hello everyone. not sure where to begin, but i'll do my best to be succinct and relevant. i've been going downhill steadily for the last 2 1/2 years. I am desperately looking for direction and help; any possibilities or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
the short story:
- extreme thirst/cravings for specific nutrients (potassium, sodium,
magnesium, calcium, sugar, vitamin c, omega oils)
- brain fog
- gastrointestinal upset (prolonged belching spells, periodic diarrhea)
- shortness of breath upon light exertion
- difficulty concentrating or performing any mentally-demanding tasks
- full-body weakness at times
- i have seen several doctors including GP's, gastroenterologists, nephrologist, and endocrinologist with no real results or progress.
if you feel like reading more detail, feel free to read the long version below.
the long story:
i'm going to focus mainly on my more recent and extreme symptoms as they are very odd and i feel that they could provide the biggest clues as to what might be going on.
my most recent set of symptoms (for the last 12 months) deals with wild thirst/cravings for several nutrients: potassium, sodium, vitamin c, calcium, magnesium, sugar, omega oils, and others that i am unable to pinpoint. these cravings are strong enough and loud enough to cause my lips to dry up, turn pale and eventually crack and bleed if i dont quench the thirst. my tongue and throat take on the texture and feel of rubber when i am experiencing this. depending on the type and severity of the thirst, my body is very aversive to water--my taste buds reject it, my stomach tells me it is too full to take in any water.
I have my arsenal of foods and supplements that i carry with me everywhere i go to deal with each craving: potassium chloride, table salt, blackstrap molasses (magnesium), milk (calcium), kiwi/strawberries (vitamin c), ground flaxseed (omega oils), lentils (unknown nutrient). needless to say, it is quite a hassle to make sure i always have my grab-bag fully stocked to get through a day at work or out and about. if i try to ignore the cravings, they only get stronger and i subsequently feel worse physically and mentally until i satisfy the craving (brain fog, fatigue, irritability, bloating). I can go to bed with a strong craving for calcium and wake up desperate for a glass of milk in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning; in other words, i've given my body time to see if the craving will pass or if something else can substitute, with no success. I need to satisfy these cravings to make it through a day at work or perform day-to-day tasks; when i try to ignore the cravings i am physically and mentally of no use as i feel so awful.
the purpose or function of the cravings seems linked to my GI tract. Very often when i begin to satisfy a craving my stomach begins to rumble and i can feel my intestinal tract moving and churning... subsequent to this i often feel a very noticeable lift in my physical and mental state. Sometimes satisfying a craving will lead to a bowel movement which varies greatly from solid and well-formed, to watery diarrhea, to my personal favorite: acidic burning diarrhea from the bowels of ***l that leaves me in severe pain for several minutes afterwards. other times immediately upon drinking/eating what i am craving i begin belching profusely for sometimes 10-20 minutes straight, this will relieve some bloating. every day the cycle continuously and randomly alternates between cravings, with occasional periods of feeling satiated and/or being thirsty for just plain water.
i have been to several doctors, with not much in terms of results (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, low vitamin d). i have seen a gastroenterologist and been tested for a handful of things including celiac disease (all antibody levels came back negative except for “Gliadin IgG Antibodies” at 28.6). I also tried a gluten free diet for 6 months and did not notice any improvement in my symptoms. I was given an antibiotic for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and did not notice any improvements. i was referred to a nephrologist to have my kidney function checked, again everything came back fine. i am pretty much at my wit’s end as to what is going on or how to get back in good health.
the only things that seem to make sense are some form of malabsorption or an organ not doing it's job efficiently and therefore requiring tremendous amounts of certain nutrients. i really have no clue. any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.