I Hate My Guts

My psychiatrist finally got back the organic acid test results from over a month ago–it’s one of those where you mail in the samples, and the lab took forever getting back to us.  Apparently my results were weird, not what he expected.  He thought there would be something wonky about my mitochondria, but that came back fine.  However, my fatty acid metabolism was high, and I have intestinal bacterial overgrowth of both L. acidophilus and Clostridial species.  Apparently the bacterial overgrowth may indicate that the probiotics I’m taking aren’t the best kind for me, and he had no idea what the fatty acid oxidation issue meant.  He has to check with one of the lab’s doctors and get back to me. 

My detoxification indicators were also really wacky–ammonia toxicity and chronic low glutathione levels.  Glutathione is one of the major detoxification things (I’m good at technical terms, see?) in the body, so being low in it isn’t good.  I looked it up on Wikipedia, since the last time I took biology was 2002, and it tells me that “every system in the body can be affected by the state of the glutathione system, especially the immune system, the nervous system, the gastrointestinal system and the lungs.”  Interesting that these are the systems I’ve been having the most problems with.

In the good news column, my yeast/fungal levels are normal, which is a radical change.  The last time I was tested, I was off-the-chart high in Candida, but the course of Nystatin and S. Boulardii seems to have knocked that down to normal.  Hilariously, my energy production markers had “no abnormalities found.”  Tell that to my inability to stand up for more than 20 minutes at a time.

I also saw my gastroenterologist.  I am pleased to announce that I don’t have to have another colonoscopy (yet). He thinks the Lialda may actually be what’s causing my current problems–its side effects can look just like the symptoms of UC.  So he’s taking me off it for a week, and next week I’ll call and let him know if it’s made any difference.  I’m not convinced–I’ve been on the Lialda since I was diagnosed in May of last year and haven’t changed the dose in 6 months (I’m maxed out), and I’ve only been having worse symptoms since December.  Usually a drug doesn’t start causing problems all of a sudden like that when you haven’t changed the dose or anything, but I’ll try and see if it does any good.

He’s also going to fight with the insurance company to try to get me a larger supply of Zofran for the nausea.  I hope that works out because uggghhhhh.  I feel nauseous almost all the time, but I put off taking the Zofran because I want to have some left if things get really bad.  Apparently my insurance company keeps insisting that I should take Phenergan instead, but that can cause toxic megacolon in UC patients.  “Mega” is a word you want associated with your lottery win, not with your colon.  But I guess my insurance likes it–after all, if my colon explodes and kills me, then they don’t have to pay for my meds anymore.  Thanks, guys.

Now that I’ve told you all the fun news about my intestines, I’m going to go distract myself by watching the State of the Union, livetweeting/Facebooking, and then yelling at the Republican responses afterward.



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13 responses to “I Hate My Guts

  1. Your intestines are worth writing about. Laying it out in a blog post is just fine. Makes us with minor issues feel darn lucky. And it is sad that you have to deal with such imbalances.

    However I was gladden that that the guts you hate are your intestines not the colloquial sense of guts. And I hope you understand that Hope.

  2. Kenzie - Motorcycles, Books & Fructose

    For bacterial over growth in your bowels you could try an elimination diet to get rid of it or antibiotics work. I had to do an elimination diet for 4 weeks when I first got diagnosed with my fructose intolerance because my dietitian thought that I probably had one. It did seem to help.

    I had a pretty nasty reaction to Lialda when I got put on it so it’s a real possibility that you could be having a bad reaction to it. Although I really hope that you’re not! Hope you feel better soon!

    • I honestly don’t think there’s much else I could eliminate from my diet without risking starvation. I don’t eat meat, dairy, eggs, gluten, corn, cruciferous vegetables, any raw fruits or veggies, nuts (I can do nut butters), or artificial sweeteners.

      I know some people don’t do well with Lialda. I just think it’s statistically unlikely that I’d develop a sudden intolerance to it after 9 months, you know?

      • Kenzie - Motorcycles, Books & Fructose

        Oh wow, it’s weird that you have a bacterial overgrowth since you already don’t eat a lot. Your psychiatrist is probably on the right track with your probiotics being the cause. What one’s do you use? My GI has me on probiotic pearls.

        Yeah it would be really weird if you did. Hopefully it’s not it.

      • I take Ultimate Flora brand. It’s expensive, but it’s gluten-free and dairy-free. I also take a separate S. boulardii probiotic.

      • Kenzie - Motorcycles, Books & Fructose

        I haven’t heard of those. But there’s so many different probiotics out there it’s hard to keep track of them all!

  3. You’re right! You are exceptionally good at the technical terms, although I’m sure you wish you didn’t need to be. Hence the ‘I hate my guts’. That seems entirely appropriate. I know how frustrating it is to be living with the uncertainty and the changes. For once it would be nice to know that someone knew what they’re doing. I really hope you get some definite answers soon.

    • I’m good at the technical terms because I do a lot of research. I want to understand what the doctors are talking about, and I want to understand what the hell my body is doing. (A lot of the time, I don’t think my body’s very clear on what it’s doing…)

      I actually have great faith in both my psychiatrist and my gastroenterologist; they’re both very knowledgeable and capable. My psychiatrist is a functional medicine guy and has done a lot to help me with the UC–after all, the gut is the major source of neurotransmitters, and more and more research is indicating connections between gut health and mental health. My gastroenterologist is more mainstream but doesn’t discount the functional stuff my psychiatrist is doing, and he’s great at explaining things to me as though I’m a highly intelligent person but one who hasn’t gone to medical school–a rare quality in a doctor. The problem at this point is that neither of them can predict how my body will respond to things, and there are so many different variables that affect my condition–inflammation, stress, food, meds, etc. It’s more trial and error than I’d like, but I have a lot of trust in my doctors.

  4. Wow…you are quite technical. I wish I was that smart when it comes to medical stuff. I’m diabetic, epileptic, asthmatic, and I dont even know as much as I should about my illnesses or meds or side effects for them. Hope you enjoy facebooking, you can add us if you want multiminds30@gmail.com and our twitter is @carolanne16 hugs

    • I just like to be informed and understand what’s going on with my body, so I do a lot of research.

      I don’t really use Facebook. I have one, but I blog under a pseudonym because certain people from my past have tried to track me down online. So nothing personal goes on my Facebook, and it’s not connected with my blog. I’m kind of paranoid about privacy because I really don’t want to be tracked down again.

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