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I'm really hoping someone can help me. I suspected I had small bowel bacterial overgrowth so I got my aunt to prescribe me 5 days of 800mg/day rifaximin. While i was taking it I was on a vacation and pretty much all i did was rest and eat the way I wanted. I improved to FANTASTIC results even on the 3rd day and could eat everything I wanted, and believed that my entire IBS was healed then. By the 5th day, however, I started having much more frequent stools despite the soluble fibre I was eating from veggies, though I think I did raw veggies and fats way too much the final two days (I had been on a raw vegan diet during my candida-ibs phase and wanted to go back to that way of eating as soon as possible). On the 5th day, I had to take an overseas flight and was extremely sick on the plane, then when I got home there was a time change so I didn't have anything to eat for 30+ hours while extremely weak and also packing up my apartment to move on Sep 1 all at once. On the day I came home I had extremely bloody diarrhea, high fever and even chest pains for the first time in my life and I was so worried for my life. My theory is that the small bowel bacterial overgrowth got better extremely quickly but worsened extremely quickly because of the amount of stress on the day that I finished, that it came back with a greater swing. I've never had symptoms like this. That was a week ago. Three days ago I had very dark stools and extreme lower abdomen pain and had to go to ER; they did blood tests and ultrasound but there was no inflammation, and I know that I don't have Crohns and such because I did a colonoscopy earlier this month. I think the antibiotics really screwed me up because I tried "too hard" to get regular good bowel movements way too quickly. After not being able to eat anything but white rice and being extremely feeble for three days (and went to ER two more times because of severe nausea and gastric bleeding pains again), I decided to regain my strength, stop listening to the doctors, and do what I need to do, which is make my body strong. I have a tendency to be extremely sensitive to all symptoms, and when I feel like I have a symptom it's much earlier than when visible symptoms actually appear. Today I have terrible terrible nausea and feel like I am about to throw up, which would be the first time ever since I've had IBS for the last year and a half. A part of me wants to go back on the Rifaximin asap while taking it easy with the fibre and the diet and such, but a part of me is also scared because it screwed up my insides so much very quickly. I'm not sure what I should do, I've never had flare-ups because I've only really started having this kind of IBS-A this summer, prior was all Candida-IBS with extreme constipation and brain fog only. I've obviously improved over time because Candida-IBS is scarier than IBS-A/any IBS with strong visible symptoms in my experience, but I am due to start school again in a week and don't know if I can do this myself. The ER doctor yesterday looked at me like I was insane when I mentioned SBBO yesterday and told me that "i was on a little constipated side" when he looked at my x-rays. The only reason I am constipated is because I followed the ER doctors' advice of eating soup only! God! I only know more than ever that I should not follow these doctors' advice. I just need another foothold before school starts and I don't know if I should take the Rifaximin again somehow. I did see my GI on the 30th but all he told me was to stop taking the antibiotic because it screws up with the good bacteria in the gut, and to stop being so anxious. I am not due to see him for another two months, but I've been to the ER three times since seeing him.What should I do? Does the fact that the blood tests came back normal say that I am just being extra sensitive? I have a fever (though it's been decreasing) so it makes me think I have SBBO. I just am not sure about the degree to which I have this infection because I've messed around with my body so much. Please help. I've had comprehensive tests done this summer overseas that cost a good $1000 out of my parents' pocket, and I know that I am overall very healthy and that this is probably more acute thing than anything. However, whenever flare-ups like this happen I panic and take some drastic action that I know I might regret later... Should I just take gravol and wait out the nausea?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
or do you think this is just a flare-up and that i should wait it out for a more long-term effect than touch the antibiotics again (at even a very low dosage, say 400mg/ for five days)?
 

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SIBO is not an infection and does not cause a fever. SIBO is normal colon flora living in the wrong place.I would suspect the nausea, fever, etc is all from a GI infection (which is pretty common on vacation given new food, new locations, new people who have viruses your body never saw before...depends mostly on where you went but any vacation can be a problem)I would wait for the GI infection to clear, do not do extreme diets of any kind (although avoiding solids while vomiting is generally a good recommendation) and if you really want to take antibiotics for SIBO get tested for that, not just take them randomly on the off chance as they can cause problems with the normal flora which could have made you more likely to pick up a GI infection if you just take them in case.I do not think low doses of antibiotics below what is normally used for SIBO will do you any good, anyway. They usually have a reason you need a certain dose.
 

