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Two Weeks Of Diarrhea And Headaches - Any Advice?


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#1 Reef

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Posted 2011-05-11 20:14:31

I've been browsing the forum today and have seen lots of similar topics but I'm going to post this anyway as I could really do with some help. Two weeks ago, I woke up with intense nausea, cramps. headache and diarrhea. This continued throughout that day (Thursday) and the next, but eased off on Saturday and on Sunday I was up and doing things again. I get this kind of thing every 3 months or so, and know exactly what to do - charcoal, ORS, no food etc etc. So,when I woke up on Monday and felt fine, I thought that was the end of it. However, the last time I got sick like that, I actually went to the doctor and tested positive for A. Lumbriciodes so this time, I thought it had come back/I'd reinfected myself/never cured it in the first place and resolved to get some Albendazole before the end of the week.


However, after lunch on Monday (western food - still taking it easy), I started feeling really nauseas again, my headache returned and soon enough my nausea manifested as diarrhea. Since then, it hasn't stopped and it's not Wednesday of the following week. On Friday night I took 400mg of Albendazole and reapeted this Saturday. I felt good over the weekend, but come Monday morning, I was exhausted and headachey and the diarrhea was still going on. I finally went back to the hospital on Monday afternoon, did a stool test which came up negative for parasites - very surprised! Met the doctor and he was totally unhelpful - at one stage he even admitted that it had been a long time since medical school and he didn't really know what was going on. He then told me I was taking too much ORS and I should cut down. Tuesday I felt much, much better - still diarrhea but no headache and no nausea. I ate normally again (still no Thai food).


This morning I woke up at 5am feeling rotten. Headache back, nausea, cramps, diarrhea and sulphur/fermented tasting burps. Went to the doctor again this afternoon and saw a specialist this time. We talked for about 5 minutes and he recommended ciprofloxacin for 3 days. I've NEVER taken antibiotics in my life (maybe time I started!!) and I'm wondering if this is the best course of action for me. When I got home, my neighbour gave me disento - which I've never heard of and can't find much information on.


Can anyone here tell me about either of these meds? Which should I try first? Can you recommend anything else? Any suggestions/advice greatly appreciated - I'm totally sick of being sick at this stage, my work is suffering and I'm wrecked the whole time, losing weight and fee miserable!

Thanks

#2 WarpSpeed

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Posted 2011-05-11 20:18:03

Yah, see a doctor :ph34r: ...
Ok so you went to a doctor already :whistling: . Should read more then the title :P ..

Disento is a local brand name parasite med for intestinal viruses etc. tried it once years ago and wasn't impressed.

There is a similar product to Pepto Bismol here now recently called Gastro Bismol much better but also Immodium both of which are better but you need to be careful taking antacid products with antibiotics as some decrease the effectiveness of the antibiotics. The Immodium is an anti-diarrheal not an antacid or nausea relief .

Cipro is a broad spectrum antibiotic to treat a wide range of low grade infections..

Edited by WarpSpeed, 2011-05-11 20:30:41.


#3 PhilHarries

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Posted 2011-05-11 20:25:55

OK they did a stool test looking for parasites but did they look for traces of blood?
It could be helicobacter pylori, symptoms:-
a A dull pain or flaming pain in abdomen (chronic gastritis)
b Nausea And Vomiting
c Repeated burping
d Bloating
e Serious weight loss
Do a Google for more info then go back and see a real doctor.

#4 happyrobert

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Posted 2011-05-11 21:43:08

Cipro. Don't leave home without it if you're eating out a lot.

Take one tab, one time. It's not a healthy antibiotic by any means but is vey effective against food poisoning. If one does not do it, try two in two days. Still not good?--find a better doctor.

Parasite tests are specific. If you don't have a target parasite, they're not gonna find it, outside a few common ones.



#5 BuckarooBanzai

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Posted 2011-05-11 21:54:41

Was going to suggest ORS but just reread and see you already have.

Edited by BuckarooBanzai, 2011-05-11 21:57:57.


