Naturopathy/GI issues

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Question
Hello Dr. Conner!
Health questions can be so awkward sometimes, ya know? Thanks for offering your help :)

I have ongoing issues with excessive gas and diarhhea. I'm 28 now and as a child I was notorious for my bad gas, which was a hoot for all the other kids! I have sought help from my naturopath and two different allopathic MDs who all asserted that I am pretty much normal. They say that because I'm vegan I eat more fiber than most folks and that produces more gas.

It's possible, although I'm not convinced that's all. It embarrasses me and I have to avoid certain situations for fear of passing gas. Sometimes I experience an itching/burning sensation as well. I have diarhhea at least three times a week. I also have bacterial vaginosis that I can't get rid of, which I feel is somehow related to this GI issue.

I did a candida cleanse last year, which significantly alleviated all these symptoms. Shortly after I went back to my normal diet the symptoms recurred.

Do you see a pattern here? I am about at my wits end!

Answer
Hello Fran,
I could not tell for sure without taking your full case, but it seems likely that since you experience other GI symptoms besides gas, vaginosis, and had some relief with a candida cleanse, that your system is not functioning optimally.  Even amongst vegan or other high fiber diets, persisent gas with significant odor is a sign that other issues are present.  This may not result in a diagnosable pathology, more suboptimal functioning.  Ideally, I would suggest that you find a practitioner near you who can investigate a functional GI disorder.  If you cannot do that, there are some steps you can take.  First, figure out what about the candida cleanse was beneficial.  Sometimes it's a supplement you took during it, or may be the diet changes, or elimination of something else.  You may be able to find this out by doing one of those things again for at least 2 weeks on it's own and find out if symptoms change.  Then you would continue with doing that for 2-6 months until your GI system is better in order.  I know that may sound simplistic, but in reality that can be quite a few steps so guidance of a practitioner would help.  If you've not had success with your current practitioners, it may be worthwhile to look for additional guidance or maybe find a ND or holistic MD who is highly experienced with GI issues.  
In health,
Dr Conner

Naturopathy

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Kristina Conner, ND, MSOM

Expertise

Naturopathic Medicine, Oriental/ Chinese medicine, Nutrition, Natural Family Medicine, Detoxification/ Cleansing, Herbal Medicine, Natural Remedies, Acupuncture

Experience

Licensed Naturopathic Physician for 11 years Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, IL

Organizations
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, member Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians, member and Secretary

Education/Credentials
Bastyr University, doctor of naturopathic medicine University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine, residency in family and integrated medicine National University of Health Sciences, master of science in Oriental medicine

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