Pretty bad medical issues but broke, advice on how to proceed?

TL;DR down bottom

Hey guys, hope this post is allowed.
I am not looking for medical advice (unless you have some, a pm would be appreciated. If its against the rules, then no medical advice is required)
But I am getting pretty desperate, and am not really sure where to turn to for advice. Heads up if youre eating, I talk about my bowel movements in case I put you off your lunch :(

After getting food poisoning Thailand 8 months or so ago my stomach has been really bad.
Some days I go to the toilet about 7 or 8 times a day to do number 2. Its loose, like basically water.
Sometimes there is slight stomach pains (not as bad as really bad indigestion), most times I just feel tired and lethargic, sudden urges to go to toilet but no real pain in the stomach.

Some days are better than others. I can go a few days with relatively normal bowel movements (I still go 1-3 times), but it always comes back.
There have been periods of up to 2 weeks where I have loose bowels every single day, and I am on the toilet 6+ times.

I have lost my job because of this issue, too many sick days and nights staying up till 3am on the toilet.
While at work I took too many toilet breaks and left early too many times.

Every single day I am dehydrated and I feel weak constantly.

Things I have tried:
Edit: forgot to mention in original post the GP game me antibiotics already, I don't recall what they were
I have gone to my GP, he has ordered several blood tests.
(test for celiac)
Nothing has come back out of the ordinary, aside from high Iron levels.
He seems at a loss to what it could be.
I have been referred to a gastrologist however I cannot afford the colonoscopy and consultation fees as I am paying rent, bills, food with centrelink at the moment.
I have tried cutting out milk, in case I am lactose intolerant.
No luck.
Tried cutting out gluten, in case I am actually celiac.
No luck.

What are my options when I have no money right now?
Can I go to the hospital and ask for help?
Is there some kind of centrelink assistance?
I feel weaker by the week.

Thanks everyone for taking the time.
Sorry about the weird post, I am not sure who to ask.

TL;DR : Have loose stools 6+ times a day for 8+ months after getting sick in Thailand.
GP is not much help, lost job and unable to afford gastrologist consult.
What are my options?
Can I go to the hospital and ask for help?
Is there some kind of centrelink assistance?

Edit. Thank you for all the responses. I actually feel really heartwarmed everyone took some time out of their day to give me some assistance.

I will go to another GP tomorrow and explain my situation and get some stool samples to see if it is a parasite or bacteria.
I will also ask for a referral to a public health gastrologist.

Thanks again for all the replies.

Comments

      • Hope its not colon cancer damn

        • +2

          I was diagnosed with bowel cancer (stage 2) in June last year and all the symptons and tests you've done and described were exactly the same as what I went through. Hopefully you don't have bowel cancer!

          Initially I thought it was IBS and I was doing the elimination diet (FODMAP) to try and find/eliminate the cause. A couple of months later I was rushed to the ER due to intense pain in my lower abdomen, where a ultrasound was done which revealed the cancer.

          In my case there was no family history and I'm <40 years of age. After several surgeries & 6 months of chemo I'm in the clear now.

          Hopefully your diagnosis is better

  • -1

    Wow given all uve been through and loss of income and health, if I was not the type that 'feels bad' for others, if another GP shows its a parisite or bacteria that can easily be diagnosed and treared, i would have prob sued the 1st GP for negligence

    • i would say the op would be negligent for not getting a second opinion. His GP id his best and referred to a gastro. So easy for patients to blame someone because it's easy

      • +1

        im not blaming anyone, im not going to sue anyone lmao.

        Just want to stop pooping :)

        • lol even if you tried i dont think you'll win. He did the right thing to refer you on,,,but seriously you should see a different GP , one who has experience in gastro disorders if you can't afford a specialist or if it takes long

          also you can apply for centrelink online (just abit of pain but should take you 1-2 hours to do) then simple interview and get a gp to say due to medical iillnes you cannot job seek.

  • +3

    Had Pretty much the same situation a year ago. Went overseas came with some nasty bugs. GP gave antibiotics twice(Which he shouldn't according to the specialist). The specialist suggested a low fodmap diet. I have also had a colonoscopy just to make sure everything is fine. This is going to be a hard and long journey to recovery. I have used an app called FODMAP developed by Monash University (Paid app cost around $10 bucks). Once you start following the diet strictly You feel better but don't stop. When I stopped following the diet and started eating other food the symptoms came back. I thought I will never get cured. I think I followed the diet for almost three months and start introducing other food slowly. Now I am completely recovered and can eat everything. My specialist suggested me to take probiotics with more strains. Once your gut flora is restored you will be fine. Just thought of sharing my experience. As everyone else suggested, try to see a specialist make sure everything else is fine. Good Luck

    • +1

      Ah awesome that sounds good, ill keep that in mind. hopefully its nothing permanent.