#6 dumball

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Posted 2011-05-11 23:02:52

'happyrobert' timestamp='1305124988' post='4417073']
Cipro. Don't leave home without it if you're eating out a lot.

Take one tab, one time. It's not a healthy antibiotic by any means but is vey effective against food poisoning. If one does not do it, try two in two days. Still not good?--find a better doctor.

Parasite tests are specific. If you don't have a target parasite, they're not gonna find it, outside a few common ones.


[/quote)

Cipro , I was put on that once for a suspect infection , made me feel like a zombi on steroids , terrible drug I will never take again , far better for the hot trots and very effective with no side effects is Loperamide oral , one tablet and all gone , Immodium does not even come close .

For parasites I buy Mebendazole 500mg for the family in the village , also no side effects , the side effects of any medication is what you need to check out , they are often worse than what you started with , the effects of Cipro took over a week to wear off .

#7 Sheryl

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Posted 2011-05-11 23:59:37

Do I understand correctly that you get this every few months? In which case it is a chronic condition and you'd best see a specialist in GI motility disorders. Dr. Varocha at Bangkok Hospital is good. She also has hours at BNH.

BTW ascaris does not usually cause diarrhea, it was probably an incidental finding that had nothing to do with your symptoms and was taken care of with the first does of albendazole.

#8 monekyface

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Posted 2011-05-12 01:13:20

Cipro is not effective for most bacterial diarrhea in Thailand. It is a fluoroquinolone antibacterial and you don't want that. Not only will it kill all of the good bacteria in your body, it will generally not kill the source of your infection- campylobacter bacteria. Azithromycin in a single dose of 1000mg will destroy it. You can get it at any drugstore for 400 baht or so. Google "Thailand campylobacter" and you will find the studies that the U.S. military did on this topic as well as more information than you need to treat your condition effectively and safely.

#9 Reef

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Posted 2011-05-12 11:56:18

Thanks for the info. I decided to not take anything and sleep on it. This morning I've been fine - it's like it never happened. The only different thing I did yesterday was not eat any wheat. This could be incidental - I hope it is, as I really don't want to have developed a wheat allergy.


Sheryl, over the last year I've gotten sick almost exactly every 3 months (2-3 days, symptoms described in first post) and that's not counting the bouts of food poisoning which can happen in between but only last 24 hours. But I've never had something that lasted this long before. However, I feel like over the last few YEARS I've been getting sick a lot, and I thought that when they diagnosed my parasite in January that that might be why - I could have picked it up in Thailand in 2004 or anywhere in SEA in 2007-2008. But the whole diarrhea thing not being a symptom confuses me - the doctor also mentioned this on Monday. Thinking about it though, my illnesses at home were very often more abdominal pain and nausea rather than diarrhea...jesus I don't know.

Anyway, fingers crossed it won't come back. It it does, I'll consider some of the above recommendations. If not, I'm going home for a holiday soon anyway and will follow up with my doctor there.

I don't know what they looked for in my stool test, I live in a place where hospital staff don't speak much English and my Thai does not extend to talking about stool tests!

#10 FBN

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Posted 2011-05-12 14:19:23

A single stool test rarely shows up anything. Organisms that can cause chronic, recurrent diarrhoea include Giardia, Campylobacter and also Amoeba. To make things worse, from a symptomatic and diagnostic point of view, is that you may have developed IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) as a result; that can precipitate an attack with or without a current underlying infection. Some of the recurrent episodes may be due to just that as with the wheat episode. The IBS may also involve a sensitivity or intolerance for certain foods such as wheat or gluten etc.

Stool analysis may help to get closer to a diagnosis but the three organisms mentioned above are most often the culprits. Mention this to your physician in your home country and try and get that excluded. Avoid taking handfulls of different antibiotics at this point, it may only complicate the situation by encouraging overgrowth of fungi or resistent bugs..

#11 Reef

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Posted 2011-05-13 15:27:27

FBN - thank you. That's kind of what I feared - IBS/food intolerance as a result of all of this. Ho hum...the joys of it.
Thanks for your input all

#12 Latindancer

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Posted 2011-05-14 16:50:07

Giardia gives you sulphurous burps......and it comes and goes like yours does every 3 months or so

Edited by Latindancer, 2011-05-14 16:51:02.


