Terrible guts after flu: I have had a fluey... - IBS Network

IBS Network
28,099 members9,690 posts

Terrible guts after flu


I have had a fluey virus since the 10th of December. The flu symptoms went away after about 11 days, but during that time I’ve been feeling nauseous and have had diarrhoea. I also had such an acidic stomach I lost my appetite. I got an emergency appointment at my GP on Friday 20th. I was acutely anxious as I also have Health Anxiety, Generalised Anxiety Disorder and OCD. I was in a terrible state and the GP I saw was very kind. She gave me a higher dose of the diazepam I take, patoprazole and petpac also as she felt i had developed quite severe gastritis. I hadn’t drunk anything for nearly 48 hours and hasn’t eaten for about 4 days. I managed to start eating a little with the meds the GP gave me, but the diarrhoea started again on Christmas Eve and I was running to the loo with terrible pains on Christmas Day and I collapsed for a few moments, so I took Imodium. I gave up on Boxing Day and didn’t get up at all, barely drank and refused to eat. By last Friday, I had to get another emergency appointment and this GP wasn’t so sympathetic. She didn’t seem that bothered about the diarrhoea and how long it’s been going on for. The previous GP had asked me to hand in a stool sample, so there was no bacteria or c-diff in it. So this GP said I would have to stop taking Imodium as it was inhibiting my body getting rid of the virus. She also stopped my gastritis meds as she said they could be contributing to my diarrhoea.

I explained to her about my mental health problems and that I’m at breaking point. I also told her that I’ve had IBS in many forms since I was 12 years old (I’m 45 now) and this just was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. She just looked at me and said we could discuss that another time if this didn’t settle down. I asked her how long I should wait and she said she wasn’t sure! And this is a GP who has been at my practice for 20 years! She took bloods to check my kidney function,

So I’m trying to be brave and I’m eating natural Greek yogurt, gluten free bread and plain cooked chicken. I had a day’s break from diarrhoea yesterday, but it’s back today. I feel so weak, I have no appetite and now I can’t stop crying. I have left the house once in the last 21 days. I’ve also lost a great deal of weight in that time.

I am intolerant to wheat, bananas, onions and garlic. I also have gallstones, so I’m careful with saturated fats (they were discovered about 9 years ago - 3 little stones but a healthy gallbladder). During that time I was very unwell and became so underweight that I was threatened with hospital.

Help. Xx

24 Replies


I thought i would jump on and just ask if u had any antibiotics?

Have u thought about ur gut health?

I have had ibs all my life i remember sitting at school at 5 in pain....

About 6 years ago i got sick and ended up on antibiotics and with gastric flu and i was never same after that.. things that never bothered me all of a sudden become a problem to so i couldnt eat, i lost 2 stone( which im a size 10 so losing weight is not good) and i was soooo ill....

i was sent to a gastro doctor and she sent me to a nutrionalist and told me she thought it was a candida prob.. a overgrowth of bad bacteria in the digestive track brought on by trauma or stress but mostly bad eating or antibiotics.

I went to see a man called mark, HE WAS AMAZING!!

He explained that mainly IBS is a product of our lives. So could b stress, anxiety, bad eating or antibiotics.

He gave me a diet to follow for 6-8 weeks... which i did religiously.

1.no sugar

2.no gluten

3.No yeast

4. No alcohol

5. No dairy..

6. No red meat.

Basically i lived on gf pasta, chicken, turkey, salad, veg.. water!

Also supplements to kill the candida... AND U WILL SEE THIS DIES AWAY IN UR POOP...

Within 4 weeks i was best i had been in months...

By 8-9 weeks i was brilliant.

I have never gone back.. i now eat a more or less plant based diet ... mayb chicken and turkey.. always gluten free.. never touched bread since..i mean it so easy when u know how i more or less eat normal now but make sure it all gluten free.. and i have never had IBS SINCE

That why i wandered if u had antibiotics and gastric flu!!

in reply to Lulububs

I didn’t get antibiotics - I never had an infection or fever, and there was no bacteria in my poop sample. I avoid antibiotics like the plague. So that’s not part of the problem.

I don’t eat red meat or wheat and I’m low on dairy already. I can certainly ask about candida.

Biggest problem just now is that I’m so anxious and feeling suicidal (but that’s not unusual for me). I can try and see a gastro, but the waiting list on the NHS are up to 3 months and I just can’t live like this. I’m a mum and my kids need me. But I also don’t want to live like this either. My youngest has three university interviews that I have to drive her to in January and I have no help, My husband is already rolling his eyes about having to take her because he is married to his job, not me. I’ve been at the GP twice in seven days and they just keep telling me it’s been a virus and it’ll pass in time. But when I tell them it’s been causing diarrhoea since before I came to see them, they just say it’s a virus.

I am so sorry you are unwell but as you have stated you have complex conditions that I am not qualified to answer. But I can give you a couple of pointers that have helped me.

