GI issues (TMI, surely...) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-30-2008, 04:26 PM
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In advance, sorry. This is way more information than I'd share with anyone else, but you lot are special. Lucky you.



Anyway, for a couple of months or so I've been having GI issues. Namely, very, very loose diarrhea, and sometimes low appetite. Definitely not always. Usually gluttony is my vice. But I go through several days at a time where my appetite just dies, and I wind up eating only because I feel so wasted. Nothing sounds good to eat at that point either. Not even my favorite stuff. I've lost a little weight, but not much. Then again, my diet has changed a little (not quality; just quantity - see below)



I can't figure out any change that coincides with the onset. This has been a really eventful year - mom died in August, I had a complicated grief response which evolved into a diagnosis of bipolar (there is much more to it than that), I started taking Lamictal for that, and I became an Orthodox Christian which involves fasting 51% of the year (with the definition of a fast being vegan diet w/o oil or alcohol, 2 meals per day and no snacks between). None of these things, however, began at the same time as as the problem.



On top of this I am getting my MA. Or really, really trying. The past two terms have sucked and I took Winter term off due to a near-nervous breakdown.



The GI response does seem to occur predictably after I eat, but it will happen other times too. I run in the morning first thing out of bed, and more than once I've had to make a quick detour into a store to use the facilities mid-run. At times it's been serious enough that I stay on the treadmill just so I don't have to worry about it (and I HATE the @#%& treadmill).



So, any takers? I'm vegan and have been for several years, though I've had lapses here and there so I'm not too worried about B-12 or anything. I'm a distance runner and cyclist, 28 years old, female, 5' 7, 140 lbs on a good day... Oh yeah - I'm also one gallbladder short of anatomical perfection (cholecystectomy in 2004).



My only ideas are stress, and maybe eating more fat than usual. I have to get the calories in, somewhere. Any and all suggestions welcome.
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#2 Old 06-30-2008, 04:36 PM
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I recommend bringing this up to your doctor. It could just be as simple as stress or a side effect of your medication. It could also be as serious as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's or colitis). Are you having any other symptoms? Blood or mucus in the BM? (You don't have to answer that if it's TMI, but if you are, get it checked out ASAP).
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#3 Old 06-30-2008, 06:05 PM
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Nope, no blood or anything.
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#4 Old 06-30-2008, 06:14 PM
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My mom doesn't have a gallbladder either, and eating any kind of moderately fatty food KILLS her ((and anyone in the room with her, for that matter )). Maybe yo ucan bulk up on carbs if you're worried about caloric intake? Just a thought. Granola and dried fruit are pretty low in fat, but pack in the calories.



I have what I refer to as a "stress stomach", meaning, whenever I'm really stressed my stomach acts up...I won't go into details but its pretty bad.

I've been on a new [vegan!] Probiotic+vitamin supplement and it seems to be helping ((that and its tasty!)). Taking that and doing some major de-stressing really works for me.



E.T.A:: Just noticed Fyvel mentioned IBS [which is considered a psychosomatic as well as GI disorder..hence "stress stomach"], which I was diagnosed with this winter.



Do you have a history of GI problems or any kind of inflammatory disease in your family?

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#5 Old 06-30-2008, 06:30 PM
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The lack of a gallbladder could be the issue, but it would be strange for it to just suddenly start now, 4 years later. But stranger things have happened



Whatever the cause, we can't really diagnose it on the internet. Even a GI doc won't diagnose you without running some tests first to confirm the possible diagnosis. I was having some symptoms, the GI doc thought it sounded like hemorrhoids - which I thought was really weird considering I didn't have any of the risk factors - did a colonoscopy "just to rule out other things" and it turns out I have ulcerative colitis. Moral of the story? Don't ignore these symptoms. They may be due to a somewhat benign process (such as stress) or could be something more sinister.



Oh, and Kara IBS and IBD are two different things When I see the abbreviations, I always have to stop and think about it. They're very similar in name (and symptoms, in many ways).
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#6 Old 06-30-2008, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyvel View Post


...

Oh, and Kara IBS and IBD are two different things When I see the abbreviations, I always have to stop and think about it. They're very similar in name (and symptoms, in many ways).



Yeah, I knew that. Did I use the terms interchangeably? If so, I'm being a bad fake-doctor!!



Thankfully they assume I have IBS v. IBD....

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#7 Old 06-30-2008, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post

Yeah, I knew that. Did I use the terms interchangeably? If so, I'm being a bad fake-doctor!!



Thankfully they assume I have IBS v. IBD....



Yup, very easy to confuse



And yes, be glad you have IBS vs IBD. IBD sucks, and I have a rather mild form of it.
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#8 Old 06-30-2008, 09:41 PM
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To the OP: OK I have a bit better of an attention span now than when I replied earlier, so a more involved post:



Do you really feel like you're eating significantly more fat than in the last 4 years since your cholecystectomy? If so, try cutting back on the fat for a couple of days and see what happens. You said there were some days where your appetite was reduced - what is your level of fat intake on these days? Do you tend to go more towards low fat or high fat? And what are your symptoms like on these days?



How many episodes of diarrhea do you typical have in a day? I know you said they are very loose, but is it liquid in the sense that you might be getting dehydrated and losing electrolytes because of it?



Diarrhea does seem to be a possible side effect to Lamictal. I'm no expert on drugs but maybe it's possible you've developed an intolerance to it? Perhaps you could discuss your options with the prescribing physician. Also, have you been taking any other vitamins/minerals/supplements/teas/herbals/etc?



There are just so many possible causes, and like I said, they range from fairly simple to more serious. You said it's been going on for a couple of months - maybe it's time to figure out what's going on?



And it may or may not be related, but a B12 supplement is a good idea, even if you are taking in small amounts of animal products - it's likely not enough. It can take years for a deficiency to develop but the side effects can be serious - definitely not worth it.
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#9 Old 07-01-2008, 08:35 AM
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Thanks. I don't think it can be an intolerance to the Lamictal because I've only been taking it for 4 weeks and the problem has been going on quite a bit longer than that. I don't think I've been taking in significantly higher levels of fat. I did take flax seed for a while but it seemed to seriously exacerbate the problem so I stopped. It's been two weeks since I took any. I see a doctor next week for something else (I tend to be anemic), so I'll mention it then.
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#10 Old 07-01-2008, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassiel View Post

Thanks. I don't think it can be an intolerance to the Lamictal because I've only been taking it for 4 weeks and the problem has been going on quite a bit longer than that. I don't think I've been taking in significantly higher levels of fat. I did take flax seed for a while but it seemed to seriously exacerbate the problem so I stopped. It's been two weeks since I took any. I see a doctor next week for something else (I tend to be anemic), so I'll mention it then.



Good luck!
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#11 Old 07-11-2008, 08:56 AM
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HI

I had my gall bladder out a few years ago. I too have a GI issue like yours. I have found that a NO fat meal is better and the less dairy the better. -I love pizza )-: Anyway... I was looking on-line for information on a diet and discovered that the gall bladder is a storage facility, regulating the amount of bile released at a given time. The condition we may be suffering is called "bile dumping" Too much bile is released and no regulator to meter it out in the intestines. Other than watching my fat intake I don't know what else to do as far as diet and feeling better. Let us know if you find out anything else.

d
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#12 Old 07-11-2008, 11:16 AM
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db, do you find you've lost weight since getting rid of your gallbladder? Sometimes I wonder if it interferes with digesting fats, so you just don't assimilate them as well. Just a theory...
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