#13 yiiim2

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Posted 2011-05-15 17:06:26

[quote name='Reef' timestamp='1305176178' post='4418292']
Thanks for the info. I decided to not take anything and sleep on it. This morning I've been fine - it's like it never happened. The only different thing I did yesterday was not eat any wheat. This could be incidental - I hope it is, as I really don't want to have developed a wheat allergy.


Hi - it is intersting that you were fine after you didn't eat wheat - have you considered Gluten Intolerance? I have a friend who has had it almost all his life but didn't know what he had - he told me that doctors couldn't work out what the problem was until one doctor decided to test for it.

From the internet http://www.femail.co...intolerance.htm the symptoms are:

•Diarrhea (probably the most major symptom).

•Anaemia (from poor iron absorption), along with low Vitamin B12 absorption.

•Weight loss (that may sound good for some, but in this disease it's not).

•Bloating

•Abdominal pain

•Vomiting

•Fatigue

•Breathlessness

Edited by yiiim2, 2011-05-15 17:07:35.


#14 SantiSuk

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Posted 2011-05-15 17:58:25

If you do take antibiotics do not make the mistake of trying to take a short dose. Better to take a 7 day+ course than to give up after 4 days because you are starting to feel better.

I have had a similar 6 month period of recurring troubles with all your symptoms (but then those symptons are pretty generic to many GI problems), kicked off by a nasty bout of salmonella food poisoning. I finally went to a Thai hospital clinic and had stool tests for salmonella and parasites. Negative results so the doc prescribed a 'general blockbuster' treatment, which seems to have done the trick - it removed the severe stuff within 3-4 days and even gave me periods of endorphin flow well-being, but it has taken another couple of weeks for mild discomfort and bloating to clear up, so that over the last two days I can feel infection-free for for the first time in ages.

The treatment was 5 days of Ciprafloxacin plus another antibiotic Metronidazole (no alcohol!) plus the anti parasitc drug Zentel. I have taken Ciprafoxacin maybe 3 times in the last 5 years - never had any of the side effects reported above, although I felt a bit sluggish with all those chemicals rattling around inside me!

[The doc said that if this did not work then he would advise tests on the immune system (inc HIV), thyroid operation and Hepatitis].

It's a bugger getting older - your immune system post 55 is not so quick to kill off lingering bacterial infections and it's a real toss up whether to take antibiotics to speed up the process or hope that your body is going to do the trick. I always let my body have a go at it but my UK GP who I trust told me it is foolish to avoid antibiotics if your body is not getting on top of a bacterial infection after 10 days. He believes that long run infections can do more lasting damage than an antibiotic would. Who really knows though.

#15 BigJohnnyBKK

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Posted 2011-05-16 04:19:12

If you happen to be in Bangkok, I can highly recommend the Tropical Diseases unit's gastro specialists at BNH. They called be back for four separate runs of tests, and finally identified the parasite I'd picked up (from overseas, doesn't exist in Thailand) after two weeks, gave me the targeted antibiotic and I was better within 24 hours - after a full month of misery.

#16 blubberboybob

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Posted 2011-05-16 05:17:36

if you have had any risky sexual encounters get tested for hiv in about 3 months......could be seroconversion.

Edited by blubberboybob, 2011-05-16 05:17:53.


#17 Reef

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Posted 2011-05-19 10:04:05

Thanks again for all the tips. Am considering everything - last week I was convinced it was a wheat/gluten allergy but since then I've been ill on and off and have no eaten any wheat. At the moment, I am fine every second day...it's very strange. My housemate really wants me to go to CM and get some more/proper tests done OR take the cipro...I am confused! It's nowhere near as bad as it was, I don't get headaches anymore and only mild diarrhea every second day. Although on Sunday it was pretty bad and I ended up taking one disento tablet which definitely helped until Tuesday when it came back.. Yesterday I was fine, all normal and today it's back again.
What should I do?!?
Going back to Ireland in 2 and a half weeks - wait to get it sorted out there (expensive/probably won't have a clue) or go to CM and get more tests or take the Cipro?



