Discussions By Condition: Immune conditions

Diarrhea and gas problems possibly related with my IgA deficiency?

Posted In: Immune conditions 13 Replies
  • Posted By: xyz2814
  • March 21, 2007
  • 10:49 PM

I'm 19 years old and currently at college. I was diagnosed with an IgA deficiency when I was very young. When I moved to college at the end of August last year, I began to have constant diarrhea. I figured it would go away once I was used to living at college, but didn't go away. After awhile I think I accepted in the back of my mind that having it constantly was normal (even though I know it's not). I came home for Christmas Break in December, which lasted about a month, and it did not go away during that time so I cannot blame the school's food for causing it.

This semester I still have diarrhea, but I also have a lot more gas than I used to. I've noticed that this semester the diarrhea is more "pencil-thin" than it used to be. Sometimes the gas would get to the point where it would sound like my stomach is growling, but it wasn't, it was the gas in my intestines that other people around me could hear very well. Once in awhile I'll skip a class because it's so loud, embarassing, and uncomfortable. I tried taking Anti-gas (a cheap version of Gas-X that can be bought at a dollar store near me) which did help some.

After the gas increased, I finally went to my doctor that's specialized with knowledge of immune problems last week to do something about it. I had blood and stool tests, but I don't know what the tests were specifically for (I'm calling the doctor tomorrow so I can add a comment later to list the tests). The main point is that the results came back saying that everything that was tested for is normal. The doctor perscribed Flagyl (I ended up getting the generic version for it) to try to fix this, but it hasn't helped.

Even though I have diarrhea constantly, I haven't lost any weight. It's possible that I'm not eating as well as I could be, but for the most part I've been eating similarly to what I had at home before I got these problems.

I'm aware that my dad has digestive problems and he has IgA so I'm just wondering if anyone else out there with IgA has this. I know my mom has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) so I'm not sure if it could be that either.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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13 Replies:

