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Hello,

I've reached an impasse with my IBS treatment and I wondered whether anybody could shine some light on how the hell I can get rid of my ibs symptoms.

Background info:

- diagnosed by Gastroenterologist with IBS - sometimes constipation, sometimes diarrhoea

- symptoms occurred since about a year ago on a boozy university ski trip in france - first it was mild constipation, then symptoms have progressively become worse over the year

- no history of much antibiotic use

- no recent infections besides a fungal nail infection

- history of asthma and eosinophilic esophagitis

- no known food allergies, although I haven't had any thorough testing

Main symptoms:

- standard symptoms of IBS like bloating, abdominal pain, cramps, gas, fullness, occasional diarrhoea, unsatisfactory BMs, etc.

- fatigue

- insomnia

- mild depression which I am convinced is linked to IBS troubles (tried anti-depressants and they reduced stress but failed to significantly lift mood)

- stress and anxiety (much reduced now)

- brain fog, feeling spaced out, poor memory and a feeling like my IQ has dropped to 1

- undigested food in stool ( although I've read that this is normal)

- smelly farts and stools, and apparently fairly smelly breath and feet (feet smell could be due to fungal nail infection)

- over-active bladder (not sure if linked at all)

- lack of libido

Treatments tried:

- Low-FODMAP diet for 3 months

- good amounts of soluble fibre

- diet high in fermented foods

- a plethora of weird supplements e,g, aloe vera, various probiotics peppermint, fish oil, different teas, fibre supplements, magnesium, digestive enzymes, multivitamins and the list goes on...

- anti-depressants (fluoxetine, sertraline, amitriptyline)

- anti-spasmodics (buscopan, colofac, dicycloverine)

Tests completed:

- capsule endoscopy

- colonoscopy

- a standard blood test for things like vitamin deficiency

- stool sample (testing for what I don't know)

All the tests came back negative and none of the treatments did that much good. Although I did experience a small benefit from buscopan, amitryptiline and the Low-FODMAP diet, the effects were so negligible that the treatments weren't worth it at all. I'm beginning to lose hope of ever truly getting better and it's pretty much ruined my life for the past year; I've taken a year out of university to literally just sit around the house and feel ill.

Does anybody have any other ideas for further treatments that could prove successful???

There must be other ways of solving IBS besides what I've already tried.

Also I have been wondering lately whether I actually have IBS because the treatments are supposed to work for nearly everybody according to my doctor but they clearly didn't do any good for me. I've been speculating about the possibility of having Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or some other problem like candida overgrowth.

Does anybody think that my symptoms could be a result of SIBO or candida rather than IBS? I asked a doctor about this and he essentially just called me an idiot and dismissed it as a load of hippie nonsense.

I haven't had any of the specific tests for SIBO or candida (at least I don't think so) but I just presumed that my gastroenterologist would know best when he diagnosed me with IBS and ruled out other diseases.

Thank you for reading this and sorry for writing something so long.

Any answers will be appreciated!
 

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I think my IBS was largely brought on by alcohol, maybe it messed up the enzymes. Undigested stool and smelly flatulence is caused by food intolerance and it's a bit of a battle to work out exactly what's causing it but it can be done. When you say you've been on the low FODMAP diet for the last 3 months, what food exactly do you eat? I had a lot of trouble digesting their non-gluten breads. Basically look into starches, constipating food in general, too much fibre overall and the high FODMAPs. It's a bit of a balancing act. When you eat food that agrees with you evacuation is a lot quicker. I do eat wholemeal bread, and get a bit of digestion gas from this but I can live with that. What is important to me is the quick evacuation in the morning and not having gas at work or when socialising. I found out recently that it only takes one bad food to delay evacuation. So even though the rest of the food in your colon is good or safe food, the stool from that food contains gas. If your colon won't release all of its contents, for whatever reason, the gasses from the stool cause the worst gas possible. Doctors can't help because no-one knows what food you're intolerant to. The best thing to do is keep a diary and work from that.
 

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- symptoms occurred since about a year ago on a boozy university ski trip in france - first it was mild constipation, then symptoms have progressively become worse over the year
Hi ! Welcome to the forum. Many aspects of your story have happened to me too, especially the IQ part. IQ is better now, but not as good as it used to be. My problems never started due to alcohol though.