#18 Reef

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Posted 2011-05-19 10:05:53

if you have had any risky sexual encounters get tested for hiv in about 3 months......could be seroconversion.


Definitely not..am in a monogamous long distance relationship with someone in Ireland..no chance of risky sexual encounters!

#19 Reef

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Posted 2011-05-24 11:28:08

In the end, I took a 5 day course of Cipro, during which I felt great. I decided to try it after getting ill again at the end of last week and the diarrhea continued over the weekend. Only in the mornings though. I felt well again for the first time in weeks. Until last night, when I got such severe cramps/trapped wind after eating, that I was nearly crying. Also, those wonderful sulphorous burps came back after eating something with dairy in it. Continued all night. Had to get up twice in the night to use the loo. Yesterday day, I had about SIX BMs (but no diarrhea) - SIX! Even for me, that is excessive.
So, I've stopped the cipro and am back to thinking about giardia again. Should I go through the 3 stool test thing or just try taking the flagyl?

#20 LindsayBKK

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Posted 2011-05-24 11:54:21

This is an interesting read. Diarrhorea

I take Chinese Poo Chai pills can get from most pharmacies, work fast.
Like little peppercorns so can take a small hand full (10-15)

I also know that alot of people get diarrhorea simply walking into Thai shopping malls and
going back outside into the heat can set people off. Myself a few times, so I tend to avoid
very cold shopping Malls.

But like they say drink lots of water.
Avoid taking too much medication, you do want to let your Immune system do the work for you.
And what works for one person doesn't always work for others, people have to know their own bodies.

Edited by LindsayBKK, 2011-05-24 12:11:14.


#21 Reef

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Posted 2011-05-24 12:38:56

This is an interesting read. Diarrhorea

I take Chinese Poo Chai pills can get from most pharmacies, work fast.
Like little peppercorns so can take a small hand full (10-15)

I also know that alot of people get diarrhorea simply walking into Thai shopping malls and
going back outside into the heat can set people off. Myself a few times, so I tend to avoid
very cold shopping Malls.

But like they say drink lots of water.
Avoid taking too much medication, you do want to let your Immune system do the work for you.
And what works for one person doesn't always work for others, people have to know their own bodies.


Unfortunately, I'm 100% sure that this is not a case of 'traveller's diarrhea' and thus cannot be cured by staying hydrated and fasting for a few days. I know my own body and I know that this is not normal. The problem is my immune system can't get rid of it on its own and that is why I'm posting in this forum. I need advice on pharmaceutical drugs because even though I've grown up with alternative medicine and take everything including grapefruit seed extract, probiotics, prebiotics, disgestive enzymes, colliodal silver, charcoal, homeopathics, herbal remedies, slippery elm, multivitamins, cider vinegar and I've cut wheat, sugar and nearly all dairy from my diet, stopped eating spicy food, haven't touched alcohol for a month, NOTHING has worked!!! Which is why I resorted to Cipro and Disento and am now thinking about Flagyl. These are the things I need advice on because these are the things I don't understand having had absolutely zero experience with any of them - surprising I know considering how often I get ill, but I have always preferred to treat it alternatively. At some point though, enough is enough and I am now at that point - 4 weeks on Thursday.




#22 Sheryl

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Posted 2011-05-24 13:03:50

Please re-read FBN's post (#10). While you almost certainly do need (modern) pharmacological treatment, quite possibly with an anti-infective of some sort, you may do yourself more harm than good by trying to self treat. You need a proper diagnosis from an appropriate specialist. Please see one.

#23 Gaccha

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Posted 2011-05-31 01:01:44

Please re-read FBN's post (#10). While you almost certainly do need (modern) pharmacological treatment, quite possibly with an anti-infective of some sort, you may do yourself more harm than good by trying to self treat. You need a proper diagnosis from an appropriate specialist. Please see one.


This is true.

But with regard to the diarrhoea if very little comes out and it stinks then you can bet your house on giardia. And if you've got that it is very difficult to spot with tests, and the antibiotics are often not effective.





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