Anyone heard of anything remotely similar to these severe gut and mental issues?

Answered on December 12, 2014
Created December 09, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Hi, not sure here is the best place to ask but desperate to find help. Have had terrible gas 24/7 for 6 years. Nothing helped lessen it. Not enzymes, not probiotics, not SCD, not Paleo. I always felt the same and then worse as time went on.Terrible sugar cravings that often turned into binges. Anxiety that just kept getting worse.Loads of antibiotics as doctors assumed it was bacterial. Anxiety always alleviated ON antibiotics, worse when I came off. Digestion too.

In March started getting what I thought was gall bladder pain-under ribs on right-but nothing showed up. Started crying after eating anything, even a banana. Sudden onset of tears, extreme anguish, then tears gone, as fast as they came. Juice fast for a few days and that more or less went away, but the intense tears came back every so often. I then took 3 sets of antibiotics between june and august. After coming off flagyl in August, unable to eat due to pain, lost about 10kg in a few days and serious, serious mental disturbances. My gastro even did a fecal transplant just to see if that helped.  

Now, my mental state changes sometimes from minute to minute depending on gas movement. This is not a pain issue as the same amount of pain is completely tolerable if I am in a "good" place. Episodes of suicidal thoughts and extreme wailing, that then passes and I feel like myself or even calmer and more focused than myself. Terrible non stop food cravings one day, then nothing the next day, or nothing for half the day and then terrible cravings come back. Gas is up to my throat and I can feel it in my throat.

My functional Dr ordered a stool sample test. Showed beneficial bacteria is ok (+3 all round-taking prescript assist) and that I have a small bit of candida but its non pathogenic. Extremely high cortisol levels that I can feel coursing through me after eating or up to about 3 hours after eating. My life is utterly unbearable at the moment and, I'm sorry to say, I often contemplate suicide as things are so bad. I want nothing more than to live, but feel ]I have been getting progressively worse for 6 years, at this stage nothing can help, especially as due ot the cravings. I'm really just looking for someone who has experienced anything even remotely similar.

I have always been anxious but this is definitely physiological. Have been to psychiatrists, cognitive therapists, everything to try and work on the mental side. Tears and belching seem to be the only thing to alleviate the sudden depression.  The only thing I can liken the worst of my episodes to is very bad autism. My symptoms change from day to day.

I've had a colonoscopy and endoscopy and while I have had colitis in the past it seems to be gone, bizarrely enough. My ESR (inflammation marker ) was 2 , I have good vitamin D levels but my oestrogen is non existent according to my functional doctor, who has just prescribed me bio-identical hormones. My periods stopped about 9 months ago. I just cannot work out what's going on at all and can in no way have a job or a social life at the moment. I'm sure many people will believe this is all psychological, in fact I did for a long long time, but there is something else going on in the gut even if it isnt showing up. Anxiety started this, but now the gut is running the show. Just looking for anyone who has had something even remotely similar and knows where to start. 

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3 Answers


on December 12, 2014
at 03:15 PM

Sorry to hear about your troubles.  First off, don't do anything drastic. Depression can be in part a physical condition that can be treated, if you're feeling really bad then go see a doctor who specializes in depression (or more than one to get different opinions). Your digestive issues are probably making you feel worse but you might have multiple things going on.

Before I went Paleo I had years of digestive distress along the lines of what you describe but not as severe.  Gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, GERD, etc. in a constant circle. It wasn't really painful but constantly annoying and uncomfortable.  I went in a few times with stool samples and was always told there was something bacterial, I took antibiotics, which helped for a while, then it all came back, often worse.  What finally got me to look into the Paleo diet was I was going to the bathroom like 10 times a day with diarrhea, basically I would eat and then need to go the bathroom about 20 minutes later, I was constantly dehydrated and felt terrible.

When I first went Paleo I was very strict, I completely eliminated all sugars, grains, and dairy.  I also ate nothing but zero-carb breakfasts (basically, two eggs, every day) and went very low carb (less than 25g per day, for reference, a banana has about 20g).  I was very strict about this, no cheats at all for the first 3 weeks, nothing to drink but water, and a little coffee (black).

It was like flipping a switch.  About 3 days into it all of my GI symptoms disappeared. I started to have normal poops for the first time in I think years.  After a couple of weeks my energy skyrocketed, I slept better, GERD went away, my skin and hair got better, my mood improved, various muscle aches in my shoulders and knees went away.

I am not exactly sure what I eliminated that did the trick. Maybe sugars, maybe everything, who knows.  This was basically an "elimination diet", I eliminated everything but meat, eggs, crunchy vegetables, and nuts.  I could have taken it further by eliminating nuts (some people have allergies), nightshades, etc. but at this point I felt way better.  Now, almost 3 years later, my diet is a lot more varied, I am also able to eat more carbs if I'm working out a lot, so it isn't like I had to do this forever, really just about a month or two.

If you want an example of how far you can take this idea, the woman that runs this awesome blog lives almost exclusively on meat, seafood, eggs, and animal fats. You might find some of the other links here helpful, they discuss mental health, depression, digestion, nutrition, etc. and how she overcame some pretty daunting physical problems exclusively by changing her diet:


Going Paleo might be just the beginning for you, and you could be eating something that is Paleo but still causing you major problems.  I would be wary of any antibiotics since gut issues can be made worse by those and cured by other means.

Keep a positive attitude, have hope, and keep looking, the solution is out there.  Good luck!



on December 11, 2014
at 11:36 AM

Yup, it does sound like SIBO or Candida.  You can get tested for those via a lactulose breath test.  Taking prescript assist can help.  If it's a candida overgrowth Saccharomyces Boulardii can help control it.


The problem is if it is SIBO, using probiotics (or prebiotics) will add to the problem.  You'll need to get rid of the SIBO first, then come back with the probiotics to re-colonize your gut flora.


Meanwhile stay away from carbs.  You can use rhodiola, phosohatidyl serine, omega 3s, less exercise, lots of rest to stop the adrenal issues.  When you wake up, take a teaspoon of salt in water and some vitamin C.  You could also use some licorice root tea (or powder) (not the candy, the real thing).  Licorice prevents cortisol from being broken down too quickly, this allows your adrenals to make less and thus calm down over time.  Do not use licorice if you also have high blood pressure, instead, in that case, use DGL.

You can use Alpha Lipoic Acid to calm down sugar cravings, and when you do have a sugar craving take a teaspoon of Glutamine.


The cravings are a strong indicator of either the wrong bacteria in your gut flora, or too much stress.  Stress can be instantly calmed down by sugar, but since you react strongly to it, avoid it.  Instead increase your protein intake so your liver can make its own glucose from protein sources.  Be sure to eat good quality fats with the protein.


You can also use 3000mg L-Tyrosine, 300mg 5HTP, B6, Calcium, Vitamin C, cystine, folate to calm down mood swings.


on December 12, 2014
at 02:04 PM

Thanks so much for all of that advice!


on December 09, 2014
at 09:13 PM

It sounds like you have SIBO or Candida. Try finding a different functional medicine doctor. You will probably get more answers if you edit your question so it is not a giant wall of text.


on December 09, 2014
at 10:43 PM

I assumed my candida and bacteria levels would come back off the charts but they were only +1 and +3 respectively, and non pathogenic. I'm looking for more asistence from other doctors at the moment. Thanks for your answer

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