Issues after H.pylori treatment

Posted by mary0thomas @mary0thomas, Jul 16 4:14pm

Hello, I'm a 19-year-old female that was treated for an infection of H.pylori in my stomach at the age of 17. I was having digestive issues and could only eat small portions of food despite being very hungry. I was sick with the flu and mouth ulcers before the diagnosis and had lost 30 pounds in a week from being unable to eat and digest food and water for a week. The gastroenterologist I visited believed that my issues were due to stress, as I was a very young girl who was about to graduate from high school. I was administered a blood test that came back with a jaundice diagnosis and I was advised that a colonoscopy was unnecessary and that I likely needed therapy. Regardless I had pressed the issue that something had been wrong for a while, and had the colonoscopy done in January of 2018. I was given four different medications to take and was only advised not to drink milk. The follow up from my previous doctor only reminded me that I had jaundice and proceeded to make me undergo a third blood test that they never told me the results of.
After all the medication, I had completely lost my tolerance to dairy, among other foods that I had previously been comfortable with. Foods such as tuna, fatty foods (such as pork), caffeine, and whole fruits were just some of the things that I could not eat without having severe digestive issues with later. Before my colonoscopy, the doctor had given me a prognosis of IBS-D and gave me these pills that had helped nothing at all. I've never had such physical reactions to these foods until after taking all of the medications to eliminate the bacterial infection in my stomach. It severely affects how I live my life and go out with friends, as I always have to be cautious of what food I am intaking. Is this common after heavy antibacterial medication? Or is this something that is caused by something else? I've made a lot of dietary changes but it is still difficult to learn what I can and cannot eat through constant trial and error.

Hi @mary0thomas, I wanted to take a moment and welcome you to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thanks for joining. I'd like to tag a few people to join your conversation about H. pylori and the effects of antibiotics in the body and digestive issues. @guthealth, @oldkarl, @nova1976, @lateacher, @astaingegerdm, @saucy, and @haighsue. Not all have had H. Pylori, but they have all suffered similar digestive issues.

Mayo Clinic's, Amy S. Oxentenko, M.D., has a very interesting video presentation on the topic of H Pylori. Here is the link to this video presentation,
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/gastroenterology-and-gi-surgery/newsfeed-post/h-pylori-present-management-future-therapies/
There are also some other conversations about H. Pylori that have since died down a little, but you might want to take a gander at them to see if there is any helpful information. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hpylori-bacteria/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/h-pylori-infection/
I had a very similar experience with food after a stomach surgery that I had. Some days I can eat certain things and other days that same item will make me very sick. Do you have this issue? Can you occasionally eat something that you normally could not?

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Mary, I did not have your particular issue, but you can read about mine if you click on my link in the moderator's reply to you. I had taken at least 3 different antibiotics in rotation and it was not helping my IBS issues at all. I finally got an appointment with an excellent GI doctor's P.A. and long story short, she put me on 30 days of Xifaxan for small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, and that worked. I do follow a pretty strict diet. I think you need the best GI doctor you can find in your area. You are so young. You want to get this condition cleared up if at all possible. Amanda, the moderator, has given you some excellent links from the Mayo Clinic. I wish you the very best.

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@amandaburnett

Hi @mary0thomas, I wanted to take a moment and welcome you to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thanks for joining. I'd like to tag a few people to join your conversation about H. pylori and the effects of antibiotics in the body and digestive issues. @guthealth, @oldkarl, @nova1976, @lateacher, @astaingegerdm, @saucy, and @haighsue. Not all have had H. Pylori, but they have all suffered similar digestive issues.

Mayo Clinic's, Amy S. Oxentenko, M.D., has a very interesting video presentation on the topic of H Pylori. Here is the link to this video presentation,
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/gastroenterology-and-gi-surgery/newsfeed-post/h-pylori-present-management-future-therapies/
There are also some other conversations about H. Pylori that have since died down a little, but you might want to take a gander at them to see if there is any helpful information. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hpylori-bacteria/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/h-pylori-infection/
I had a very similar experience with food after a stomach surgery that I had. Some days I can eat certain things and other days that same item will make me very sick. Do you have this issue? Can you occasionally eat something that you normally could not?

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Thank you for your really helpful response Amanda. To your question at the end I’d like to say sort of. Sometimes a food will give me dis-pleasantness but it may be manageable enough in a social setting. Other times I may eat very little of the food and within ten minutes I will be experiencing the severe symptoms and using the restroom around five times until my system calms down. It has made the issue of trial and error with learning which foods to avoid much harder. Out of the twenty horrible experiences with food, there will be the four manageable ones that I’ll have that make me want to risk it. It’s difficult being a college student and avoiding so much of the foods that are commonly had. I did research about the after affects of the antibiotics I had and it said that the symptoms varied because there was still research being done. There was sufficient enough evidence to imply that a loss of tolerance to different kinds of foods was possible and reported by some patients, but there was nothing conclusive that I could find. My concern is that my follow up wasn’t really in depth and didn’t give me any information concerning h.pylori and any kind of expectations and care. There was only one follow up and I assume that the doctor assumed that my continued pain and inability to eat certain foods was due to the medication. It’s been so long though now and I am still experiencing the issues that have come after taking the medication. I don’t know if this implies that I need a different perspective from another doctor, or that I just need a dietician visit. The doctor had shown no concern for a regrowth of the h.pylori despite the doctors from the colonoscopy saying that I’ve had the infection for a long time and that they were shocked that I didn’t come in sooner. I also had a herniated disk and a full line back fracture at the time that took a year to diagnose and I played collegiate sports throughout that time (unaware). I basically state this to say that I have a rather high pain tolerance and a horrible sense of knowing when to go to the doctor.

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I had IBS with a twist!
Same symptoms but my Gastroenterologist
[at my P.A. , registered dietician daughter’s suggestion]
agreed to test me for Celiac disease.

I was allergic to wheat!
I have been wheat free and symptom free for several years.

I do not know if we can name a book on line but
CELIAC FOR DUMMIES was extremely helpful with a lot of information about gluten sensitivity. What to eat, what not to eat.

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P.S. there are not many antibiotics that my gut likes.
My Doc always says … let’s try this one!
Thank goodness, my need for antibiotics has decreased greatly.

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