for me in greatly easing my IBS: http://www.ibsgroup.org/ubb/Forum17/HTML/000015.html
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks K. I needed some more info on why food poisoning could have caused IBS results and I am starting to understand better with your info. I was never put under so I haven't been tested for Celiac. That is why I found it odd that I never had any of those uncomfortable tests (not that I am complaining that I haven't, trust me). I just wondered how docs can conclude by lab tests and feeling your stomach that you have IBS. About my diet. I have changed dramatically with everything you have stated. In fact, I went to extreme and ended up losing more weight which was bad, that is why they finally are letting me see a dietitian. I will be going to school this summer via distance learning at K-State to get a degree in dietetics. This whole thing has inspired me to learn more and help others. Until then, I will require a dietitian's help so we shall see if they can. I don't mean to rag on the military docs, but you always hear sceptics out there (some are my family, others are locals here in this area) that do not trust them around here, so it puts me in an awkward situation. I will look into the tapes, and appreciate the suggestions. Thanks again for the info and if anyone else could add in something here, I would appreciate it greatly. I have go to put my mind to rest somehow.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
K, I'll try this again, my reply didn't post for some reason. I haven't been tested for Celiac then because I haven't had any of the tests you have mentioned. I guess IBS doesn't have to be diagnosed through colonoscopy or others because I have never had them done. I have changed my diet dramatically but have lost weight so the dietitian is supposed to help me along this route. (I am way underweight about 15 pounds) I appreciate the suggestions about the tapes and will look into them. I really appreciate the explanation of the food poisoning link to IBS because I really didn't understand it very well and am beginning to with the information you provided. Meds and me do not agree because I am so underwieght. I currently have to take children's doses of regular meds so I think this is why the doc has tried natural ways to help. However, Metamucil sent me into a an IBS attack quicker than you wouldn't believe. If anyone else has any info on the link between food poisoning and IBS I would greatly appreciate it. The more I know the better I feel.Thanks again!! : )
 
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