Do I Have Parasites?
The big question is, "Do I have parasites?"
Do I have parasites? My symptoms started in March, I believe (it is now Oct.).
The symptoms weren't too bad at first...occasional bloating with abdominal pain.
Since I have Celiac disease and have had surgery for Endometriosis, I accepted this as just "normal" for me. However, the pain and bloating have increased over the months to the point where I have missed time at work.
The bloating is like nothing I have ever experienced - even before I went on a gluten free diet. There are days when I look like I am 6 months pregnant! The bloating and gas is SO excessive that I cannot fit into my clothes some days, and I have actually had to start wearing shirts that are more in a maternity style to fit over my bloated belly. It is SO frustrating (normally I have a flat stomach).
I am constipated most of the time, but also have bouts of the opposite going on. I continue to have abdominal pain. I have also experienced blood in my stool - both dark and bright red at different times.
I am so fatigued I can barely function some days. I also experienced joint swelling and pain in the summer. I should add that I have also gained some weight - maybe 7-10 lbs. - that I cannot seem to get rid of no matter how hard I try (this is NOT normal for me either).
I should add that I am vegetarian, and I eat mostly all natural or organic foods as I have severe allergies (including sulfites so I have to avoid additives and preservatives for the most part).
I have been taking acidophilus daily for years; take a good multi-vitamin daily, magnesium, flax oil and vitamin C daily as well. I get more exercise than the average person, too.
I have tried Fiber Smart for several weeks - which made no difference. I have also removed common allergy foods - like dairy - to make sure this isn't the problem (believe me, I am already aware that I am allergic to most of the common allergy foods and removed them years ago). This is not the problem.
I even stopped drinking anything carbonated out of a straw to see if this would lesson the bloating. Nope...the problem remains.
I am so frustrated at this point as the problem seems to be getting worse and nothing I have tried is helping to alleviate my symptoms. I have an appointment this week with a nurse practitioner, but I do not have health insurance right now. This means I have to go to the equivalent of the health department.
I have no idea
what their procedure is on getting diagnostic testing or lab testing done. I would imagine it could take quite awhile just to get these things approved IF the NP even feels they are necessary. She may blow it off as IBS and send me on my way.
This is my fear. It is NOT just IBS. Coming from the girl with a long history of intestinal issues (first diagnosed as IBS many years ago - before they realized that I have Celiac) - I KNOW this is different for me. That's why I wonder, do I have parasites?
If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate your input! I need answers and a solution to this frustrating problem.
I'm so sorry to hear of the suffering you've been going through. As I'm sure you realize, I am not a medical doctor and can't advise you as one. I can only offer you some input and ideas that you may want to consider.
Do you have parasites? There's a good possibility that you do, but that is not the only option. This is a serious situation, and you want to know as much as possible about what is going on.
Besides parasites, one of the other possibilities is infection. You mentioned that you had surgery for endometriosis. In the vast majority of abdominal surgeries, scar tissue builds up and this can result in blockages that cause infections.
When you go to the nurse practitioner this week ask her specifically to check and rule out any possibility of infection or recurring endometriosis.
You also mentioned blood in your stool. This is sometimes caused by hemorrhoids internal or external, but can also be something more serious. That's why I think it is a good idea to wait to hear what the NP has to say about it all.
Shall we wait to see what she says before we start trying out other alternatives? I'll be happy to suggest some supplements for you to try if she gives the 'all clear' on the infection.
Meanwhile, why not take a notepad and begin writing down each day exactly what you DO eat and drink. (It almost sounds like you eat nothing but fruits and vegetables, but I suspect that isn't exactly true.) :-)
It will help me and my consultant friends to get to know you and your body a little bit better so that we can make the best and most helpful suggestions for you.
While we wait, I'm going to be praying for you and for the nurse you will be seeing that she will be helpful and knowledgeable concerning your situation.
Angie from allaboutparasites.com