The boozing part caught my attention. If you don't mind, can you answer the following questions -

1 - How many years ago did this begin ?

2 - How did the problem start ? Eg. I drank 20 shots of different stuff. Next day I diarrhea/constipation. It never stopped after that.

3 - What was your diet like before and after this binge ?

4 - Did you eat/thought you ate any bad/contaminated food at the time of boozing ?

5 - Was there any stressful situation before or after the drinking ? Eg. Break up, emotional abuse etc ?

6 - Did the others on the trip start having similar problems for a few days or forever ?

Btw, I suggest that you ask your doc why SIBO is nonsense/false. Its not proven, but its not disproven either. So unless he has some

solid reasons, then he should hold his judgment.

Good luck.
 

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I think my IBS was largely brought on by alcohol, maybe it messed up the enzymes. Undigested stool and smelly flatulence is caused by food intolerance and it's a bit of a battle to work out exactly what's causing it but it can be done. When you say you've been on the low FODMAP diet for the last 3 months, what food exactly do you eat? I had a lot of trouble digesting their non-gluten breads. Basically look into starches, constipating food in general, too much fibre overall and the high FODMAPs. It's a bit of a balancing act. When you eat food that agrees with you evacuation is a lot quicker. I do eat wholemeal bread, and get a bit of digestion gas from this but I can live with that. What is important to me is the quick evacuation in the morning and not having gas at work or when socialising. I found out recently that it only takes one bad food to delay evacuation. So even though the rest of the food in your colon is good or safe food, the stool from that food contains gas. If your colon won't release all of its contents, for whatever reason, the gasses from the stool cause the worst gas possible. Doctors can't help because no-one knows what food you're intolerant to. The best thing to do is keep a diary and work from that.
Hi, thanks for the reply.

I'm not too sure what I'm intolerant to apart from foods high in sugar and other things like onions and couscous. When I was on the low-FODMAP diet I started the day with porridge oats mixed with linseeds and soya milk, accompanied by green tea and a banana. Then for lunch I would usually have some kind of lean meat with vegetables or a sandwich made with gluten free bread or spelt. For the evening meal I usually had another meal with lean meat and vegetables. For snacks I tended to eat low-FODMAP fruit such as rasperries, strawberries or satsumas. I usually stayed away from foods with high amounts of carbs, and the only carbs I had would derive from gluten free products or spelt.

When I came off the low-FODMAP diet I noticed more bloating and gas but the thing is even on a very strict low-FODMAP diet I had all the same symptoms albeit slightly less severe. So the diet seems pointless to me as every day on the low-FODMAP diet I still awoke feeling terrible and reacted to the foods after every meal. It seems to me as if I get the symptoms no matter what I eat.

At the moment I'm still on a low-FODMAP diet though not so strict.

Hi ! Welcome to the forum. Many aspects of your story have happened to me too, especially the IQ part. IQ is better now, but not as good as it used to be. My problems never started due to alcohol though.

The boozing part caught my attention. If you don't mind, can you answer the following questions -

1 - How many years ago did this begin ?

2 - How did the problem start ? Eg. I drank 20 shots of different stuff. Next day I diarrhea/constipation. It never stopped after that.

3 - What was your diet like before and after this binge ?

4 - Did you eat/thought you ate any bad/contaminated food at the time of boozing ?

5 - Was there any stressful situation before or after the drinking ? Eg. Break up, emotional abuse etc ?

6 - Did the others on the trip start having similar problems for a few days or forever ?

Btw, I suggest that you ask your doc why SIBO is nonsense/false. Its not proven, but its not disproven either. So unless he has some

solid reasons, then he should hold his judgment.

Good luck.
Hello, thanks for the reply.

I'm not actually fully convinced that my IBS is a result of boozing but it's one of the few reasons I can think of. I went through a period of continuous student boozing and at the end of it I started developing mild constipation and this progressed into worse ibs symptoms. I then became more stressed, anxious and depressed about things over time, and I think that was due to the constipation and bloating but at the time I had no idea why I was feeling horrible. Another reason I was thinking of was that I could of eaten some dodgy food on holiday. I just don't know. Oh and I haven't drank any alcohol for 6 months. It could also be stress causing the issue but I feel like I've eradicated most of the stress from my life.

