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Had food poisoning. Is there any chance of having GI?

Answered by
Dr. Grzegorz Stanko

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 5770 Questions

Posted on Fri, 4 Jan 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I recently had food poisoning(I assume) from eating some bad beef jerky(i assume), it was the last thing I ate in a time period of 3-4 hours(seems fast acting, so Im now i doubt), it could have been other. To continue, that evening i suffered from severe diarrhea, and vomiting from 11pm till the sun came up at six thirty, so 7 hours of intermittent, but continuous vomiting followed by diarrhea, which at some point was pure water, no color, no particulate matter... the vomit ceased to have any substance except what i assume was bile, just mucous, yellowish, liquid. No fever. That morning diarrhea and vomiting stopped, but I just couldn't eat or drink much. My stomach, related muscles and throat hurt(some of the vomiting was self induced to rid of what was in stomach, and or what felt like pressure;maybe not recommended..?) After about 15 hours after I was able to drink liquids, water and Gatorade, but not much food... this continued for almost 2-3 days. I was in bed, in house for almost 5 days. No energy, tired... I just slept and drank liquids and a smattering of food(soup, XXXXXXX sauce, rice, cream of wheat) When I got on the scale 6 days after onset,(I'm a body builder, trainer, work out 7-12 times a week, very low fat, very lean, norm about 180-185lbs), I had lost almost 15+ lbs... dropped to about 165lbs. Since onset, after the first week, my apatite has returned, but very picky, my sense of taste is very odd, I get gassy a lot, smelly flatulent's. Feelings of bloat. Tired by about mid-day. Pasty taste in mouth(dry)... I'm back training, (intensely), my weight is slowly climbing, back to 174, but still 8-10lbs off my norm. I'm eating a lot(trying to regain weight, maybe eating too much..?) High carbs, high protein, maybe food too complicated for a derailed system...? Im taking a high quality pro-biotic's, lots of water, a fiber substitute(was just reading to stay away from high fiber?) and vege/greens Juice for vitamins and minerals,(i dont eat lots of natural vege's, so I juice them). Its been two weeks since episode... my biggest complaints are the gassiness, burping , farting , feelings of bloat, pasty mouth, odd taste reactions, ravaging hunger at times, and tiredness.( these symptoms feel out of the norm for me). I've no fever, relatively consistent firm bowel movements with color(not white or pale, nor green), no diarrhea or vomiting, no blood in stool, no headaches.... Its just that my GI track feels 'off'... and my body is very reactive to many of my usual foods, which are very simpleto begin with. Basically I feel off. And its been 2 weeks. Should I see my doc(no insurance), should i be alarmed or concerned. Is this recovery time 'normal', Are the GI issues im experiencing normal for such a violent episode of sickness and weight loss in such a short period of time? Ive been reading on various infections including HAV and Jaundice, but my skin is fine, no yellow, eyes are normal... recommendations and thoughts..?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 2 hours later

Thank you for the query.

In some cases such acute digestive tract infection does not recover completely and turns into severe intestines infection (assuming that your symptoms were really caused by food poisoning). Such sever infection may more or less disturb digestive tract and in some people can cause IBS. After 2 weeks it should be no sign in your digestive tract of regular food poisoning. So the time of recovery is quite long.
If it is about jaundice, usually it is invisible outside the body and can be noticed only with blood work. The urine gets darker with jaundice and it can be more visible than skin color.
Your recent weight lost is probably caused by dehydration, total stool clearance and lack of solid foods for some time. And adding all up we can get 15 lbs or so.
I suggest you to try Rifaximine 400 mg three times a day during 7 days treatment. This is an antibiotic which helps with such severe infections and can give total recovery. If this treatment wont give any relief, you should have some diagnostics. Stool tests, full blood work, liver tests and bilirubin blood level should be checked at first.

Hope it will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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