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SIBO is not an infection and does not cause a fever. SIBO is normal colon flora living in the wrong place.I would suspect the nausea, fever, etc is all from a GI infection (which is pretty common on vacation given new food, new locations, new people who have viruses your body never saw before...depends mostly on where you went but any vacation can be a problem)I would wait for the GI infection to clear, do not do extreme diets of any kind (although avoiding solids while vomiting is generally a good recommendation) and if you really want to take antibiotics for SIBO get tested for that, not just take them randomly on the off chance as they can cause problems with the normal flora which could have made you more likely to pick up a GI infection if you just take them in case.I do not think low doses of antibiotics below what is normally used for SIBO will do you any good, anyway. They usually have a reason you need a certain dose.
thank you so much kathleen. i'm so glad i posted about my situation because i also very very strongly suspect i have bipolar disorder and i dont want to do something stupid. when i'm manic i make extremely good improvements on my health then go too far and hurt myself (like taking antibiotics on the off chance and probably messing up my gut flora, or taking way too much herbal medication and getting hurt from it). i do have extreme tendencies, as soon as i posted this i went to the grocery store and bought $200 worth of organic food and supplements and was planning to take fibre supplements by the tablespooon, which is obviously very dangerous right now. i swing from euphoria to depression to hope (best) to anxiety to too much energy to anger, all in two days. some questions - how can i tell whether the GI tract has healed or not? if there no more pain even after i eat, am i considered healed? right now my lower abdomen still hurts whenever i eat something. right now i'm constipated (though i've eaten VERY little in the last little while after the heavy diarrhea). do you think i should go to the hospital for more ultrasounds? do ultrasounds pick up GI infections? (the ER doc really thought I had a urinary infection, which i suspected i had about 10 days ago because i had the urge to relieve myself but couldnt). the visible symptoms (something that shows up tangibly) always come days later. i am due to see a psychologist for consultation about possible bipolar next week sometime, but in the meanwhile i feel like i'm a danger to myself... today i ate some brown rice pasta and even a small handful of pine nuts and manuka honey and supplements (fish oil, vitamins, digestive enzymes) after three straight days of eating just canned soup... i guess i should go back to the soup to play it safe. i had some aloe vera which calmed my stomach and now it's not feeling as nauseaus. what else should i do in the meantime besides the aloe vera? should i do probiotics? probiotic yogurt?
 

