March 25, 2013

Mononucleosis? Pneumonia? Gastroenteritis? SIBO? Leaky Gut!?

It seems that life has taken me down a separate path for a while.

I am in the middle of discovering what is wrong with me after falling very ill while abroad. So far, this is what I've come up with:

At first I thought I had pneumonia. We know the symptoms and we know that it shouldn't have taken this long for me to recover.

During this time however, I made a post regarding pneumonia or mono, trying to find out what in the heck was going on. As witnessed here:

Then I thought I had mononucleosis. Which I began reading on mono:

and it was a period alternating between "Ive got mono" to "Im recovering from pneumonia and encephalitis" when I really didn't know.

this thread has a member named Dave78 who discusses his situation with mono. It was very similar to mine, especially considering the gastrointestinal issues (also mentioned by another member whose nurse practitioner dx'd post-infectious IBS), which as you know caused me to chase down leads into that arena and will be discussed later.

this is one of the first threads I came across. Pay attention to first post made by the mother describing her sons fight with mono:

It's interesting to note the timeline and similarity in symptoms of her son and my situation during my return and the break. Also, if you follow the thread it's interesting to note a lot of the similarities in certain symptoms such as the brain fog and the fatigue. There is also mention of Chronic Fatigue syndrome. Of course that worried me, especially since there is a correlation of people who contract mono and eventually develop CFS. so I looked into CFS as well.

Side note: It is interesting to note the undertones of people's diets, exercise, and supplement regiments throughout their recovery. They seem to experience relief when following healthy diets high in vitamin c and low in sugars/refined carbohydrates. People who end to at least try to exercise seem to recover faster. People who supplement with natural herbs such as Echinacea, garlic, vitamin C, vitamin B, and more.

Side note on thoughts at time: there was no linkage between low iron found and mono, at least that I could find. There was a correlation between low WBC and mono. 

Side note on correlating symptoms: Fatigue, breathing difficulties, malaise, loss of appetite, brain fog (zoning out/difficulty concentrating), balance issues, dizziness, depression/anxiety, lethargy, changes in bowel movements, weakness. Symptoms that do not correlate or I did not have: sore throat, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, insomnia, enlarged spleen, nasal problems, elevated liver enzyme count (? possibly), cold hands and feet, 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I was hoping it wouldn't (and still won't be) CFS but this is one of the first articles I read:

On page two there is mention of the XMRV retrovirus which is present in all CFS patients. Also interesting to note is the relationship between CFS and Fibromyalgia(FMS). Which I am starting to develop symptoms of such as joint pain.

This is a list of symptoms correlated with CFS:

Noteworthy symptoms include: Gastrointestinal disturbances, hormonal disturbances, and of course the fatigue/exhaustion/tiredness and un-refreshing sleep

After we discovered it was not Mononucleosis, AIDS, Cytomegalovirus, Parvovirus B-19, Hepatitis, etc., I Posted this updating my online circle of where I was at:

Gastroparesis and post infectious IBS:
Gastroparesis is basically an infection of the bowels. This was probably my spell of diarrhea that lasted around 1 week.

*This study confirms a 100% correlation in patients with Fibromyalgia and SIBO:
It is interesting to note that 84% currently have IBS. The GI Dr. I saw in Cookeville confirmed that my symptoms sound like IBS. 

So.. SIBO?
I didn't believe it at first. It seemed so vague. But I read articles like this:

After she complains a little she gets to the good part:
"30 year olds don't get this," I thought. Not so. 30 year olds who travel abroad get this. It seems the little trip I took to Greece over a year ago is the culprit. I got horribly ill with a stomach bug while there (gastroenteritis? food poisoning?"

Also, the link between post-infectious IBS. Which I have been diagnosed with (tentatively as of 3/25)

Further down in the article: " Mostly I learned that tons of people with IBS are walking around with SIBO and don't even know it. For years—decades, even! Their quality of life suffers, and this is something that's treatable. It's even curable in some people! And not only that, but SIBO leads to other conditions like rosacea, acne (ahem, yep), even fibromyalgia"

The scary part is this "It seems that bacteria like to bore holes in the small intestines, allowing toxins to leak into the body. So that leaky gut idea from doctor #1? Not all wrong, but again—not a diagnosis. A symptom. And that leaky gut leads to autoimmune responses in the body (like food intolerances)"

And this is not just speculation on the author's part, this is backed by information I've found in different places through reading about this.

A lot of patients who have SIBO also have IBS symptoms, this is seen in many n=1 of people who started having IBS issues and other issues similar to mine that began to worsen

My symptoms were matching up in a significant way, I thought "Bingo"

If I meet most of the risk factors for post infectious IBS and there's some relation between IBS and SIBO, as well as a correlation with people who fast for prolonged periods of time, and I'm showing symptoms related to it, then I have a good chance of having this.

SIBO Videos:

SIBO Resources:

The resurgence of the thyroid?
At one point, I did think I had thyroid issues due to my extreme diet, exercise, and fasting regiment. That was mitigated when thyroid levels were shown to be high, 0.86 and 0.97. It was surprising then, that my TSH returned a 1.43 value this round, which the Endocrinologist mentioned, is low, but not low enough to cause symptoms. Reaching out I posted this:

More reasons as to why it might be a thyroid concern are at this site:
There have been other symptoms relating to Hashimoto's as well.

Tying it all together: This video helps explain kind of where I'm at in thinking how this all manifested. Why I'm more "OCD" and "Depressed" and "ADD" now. Because I had Gastroparesis. 

along with the SIBO thing have me concocting this theory about bacteria, but I'll have to focus on that more after I get better.. It basically involves the current thoughts behind disorders like ADD, depression, dyslexia, autism, etc. but I'd be interested in exploring whether there is a connection to body composition as well. Maybe because certain bacteria in there digest and ferment food in a certain way that gives your body more or less of a nutrient (macro or micro) leading to overall health and maybe that's why humans are either A) developing diseases like Diabetes and obesity, Celiac's etc. or B) slowly adapting to this higher carbohydrate diet as witnessed in populations like Asians and the French. Maybe there's no paradox at all, they just have a predisposition to certain bacteria that "digest" carbohydrates better. But again, I need to look into that later.

Anyway, why does this "GAPS" diet exist? Well it turns out there's a lot of correlation between GAPS symptoms & SIBO symptoms, and "Leaky Gut"

Leaky gut symptoms I've had my whole life: Eczema, slight rosacea/facial flushing.
But, I'm starting to develop more after the gastroenteritis (fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, trouble breathing, reactions to foods) and some of these are getting worse! It needs to be stopped now!

Leaky Gut Video(s):

And all that is why I'm fairly positive I have Leaky gut, caused by SIBO that was caused by gastroenteritis, that was caused by an extreme regiment of diet, exercise, and other external stress factors such as travel abroad, school, etc.

Interesting reading:
*interesting studies done on circadian rhythms; section titled "our research on fibromyalgia"; treatment sections lists liberal intake of vitamin water to help ease symptoms and caffeine, nicotine, have adverse effects. fits my n=1
                ->From what I have read and understand, I am convinced FMS is caused by intestinal permeability b/c of the constant onslaught of "toxins" being introduced into the bloodstream which causes this constant stress response.