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Question
Posted by: Lola | 2010/08/25

Chronic diarrhea, gas, bloating, please help!

Hello. I am a 25 year old woman and for the past 3 years or more...I have been having terrible stomach problems. I saw a doctor who told me I may be lactose intolerant...and so I''ve cut out all dairy and if I do eat dairy I make sure to take a lactaid pill. He also told me I may have a small amount of acid reflux and because of that I now take a zantac as needed. But regardless of my efforts with dairy and the acid reflux...I still find myself feeling gassy and bloated nearly every day...and every few weeks I have an " episode"  as I call them, where I get terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea that lasts usually a couple of days or more. During these episodes the pain is severe and my bowel movements are extremely lose and watery. I also am unable to eat anything without it passing right through me during these episodes.
On a normal day I go to the bathroom 4-5 times a day and my bowel movements are almost always very soft. The stomach doctor I saw also told me I may simply have IBS due to stress but I just am getting more stressed out by my stomach constantly being upset. Whether it be gas and bloating or diarrhea...i can''t enjoy eating and I can hardly lead a normal life. It''s effected my relationship with my boyfriend and has even effected my ability to work. I''ve had to call out several times due to the fact that I wasn''t sure if I''d be able to make it through a shift without having to go to the bathroom immediately. I don''t know what to do anymore...I''ve even been seeing a therapist to help me try and deal with the stress of it all, but nothing seems to be helping relieve my symptoms. if anyone has any suggestions please help because I can''t get in to see my stomach doctor for another 2 weeks. :(

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hallo Lola
IBS is a difficult thing to treat - at most one can "manage" it as it is not something that will heal. You can try to take Fybogel orange at night - this will absorb excess water in the bowel and reduce loose stools, one can use Colofac for cramping, and you should use probiotics three times a day longterm. Also try not to mix carbohydrates and meats, or fruit/fruitjuice with any other food type.
Wait a few hours before eating other food if you had fruit, and eat either meat and vegetables or carbohydrates and vegetables at a meal.
dr Bets

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

4
Our users say:
Posted by: Thea Williams | 2010/08/26

Not a medical expert either but have you been tested for Ulcerative Colitis? That is what I have (picked up during a Colonoscopy) and can be treated with Pentasa. Good Luck

Reply to Thea Williams
Posted by: Lola | 2010/08/25

Thank you Debbie! I will definitely ask that when I go!

Reply to Lola
Posted by: Debbie | 2010/08/25

I am not a medical expert, but have a daughter who had the exact symptoms and we travelled from dr to specialist to dr for 12 yrs spending thousands of rands, before she was diagnosed as being gluten intolerant. It might just be worth your while to ask a gastroenterologist to test you for this. I was told that many lactose intolerant patients are primarily gluten intolerant and because of this they develop secondary lactose intolerance. My best wishes for getting to the root of your problem.

Reply to Debbie
Posted by: Cyberdoc | 2010/08/25

Hallo Lola
IBS is a difficult thing to treat - at most one can "manage" it as it is not something that will heal. You can try to take Fybogel orange at night - this will absorb excess water in the bowel and reduce loose stools, one can use Colofac for cramping, and you should use probiotics three times a day longterm. Also try not to mix carbohydrates and meats, or fruit/fruitjuice with any other food type.
Wait a few hours before eating other food if you had fruit, and eat either meat and vegetables or carbohydrates and vegetables at a meal.
dr Bets

Reply to Cyberdoc

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