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Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » What is wrong with my stomach? =/


05-23-2015, 09:36 PM   #1
jamienoble
 
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What is wrong with my stomach? =/

I have had a bloated / swollen stomach for over 7 years(!) and it is growing in size for almost every year.
I dont even know why i got this stomach in the first place..In 2008 i took antidepressive medicine for about 3 weeks and suddenly my stomach grow alot!

I have never eaten much food, i dont eat more bad food then anyone else, i have tried exercising, going to gym but my stomach is still like this.
I dont have any pain or any symptoms from the stomach at all so i dont think it is IBS or Crohns.
Over the years i have also done two gastroscopies and a coloscopie but nothing was found.

Can this can be Candida? Should i try a candida diet?

Right now im avoiding laktos, gluten and taking Three lac against Candida but no difference so far.
I would really appreciate your help because i have no idea what i should do. Something is obviously wrong but i get no help from the doctors and everything i have tried doesn't work.

I have a picture of my stomach which i can PM to anyone who is interested. I cant link it here since i don't have 10 posts yet.
05-24-2015, 07:50 AM   #2
UnXmas
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Please don't try treating candida yourself. A while ago I started this thread about candida and my experiences with it:

http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=67910

Candida can come in many forms, but if you do have a candida infection, a doctor can treat it for you, even if it's a minor infection. A candida infection can't be cured with a diet; if you had it you'd need antifungals.

Is it possible you have fluid retention?

Do you feel full very easily? If so you may have gastroparesis, which can be diagnosed with a gastric emptying study.

If you don't mind me asking, are you overweight as well, or are you a normal weight (or underweight) but with a bloated stomach?

What do doctors say when they do an abdominal examination? My stomach is always bloated, and I'm underweight so it's very obvious, and when doctors examine me they start worrying I have a blockage! But then they realise I don't because I'm in no pain. When I really did have a blockage my stomach got even bigger!

Last edited by UnXmas; 05-24-2015 at 08:33 AM.
05-24-2015, 08:00 AM   #3
InstantCoffee
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Go to a doctor and get tested for it. Most Crohn's patients will respond well to an anti-Candida diet because it's basically an SCD diet which we already know most Crohn's patients do well on, but whether or not you should be taking supplements targeting Candida depends on whether or not you have it.

You can try coconut oil, or monolaurin supplements if you want a fairly safe treatment that also works on other pathogens believed to cause Crohn's symptoms. The lauric and caprylic acids in coconut oil help the body to naturally defeat pathogens by breaking down the lipid barriers that protect them from our immune system.
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05-24-2015, 08:05 AM   #4
UnXmas
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Also are you male or female?
05-24-2015, 08:18 AM   #5
UnXmas
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Go to a doctor and get tested for it. Most Crohn's patients will respond well to an anti-Candida diet because it's basically an SCD diet which we already know most Crohn's patients do well on, but whether or not you should be taking supplements targeting Candida depends on whether or not you have it.

You can try coconut oil, or monolaurin supplements if you want a fairly safe treatment that also works on other pathogens believed to cause Crohn's symptoms. The lauric and caprylic acids in coconut oil help the body to naturally defeat pathogens by breaking down the lipid barriers that protect them from our immune system.
Those supplements won't treat a candida infection. Also, jamienoble said he/she(?) doesn't have Crohn's symptoms.
05-24-2015, 09:00 AM   #6
InstantCoffee
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Those supplements won't treat a candida infection. Also, jamienoble said he/she(?) doesn't have Crohn's symptoms.
Caprylic acid is a known anti-fungal used to treat candida...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21830350

I disagree with your method of telling everyone that because something doesn't work for you, it will never work and it's not worth trying.
05-24-2015, 09:30 AM   #7
jamienoble
 
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Thanks for your replies. Im 28 years old, male from Sweden.

After i eat something my stomach becomes hard and yes i think i feel full easily.
Im not overweight, im tall, kinda thin but with a huge stomach so it looks really awful and unnatural.

