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Extremely bloated and constipated!!

Hi everybody,

I hope someone out there can help please...

A couple of years ago I lived out of the UK for a month, during that time I was very busy and I ate when I could. The week before I returned to the UK I got constipated and as a result, bloated.

When I got back my period was about two months late and in the months after and for about 10 months my skin (face) was horrendous, I had huge red inflamed spots all over my cheeks. The bloating was better in the mornings and after emptying my bowels when my stomach went back to normal. I have never had pain with it but the bloating was terrible.

The Gastroenterologist is still trying to figure out what is the cause of my bloating. I have had numerous tests done: endoscopy, colonoscopy, blood test, scan, ultrasound, MRI with contrast, lactose and gluten intolerance test, slow transit test, SIBO, I was prescribe with Metronidazole in case it was a bacteria/parasite. All tests came back negative. I have done the FODMAP diet and elimination diet without any luck, we have not been able to find a trigger.

In regards to the constipation, he said that I shouldn't be waiting too long and if I wasn't going to the toilet after 3 days that I should take Sodium picosulfate (which he prescribed).

For the last 6 months I am not able to go to the toilet naturally, is not that the stools are hard (they never are actually) it seems that things are just not happening, so I am having to relay on this medicine to empty my bowels.

The bloating has gotten worst over time. I am constantly bloated, even first thing in the morning and even after emptying my bowels completely. So in the mornings I look about 5/6 months pregnant and at the end of the day 8 months pregnant, every day now!!! Sometimes in the morning it feels as if I have trapped wind.

My skin is fine now, my periods are always regular too, my weight is consistent.

I have tried so many different things: probiotics, prebiotic, digestive enzymes, aloe vera juice, prune juice, drink lots of water, Weetabix, inulin, apple cider vinegar, different types of teas (including peppermint tea), buscapan, wind settlers, oats, kiwi, lemon and ginger with hot water first thing in the morning, kefir, peppermint oil tablets.

I had to stop most of the things above as my bloating got even worst.

I am 8 stones and luckily I always had a flat stomach, even after having children. I eat healthy (apart from having a glass of wine or a couple of beers every night) I exercise 4 times per week, I also do yoga, pilates and have started having stomach massages.

This bloating is driving me crazy, it changes my mood, it really brings me down, I cant wear my normal tops because I look constantly pregnant!

Nothing I do seems to help and is getting worst and worst, I feel so frustrated and worried as my body isn’t behaving normally and I don’t know why.

Have you got any suggestions please?

Many thanks in advance!!!

34 Replies
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Hi,

Well, nobody could accuse you of not making an effort to deal with this and I take my hat off to you!

Since your problems sound very similar to those once suffered by a close friend of mine, can I ask if you've ever had abdominal surgery of any kind? That might seem like a weird question, but my friend's bloating problem was caused by adhesions which had formed following a hysterectomy years earlier.

Roz

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Hi there,

Thank you very much!!

Yes, that makes sense, but no, I haven’t had any abdominal surgery...

(Luckily)

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Okay, here's another question for you have you ever tried fasting for up to 72 hours to see what the bloating's like during that time?

Although bloating isn't a problem for me, like many other forum members, I have incomplete evacuation and when laxatives and suppositories fail to sort things out, I fast for between 36 and 72 hours (sometimes taking laxatives during that time too). It's a bit like switching a dodgy laptop off and then on again and giving myself a complete reboot!

Worth a thought perhaps?

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Mmmmhh... never thought of doing that.

Yes, sounds like a plan. It would give me the opportunity to see how my stomach/gut reacts when is empty.

And then gradually take it from there.

But how do you much 72 hours fasting? I love eating and find it difficult not to eat. I have my main meals and also two snacks throughout the day.

Any tips or advice on how to control the hunger? :)

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Sorry, I really wish I had some tips for controlling the hunger, but I don't - although I do find that after the first 24 hours the pangs ease off quite a bit.

Why not try a shorter period, say 36 hours see how that goes?