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Here is the general what to do after a GI infection. Ultrasounds won't diagnose it, usually they do a stool sample, but if the worst is past it may be late for that.1. While you are vomiting and having watery diarrhea.Stick with clear fluids, broth soups (may take the stuff out and just do the broth if really bad), water, gatorade or other electrolyte drinks, jello_Once the vomiting is over, and if you tolerate milk or some products with milk normally (and if you need to you can do rice milk or whatever substitutes you tolerate)2. cloudy liquids.So can include pudding, milk, yogurt (which can help with the probiotics or take a probiotic).Watch with the aloe as some preparations have a lot of latex which is a laxative, so if the diarrhea acts up afterward, you may need one with more gel and less whole leaf. If it seems to be soothing things and not causing problem then it should be OK.Slippery Elm is another soothing thing you could probably do at this stage.If you normally can't do milk or other milk-like things go to bland solids.3. Bland solids (usually avoid high fiber things and anything fatty/greasy/fried). Traditionally is the BRAT dietBananasRiceApplesauce (cooking fruits makes them easier on the system, gets rid of the sorbitol which can be a laxative and is in fruits like apples, pears, peaches and cherries).Toast.Other bland foods like pasta without sauce work as well, but see how you tolerate any of these with fiber at first.4. If you can eat those without adding to the diarrhea then start adding in other foods, but drop back to bland solid food (and any all of the liquids) if it starts up.Idealy the pain after eating will go over time, but if you tend to IBS anyway you might have some pain anyway from the increase in colon activity after meals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here is the general what to do after a GI infection. Ultrasounds won't diagnose it, usually they do a stool sample, but if the worst is past it may be late for that.1. While you are vomiting and having watery diarrhea.Stick with clear fluids, broth soups (may take the stuff out and just do the broth if really bad), water, gatorade or other electrolyte drinks, jello_Once the vomiting is over, and if you tolerate milk or some products with milk normally (and if you need to you can do rice milk or whatever substitutes you tolerate)2. cloudy liquids.So can include pudding, milk, yogurt (which can help with the probiotics or take a probiotic).Watch with the aloe as some preparations have a lot of latex which is a laxative, so if the diarrhea acts up afterward, you may need one with more gel and less whole leaf. If it seems to be soothing things and not causing problem then it should be OK.Slippery Elm is another soothing thing you could probably do at this stage.If you normally can't do milk or other milk-like things go to bland solids.3. Bland solids (usually avoid high fiber things and anything fatty/greasy/fried). Traditionally is the BRAT dietBananasRiceApplesauce (cooking fruits makes them easier on the system, gets rid of the sorbitol which can be a laxative and is in fruits like apples, pears, peaches and cherries).Toast.Other bland foods like pasta without sauce work as well, but see how you tolerate any of these with fiber at first.4. If you can eat those without adding to the diarrhea then start adding in other foods, but drop back to bland solid food (and any all of the liquids) if it starts up.Idealy the pain after eating will go over time, but if you tend to IBS anyway you might have some pain anyway from the increase in colon activity after meals.
thanks so much, you've been of such great help. now only if i could control myself.So I felt a bit better and the pain had subsided a bit after 3 solid days of soup and yesterday I was too ambitious and didn't stick to just liquids.... i had yogurt and juice and aloe but also porridge WITH fibre in it (peas and carrots and brown rice) and i'm back having fever and chest pains and severe nausea again. ican't believe how impatient i am. i had bloody stools this morning and had two advil but my fever hasn't gone down. i feel like the aloe (whole leaf filtered) is just siting there in my stomach with the advil pill.last night i also had a severe anxiety attack and had to call the paramedics because my left arm cut off circulation because apparently i pulled a muscle on my left side of the chest during moving apartments, 8 days ago and because i panicked and the pain just kept cycling deeper. i think i will have to stick to clear fluids and broth for now. i don't want to do gatorade because of all the sugar... i think i may do coconut water (a natural electrolyte) and see how that is. i am afraid to touch milk (havent in a long time) and the yogurt was soy-based yogurt which i would like to get off as soon as possible but i can tell that the probiotic is (a little too) effective. i really need to slow down trying to heal faster and just wait for the GI infection to clear up first before i start adding any kind of fibre whatsoever... this fever and body pains are freaking me out. kathleen, how long do you think it will take for my infection to improve?
 

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I would stick to tylenol only if you have GI bleeding of any kind. Advil (asprin and any other NSAID) can be hard on the lining of the gut and tylenol is a safer option.Usually a GI infection lasts from 12 hours to about 10 days. If you still have fevers and bleeding you should let your doctor know if it goes past that. There can be an antibotic-caused overgrowth of C. diff that can cause bleeding and they may need to test for that (as well as other things) if you don't clear up on your own in a reasonable amount of time.Generally after the GI infection clears it takes from a day or two up to as much as a month to get things back to where they were before the infection. So some people have to take it easy for a couple of weeks before they really can go back to their usual diet.Whole leaf aloe can be a laxative, so you may not want to take whole leaf preparations while you have diarrhea. A preparation with the laxative removed may be OK. You might try slippery elm which also has the kinds of things that the "gel" part of the aloe has without the laxative in the latex part of the whole aloe leaf.
 

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I would stick to tylenol only if you have GI bleeding of any kind. Advil (asprin and any other NSAID) can be hard on the lining of the gut and tylenol is a safer option.Usually a GI infection lasts from 12 hours to about 10 days. If you still have fevers and bleeding you should let your doctor know if it goes past that. There can be an antibotic-caused overgrowth of C. diff that can cause bleeding and they may need to test for that (as well as other things) if you don't clear up on your own in a reasonable amount of time.Generally after the GI infection clears it takes from a day or two up to as much as a month to get things back to where they were before the infection. So some people have to take it easy for a couple of weeks before they really can go back to their usual diet.Whole leaf aloe can be a laxative, so you may not want to take whole leaf preparations while you have diarrhea. A preparation with the laxative removed may be OK. You might try slippery elm which also has the kinds of things that the "gel" part of the aloe has without the laxative in the latex part of the whole aloe leaf.
antibotic-caused overgrowth of C. diff ? could you explain what this means?my appetite is so off the rocker today, I think I may have candida again because I had mad sugar cravings today and I do not have a sweet tooth. i'm just so confused, I don't know if I have IBS-C or IBS-D or IBS-A or if that even matters at all. things changed a whole lot today and i can't make up my mind.
 