If i eat more food then usual for a week or so my stomach will grow permanent bigger. This has happened 2 times during the last 3 years.
My weight has gone up 10 kg because of my stomach only in 3 years.

I also scanned my bowels in December last year but as usual they never found anything.
The doctors just say to me that this stomach is normal and i should exercise or whatever. They don't take this seriously at all. I can show a picture of my stomach and i can ensure you that this is not normal..
05-24-2015, 09:40 AM   #8
InstantCoffee
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Thanks for your replies. Im 28 years old, male from Sweden.

After i eat something my stomach becomes hard and yes i think i feel full easily.
Im not overweight, im tall, kinda thin but with a huge stomach so it looks really awful and unnatural.

If i eat more food then usual for a week or so my stomach will grow permanent bigger. This has happened 2 times during the last 3 years.
My weight has gone up 10 kg because of my stomach only in 3 years.

I also scanned my bowels in December last year but as usual they never found anything.
The doctors just say to me that this stomach is normal and i should exercise or whatever. They don't take this seriously at all. I can show a picture of my stomach and i can ensure you that this is not normal..
It sounds like a possible emptying issue, but this is just a symptom not a cause.

Have you had any emptying studies to see if the food is leaving your stomach?

My scans all came back negative, as did my emptying study but they did see that it was very slow and delayed.

Emptying issues can be caused by many things. For me, eating a food I didn't tolerate would cause my small intestines to flood with bile so my food couldn't leave my stomach.

You've said dieting hasn't helped at all? Try reducing intake of oils, primarily canola, corn and peanut, as well as simple sugars (candy, alcohol, sweet drinks, gum, etc.) and see if you notice any difference.

If not it may not be a dietary trigger.
05-24-2015, 10:12 AM   #9
UnXmas
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Caprylic acid is a known anti-fungal used to treat candida...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21830350

I disagree with your method of telling everyone that because something doesn't work for you, it will never work and it's not worth trying.
I didn't disagree because it didn't work for me. I disagreed because it's wrong. (In this context.)
05-24-2015, 10:19 AM   #10
UnXmas
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Thanks for your replies. Im 28 years old, male from Sweden.

After i eat something my stomach becomes hard and yes i think i feel full easily.
Im not overweight, im tall, kinda thin but with a huge stomach so it looks really awful and unnatural.

If i eat more food then usual for a week or so my stomach will grow permanent bigger. This has happened 2 times during the last 3 years.
My weight has gone up 10 kg because of my stomach only in 3 years.

I also scanned my bowels in December last year but as usual they never found anything.
The doctors just say to me that this stomach is normal and i should exercise or whatever. They don't take this seriously at all. I can show a picture of my stomach and i can ensure you that this is not normal..
If you feel full easily it could be gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying). I know that ascites (fluid build up) can cause a bloated abdomen, though I don't know much about that. I would be interested to see a photo, as it sounds a bit odd that doctors would dismiss it. I find they comment on my stomach often and mine is not that massive.

I think if you had a candida infection you would know about it. But here's some information on what treatment would involve if you did: http://emedicine.medscape.com/articl...53-treatment#1
(There's a section on treatment of infections of the digestive tract.)

Last edited by UnXmas; 05-24-2015 at 10:36 AM.
05-24-2015, 10:39 AM   #11
24601
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Hi jamienoble,

Welcome to the forum! Sorry to hear about the issues you've been having and the lack of help from doctors.

I think that while we'd all like to help - and will do our best to advise - that this might be a really tricky thing for us to figure out as there are many possible causes.

I have the utmost empathy having experienced similarly distressing bloating and distension at times throughout my life. As a child I had a balloon like belly at times (and at others a six-pack) but since I was a more robust child (not fat but not thin) people seemed to think this was normal - however my persistent stomach aches weren't. When I was 17, before my diagnosis, and a healthy weight (runner and swimmer) one doctor felt my stomach which was then only a little distended and said "that's just you isn't it?" and laugh and I'd feel horribly embarrassed - it later turned out it wasn't just me, it was distension caused by the strictures. But I certainly felt too ashamed to mention it again.