I don't find fasting easy to do and I could eat a scabby donkey by the end, but the results are just so worthwhile and they can last for quite a few weeks too.

If you give it a try, drink plenty of water throughout.

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Hahaha, I believe you, I think I would definitely eat a scabby donkey too!!

For sure I will try, anything to get rid of this bloating. Hopefully that will reset the system like you said. Fingers crossed.

Thank you very much for your comments and advice, I really appreciate it.

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Let me know how it goes.

I wish you well.

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;)

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I had a real gut flare last year with like you very poor motility. I didn’t go for a week maybe longer and ended up being hospitalised for an enema which didn’t help and had to take a ridiculous amount of movical to get things going.

Endoscopy colonoscopy revealed nothing awray. I saw a nutritionist after £895 blood tests and visit to private gastroenterologist revealed nothing too.

I make a shake post nutritionist advice of flax 2 Tbs ( start teaspoon and increase slowly. Teaspoon insulin powder Hangul spinach piece pineapple and piece ginger.

Also have cut out all processed carbs sugar booze and legumes (beans peas nuts) bloating has gone still have slightly tender stomach but it’s a massive improvement and am hoping this Summer to be back to old self. This started last June. So it’s been long term and been hospitalised twice through casualty. Had also MRI when it was at its worse as they suspected ischemia.

The body is very complex you could also try a ketogenic or carnivore diet. This helps all gut issues and will cure metabolic syndrome if your Hba1c is high too. Mine was 41 and went down to 33 which is normal in just 9 weeks.

I eat fish meat eggs butter cream all greens avoid beans no potato pasta rice carbohydrates.

Am never hungry on this low carb diet due to lots healthy fats and never touch corn oil seed oils I fry in butter ghee andbieve thus diet is the way forward.

I have also lost just over a stone so am now very lean too without muscle loss.

Good luck it’s hard making changes to your diet but my family have been very supportive and it’s worth it.

They all feel better eating like this too one daughter has converted from being vegan and cured her acne.

Wendy x

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Hi Wendy,

Wow, you have had a though time with this too.

The shake that you mentioned, is it with insulin or inulin powder? I would really like to try it.

Many thanks for all the information provided!!!

I am very glad to hear that you are finding things that help and that you are getting better ☺️

I am learning that it is very important to be patient with all of this, it takes time..

xxx

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Inulin powder and grind flax in nutribullet when making the shake sorry my message full of typos was trying to write quickly before work.

You can add pineapple or kiwi or berries along with the handful of spinach but do go slow on the flax and add slowly start with teaspoon the up it till you are adding 2 tablespoonfuls then add in inulin.

It's made a big difference to me. Follow it with a glass of water.

I also have a reduced eating window so have this late morning and make sure I eat early eve by 6 to give my digestion a long rest.

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Fantastic!

It does actually sound like a nice mix.

Thank you very much!!!!

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Alcohol gives me bloating. I don't drink normally but on holiday I had a beer and was terribly bloated. You could try cutting alcohol out for a week and see if it makes a difference.

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Hi,

Thank you Auntyjean! I am trying that at the moment, I have stopped drinking last Monday so we’ll see, fingers crossed...

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Some of your story sounds familiar. Living outside of the UK and the rash on your face might possibly be major clues to the cause of your worst. It seems like things changed for you after you moved abroad? Where did where did you go and what activities did you do while there? Certain countries are known for having certain health hazards. Any water activities, by chance? Did you drink from a hose, drink well water or have any water splash on your face or in your mouth that you can remember?

Metronidazole is an antibiotic, so it will not treat parasites. It only treats certain bacterial infections. Treatment for parasites depends upon which parasite you have. There is no general treatment.

The reason I asked where you went and the questions about water is because water bourne parasites are common around the world, even in first-world counties. They are found in lakes, streams, some wells, animal water troughs, or other water sources, and there are even outbreaks in city chlorine treated water supplies.