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A, C, D doesn't really matter other than you would be treating the symptom that causes the most issues.Alternating types often need to spend more effort preventing the constipation rather than stopping up the diarrhea that is only about flushing out the constipated stool. So if you don't back up, you don't go into flush cycle.When you take antibiotics you kill off the normal flora. When the colon is depopulated you can get and overgrowth of a bacteria that usually hangs out in a lot of people's colons but at a low population. It can't grow well when too many other bacteria are around. It is C. difficle or C. diff. When it gets going and has a high population you can see diarrhea and sometimes bleeding with the diarrhea. You then need an antibiotic that kills it off to get it back under control.However that usually is just diarhea, not alternating back and forth with a lot of constipation.Since your eating has been pretty unusual because of the illness your body may have needs it doesn't normally have so I wouldn't rush into some treatment program over a few cravings for a day or two. Sometimes just not having any of something can make your brain want it just because you haven't had it. We tend to want some variety and part of why most fad diets fail is you avoid too many things for too long and the brain goes I need something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A, C, D doesn't really matter other than you would be treating the symptom that causes the most issues.Alternating types often need to spend more effort preventing the constipation rather than stopping up the diarrhea that is only about flushing out the constipated stool. So if you don't back up, you don't go into flush cycle.When you take antibiotics you kill off the normal flora. When the colon is depopulated you can get and overgrowth of a bacteria that usually hangs out in a lot of people's colons but at a low population. It can't grow well when too many other bacteria are around. It is C. difficle or C. diff. When it gets going and has a high population you can see diarrhea and sometimes bleeding with the diarrhea. You then need an antibiotic that kills it off to get it back under control.However that usually is just diarhea, not alternating back and forth with a lot of constipation.Since your eating has been pretty unusual because of the illness your body may have needs it doesn't normally have so I wouldn't rush into some treatment program over a few cravings for a day or two. Sometimes just not having any of something can make your brain want it just because you haven't had it. We tend to want some variety and part of why most fad diets fail is you avoid too many things for too long and the brain goes I need something else.
Thanks so much for this. I say i have back and forth between diarrhea and constipation because if i eat just straight cooked carbs (pasta etc) it will explode out of me (yesterday I had some fresh blueberries and literally crapped myself within a few minutes) but if i eat anything else (protein, fats, veg) then it goes through my system rreally slowly, and gives me pains that I relate to bleeding. meaning i think i still have a GI infection, because i still have a fever and abdomiinal pain. Maybe the C.difficie is what it is. It's only the stools that take a long time to go through my system (flushed out with lots and lots and lots of water over a long time) that are dark red, when i eat straight carbs for a few days the stools are light brown and floating or even greenish yellow. what is the antibiotic used to kill off C.diff and how does that treatment work?yesterday i had a ton of probiotic yogurt (soy-based) and i feel like probiotics give me pains, honestly. i'm not even kidding. every single thing that is good for my body seems to make me bloated instantly - digestive enzymes, fish oil, probiotic pills, yogurt. when i eat foods with a ton of these supplements or herbal meds it makes the pain worse. i don't know what i'm suposed to do . i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. i really need to get into a solid eating pattern so that i can monitor what's actually happening but whenever i have fever/dark red stool (always at the same time) i get scared and think i should get back to soup. but that turns to diarrhea in half a second and i'm left hungry 2 seconds later. what is this. ugh.also, the area where my small intestine is located just feels tight and full ALL the time. does the fact that it's bloated mean that there are a lot of bacteria, or that they are dying off? or what? god, i don't know.
 

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You might be better off with probiotic pills that don't have soy or milk in them and make sure the pills aren't loaded with "prebiotics" or FOS/inulin.Soy always has sugars no human digests, some people find it a lot more bothersome than lactose.Often with IBS-D a lower carb approach is better (protein with cooked veggies) and if that is too constipating add small amounts of carbs rather than an all carb meal.Bloating is hard to know as some people just bloat from the act of eating. Most of the bloating studies (the few there are) they do in healthy people with a meal that will make any human bloat (large high fat meals just over stimulate anyone's gut).http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/c-difficile/DS00736/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs about C. diff. But don't try to treat yourself, get tested.
 
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