Following my abdominal surgery in 2005, I developed a very distended abdomen. And since I was quite underweight is was very obvious. Being female, people kept assuming I was pregnant and asking me when I was due and looking at photos now I see how obviously wrong it looked - not pregnant but just wrong! But at the time those comments made me feel so awful (and combined with previous experiences) I just hid it and didn't dare get help. The cause it later emerged (in 2009!) was a post-op abscess and infected fluid collection. I was admitted to hospital through A&E and the first thing they did (after x-ray and CT scan) was drain two litres of ascites.

When I look back, I wish I had sought help much sooner but emotionally it can be very difficult to say "my body looks very strange" and even harder to repeatedly say it and get no useful help as you have.

What I have read is that they teach medical students that doctors should first rule out the five Fs as causes for abdominal distension: Fat, Flatulence, Fluid, Feces and Fetus

Since you're male we can rule out Fetus.

A scan like an MRI should be able to tell whether there's a fluid collection or ascites. And that or other scans would show if you were constipated and the cause was feces.

So we're left with flatulence? Do you pass a lot of gas? If you do that doesn't give us an exact cause but it's a place to start. Possible causes could be IBS, SIBO and I suppose candida overgrowth amongst others. But those could all be secondary to other conditions - for example Crohn's.

Andthe five Fs aren't entirely comprehensive - just a starting point. For example, you'd also need to consider temporary distension from excessive food consumption (not yet converted to fat), weak abdominal muscles and growths or tumors.

Have you had an MRI? Or camera pill? As the scopes won't get a look at the whole small bowel and there's extra information from the MRI about what could be going on outside your intestines.

Have you had any recent blood tests? Or a fecal calprotectin test?
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05-24-2015, 08:42 PM   #12
jamienoble
 
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Thanks again for your replies,
On a second thought, i don't think im feeling full at all easily.
Its just that my stomach becomes bigger and harder after i eat. Often i only need to eat little food and then im not hungry any more, but that's not the same as "feeling full", right?

Here is the picture:

dropbox.com/s/43kz3u6hbbue5t8/2015-05-18%2008.12.15.jpg?dl=0

I did an MRI scan in December on those parts of the bowels you cant see with Gastro or coloscopie.

I don't understand why this started when i took anti depressive medicine (Mirtazapine). Either it was a negative side effect or it was because i eat one more meal everyday for 3 weeks. That was the only difference i felt, i got more hungrier then usual.
But i still didn't eat much food during this period, it was normal because i eat so little otherwise.

I have not made any emptying studies.
I don't think i pass a lot of gas, its not more today then the days before i got this stomach.
I have done alot of blood tests but everything is normal except for cortisol (sometimes).
Dieting haven't helped me so far, (avoiding lactoses and gluten). Next step is to try a candida diet while doing alot of stomach exercises everyday.

I feel very ashamed of this stomach, i took several years before i even showed it to the doctors. But the latest years it has grown bigger i cant hide it any more..
05-25-2015, 04:24 AM   #13
UnXmas
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It doesn't look that bad to me in the picture. I do see that it's bloating/bulging out a bit, but it's not that massive. I understand that you're worried something is wrong, and it is reasonable for you to ask doctors to make sure it's not something serious causing this. But I don't think how it looks is something you should be concerned about. I'm female, and very underweight, and my stomach bulges out more than that all the time. It's not even occurred to me that it's something I should feel embarrassed about.

Gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) can make you stop feeling hungry with only a little food, so that still could be relavent for you.

Do you have no other symptoms at all? Has a doctor done an abdominal examination? This could help diagnose and abnormal growths, fluid build up and other things. Have you ever talked to a doctor about possible causes besides problems with your digestive tract?

You cannot treat candida with diet. Please read the thread I linked to in my first post on this thread. What kind of candida infection do you think you have? If you think you have candida, why not go to a doctor? There are many forms of candida infection, some very minor (e.g. thrush) and some extremely serious. I had a candida infection which was diagnosed by blood cultures. I got rid of the infection, again confirmed by blood cultures. I did not do any kind of special diet at all, I ate sugar the whole time. The infection was cured with antifungal medication.

