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Digestive Disorders Message Board

Digestive Disorders Board Index

Here is a copy of my reply from the bowel disorders board.

Hi DJ,

Just because this test came back negative it does not mean that there is still nothing wrong, so keep pestering your doc for more tests.

It is possible that this is a gallbladder issue. Has your doc performed a scan of your abdomen to check and do you have any pain?

I don't know whether you know that the absorption of nutrients from the food that you eat takes place in the small intestine? There are long finger like structures there called villi that carry out this absorption, so malabsorption issues tend to affect the small intestine.

The things that tend to affect this could be Crohn's Disease or Celiac Spru. Is there any history of these within your family?

One of the largest is Celiac Spru. This can present with symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, a very painful and bloated stomach, weight loss and lethargy and generally feeling unwell. Some people do not always know that they have it and can just feel very tired and run down all the time and can have a bloated stomach without pain or diarrhea.

This basically means that you are intolerant to gluten - gliaden, which is the protein found in wheat and other grains. If you were diagnosed with this, it means that you will have to stick to a gluten free diet for ever, as every time you eat gluten the symptoms return. The normal test for this is having blood taken for food allergy/intolerance tests. If this is positive, it could be that you have other food intolerances. Anyway, if this is positive, they may want to perform an endoscopy to have a look in your small bowel. Normally, in Celiac Spru the small bowel will look inflammed and slightly erroded by the gluten. However, it you cut the gluten out, then this will heal in time.

The other possibility is Crohn's Disease. This is a condition of the small intestine where there is inflammation and malabsorption that can cause symptoms such as you describe. It can also affect some part of the large intestine too I think. This can be treated with steroids to reduce the inflammation and other medications.

I don't know whether your doc has begun to think about all these other possibilities, but just mention them to him when you next see him. Have you ever been tested for H.Pylori? If not, then it might be worth it, especially as you have had gastritis in the past.

In the meantime, I would suggest that you start taking some Metamucil. This is a water soluble fiber supplement that is safe to take and can help to bulk up your stools, thus easing your diarrhea. Take it twice daily, but remember to drink enough water with it. If you don't like this, then you can take wafers, but this maybe better to start off with so that it can help to bulk out your stomach.

The fact that your stomach is bloated and you have a lot of gas and also the fact that you are having diarrhea means that your gut flora are out of balance and need to be corrected. You should consider taking a Probiotic supplement or eating some live yogurt that contains Lactobacillis and other bacteria that live in your gut and are gut friendly. You can take them twice daily on an empty stomach. Keep them refrigerated and don't take them with hot drinks as heat kills bacteria. Hopefully you should notice a difference within a week.

Hope this helps and do ask your doc about the other possibilities?

Good luck

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