Need help with gut issues - feeling discouraged.
I know this too will pass, but I am struggling and looking for anyone with similar symptoms and/or maybe some tips to offer.
I have MAC/Bronchiectasis. Bronch is mild to moderate, but hasn't really changed much in over 4 years. I do faithful airway clearance along with my 7% saline, never been on the big 3. Take only NAC, famotidine 10mg 2x/day, Ion gut health probiotic, and some Pepsin GI. I have always had some IBS as well as GERD, but this seems different. I have been dealing with pressure in my upper center and left gut/stomach. It is very high and feels like someone has a fist pressed into my stomach & diaphragm. It is painful and exhausting pressure/crampy. When it is really bad I get overall muscle weakness & fatigue, sob, increased pulse rate, unable to eat, and frequent stools (sorry for the oversharing). Overall just feel weak & I told my husband I feel like I'm gonna die (ok, I MIGHT be a little overly dramatic 😉 ). This last severe bout, I also noticed it was at the same time as I was having more green & yellow sputum and more volume of sputum. My diet is SUPER restricted after having suffered bouts of this for the last 4 years and thinking it is food caused. I don't do any wheat, dairy (except for some hard cheese – zero sugar grams), gluten, sweets, mostly a low FODMAP. Interestingly, this all started at the same time as when I was finally diagnosed with MAC/Bronch and was having some hemoptysis. I have had full blood work twice for these issues (once just last week), and everything comes back totally "normal" (except I have high bilirubin from Gilbert's disease, which is a non-issue), and this last time I had low glucose, probably because I hadn't eaten much for a couple of days.
Questions: I know the gut-lung axis goes both ways – gut can affect lungs, lungs can affect gut. Do any of you feel gut symptoms get exacerbated with flare-ups of MAC/bronchiectasis? I don't think I really know what an "exacerbation" feels like for me – sometimes I just feel worse than others, and it ALWAYS seems to include my stupid gut issues. Could they be connected? My pulmo doc just has zero suggestions, and doesn't think there is a connection. At these times, should I be having a sputum sample checked? Any shared symptoms, suggestions, bad jokes……anything appreciated!! Thanks so much!