Go to your doctor! Don't be embarrassed. Ask them to do an abdominal examination, and ask them about candida if that is worrying you.

Last edited by UnXmas; 05-25-2015 at 05:02 AM.
05-25-2015, 05:58 AM   #14
24601
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Hi jamienoble,

I see what you see! And agree that your lower abdomen looks abnormally distended. I appreciate UnXmas's opinion though - it goes to show we all observe things differently and perhaps this is the perspective that your doctors are coming from that they see more distended abdomens too.

Btw I have definitely experienced distension this bad and worse at times - just so you don't feel so alone in this.

I really do think you should keep going back to your doctor. Perhaps try a different approach and tell them about feeling like you can only eat a little before talking about the distension and see how they deal with that.

I think further investigations are necessary

Does the amount of abdominal distension change throughout the day? Or does it just change with mealtimes? How quickly does it distend after eating? And how long does it take to deflate? Would you like to share a photo of your stomach at its least distended?
05-25-2015, 07:41 AM   #15
UnXmas
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If your doctors don't think it abnormal, surely there's no need to be embarrassed by showing it to them? As I said, doctors comment on my stomach all the time, it's no big deal. If you have an abdominal examination, when the doctor will feel your stomach to check if it's hard, if there's fluid build up, etc., they will either think it's normal or they will view it as a medical problem. Have you tried eating before the appointment so they see it when it's hard?
05-25-2015, 03:05 PM   #16
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Sounds like you have ibs....when the symptoms get so bad you cannot take it anymore ur dr will do a colon and endo scope...if they find Crohn's you have it...you will need to montior very closely chnages going on.
This same thing happened to me until i was diagnoised..now i am falling apart.
It really is an awful thing to go thru...no one can really understand how painful and inconvenient it is...they just all think you have tummy issues..lol. Pray you never have Crohn's.

Good luck
05-25-2015, 06:07 PM   #17
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It doesn't look normal to me either. Just out of curiosity does it stay that way when you lay on your back or does it go down.

Good luck, l hope they find out what's wrong.
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Last edited by upsetmom; 05-25-2015 at 09:17 PM.
05-25-2015, 08:18 PM   #18
jamienoble
 
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Thanks alot again for your replies, i really appreciate that.

Well, the reason i never went to the doctors is because my stomach wasn't that bad earlier. I mean i was very embarrassed about it before also but i have held my stomach in for 7 years, because that's what i have to do so no one notices it. But the latest year it has grown so much i have to do something about it because this is definitely not normal looking.
If i was bigger everywhere then i guess it could be normal but im kinda thin and i eat so little food and yet i have this stomach. Im not worried that this is something dangerous, but i don't want to look like this.

And the other reason i never went to the doctors (for the stomach) is because i do have alot of other unexplainable symptoms which makes me forget about the stomach problem.. I haven't mentioned this before because i really don't think my other symptoms are connected to my stomach because i have been sick for many many more years then i have had this stomach.
If i never took the anti depressive medicine in 2008 i probably would not have this stomach problem today. I just have very very bad luck..

I don't think the doctors take the Candida very seriously in Sweden because otherwise they would have done a test already. But yeah, to my surprise there is a candida test i can do and i will ask if i can do one of those next time.
I will also mention Gastroparesis next time.
I have done an abdominal examination (i think) but none of the 2 doctors said anything special, as long as i had no pain it was nothing to care about according to them.
I have never eaten before i go to the doctors so the stomach gets hard, do you think i should do that next time?

But there is one thing i thought about.. When i go to the toilet and do my thing.. I do that 2-3 times per week. Often i never really empty myself completely, there is still shit in me but i cant get it out until next time i go to the toilet.

The abdominal distension only changes when i eat and it happens quickly, it gets hard which makes the stomach look bigger.
I don't know how long it takes for the stomach to not be hard again, perhaps 1 hour or so.
Maybe my stomach is least distended in the morning but i don't think anyone would see any difference.
When i lay on my back its still swollen but not as much.