Did you do a take home fecal test that checks for parasites, general bacteria and fungi? A fecal test is the only way to test for GI parasites. There are some specific bacteria’s that can cause serious symptoms, but specific tests need to be done for those particular bacteria. They won’t be detected in general bacteria tests.

I have IBS. I also had a microscopic parasite that I was shocked to find out that I had. I’ve had IBS since I can remember the first major episode around 30 years ago when I did not go to the toilet for 10 days. 10 whole days! :-/ I had random similar flare ups over the next 30 years. I had daily constipation. Most major no toilet episodes would last only 3-5 days, but in 2015 I had another 10 day no toilet experience. I did not find out until spring 2018 that I had a water bourne parasite. I had asked several doctors for a fecal test the 5 years prior, but they all said they didn’t think I needed one, so I never tested. The only reason I finally got a fecal was because I asked a GI doctor for one after I had upper and lower endoscopes and they found nothing except for some lesions from too much ibuprofen. I could have contracted that parasite anywhere and who knows if I’d had it my entire life or not. I grew up swimming and boating in lakes and streams. I lived on farms. I drank from a hose, as children often do. I travelled to foreign countries. Or, maybe I got it drinking city water some place that had temporarily contaminated water. I will never know.

I took a 3 day treatment of daily pills specific to the parasite that I tested positive for. It was supposed to make me nauseated but it didn’t make me any more nauseated than I usually was. 6 weeks after the treatment I took a follow up test. It was negative. My IBS problems have greatly improved ever since. It was recommended that I take OTC fiber daily to lessen IBS constipation. I use generic Benefiber. It helps keep things moving regularly but if I forget to take it like I sometimes do, movement can slow down a lot.

About four years before finding out about the alien inside me, I had oral candida. I also had a lot of body pain. It would have shown up on a fecal if I had it in my GI tract. I do recal having some itching and mucus, so maybe I did. I was treated with oral suspension Nystatin 4x daily for several months and it went away. When I first started the Nystatin, four days in, my pains went away. For the first time in years I did not have to take 600-1200 ibuprofen daily. I was pain free for 20 days straight.

In a follow up fecal that I did 6 months after parasite treatment, which I did because things felt off, I had my gut flora test out of balance for the first time. I added a different type of probiotic and my symptoms went away.

After my experience, I firmly believe (pun) that any one with intestinal problems or IBS should get a complete fecal for parasites, bacteria and fungi, and to also test for specific bacterias. Which ones depends upon all of your symptoms.

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Good morning ShootingStars,

Thanks for sharing your experience, I really appreciate it.

Well, funny that you ask that. No, no water activities or physical contact with water in that respect.

I was in Russia, I was being very careful and trying not to drink water from the tap but, I was told that drinking warm water first thing in the morning would help with the constipation.

So, don’t ask me why, but after being so careful I made the stupid mistake of drinking warm water from the Hotel room! 🤦🏽‍♀️ I know, very silly indeed.. I think I did this a couple of mornings.

When I first saw the Gastroenterologist he asked for a fecal test which came back negative but I am not sure what exactly he tested for, I think it was Giardia.

But after reading your post I think it may be worth asking for another test....

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Good morning! 🌞 You are very welcome. There were just too many similarities in your symptoms that I could not help but pass on my experience to you. That is very interesting about the morning water. Contaminated water could even find its way into your mouth in a shower by just being on your lips and later licking them. Yuck, huh?

If the GI doctor only tested for giardia, he missed out on other water bourne parasites, as well as all the other types. Is this the same guy who prescribed an antibiotic to treat parasites?

I agree that it’s worth asking for another test. Never in a million years would I have guessed I had a water bourne parasite. I don’t even ever recall having the symptoms of a new infection. Most likely it was blamed on some other illness. Due to my previous lifestyle of eating lots of sushi, living on farms, fishing, having had a father who hunted wild game, I figured I might have a different type of parasite. I actually warned the GI doctor who did my colonoscopy that they shouldn’t be surprised if they found something that shouldn’t be there. There were none. I wa surprised.