1. I agree to ease off the Imodium and any cold/flu remedy to allow the virus to leave your body. It worked for me in Nov/Dec when a bad virus hit me

2. For the IBS which causes me anxiety, I suggest you try CBT, it helped me. Good Luck!

in reply to Linley

Thank you ♥️. I haven’t had any Imodium since Christmas Day and not needed any cold/flu remedies as it’s just the tummy probs that won’t go away. Did your bowel eventually settle and did you keep eating at all?

I’ve just finished a course of CBT but I had waited 12 months for it and I’d had a couple of difficulties in my life by the time I got to my appointments. I was suicidal, so that had to be dealt with before the IBS stuff. By then, I’d run out of time 🙄. I’m thinking I need to go privately or else I’m going to end up in a very bad place xx

in reply to weegmack

Yes i went private in end for gastro and nutrtionalist... also for therapy as like u i have other issues including depression and anxiety issues.luckily i have a great family that bunches together to help pay.

I got to say though the diet is briliant but ur doin most of it already. Which is great.

They did explain any meds can counteract against gut health and flora even things like painkillers, cold remedies and imodium... so i dont necessarily mean it always antibiotics.. coz my next bout of ibs came not long after with NAPROXEN... that was my worst ever bout of ibs....

U need to try to flush out the bug .. water ... water... water...

plus get some good immune... probiotics... vitamin c... multi vitamin.

Also a good digestive enzyme it helps ur gut to digest foods ...

mayb have a word with ur husband about how u feel and about him being married to his job and not u and ur daughter that cannot help ...

also yes.. a therapist.. preferably asap to get ur mind healthy

in reply to Lulububs

Thank you. I’ve bought some really good probiotics, but you have to take them with a meal and I’m hardly able to eat. I generally don’t take any painkillers, but I do take amitryptaline, which is an antidepressant. However, I’m taking it off-licence for pain in a very low dose and I’m not willing to stop it. I have punishing headaches for the past 9 years and it took about two years to get the pain under control. So I don’t honestly think they have anything to do with it. I’ve read on another thread here that someone else is having the exact same thing as me - flu then tummy troubles. I just need to flush it out as you say. I’ll keep eating the Greek yoghurt just now to get some good bacteria in there until I can stomach more food and take the probiotics. I’m putting a tiny bit of jam in the yogurt because I can’t get it over otherwise. I have had an eating disorder in the past, so getting food over is really hard if I’m even remotely unwell.

I’ve tried to talk to my husband so many times, but to be honest, I think it’s over between us. We’ve drifted apart and I just feel dead inside towards him now. I’ve had a very rough 2019 and now it looks as though 2020 will be worse.

Thanks for your help and understanding. I’ll just have to put one foot in front of the other until I feel strong enough to eat better. Xxx

in reply to weegmack

Yes, my tum did ease and after a few days my appetite came back, thank heavens as I am under weight. If you can afford it go private and hopefully you will have a better new year. Good Luck and God Bless and never give up weegmack

in reply to Linley

Thank you ♥️. I feel so emotional today, I can’t stop crying,

Can I ask - did you just eat a little of what you felt like eating once your appetite came back? Or did you avoid things? Xxx

in reply to weegmack

I ate little but often and only avoided things that I know upset me, and built up from there to my normal portion size.

The 1st of January is an emotional day for quite a lot of people you are not alone. The tears will ease as mine have done.

Hi lm under gastro enterologist an he suggested when you can't eat to just eat boiled rice an drink the cooled rice water! Won't hurt you that's for sure

Hi i have had ibs since i was 21 i am now 56, it started after a stomach bug. At the beginning of November i had the exact same symptoms as you, after about three weeks of diarrhoea, i was getting really worried it could be something serious, i went to the doctor who did a stool test that showed no infection, by this time i had lost about a stone through not wanting to eat incase it went through me again, but it has now gone back to my normal ibs, and has passed, but has taken about 6 weeks to go completely, i didnt think a virus could last this long, but perhaps we are a bit more vulnerable because of ibs, i have also been taking Enterosgel which i think has helped you can buy it from amazon, hope you feel better soon and this has helped to reassure you a little.

I’m very sorry you went through this too. It’s absolutely awful. I’m really struggling. I was the same as you - worried about the diarrhoea. So the first GP I saw asked me for a stool sample (though at that time, the diarrhoea wasn’t as bad as it is now). I got that back on Dec 27th and it was a different doctor (not so sympathetic) and all she said was that it was clear of bacteria and c-diff. So she decided it’s been a virus and I’ll have to “sit it out”. Which is easy for her to say.

Like you, I easily don’t eat. I’ve been forcing myself to eat some Greek yogurt and crackers because I’ve been so weak. I’ve also been taking dioralyte. Sorry if this is TMI, but I’m either having lumpy diarrhoea or pure liquid (bright yellow, which I’m assuming is bile). I have gastritis too and the second GP has taken me off all those meds because she said they’d make my diarrhoea worse. So I have pain in my actual stomach (terrible, burning pain) and agonising pain in my guts (I’m no stranger to that, as I’m sure you’re not either). But this is not my usual IBS.