Until next down, i can take a photo how it looks in the "morning" (whenever i wake up), after i eat and and when i lie down (can be tricky) :P
05-26-2015, 01:24 AM   #19
UnXmas
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A bowel movement two or three times a week is considered normal, but if you're having trouble getting it all out, you could have "obstructed defecation" or "incomplete evacuation", which are forms of constipation and could very well be related to your stomach being bigger and getting hard. Out of the fives Fs that 24601 talked about above (I think there should be a sixth F by the way - food!), - it would mean your enlarged stomach is due to Faecal reasons, i.e. this form of constipation.

Have you told your doctors about the trouble you have emptying your bowels when you ask them about your stomach? I think it would definitely be worthwhile telling them, and yes, eat before the appointment so they can see, and feel, your stomach when it's most hard.

Do not worry about how your stomach looks though. Regarding the purely cosmetic aspects of this, your stomach is not bad looking at all. I have a bloated stomach, and it looks even more out of proportion because I'm very thin, and my stomach has a very big scar down the centre, another scar on the left side, and a massive, prolapsed stoma hanging out the right side! And I show off my stomach all the time - and not just to doctors either! I'm proud of my stoma and my scar. The bloating, well I'm not proud of it exactly, but I view it as another medical issue. Your stomach looks fine in the photo! I do see that it's not a flat stomach and it's out of proportion to the rest of you, but it still doesn't make your stomach look that bad at all. I see men with enormous fat stomachs and "beer bellies" all the time and yours doesn't look bad compared to them either.
05-26-2015, 01:32 AM   #20
UnXmas
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I don't think the doctors take the Candida very seriously in Sweden because otherwise they would have done a test already. But yeah, to my surprise there is a candida test i can do and i will ask if i can do one of those next time.
I can assure you they do take candida very seriously. They haven't tested you for it because it's so very unlikely that you have it in any of its serious forms. When I was in hospital, they tested me for it because I was very, very unwell and I had a reason for them to expect I had that kind of infection as I was having TPN.

In my earlier post I asked you what kind of candida infection you think you could have. Have a read of Wikipedia's page on candida infections to understand the different types of infection it can cause:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candidiasis

Or this page on the different types, which has a description of candida in the digestive tract, if that's the type you think you have:

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/scrip...y=58847&page=3

It doesn't sound like you have those symptoms, or any of the factors that can make the infection more likely to occur.

If you're interested in understanding how the concept of candida has been used incorrectly by some alternative medical practitioners (which may be what you've come across while trying to find a cause and treatment of your stomach problems) try reading these pages:

http://www.quackwatch.org/01Quackery...s/candida.html

http://www.ncahf.org/articles/c-d/candida.html

Last edited by UnXmas; 05-26-2015 at 02:04 AM.
05-26-2015, 05:28 AM   #21
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I agree that you shouldn't feel ashamed of your stomach - it's just how your body is right now. But it does look distended and this is, in my opinion, likely a sign that there is something that needs treating.

I agree that it's unlikely to be "Candida overgrowth" because that does seem to be a widely used diagnosis in alternative (for the want of a better term) medicine circles that is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms so wide-ranging that they would apply to most sick people and has no scientific proof behind it.

I have some experience of my own with this "diagnosis". I was treated for unspecified fungal overgrowth at the Royal Homeopathic Hospital in London by a qualified medical doctor (who was also a homeopathic doctor). There was no specific test to back up this diagnosis - and I actually believe there still isn't - but I was on oral antifungals for over a year. I experienced no benefit or reduction in symptoms - bloating, gas, brain fog and generalized aching being the main ones attributed to this apparent condition.

I would pursue a diagnosis for something more likely seeming than Candida if I were you. The distension could be related to your bowel emptying issues. I would definitely eat a normal meal before visiting the doctor so that they can observe your abdomen under those conditions.

