15 years ago I started having digestive problems, horrendous abdominal/pelvic pains (similar to hard labor contractions), diarrhea, tachycardia, fever, nausea and sudden urgent incontinence (I was 18 years old). It was completely unpredictible and put me in the ER 3 times within the first 3 years. After a barrage of tests I was diagnosed with IBS and mild lactose intolerance. As time passed the frequency increased and I adapted as best I could. Because I could not find a "trigger" for the attacks, I simply deduced that when anytime I ate, I was at risk of an attack so I would limit my eating habits to only when I knew I was going to be safe at home or if I was going to be away from home for a substantial amount of time I would simply fast for 24 hours prior. Basically for 10+ years I became an argophobic who ate only once a day. However, because I did still need to eat the attacks persisted. At one point I was hospitalized for severe intestinal inflammation (they were ready to remove a portion of my upper intestine due to inflammation) for three days and not permitted to eat or drink anything during that time. A day after I left the hospital I was rechecked for inflammation and it had completely subsided (which apparently ruled out crohns). The diagnosis was the same, but I was cautioned that if I had anymore attacks I should dial 911.
During this time frame I had 4 pregnancies, 3 of them had placental complications (previa & abruptions) while pregnant I could not take prenatal vitamins due to my stomach and was directed to take Flintstones as an alternative, but it was discovered by my perinatologist during my third pregnancy that I was B deficient and I was given monthly B12 shots. I was rechecked for the deficiency 6 weeks after delivery by my GP and told it was on the low end of normal ranges.
After years of frustration I started wondering if my stomach issues were causing me to not metabolize certain vitamins (B) and looked into conditions that can cause that. I came across Celiacs and 2 years ago decided to give gluten free a try and I have not had an attack since. However, in the last year my hair has started falling out and I have had unrelenting eczema. My diet has significantly change but, I am actually able to eat more now than ever before (and lost 60lbs.) and feel better than I have in 15 years. I have spoken to my doc about this and was tested for a number of potential causes, all of which came back normal. Again I started looking into vitamins and came across Biotin...which is a B vitamin and now I am wondering if my stomach issues were a cause of a deficiency or a symptom? I have tried multivitamins and specific B vitamins as well as increasing my protein intake, but honestly it doesn't seem to have any effect. I can deal with hair loss if that's all that it is, but I am concerned that it may be a symptom of something else.
Anyone have any thoughts?