Unknown problem

Hello everyone, I am a bit desperate as I have no Idea what is wrong with me.

I have had problems with constipation most of my life (I am now 45). I stopped eating meat when I was 18. There is colon cancer in my family (maternal & paternal) so I have been tested via a colonoscopy every 4 years since my mid 30s. Ever since I seem to have had more problems. When I was pregnant with my second child I was prescribed sugar water as I was so constipated. She is now 12 and things have not changed. I have been to different doctors; 1 tested my thyroid, low side of normal. Another sent me to a nutritionalist who said I should eat breakfast. A third did a test for coeliac disease on my request - negative.

My symptoms: I bloat constantly and look and feel very pregnant. I have tried giving up wheat/gluten - it worked for a few weeks and I lost weight, then I went back to normal. I have given up potatoes, mushrooms, everything I can think of. I now take probiotics every morning. This also seemed to work for a while but no longer.

My weight for around the last 8 years was always 11st 12lb. I wasn't happy with this but it didn't seem to matter what I did or eat - I was always that weight.

I now work out every day, walk to work and back, eat fruit and salad and now weigh 12st 7lb. Why?!! I look even more pregnant. Especially on the left side around my ribs. I have never been diagnosed with IBS. I have lost faith in any diagnosis from a doctor. I would love to be able to afford to pay £200 for a food intolerance test but then learn that it is scientifically unproven. I am getting bigger and fatter but eating less and exercising more. I have problems - please help.

Any advice please?!!!

12 Replies

  • You mentioned sugar water .Do you still take this regularly for your constipation .I only ask because I take a daily maintenance dose of lactulose (sugar) which does keep my gut moving .The consultant who prescribed this said it stimulated the gut by attracting more liquid to it thus alleviating constipation and also said it was not metabolized and thus would have no adverse effects ,However since I have been on this regime my weight has increased especially around my middle though my very particular FODMAP type diet that I have followed for several years has not changed at all .Before Lactulose my weight had remained absolutely steady .I also get a lot of wind and bloat .

  • Hello and thanks for your reply. I am not on sugar water any more - it was only during my pregnancy 12 years ago.

  • I can certainly relate to so much of what is happening to you and I know it's not easy. I was hospitalised for diverticulitis 4 years ago because of severe constipation and after a week on a drip was prescribed lactulose but unfortunately it did nothing. Then I was prescribed Laxido which worked much better.

    However, since January I've been following a low FODMAP diet under a NHS dietitian. I did an elimination for 7 weeks where I ate nothing that was high FODMAP and am now reintroducing. I've found that I'm ok with lactose and fructose but oligo-saccharides which include wheat, onions, garlic, beans, are a big problem.

    Can I suggest that you ask your GP for a referral to a dietitian? Following FODMAP is quite hard at first as you really need to make all your own meals - ready prepared and restaurant meals are full of high FODMAPs - but once you've got used to it, it's easy.

    There's loads of information on the internet but here's a link to King's College who are doing the research in UK


    Also, if you do this, I strongly recommend that you download the Monash app. It costs around £5 but is well worth it and all the money goes into further research at Monash university in Australia.

    Let us know how you get on

  • Hello, thanks for your reply. I have been trying to follow the FODMAP diet but not as strictly as I should. After being on this forum and hearing from you I have decided to properly try it. I will also try to get a referral as you suggest. I make all my own food anyway as I have tried cutting out so many things over the last year! I never thought it could be IBS as I was always told that it didn't cause constipation and made you lose weight. Now I think it could be after reading the info on this forum. Thank you so much for your help and suggestions!

  • I've never actually been diagnosed with IBS but have seen doctors over the years and only ever been told to eat more fibre and drink more water, which of course made me worse (not the water) because of eating apples, lentils, and other high FODMAP food. It took me 3 weeks of elimination before the bloating went and I felt ready to give up but thankfully now I'm much better. If you want any other info, just shout. Good luck!

  • I follow Fodmap diet off the Monash university app. It's easy and is constantly being updated with new foods being tested and is where the diet was and is still being developed. I suffered for 26 years before doing this and it has changed my life. Good luck

  • Thank you!

  • One thing that has not been mentioned is that your intestines are on the left so if you are constipated or bloated it is more likely to be where you say you have the problem. Your weight difference could be from how much fecal matter you are carrying. Have you thought of having a colon irrigation or a deep massage? Just to help clear you out.

  • Have u tried digestive enzymes as u say ur thyroid is low and that is what controls enzymes for breaking down food worth a try.

  • Possibly fructose malabsorption? You should be able to request a hydrogen breath test to find out. More info here: thefartingpear.com/index.ph...

  • Have you tired Movicol?

  • Do you swallow a lot of air I do when I am nervous and I eat to quick because I am feeling anxious and this causes a windy bloated stomache

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