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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I'm so glad I found this site. I'm 40 years old, female, and just had my third child five months ago. About six weeks ago I started having strange symptoms of pain in my abdomen that would come on at strange times of day and night and then go away. Sometimes there was painful gas, but normal b. m. Soon this started being accompanied by diarrhea, most often in the middle of the night. My father used to have IBS in his 40s and 50s but it went away, so I just kept passing it off as that. However, in the past three weeks things have gotten worse; many more rounds of diarrhea (the ones at night are the worst--they usually strike between 2 and 3 a. m., about 7 hours after my last meal--it's the painful cramps/spasms that wake me from sleep and then I run to the bathroom for the next two hours). I am up for two hours before I finally feel like all the trips to the bathroom have "gotten it all out". Then I usually start getting more rounds the next afternoon, leading to BAD ones in the evening. Between episodes of diarrhea, I feel a lot of dull cramping that comes and goes and LOTS of rumbling in my intestines. I have lost 8 pounds during this six weeks, most of it during the last two weeks. I rarely get fever, but sometimes in the middle of the night with the really bad episodes in which I keep going back to the bathroom, I do run a low-grade fever around 99.5 and I feel sweaty and drained. No fevers during the day, as far as I know. The D is very watery and explosive, but no blood, ever; just lots of pieces of undigested food surrounded by pure brown liquid. I haven't had a normal or solid BM in at least two weeks. I finally took Imodium last week and it did allow me to go 48 hours without a BM (Heaven!), but then when I had one it was the same consistency as before. I haven't done much experimenting with foods yet; I have never had any food sensitivities before this. I have only switched to lactose-free milk but I do occasionally eat small amounts of cheese still. I went to the dr. four days ago, finally--he's an internal medicine doctor. He ordered blood tests and two different types of stool cultures. All the tests have come back as normal, so now he wants to put me on an antibiotic for five days and then if I'm still having diarrhea I'll go in for more tests next week. I have so much anxiety in the meantime; here are my questions. 1) Should I be relieved by the negative test results? 2) Can I rule out Crohn's disease? 3) The doctor said I shouldn't lose any weight or have any fever if it's just IBS, but doesn't it make sense that with food moving through me that fast and with so much liquid coming out that I'd lose some weight, especially when I'm also breastfeeding full-time? 4) I'm afraid to research colon cancer; I'm only 40 and have no colon cancer in the family except for my great-great-grandfather, and that was back in the 1800s. My parents are in their 70s and in great health.Wouldn't I have blood if it was colon cancer?5) Finally, why do you think the dr. is prescribing antibiotics? Wouldn't a parasite or bacteria have been picked up by the stool samples? If I have IBS, couldn't an antibiotic make all my symptoms worse?Sorry to make this so long; thanks so much for any advice you folks with more experience/knowledge can lend!
 

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1) Should I be relieved by the negative test results?
Sure! Any tests that come back negative are always good.
2) Can I rule out Crohn's disease?
Best way to rule that out is via a colonscopy with biopsies taken.
3) The doctor said I shouldn't lose any weight or have any fever if it's just IBS, but doesn't it make sense that with food moving through me that fast and with so much liquid coming out that I'd lose some weight, especially when I'm also breastfeeding full time?
Dr is correct; one shouldn't lose weight with just IBS>>>>> Unless one is undereating.. which can be kinda easy to do while breastfeeding and trying to avoid diarrhea. So keep track of what you are eating caloric wise and make sure it measures up to be with what one should be ingesting if one is breastfeeding.
4) I'm afraid to research colon cancer; I'm only 40 and have no colon cancer in the family except for my great-great-grandfather, and that was back in the 1800s. My parents are in their 70s and in great health.Wouldn't I have blood if it was colon cancer?
Then don't research it. WAIT for your Dr to tell you to worry. ANd in the meantime... try to calm yourself because worry & stress only aggravate GI symptoms.
5) Finally, why do you think the dr. is prescribing antibiotics? Wouldn't a parasite or bacteria have been picked up by the stool samples? If I have IBS, couldn't an antibiotic make all my symptoms worse?
Because he wants to make sure the stool samples haven't missed any possible gut infection maybe?? Ask him to be sure. But there are different kinds of antibiotics... What did he put you on?? Like the name of it...Flagyl?? or what? Let me know and maybe I can take a better guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for your response! Yes, he put me on Flagyl, even though the stool samples came back as normal. My biggest concern is that I am breastfeeding my 5-month-old son exclusively; he is not even on solid foods yet. Flagyl is considered very unsafe for breastfeeding. I don't mind pumping-and-dumping for five days of taking the medicine and starting him up on formula, but since they don't know what's causing the symptoms doesn't it seem like Flagyl might be more of a last resort than a first resort? Just curious what anyone else would do or think about this in my situation! Thanks!
 

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doesn't it seem like Flagyl might be more of a last resort than a first resort?
Actually no because if you have an infection like C-Diff (see this for more info on C-Diff: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/c-difficile/DS00736 )you could get dangerously ill and perhaps pass it along to your wee ones! So take the Flagyl and pump & dump and start formula. (And I KNOW I probably don't need to say this buuuuut... keep your hands REAL clean for sure.)And the Flagy may take a few days to work if you do have an infection. I was using it for 8-9 days before it started to slow my D down when I had C-Diff.So no, he was absolutely right & thorough, in my opinion, to take ALL precautions to treat you for something like C-Diff in case your stool results were false negatives.. which can happen.There are antibiotics that work on fast growing bacteria... like Cipro or Levaquin Penicillin etc... that one takes for fast growing bacteria found in typical upper respiratory infections or Strep throat etc. Flagyl is different... it works on slow growing bacteria.. (like C-Diff).So sure someone with IBS has to be careful with the antibiotics that work on fast growing bacteria.. and make sure they do not mess up the fine balance of bacteria that should exist in humans. And I find it good practice to take a probiotic with it and for a bit after wards to maintain good gut bacterial balance. For instance I got C-Diff from taking a course of Levaquin...had to take Flagyl to get rid of it. Hope this helps you.
 
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