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That is very interesting as I didn’t know there could be so many different types of parasites in water and that those little things could survive in our intestines for so long....

I feel so much hopeful now!!!! 👏🏻☺️

So many things have been tested that I have lost track and you are right, I have to focus on when everything started, there is were I will find my answer.

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Hi Martina. What does your diet consist of? The reason I ask is that if you eat dairy, it can create excess mucus in your GI tract. This causes feces to become too viscous and get stuck. I discovered just how hard and sticky it can make stool when I did the third fecal test. I had had a comment of weekness where I consumed too much cow dairy. I can normally eat small portions on occasion, but it’s best for me to eat sheep or goat dairy because it’s easier to digest. When I went to do that stool sample, it took me all day to get even the minimal sample, that’s how bad I was at the time. It was so hard and sticky (sorry for TMI) that I had a hard time getting it to dissolve in the test solution. The lab ended up rejecting my sample due to “excessive viscosity”. So I guess I’ve really done four, not three, fecal tests. I had to wait a few days to get the right consistency for a sample.

Have you had an abdominal ultrasound? If the fecal is negative, an ultrasound my discover some abnormality.

Are you taking any extra daily fiber, like Benefiber? Adding that to my day changed my life because everything became regular and nicely in motion.

Another thought: low stomach acid can reduce digestion, which causes constipation. This can all be caused by low thyroid. Have you had your thyroid thoroughly checked lately? At the time of the dairy incident, I saw a GI doctor. He told me I had too much stomach acid and prescribed an omeprezole, which reduces acid production. I tried to explain to him that I have Hashimoto’s and that that causes low stomach acid. The burning in my stomach was because there was not enough stomach acid to digest my food, not too much. At times like when I OD’d on dairy when I feel my stomach burns or feels like it’s slow, Supplements like Betain HCL, Butyric Acid, Licorice, Slippery Elm, Marshmallow, or Gum Mastic improve stomach acid and the resulting constipation problems.

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Ah, that is a good tip to have in mind.

I don’t drink much dairy to be honest. I swapped cow’s milk for almond milk and have very little dairy in general.

Yes, I had an abdominal ultrasound which came back fine and when they did the colonoscopy they didn’t find any acid...

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I agree the stol test including parasites and Zonulin is available from Genova diagnostics but you need to go through a practitioner.

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This is great, thanks!

I will definitely try to have a test done privately. How do I find out about a practitioner? Would you know?

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Hi Martina,

I think Shooting Stars says in a much better way what I wanted to say! This does sound like parasites. The NHS test for this is poor - you really need a more comprehensive 3 day stool test to specifically look for them (might as well combined with this a test to look at general bacterial levels in large intestine) as the little buggers can hide! The others things i would get checked are Ileocecal Valve to make sure this is functioning properly. Is your abdominal massage therapist trained to do this e.g. through Barral Institute? Also the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) in the small intestine can cause constipation if this becomes compromised. I don't think it is possible to test for this in the UK but there are prokinetics that you can take for the MMC (not the large intestine) and if after a few weeks your symptoms improve then hey presto. I know you don't have SIBO but a good explanation for this and prokinetics can be found here: siboinfo.com/prevention-of-...

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Thanks Liz1234ty.

The 3 tests I’ve done contained 3 separate vials. One for parasites, one for bacteria, and one for fungi. Samples were collected in one day. Same applies for fecals we do on horses, cats and dogs: one sample. Fecals detect egg count, and an occasional adult. Eggs and sometimes adult worms (if there is heavy worm load) are expelled in feces because the powerful movement of digestion and contractions moves them out of the body. Microscopic parasites might be found as viable adults and eggs. Parasites that morph into 3-4 different stages or become encysted are difficult to detect in a single sample, but such parasites are not so common in humans. Horses are know for getting strongiles, which become encysted in their 3rd stage. Multiple types of lower classification of dewormers will kill first and second stage, but it takes a specific classification of dewormer to kill the encysted strongyles.