Although having a bowel movement 2-3 times a week is not abnormal, I don't believe it is considered optimal for bowel health and so it is certainly worth talking about with your doctor. Have you ever checked out the Bristol stool scale? That can be helpful for communicating about bowel issues.

While there may be another cause for your abdominal distension, these infrequent bowel movements and potential incomplete evacuation seem like a good place to start.
05-27-2015, 09:33 PM   #22
jamienoble
 
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Thanks!

I cant remember if i ever told the doctors about having trouble emptying but i took a "medicine" a couple of years ago that helped me with this. After taking that i went to the toilet almost every day. I don't know why i quit, i guess i didn't see any quick results and stopped.
Because if that's not the reason why i have a big stomach then i rather go to the toilet 2-3 times every week then everyday. :P
I will buy one of those tomorrow and start again, how long do you think it could take before i eventually see any difference on the stomach size?

I tried to take pictures how the stomach looks like when i lay down on my back but the pictures are so bad it feels unnecessary to show.
The stomach is still swollen but much smaller.

I don't think i have Candida either now, i thought it was pretty much the only thing left that could explain the problem but i guess not.
I will still take the Candida test, its free so i have nothing loose.
I remember i did the infamous spit test a few years ago and of course according to that i had Candida. But that test is probably bulllshit.
Bristol stool scale, i mostly have a combination of 3/4 and 1.

Oh, and my stomach does look really really bad. Its much more obvious in real life then on the picture. =/
I have been doing a David Hasselhoff for over 7 years, keeping it in!
05-28-2015, 05:02 AM   #23
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What is the medicine you're talking about?
05-28-2015, 06:47 AM   #24
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I'd be wary of treating yourself. I think there may be a cause that needs to be identified by a doctor and treated. And so I think it's best to keep pursuing that and see a doctor sooner rather than later.

You can always see the doctor, make sure you've told them everything about the emptying issues and the lack of appetite as well as the distension, get them to do an exam etc. and maybe order more tests and ask them if they can prescribe anything to help your bowel be more regular.
05-31-2015, 08:19 PM   #25
jamienoble
 
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Its not a medicine, its some sort of powder that makes you go to the toilet more often. Its called Inolaxol.
I will go to the doctors later on, the problem is that they don't take my stomach seriously.
They have checked me and they didn't find anything. Yeah this is probably not something dangerous but as i said before, i really don't want to look like this anymore, it looks just wrong and unnatural.

I will update you how it goes, i will take this powder, avoid gluten and lactoses until i see a doctor in 2 months or so.
Thanks alot for the help, i really appreciate that!
06-01-2015, 06:18 AM   #26
24601
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I understand how you feel having been dismissed by doctors before but I know that it can be a question of finding the right doctor who will listen to you. I don't think I'd wait if I were you, I'd just find a new doctor to get a fresh pair of eyes on this now.

The thing is it could be something serious that they happen to have missed and I'm concerned that by treating yourself you will delay getting help. The decision is of course yours but I think it would be a good idea to see a doctor again.

Do let us know how you go
06-02-2015, 05:22 PM   #27
jamienoble
 
Join Date: May 2015
Thanks for your advice, i will see another stomach doctor next month hopefully.
I will do alot of stomach exercises everyday just to make sure it has nothing to do with that. I doubt my stomach is like this because i don't exercise enough but i have to be 100% sure.
I will for sure update you how it goes because im worried i might never get rid of this problem. I really need help to figure out what this can be.
08-25-2015, 07:11 PM   #28
jamienoble
 
Join Date: May 2015
Hello everyone again,

So i tried to get to a stomach doctor but i was denied because i already did a gastroscopy and endoscopy in the past. I don't know what i should do..
I did a ultrasound a few days ago they said that there was alot of gases in the bowels.
I'm not so sure however that this is the reason why i have had this stomach for 8 years, i don't think so..
I don't really feel gasy, it happens sometimes but that's a common thing for everyone.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/i4phz6jb7i...07.38.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/5ejcvf6af7...11.14.jpg?dl=0

This looks so wrong.. =/
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