      • Please just get checked for weird parasites before you go on a restrictive diet, they are much more easily fixed (i.e. giardia!)

  • last time i went for a colonoscopy and endoscopy, total cost was $350 at a private hospital. see if centerlink can help you out with it. go to a GP and get them to refer you. i didnt have to pay for consultation.

    otherwise get on the waiting list for a colonoscopy. it might take about 6-12months. at least you'll be registered if you cant make other plans to get it done elsewhere.

    • You can actually get a personal loan through Centrelink too.

  • sounds like Giardia or something of the sort, surprising the first doctor did not do stool testing after you've had symptoms for so long.

  • Yeah as senzen said, I think once you've had damage to your gut, you need to painstakingly repair it. I got something, viral, broke out in hives so bad they left bruises for 8 weeks! and this comes from a person who had never had an allergic reaction in their life!

    About the 6th week in my bowels basically went goodbye. I was overseas on a work visa at the time, can't say the service got was great but that's another story.

    What worked for me:

    • limit 1 to 2 meal a day. Breakfast just a little bit of oatmeal. Dinner was an oven bowl of baby potatoes/sweet potato, brussel sprouts (these are really good for healing your gut!), little bit of corn and some chicken (sparingly so). It was barely even a meal to start with. It's been a year since and i still have to be careful but i can eat 3 meals a day now. No alcohol too.

    Anyway, completely anecdotal but it worked for me. As others have said though you should get all the checks done.

    You could also try:

    • prebiotics (sauerkraut)
    • probiotics
    • digestive enzymes or smoothies/juice (take out some of the work for your gut)
  • There was Insight show episode related to gut issues. You should definitely watch it. It is rhe one from 14 March

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/tvepisode/is-the-gut-the...

    I hope it helps.

  • Follow the advice of the GPs* above. Get the poo tested.

    *Also I believe I have found whose resposible for broganning all the Tesla Model S's and Svalbard water.

  • Sorry to hear about your situation. I don't have any medical advice but suggest you call your super fund to see if you have salary continuance insurance. You may be eligible after a waiting period. All the best

  • As with everyone else - go to a better gp for stool sample. I got food poisoning in Phuket (I even remember questioning the chicken skewers but decided the vodka would sterilise my insides. Wrong!). Since then I’ve had ibs. I ended up going to a gp, after nearly hallucinating with 3 nights no sleep because of cramps (getting up 20+ through the night).

    1st step, enema (not fun, best relief) then stool and bloods etc. doctor got me to try Monash diet, and add thing snack in slowly. ended up with a weird allergy to commercial peanut butter, some hot chips and watermelon (one bite = no sleep that night). Essentially a fructose strain. I had bad cramps for months which got worse but a good gp fixed it up

    Now some advice. Go through good GP for a referral etc. if it’s serious enough (which this is) look at getting an early release of super. This can pay for medical treatments. A specialist gastroenterologist should be about $400. Get a credit card or something. Once you get a quote from him for a colonoscopy then you can apply for a super fund releaSe. I’m guessing you don’t have PHI so that’s going to be a problem.

    • What was the outcome for you?

  • +1

    If your GP hasn't done a stool MCS OCP and PCR then he or she is a crap GP

    get a new GP who knows how to investigate properly

    could be a parasite
    could be IBS

  • Do you have Income Protection insurance? Chances are if you have Super you have default IP cover.

    Check your policy, you might be able to at least get some supplementary income while you are unwell.

  • +3

    Pain for 8 months, and just getting worse now …
    Sounds like you're pregnant 😄

    Congratulations!

  • Until you have repeat stool cultures proving otherwise, there is a reasonable chance you have parasites in your stool.
    You are concerned it may be coeliac but say you can't afford the endoscopy - in this case just remove all gluten from your diet. It won't hurt you if you don't have coeliac disease but it may help if you do…
    See a second bulk billing GP, preferrably one with travel medicine experience.

    • Should get tested before going gluten free if coeliac is suspected

      • He says the medical advice recommends endoscopy which he says he can't afford. So he's back at square one.

  • -2

    This is not medical advice.