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Interesting, the test I did was similar but different. It was a Comprehensive Stool Test – GI-MAP Pathogen Plus with Zonulin add-on (i.e. leaky gut). I have just cut and pasted below the summary of what it contained. It suited me as it provided a good broad range of things to test for:

A summary of what is being tested:

Parasitic, Bacterial and Viral Pathogens

Normal Bacterial Flora – including Bacteroides fragilis group, Bifodobacter, Enterococcus & Lactobacillus

Dysbiotic Bacteria – including Morganella morganii, Pseudomonas spp & Streptococcos spp

Autoimmune Triggers – including Proteus mirabilus, Proteus spp & Klebsiella pneumoniae

Opportunistic Parasites – including Blastocystic Hominis, Dientamoeba Fragilis & Endolimax nana

Fungi and Yeast – including Candida spp, Cyclospora, Geotricum spp & Trichosporon spp

GI Health Markers – including sIgA, Ant-Gliadin IgA, Steatocrit, Elastase, Calprotectin, betaglucoronidase

Helicobacter pylori

Now including 22 new markers:

5 additional H. pylori virulence factors (7 total)

Epstein-Barr & Cytomegalovirus

Phyla microbiota ratios

5 worm species

Additional autoimmune bacterial triggers

Protozoan parasites

No idea which the best test is but I know that this was more comprehensive than anything the NHS offered and the results were interesting and luckily negative for parasites and leaky gut. Expensive though!

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That’s a very interesting test. What is the charge for such a test over there? Mine was covered by insurance but cash price is around $250. I wonder why the above test only tests 5 worm species, leaving out 100’s more? There are three main classes of worm species that cause illness in humans: protozoa, helminths, and ectoparasites. Giardia and cryptosporidium two common protozoan parasites found in water. Ick! So tiny they look invisible to the naked eye and we can’t tell they are present in water just by looking at it. Double ick!

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Your test sounds like better value than mine, which was £354 plus about £70.00 for the zonulin add-on. However, I did like the fact that it tested for a variety of different things and I got something like a 20 page report at the end.

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Hi Liz,

Thanks for replying.

I was just saying how I should start thinking again in focusing on the time when everything started.

When I had the fecal test and came back negative, the Gastroenterologist said that the Giardia parasite was difficult to detect and after all the other tests came back negative too. He decided to try with the antibiotic in case it was Giardia that wasn’t detected in the fecal test. That didn’t work and that makes total sense now after reading the comment from ShootingStars, it was not the right thing to treat this type of parasite.

Would you be so kind to let me know where could I get a trustworthy comprehensive stool test please?

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Hi Martina, there are a few places that offer it. I went with Emma Wells, Smart Nutrition as they offer Skype based interpretation of results and then appropriate treatment. However, there are others out there such as the Functional Gut Clinic in London. It is probably worth looking at a few different tests for a comparison.

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Hi Liz, many thanks for the details. I will get in touch with them. Thanks!!

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Hi Martina, may i ask if you have treated that skin rash or it just went away by itself ?? the reason i ask this is because i think whatever that sets the rash on in the first place is the same trigger that sets your abdominal bloating ..the difference only is that the rash has gone but the abdominal symptom stayed .

Another thought , how is your Thyroid functions ? did you do a complete Thyroid Profile Test ?

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Hi there, I treated the inflamed spots with Aleppo soap and erythromycin wipes. That was all but I am not sure if it was that what cured them to be honest...

They tested the Thyroid but his was through the NHS so I don’t know if they do a complete test?

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GPs usually measure TSH and by luck if they are generous they might add FT4 .

A complete Thyroid Profile test should include the following :

TSH

T3

T4

FT3

FT4

T3RU

in many cases TSH turns back normal , but the other hormones can be out of the range like Low FT4 with normal TSH .

This profile should be interpreted by an endocrinologist so that they can evaluate your need for treatment .

Hope you can reach the root cause of your symptoms and feel better soon ..Best Wishes 🤗

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That is very useful Eternity78. I will make sure they test for all of those.

Many thanks indeed!! ☺️

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