I’ve also lost about a stone in weight since Dec 10th. Drinking is almost impossible because of the gastritis. I feel I need help to manage this until it’s passed, but I don’t know how to get it. I’m getting to the stage that I can’t hydrate enough and I’m amazed I haven’t passed out by now.

Can you tell me what Enterosgel is? Is it the same as dioralyte? Does it make you poop even more or keep you hydrated? Sorry for the questions and lengthy reply, but I’m struggling with my mental health and was suicidal yesterday. But it is reassuring that yours passed. I can cope with my usual IBS, I just cannot cope with this. X

Hi i was the same, i can cope with my normal ibs, but this was something different and really worrying, i felt exactly the same as you. Enterosgel will make your poop more solid, it takes any bugs or contamination out of your system when you go to the toilet, it is a natural substance, but you have to take it 2 hours before or after medication. search for the enterosgel website and it will give you all the information, it is expensive but it might be worth a try for you, it did help me. i so hope this will pass for you soon, i was the same as you i couldnt go out for weeks on end and became so depressed. Dont loose hope, it got better for me eventually.x

Thank you. I have such bad pain today and I can’t eat at all. I’ll ask my husband to get me some of those. I’m so exhausted, I’ve just had enough x

i hope things get better for you soon, please let me know how things go.x

Thank you, I’ve taken my first dose of enterosgel. So I’m hoping to see some improvement over the coming days. Did you take the enterosgel for the 6 weeks you say it took for your bowel to settle? I don’t think I can take another 6 weeks of this....I’ve had it for 3 and a half weeks already 😬

Hi, i started taking it towards the end of the six weeks as i didnt know about it at the beginning and i wanted to make sure this horrible thing was out of my system. I took it three times a day and it helped me, i hope it starts working for you soon. let me know how it goes.x

Hello! Thanks so much for recommending the Enterosgel. I started it and took a five day course and stopped on Monday 6th January. I had one bout of diarrhoea in the first couple of days, then I didn’t go at all for a long time. I’ve been very constipated since. Either not going at all in the day, or just passing very small, hard stools. I am normally IBS-C, so I was in the habit of taking Laxido once a day to keep me regular. I saw my usual GP today and she has suggested I start back on it, through very gradually.

Is this what happened to you? I’m a little worried that the constipation is holding back the virus and it’s still in there (I’m really, really anxious today). Though, rationally, I haven’t taken any Enterosgel since Monday 6th of Jan, so surely I’d have had diarrhoea since then, if the virus was still hanging about? I’ve been feeling so much better - eating, drinking, active. But I have this president and intrusive thought today that the more my bowel moves, there’s a chance the virus will still be there and start giving me diarrhoea again. I’m sure this all makes no sense 😢.

Hi, i am glad the Enterosgel has helped you. If you look at the information leaflet or go onto the Enterosgel website it says that it expels any virus or bugs in the stool, so it would seem as if it has gone for you now. I am normally IBS-D but i was slightly constipated at times after taking the enterosgel. I was like you though, worried all the time it would start again because it made me so ill, it was scary and lasted so long i thought i would never get better and that it was something sinister. I am totally back to my normal ibs now, but i know exactly how you feel. I hope things continue to get better for you. let me know how you go.x

Oh thanks so much ♥️. I really appreciate you speaking to me so quickly. The thing is, I have an uncomfortable gut all the time, as it is. So I often freak out with the tiniest change in my guts. Sorry if this is TMI, but the first few poops (pebbles I call them, when I’m constipated), were really pale, so I thought that was the Enterosgel doing its job. Now my pebbles are back to my usual colour! I have mild gastritis too, and a hiatus hernia and today has just been a stressful day for various reasons. You’re so understanding and I really appreciate it, thank you x

my poop was really pale when i was coming to the end of the virus too which was an added worry, but everything is back to my normal ibs now, it seems as though this awful virus has passed for you. Hope everything improves for you soon.x

Sorry your feeling so unwell, I'd stop eating the Greek yogurt it's not a good thing to eat when you've got diarrhoea. I'd eat toast and jam, plain biscuits or plain mashed potato with nothing added is good for upset stomachs/ bowels. I had my gallbladder out about 4 years ago it was one of the best things I've ever done, mind you it took me about 15 years to pluck up the courage to have it done. That could be making things worse. I hope it all settles down soon I know how debilitating it can be it makes me feel anxious and panicky too.

in reply to Hollings

They could cut my legs off right now and I wouldn’t care, I’m so done. I’ve never had any bother with my gallbladder, but maybe it’s not ok just now. I have no pain with it though - how would I know?

I was eating the Greek yoghurt to try and feed the good bacteria back into my bowel. I thought that was the right thing to do. I’ll not be eating anything today as I just feel so grim 🤢




Sorry to hear you're struggling. If you need help and support with your IBS please get in touch theibsnetwork.org

You may also like...