    IBS is just a term used when the doctors have no idea.

    I find that Ki (which has ginger and angiographis) which is normally used for colds actually helps with nausea and any lower GI symptoms. It's about $18 from chemist warehouse. Angiographis can be used for GI complaints if you do an internet search. But this is me, up to you if you try it out or not. Box says for colds and flu but that's what it is marketing at.

    Or try some of the traveller formula probiotics (I ahven't read the whole thread so sorry if this has alreay been suggested)

    • +3

      IBS is not a term used when doctors have no idea. It is a diagnosis of exclusion and the current theory behind it is dissynchronisation of the very complicated myenteric plexus (nerve network that is wrapped around your guts). It frequently appears after viruses and traumatic events - the gut-brain connection is a high-yield area of research right now.

  • -1

    This happened to me, I went back to Thailand and pharmacy gave me a course of ciprofloaxcin, last resort medicine. The problem with Australia is they are very conservative with antibiotics but you picked it up there you need something strong

  • +1

    Is there any tenderness of your lower abdominal area (looking down towards your belly button on the left hand side) when you are having these symptoms? E.g. you push it with one finger and it hurts a lot.

    • It hurts a little bit? More than the right hand side?
      Why?

      • Worth speaking to a doctor but that could indicate and infection in your lower intestinal area. One common illness is diverticulitis where foot gets stuck in pockets formed in your digestional tract and causes infection. However if you had this you probably would be in a lot more pain.

    • Choice username for this thread.

  • Do you recall what you ate there?

    Ask your Doc first about this….but try and see if fasting can help, may kill residue bacteria that keep forming with the little food you eat, it's Ramadan anyway

  • +1

    Any update OP?

    • +1

      Just went to a new gp,have to do stool samples and urine test.

      • What was the urine test for if I may ask? Doc only did stool for me.

  • You can try

    Immodium medication to stop the runny … Eat as prescribed.

    Coconut water / isotonic to replace your body fluid

  • +2

    Please keep us updated

  • +1

    Did you get any results from stool or other testing yet?

  • +2

    Time for an update!

  • I had something similar 20 years ago. Started with food poisoning. Green faeces (bile), felt pain from the moment I woke up, felt like my insides were on fire. Had a colonoscopy and various tests, all reveled nothing, and I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel syndrome. Pain went away after 6 months though it occasionally returned.

    After a lot of reading I now think it was a bacterial infection. Trouble is the gut is already full of bacteria. Sometimes they just get out of balance.

    • They can do a poo transplant for that now. Can be life changing for some people apparently.

  • Jesus Christ, I don't mean to scare ya mate, I'm not a doctor by any means but loose bowels for that long with no respite from antibiotics or dietary changes sounds pretty bloody serious. I think you've already waited too long. You need to go to a GP and demand everything they can do to get you seen by someone ASAP. No ****** around with your health.

    How long did you cut out the dairy and gluten for? It can take up to months for dietary changes to start kicking in while your body recovers. All too often people try skipping dairy in a few meals or days and think it's not working because the problem is still there. It took me almost a year of a strict diet to see real results from ongoing gastro issues. Be patient and committed. Try taking herbal supplements in the meantime too. Probiotics, soothing tea, slippery elm are all amazing for bowel issues.

  • An update
    TL;DR down bottom

    I went to the second doctor, she ordered basically the same tests as my original doctor.
    Said nothing came up and said it was IBS, and to see a dietician.

    I was certain it wasn't just IBS.

    Went to a third doctor (My original family doctor from basically 10 years ago), and he ordered some tests, basically the same as the first two but we also did CT scan and a breath test where I blew into a silver balloon.

    Turns out I have helicobacter pylori and diverticulitis, which most likely is what is causing my stomach issues.

    I'm on a course of antibiotics, and a few other meds. Only started yesterday.

    Hopefully i Can stop pooping 247.

    Thanks again to everyone for the help.

    TL;DR third doctor ordered CT scan and breath test and found that I have helicobacter pylori and diverticulitis which is probably what is causing the constant pooping.
    On antibiotics now.
    Ty for help :)

    • Still seems an odd constellation of symptoms, but I suppose the grumbling chronic infection with diverticulitis rather than an overt acute infection could give you long term diarrhoea and pain rather than acute pain and pooing blood. Trial by treatment now, as those both require rather specific antibiotics. If you get better, then its probably just that.

      Hope it turns out well.

      Are you getting scopes?

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