Chronic diarrhea

Posted by taonamission @taonamission, May 2 5:00pm

I've had chronic diarrhea for a year and 2 months. I've been seeing a gastroenterologist since December 2020. I've been tested for celiac, c diff, crohn's, diverticulitis, colitis, and pancreatitis. I had a colonoscopy in January with nothing showing, and biopsy not revealing micro inflammation.

I sought gastroenterology help after imodium quit working. I've been on Cholestyramine, xifaxin, Creon, and Lomotil, all with no effect.

I'm going to get a second opinion at a different clinic soon. I feel like the current gastroenterologist is just throwing pills at me to see if anything works. I really want to get to the bottom of why this is happening, not just band aid pills. It's been suggested that this is all because of stress. I'm seeing a counselor to help with that, but so far no relief. Actually my condition is stressful in itself. I have to bathroom map, and it's affecting my relationship with my husband. I'm desperate for answers. Anyone else have this with the absence of all the regular gastro/digestive diseases?

Hi @taonamission, chronic diarrhea can definitely take a toll on your entire body and having one test after another with no relief can leave you desperate for any answer.
It can be hard to track down a diagnosis when you are only having one symptom. Are you having any other symptoms that my help physicians hone in on what's going on? I read in one of your posts that you are spiking fevers, is that still going on?

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@amandaburnett

Hi @taonamission, chronic diarrhea can definitely take a toll on your entire body and having one test after another with no relief can leave you desperate for any answer.
It can be hard to track down a diagnosis when you are only having one symptom. Are you having any other symptoms that my help physicians hone in on what's going on? I read in one of your posts that you are spiking fevers, is that still going on?

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Yes, I still have periodic fever spikes. I've noticed I am also having trouble with short term memory. And, of course, the stress of all this may have something to do with some of my symptoms.

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@amandaburnett

Hi @taonamission, chronic diarrhea can definitely take a toll on your entire body and having one test after another with no relief can leave you desperate for any answer.
It can be hard to track down a diagnosis when you are only having one symptom. Are you having any other symptoms that my help physicians hone in on what's going on? I read in one of your posts that you are spiking fevers, is that still going on?

Jump to this post

Hi taonamission, I had diarrhea that long too. I found a powder called cholestraymine along with probiotic called flora urgent care 50 billion….I took a box of cholestraymine and boom diarrhea gone. My gastro guy said it wouldn’t work but he gave me the prescription and it worked, never came back yet. He also had me write down the name. My colonoscopy was clear too. Try it can’t hurt.

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@nancykeenan

Hi taonamission, I had diarrhea that long too. I found a powder called cholestraymine along with probiotic called flora urgent care 50 billion….I took a box of cholestraymine and boom diarrhea gone. My gastro guy said it wouldn’t work but he gave me the prescription and it worked, never came back yet. He also had me write down the name. My colonoscopy was clear too. Try it can’t hurt.

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I am on Cholestyramine but it's not helping. I've decided to get a second opinion here soon.

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I’ve had diarrhea for at least 10 years. It was episodic until 2 years ago when it became almost common. Someone suggested lactose intolerance kept a record of what I ate and found the link. I’ve been a huge milk drinker so this floored me. I now take a lactase pill before dairy of any kind and switched to lactose free products whenever I can find them. The key with me is to make sure I take a lactase tablet before I consume any sanity. I don’t know if there’s a medical test for this, if so, it would be worth looking into.

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@catstx

I’ve had diarrhea for at least 10 years. It was episodic until 2 years ago when it became almost common. Someone suggested lactose intolerance kept a record of what I ate and found the link. I’ve been a huge milk drinker so this floored me. I now take a lactase pill before dairy of any kind and switched to lactose free products whenever I can find them. The key with me is to make sure I take a lactase tablet before I consume any sanity. I don’t know if there’s a medical test for this, if so, it would be worth looking into.

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@catstx Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect!
As you can see when reading the posts here, we are quite a few having diarrhea from different causes.
It seems that you have lactose intolerance.
We are lucky that there are lactase products to take before eating something with lactose. I remember many years ago when there would be lactase drops to add to milk and then lactose free milk itself.
Have you seen a gastroenterologist yet? There are tests available.
In the meantime, take your Lactase pills before eating or drinking anything with milk in it.
I even started to take it when eating pizza.

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@taonamission Has your doctor ever suggested a Fodmap eating plan? In some cases, it can help with diarrhea. Here is some information about the eating plan by a registered dietician at Mayo Clinic,

Here is a link to information about non-medicine treatments for digestive disorders.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/news/nonpharmacological-approaches-to-management-of-functional-gastrointestinal-disorders-where-are-we-now/mac-20454654
Finally, here is a link to a discussion on Connect regarding the Fodmap diet plan,
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/fodmap-eating-plan/
I hope that you are able to find a good second opinion and get some relief. I'd enjoy hearing from you again.

