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On clindamycin for a skin infection. Developed IBS. Feeling fatigued and heaviness in head. Any advise?

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Neurologist, Surgical
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I am a 28 year old male, otherwise in good health. About 7 months ago I was prescribed clindamycin for a skin infection, since then I have developed IBS. I got tested for cdiff twice (4 samples in all) and it was negative each time. To deal with the IBS, I have started probiotics which have helped. About two months back, I took a multi-strain probiotic for about two weeks, it contained ( L. rhamnosus, L. helveticus, Bifidobacteria Longum, L. Casei, L. Plantarum, Lactococcus Lactis, B. Breve, Pediococcus acidilactici, 5Billion CFU in all). Since then I have been occasionally experiencing what can be described as brain fog. I also feel a slight heaviness at the top of my head and a slight fatigue. It makes it difficult to concentrate on mentally challenging work, but not to the point where I am forgetting stuff. Also, when the fog is strong I get a slight feeling derealization and depersonalization. Also it seems to be present some days or some times of the day. It tends to be more severe on days when I have slept less. I stopped the probiotic about six weeks ago but the condition persists. I have had a CBC and thyroid (T4 and TSH) testing done in relation to the IBS about a month back and that was completely normal. Since this started after taking the probiotic and some people have mentioned such side effects from probiotics, I am quite sure that this is due to the probiotic. My GI symptoms have improved considerably since then and I would say that I am close to normal as far as GI problems are concerned, however I have been left with this brain fog. My GI doctor referred me to a neurologist whom I will visit next week. Currently, I have increased my sleep and rest and started meditation, to reduce stress or anxiety and I am planning to start fish oil capsules and a multi-vitamin. Please advise.
Posted Fri, 19 Oct 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Vineet Saggar 1 hour later
Dear Friend,

IBS is common symptomatology in patients with anxious personality. The kind of symptoms of forgetfulness and depersonalization you are experiencing is a testimony of that. I think instead of visiting a neurologist you should see a psychologist and get few counselling sessions done because it will take care of neurological symptoms as well as IBS also in few of the cases. As regards to your query that these symptoms are due to probiotis, I think not and if your symptomatology is taken care by counselling then I think you will not require probiotics.

Hope this helps you. Do let me know if you have more concerns.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: On clindamycin for a skin infection. Developed IBS. Feeling fatigued and heaviness in head. Any advise? 5 hours later
Thanks for your reply. My IBS was caused due to antibotics killing the good bacteria and not due to anxiety and my symptoms have greatly reduced over the last two months and I would say that I am 90% cured of it. During my IBS, I was under stress and anxiety and worrying whether I had Crohn's disease etc. but all those worries have greatly reduced as my IBS symptoms have significantly improved and hence I am a bit sceptical of the anxiety diagnosis.

I have also taken steps to reduce anxiety/stress by sleep/rest, exercise and yoga, though it is early to tell if there is an improvement. However, I find it hard to believe that the brain fog and fatigue is being caused by anxiety alone, especially when my IBS related worries have greatly reduced. Also while I had stress/anxiety, I never had any panic attacks. While anxiety might be exacerbating the problem, I thing there is some other underlying cause.
Answered by Dr. Vineet Saggar 5 hours later
Dear Friend,

I am not sure if there is any other underlying reason for your brain fog. It is really difficult without a proper neurological assessment. The Neurologist may find or may not find anything.

However my suggestion would be that, there are a group of people who are more sensitive to stress. The fact that you have to take de-stress session and use relaxation techniques suggest you are a type A personality that is anxious personality. Not all people have IBS after taking antibiotics, people having anxious personality are more prone to it. You can undergo personality test to validate it. And if proved you can undergo counseling.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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