1. Near exactly a year ago - so around january/february time 2013

2. I can't really pinpoint the problems to one night or one day, as the symptoms developed gradually. Although I did have one night where I was horrendously drunk beyond the normal. I think I just felt a bit ''off'' during the latter part of January 2013 and nothing was really the same after that

3. My diet wasn't admirable at all, but at the time I didn't perceive it as being horrendously bad; I tended to eat a lot of carbs, sweets and unhealthy drinks like coca cola but I did make sure to eat things fruit and veg.

4. Possibly, I did eat a lot of French food which could have caused some kind of upset. I was also cooking for myself and at the time I wasn't exactly a great chef.

5. I don't think so, I was loving life at that time. Although saying that I was a stressy person about work but I'm sure that this would be the cause.

6. Nope, I was the only one to suffer after. Also We all ate separately because we mostly cooked for ourselves.

I ought to confront my doctor it seems pointless because surely they should know best. However, saying that, if doctors knew best I would probably not have to post a forum asking for advice and I would be feeling well.
 

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I think of my colon as a grumpy old man living inside my body. I can't kick him out and just have to learn to live with him. He has a lot of rules that I have to abide by. You have to walk on eggshells around him because the slightest thing gets him going. I don't think I can change his personality any more than I can change mine because we have a shared history, so I'm not certain I can ever change him into an easier person to get along with. My best bet is to list all the things that irritate him and try to exclude eating / doing these things.

Even though my colon has a lot of rules I can at least understand them and they make sense once I google them. After a while there is a pattern to these rules and I learn that, for instance, my colon likes certain easy to digest fibre. What I'm hoping to see is consistency with the rules. It's not helpful if the rules change and generally they don't although if you have a sudden good day just out of the blue, this means that you have followed a rule you didn't even know about. Unfortunately, if you have a bad day you weren't expecting, then you broke a rule that you didn't know about. What I try to do is discover and list all the rules so I can have some sort of decent life.

I don't buy things from the chemist because these are foreign for both myself and my colon. This will change the rules and after long-term use of these things my colon might suddenly have rules that no longer make sense to either of us. In order words, my colon might develop a nervous breakdown! And this doesn't help either of us.
 

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I've been reading quite a bit about SIBO lately. And much of what you described sounds very familiar to it. The IQ thing- with SIBO, the overgrowth of bacteria can prevent you from absorbing B-12- which is an indicator. Also, your absorption of other nutrients will be lessened, thus fatigue. And it is the bad bacteria which can cultivate 'bad' gas. If when you take probiotics your symptoms get a little worse- it is an indicator.

If your doc is hesitant to test for SIBO, you can test yourself with a Glucose Breath Test. You don't need a docs prescription for it. It does only test the first 2 feet of intestines though. The other test has to be prescribed by a doc and test much further down. I figure, if you do the one test and get a positive result- that can give you ammunition to take to the doc, then maybe he will be more inclined to do the other test (Laculose Breath Test) if need be.

just a thought. http://www.siboinfo.com/symptoms.html
 

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I think of my colon as a grumpy old man living inside my body. I can't kick him out and just have to learn to live with him. He has a lot of rules that I have to abide by. You have to walk on eggshells around him because the slightest thing gets him going. I don't think I can change his personality any more than I can change mine because we have a shared history, so I'm not certain I can ever change him into an easier person to get along with. My best bet is to list all the things that irritate him and try to exclude eating / doing these things.
I like your analogy very much. That is so true. The old man is a wacko and can flip out at the most random moments and even at things than he liked before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey chaps, thanks for all the posts so far.

Very good news: I've managed to convince my Gastroenterologist to book me in for a breath test for SIBO, but I'm just waiting for the appointment to go through.

In addition I've had a few blood tests just to rule other things out: I tested negative for Celiac disease which is a relief and everything else is normal apart from one of my thyroid levels are too high, but currently not an issue because my hormone levels are normal, I can't remember exactly what was too high, but my doctor seemed to think that it's not an issue yet but I could have thyroid problems later on.

Yet to get any tests for candida, but I'm putting all my bets on it being SIBO so I'll see what's going on in a few weeks.

I'll post updates
 

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I think drinking has messed my GI system up. I had the best relief with Yoplait lite yogurt for a week and then a few times a week after that. If I drink even 2 beers, the next day I need my yogurt and it sets things back right.

Best luck!
 
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