Will you post and let me know your progress in finding answers to this debilitating problem?

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Hello I'm a female, 25 years. I'm about 1m70 with a 65kg. I take Escitalopram 20 and deso 20 on a daily basis. Since years I had on and off stomach and bowel issues: cramps, diarrhea. This year I had chronic diarrhea since +/- january (sometimes up to 5 times a day). Mostly in the mornings. I got my blood and stool tested: low calprotectine, no weird bacteria, no parasites, no blood in stool. My doctor thinks it could be IBS but I'm not sure. He advised me to see a Gastroenterologist as well to make sure it's not allergies etc. Can you think of possible causes? Ofcourse stress might make it worse but even when I'm relaxed I get these problems so that can't be all I guess. Maybe worth mentioning: sometimes I have normal stool but it comes with brown water as well so I can't see anything in the toilet anymore. Low vit D and folic acid for years.Thank you.

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@silkedp1

Hello I'm a female, 25 years. I'm about 1m70 with a 65kg. I take Escitalopram 20 and deso 20 on a daily basis. Since years I had on and off stomach and bowel issues: cramps, diarrhea. This year I had chronic diarrhea since +/- january (sometimes up to 5 times a day). Mostly in the mornings. I got my blood and stool tested: low calprotectine, no weird bacteria, no parasites, no blood in stool. My doctor thinks it could be IBS but I'm not sure. He advised me to see a Gastroenterologist as well to make sure it's not allergies etc. Can you think of possible causes? Ofcourse stress might make it worse but even when I'm relaxed I get these problems so that can't be all I guess. Maybe worth mentioning: sometimes I have normal stool but it comes with brown water as well so I can't see anything in the toilet anymore. Low vit D and folic acid for years.Thank you.

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Hi @silkedp1 and welcome to Connect. Having multiple bowel issues is never fun. You'll see that I moved your comment to a discussion that was started in May by @taonamission about their chronic bowel problems. I did this so that you can connect with members who are going through similar issues.

Mayo Clinic does state, The precise cause of IBS isn't known. Factors that appear to play a role include:

Muscle contractions in the intestine. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract as they move food through your digestive tract. Contractions that are stronger and last longer than normal can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Weak intestinal contractions can slow food passage and lead to hard, dry stools.
Nervous system. Abnormalities in the nerves in your digestive system may cause you to experience greater than normal discomfort when your abdomen stretches from gas or stool. Poorly coordinated signals between the brain and the intestines can cause your body to overreact to changes that normally occur in the digestive process, resulting in pain, diarrhea or constipation.
Severe infection. IBS can develop after a severe bout of diarrhea (gastroenteritis) caused by bacteria or a virus. IBS might also be associated with a surplus of bacteria in the intestines (bacterial overgrowth).
Early life stress. People exposed to stressful events, especially in childhood, tend to have more symptoms of IBS.
Changes in gut microbes. Examples include changes in bacteria, fungi and viruses, which normally reside in the intestines and play a key role in health. Research indicates that the microbes in people with IBS might differ from those in healthy people.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016
Have you booked an appointment to see a GI doctor?

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I’m sorry you’re going through all this as I know how frustrating it can be. After decades of not knowing what was causing my diarrhea, and then believing dairy was the culprit, I’ve come to understand that’s it’s celiac disease. There is a doctor (Dr Joseph A. Murray) at Mayo who has studied celiac and related gluten problems. I bought his book, “Mayo Clinic Going Gluten-FREE“. After reading the book and absorbing info plus related information on Mayo’s site, I believe my decades of diarrhea was caused by gluten sensitivity. Read up on it. I stopped eating gluten and within 2 weeks I was a new person with literally no diarrhea. Btw, gluten intolerance can lead to dairy intolerance. See rthis Mayo site https://order.store.mayoclinic.com/books/gnweb28?utm_source=MC-DotOrg-PS&utm_medium=Link&utm_campaign=Gluten-Book&utm_content=GGF

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Im seeing an integrative doctor at Mayo and a nutritionist there and with the supplements they put me on as well as the SCD I just started under them, the horrific gastro issues Ive dealt with since 3rd grade are getting under control. Ive been on the supplements for probably 3 months now (?) am super new in the SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) but already, there has been HUGE improvement. I have dealt with horrific gastro issues more of my life years than not and to have this getting under control is huge. Look up the SCD diet: http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/
I have done the Weston A Price diet, the Paleo, vegetarian, vegan, and this one by far Im having the most success. The doctor I see is in the integrative department at Mayo. No one should have to live with the gastro issues your dealing with so fight for normalcy and health!! Dont give up!!! In the meantime, look up the SCD diet. It is a huge change and will require commitment and work on your part but for me, digestive pain was a great motivator.
Best to you..

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