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H. Pylori possibility

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:35 am
by ebac
Hello, all-

I'm an eighteen year old female college student who is at her wit's end with a gastrointestinal nightmare that has been going on for the past eight months. About a year and a half ago, I experienced a weight loss of around 20 pounds. This was a huge accomplishment for me, and did wonders for my energy level and confidence. It consequently gave me the incentive to take better care of my body through a much healthier diet and regular exercise. I maintained a healthy and happy weight of 125-130 lbs. (I'm ~5'3") as a result of these changes for around eight months. Come February, I started having a problem overeating at night because of a basically uncontrollable need to stuff myself with carbohydrates (mostly cereal, crackers, bread). This came along with a laundry list of gastrointestinal issues (bloating, farting, loose stools, cramps) that basically, along with the overeating, began one day suddenly and has continued up until this point.
As a result of the overeating, I've put on a "significant" amount of weight (probably ~10 pounds, which I know is not terrible but seems so because I was so incredibly comfortable at 130 lbs.). It has been difficult to lose for the same reason, although I exercise at least 5x a week pretty intensely.
I visited the doctor's office in June, during which time I was tested for Celiac's disease and thyroid problems. These all came back negative. As a result, my doctor gave me information on Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which in her opinion was the most likely explanation.
I don't know why, but my body and brain are telling me that there is something more complicated at play here than IBS or a stress-related bowel disorder. The consistency of my symptoms is what really got me thinking that H. Pylori or some kind of bacterial/parasitic infection is the cause of all this. I'm going to provide a breakdown of the kinds of things I've been experiencing for the past eight months. Hopefully someone has had a similar experience, or can at the very least offer some insight into bacterial infections and their symptoms. I'm scheduled for a stool test next week, as well as a gastroenterology consultation.

I'm sorry for the incredibly long post; I'm just ready to feel comfortable in my own skin again! Thank you for bearing with me.

(And, as promised, the list of crazy symptoms >>)

• Very smelly flatulence with a distinct odor (is the same every time), worse after eating a lot of carbs
• Bowel movements that are difficult to pass, generally the same color (reddish orange, yellow or dark green, but never really brown) and consistency (thin, soft) and with a distinct odor; I often feel like I haven’t actually “gotten it all out” and sometimes have leakage afterward
• Infrequently but more often than is normal, I’ll have very bad diarrhea, especially after overeating carbs
• Acid reflux that manifests itself in the left shoulder/chest area; happens most frequently after eating out or consuming greasier, spicier foods
• Ammonia-like smell from sweat or urine, especially in vaginal area
• Belching
• Intense craving for and frequent bouts of overeating of sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods like cereal and bread
• Stomach pains in the morning (not cramps, just a dull ache)
• Lactose intolerance
• Swollen fingers after walking for long periods of time
• Bloating
• Weight gain because of overeating, even though I exercise very frequently. I have had difficulty losing the weight because of an inability to moderate my carbohydrate intake.
• Rectal bleeding (maybe because of having to wipe so much after bowel movements)
• Within the first two months of my symptoms starting, I had a cold sore that lasted for a number of weeks. I have never had issues with cold sores, but for this one in particular I had to buy a medicated ointment, which was very out of the ordinary.
• On the worst days, the gas and bloating is especially bad at night, and I often go to sleep feeling hot and sweaty. During these nights I don’t sleep well, and have to get up to use the bathroom, often feeling like I have to do a bowel movement and sometimes passing a small one. Sometimes my urine is cloudy, even if I stayed very hydrated throughout the day. The morning afterward, I sometimes won’t be able to sleep in because of waking up with a dull ache in my stomach, which is usually alleviated by eating. These symptoms were much worse in the first few months, happening almost every night as opposed to a few times every couple of weeks now.

Re: H. Pylori possibility

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:17 am
by Helico_expert
gastro problems are very complex and could be anything. To rule out the possibility of H. pylori, I suggest you go do a breath/stool test.

Re: H. Pylori possibility

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:27 am
by ebac
Thank you! I have a gastroenterology consultation next week, as well as a stool test that will be done this week. I'm hoping it leads to some answers, if not simply that it rules out H. pylori.

Re: H. Pylori possibility

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:45 am
by Helico_expert
yea.. i do hope it's H. pylori related. Because it's simpler to treat.

remember to stop any acid reducing drug and antibiotics from now if you are doing your stool test next week.

Re: H. Pylori possibility

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:10 am
by ebac
I do, too. It's felt like such a long time since I've really felt "normal," and the whole process has certainly affected me emotionally, especially the difficulty with losing weight and the embarrassing gas.

(Side note: has H. Pylori been known to cause increases in appetite? I know it definitely does the opposite, but am wondering if I'm being naive in my attempts to attribute what may actually just be binge eating to biological factors. I'm only doing so because it has been one of the most problematic of the issues that cropped up, as well as one of the first.)