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Suggest remedy for flu and unintentional weight loss

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Posted on Mon, 22 Dec 2014
Question: It all began with a flu-like illness which made me panick and thought it was HIV. I had a low grade fever and loose stool for 1 day. A week after, the symptoms returned really strong with fever, muscle ache in my arms, headache, diarrhea and fatigue. I stopped sleeping, became very depressed and stressed, very anxious and experiencing panic attacks. Exactly a month later, I woke up with a sore throat, clear mucus dripping down my throat (still have it today-white post nasal drip), fever, aching muscles and loose stool. I got tested for HIV at 2.5 months (Elisa blood, negative) 3 months (oral swab, negative), 3.5 months (4th generation, negative) and 6 months 1 week exact (rapid blood, negative). In addition, my doctor did a physical exam and everything came back normal. I saw an ENT for my postnasal drip and was prescribed antibiotics and nasal spray. In addition, I saw a gastroenterologist who diagnosed me as having SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) based on the classical symptoms of lower stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloating and gas. I was given a special antibiotic for 21 days and most of the symptoms went away. Moreover, the gastroenterologist checked for thyroid, diabetes, pancreas, vitamin b12 and vitamin d. The results indicated that I was Vitamin D deficient. Recently, I had a colonoscopy and the doctor found a polyp and inflammation, waiting on the biopsy results. My main concern is that I am losing unintentional weight, so far lost 15 lbs in about 6 months which worries me so much. What other test can be done to rule out any other problems with my health???? I am so depressed.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (19 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth causing weight loss

Detailed Answer:
Hello

Thanks for the query

I am happy that you have got all the investigations done and that everything is normal.
It is the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth that is causing weight loss however the other tests to be done are Serum cortisol, S testosterone and whole body PET scan.

For SIBO I suggest

1. Eat a cup of plain yoghurt everyday, it acts as a probiotic
2. Probiotics in the form of tablets like Tab Sprorolac, VSL-3 are useful, they have to be taken for 3 months
3. Eat smaller meals and carbohydrate rich diet
4. Avoid high intensity cardiovascular exercises

I hope I was of help, if you have any further queries please get back to me

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (11 minutes later)
forgot to mention that I had an O/P test to check for parasites which also came back negative. However, I am confused about the SIBO, I am not having any symptoms related to the bacteria overgrowth. Except, there are times that i feel fatigued, minor bloating after eating, my stool is either soft/loose with undigested food or hard (constipated). I've noticed that when i eat, i don't feel satisfied or full after any meals, as if something is robbing my food. Two weeks ago, i was gaining weight, and all of a sudden my weight dropped. I am so concern about this weight fluctuation, its like i can't maintain a stable weight anymore. People ask if I am following a diet, and i feel so uncomfortable. I thought you should avoid carbohydrate food with SIBO. All I want is to regain my weight back.

Are you familiar with bacterial overgrowth? you can't eat a carbohydrate rich diet because apparently it will feed off the bacteria and not my body. However, I am not having specific symptoms to SIBO (at least not digestive). I am experiencing more fatigue, weight loss, breaking out in the face, slow cut healing probably from low zinc and soft/loose stool with undigested food, sometimes bloating/gas, post-nasal drip. I need a specialist that can help with my symptoms and provide me some medical professional feedback so I can ask my doctor to conduct additional testing.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (50 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Follow up

Detailed Answer:
Hello

Thanks for getting back

I am familiar with SIBO, it is quite common in my country and I treat it all the time. In your case I don't think one should restrict carbs as you are already losing weight. The bacteria eating off the carbs is just a hypothesis.

I think you need more investigations done. Please get ANA, XXXXXXX and a whole body PET scan as well. I would also biopsy the colon and the gastric mucosa to rule out malabsorption syndromes . If these tests come back as negative too, i recommend you to meet a dietician for changes in your diet. Please don't worry too much about SIBO, follow the instructions I have given you in my earlier post, it will definitely help you.

I know it must be very annoying not to get a diagnosis, if I were to be your doctor I would have admitted you for a complete body check up. Opd basis diagnosis is a little hard.

Regards



Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (10 minutes later)
Thank you Dr. Rakesh!

I am very worried because i thought my weight loss was due to HIV, but after 4 negative test results within 6 months, it should be ruled out right? My doctor said the 4th generation test is 99.9% accurate at 90 days and I tested negative almost at 4 months and then again after 6 months. So you will agree that my weight loss is due to SIBO?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (21 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Not HIV

Detailed Answer:
Hello


All doctors have become very scared and they only give information on whats available on papers. I feel we have come to a point that we forget we are treating patients and not figures or results.

If at 6 months you have undergone 4th generation tests for HIV then rest assured you do not have HIV, dont worry about it.

Your weight loss could be due to the following

1. SIBO
2. Diet related weight loss
3. Malabsorption syndrome

The ideal doctor to meet would be a gastroenterologist

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (13 minutes later)
Dr. XXXXXXX Madhyastha,

I feel a lil bit more calmed after speaking to you. I will continue speaking with my Gastroenterologist and follow your advice on those other testing to rule out any other health issues. To be honest, for the past few months, I have thought about malabsorption syndrome since my stool have undigested food and the weight loss does not appear to be HIV related. I have a follow-up appointment with the GI doctor to obtain the results from the biopsy of the colonoscopy. I will ask to do further testing as you recommended.

Thank you so much for your professional feedback.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (24 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Follow up

Detailed Answer:
Hello

Thanks for the kind words, it's always nice to hear sweet feedbacks

Please don't forget to get back to me regarding what your gastroenterologist had to say, in the meantime I will speak to the GI doctors of my hospital as well

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (7 minutes later)
Yes, Dr., will do! My appointment is not until Dec. 15th, but I will definitely follow up with you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (1 minute later)
Brief Answer:
Follow up

Detailed Answer:
Hello

I wish you good health and a speedy recovery

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha

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Practicing since :2009

Answered : 4360 Questions

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Suggest remedy for flu and unintentional weight loss

Brief Answer: Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth causing weight loss Detailed Answer: Hello Thanks for the query I am happy that you have got all the investigations done and that everything is normal. It is the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth that is causing weight loss however the other tests to be done are Serum cortisol, S testosterone and whole body PET scan. For SIBO I suggest 1. Eat a cup of plain yoghurt everyday, it acts as a probiotic 2. Probiotics in the form of tablets like Tab Sprorolac, VSL-3 are useful, they have to be taken for 3 months 3. Eat smaller meals and carbohydrate rich diet 4. Avoid high intensity cardiovascular exercises I hope I was of help, if you have any further queries please get back to me Regards