  • I'm 19 years old and currently at college. I was diagnosed with an IgA deficiency when I was very young. When I moved to college at the end of August last year, I began to have constant diarrhea. I figured it would go away once I was used to living at college, but didn't go away. After awhile I think I accepted in the back of my mind that having it constantly was normal (even though I know it's not). I came home for Christmas Break in December, which lasted about a month, and it did not go away during that time so I cannot blame the school's food for causing it. This semester I still have diarrhea, but I also have a lot more gas than I used to. I've noticed that this semester the diarrhea is more "pencil-thin" than it used to be. Sometimes the gas would get to the point where it would sound like my stomach is growling, but it wasn't, it was the gas in my intestines that other people around me could hear very well. Once in awhile I'll skip a class because it's so loud, embarassing, and uncomfortable. I tried taking Anti-gas (a cheap version of Gas-X that can be bought at a dollar store near me) which did help some. After the gas increased, I finally went to my doctor that's specialized with knowledge of immune problems last week to do something about it. I had blood and stool tests, but I don't know what the tests were specifically for (I'm calling the doctor tomorrow so I can add a comment later to list the tests). The main point is that the results came back saying that everything that was tested for is normal. The doctor perscribed Flagyl (I ended up getting the generic version for it) to try to fix this, but it hasn't helped. Even though I have diarrhea constantly, I haven't lost any weight. It's possible that I'm not eating as well as I could be, but for the most part I've been eating similarly to what I had at home before I got these problems. I'm aware that my dad has digestive problems and he has IgA so I'm just wondering if anyone else out there with IgA has this. I know my mom has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) so I'm not sure if it could be that either. Any help would be greatly appreciated.Your symptoms sound suspiciously like celiac disease and low IgA can be a possible indicator for celiac. Celiac is genetically transmitted, which could explain why your father has similar issues. Have you been tested for celiac? It is a simple blood test. If you haven't been tested, I would see a doctor and get tested ASAP. Good luck.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I forgot to add a reply that I've been tested for problems with bacterial imbalance, paracites, and salmonela. Yesterday (Monday) my mom and I went through my baby book where she wrote down some medical problems I had when I was little. I guess I was lactose intolerant when I was 1 - 2 years old and then it went away. I tried not eating any dairy products and I feel like 80% better. I did some research on lactose intolerance and read that celiac can go with it sometimes, so I'll have to talk to my doctor about it if I don't feel better in awhile. Right now it feels like I've been punched in the stomach which is bothering me, but I guess it's not as bad as having really bad gas. Thanks for the suggestion! :)
    xyz2814 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • I forgot to add a reply that I've been tested for problems with bacterial imbalance, paracites, and salmonela. Yesterday (Monday) my mom and I went through my baby book where she wrote down some medical problems I had when I was little. I guess I was lactose intolerant when I was 1 - 2 years old and then it went away. I tried not eating any dairy products and I feel like 80% better. I did some research on lactose intolerance and read that celiac can go with it sometimes, so I'll have to talk to my doctor about it if I don't feel better in awhile. Right now it feels like I've been punched in the stomach which is bothering me, but I guess it's not as bad as having really bad gas. Thanks for the suggestion! :)If I were you I wouldn't wait to get tested...untreated celiac can increase your risk of many serious complications...it's best to find out as soon as possible!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • My situation sounds exactly the same as yours, except I was diagnosed with IBS before the IgA deficiency was detected. My symptoms first appeared when I was 17-18 yo. I was thouroughly checked out for coeliac and all tests were negative. I also studied Immunology at uni, and remember learning that one of the functions of IgA was to traffic any substance (such as food or pathogens) that passed across mucosal linings of the gut (and lungs) back into the lumen of the gut, to prevent immune reactions and infections and to allow normal digestive processes. Allergy tests showed that while I did not have typical allergic reactions (IgE-mediated, eg a rash) I was basically sensitive to all foods, with the most severe reactions being to artificial additives and highly refined/processed foods (which are more likely to be determined as "foreign" substances by the immune system). I am also sensitive to some air-borne substances such as perfume, and to commensal yeasts that live in the gut to aid digestion. IgA prevents these substances from being wrongfully absorbed by the body, and hence prevents an immune reaction to them. All I can recommend is avoiding any overly processed, artificial foods, keeping your living environment clean and well-aired, and taking Immodium as it is FANTASTIC for maintaining relatively normal bowel function.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 29, 2007
    • 00:46 AM
    • 0
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  • I haven't updated my story on my digestive problem in quite awhile but I did find out some things that you have mentioned. First, I don't remember if I mentioned this in a previous post, but I was checked for celiac in I think July which came back negative. In the last year for my college Anatomy and Physiology class, I had a professor who used to be an OB-GYN but decided to do alternative medicine on her own. I couldn't really see her for alternative medicine during the school year last year since I was in her class. So I finally went at the beginning of this semester. She told me that I had systemic yeast which was kind of like a full-body yeast infection which was making me feel blah but it wasn't anything serious enough to be going into the hospital for. She told me to make a mixed drink of 6 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of collidial silver, 3 teaspoons of maple syrup, and several teaspoons of aloe vera juice. The rest of the drink is to add water and you can dilute it as much as you like. This drink "cleans" me out in the morning so I'm less likely to have problems the rest of the day. It tastes like weird apple cider. The silver kills yeast and bacteria but it's a heavy metal so becareful if anyone uses it.She also told me that my body can't handle processed food anymore which included food that has preservatives and dyes. I just think it's interesting that we both have similar problems and discovered the link to processed food in different ways. I'm going to try to see a GI doctor during my Christmas break since my major is x-ray technician which makes me very busy. How did you get tested for IBS? Do you know if that is something that runs in the family?
    xyz2814 4 Replies
    • October 30, 2007
    • 08:56 AM
    • 0
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  • Hope you're still reading your thread... I too have IgA deficiency & tested negative for celiac, but what I've learned is that the celiac tests usually performed rely on normal levels of IgA in order to be effective. So if you're IgA is low, you may be in the 5% of people who have a false negative result for celiac, and you should ask them to pursue HLA DQ2 and DQ8 typing and a biopsy. I plan to see Dr. Joel Weinstock in Boston. He is a GI specialist at Tufts who is exploring experimental treatments for auitoimmune conditions with gut parasites. I want to ask him if these treatments might boost IgA in people like us with primary autoimmune deficiency. Their is a clinical trial in Australia exploring a link between parasitic therapy and celiac. You can read more here: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00671138?term=hookworm&rank=6 Best of luck & I hope you see this.
    aquila 1263 Replies
    • October 23, 2008
    • 00:44 PM
    • 0
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  • I have email notification so I still keep track of this. I haven't updated in awhile but I actually saw Dr. Mensh who is a GI specialist in Bennington, VT. In June I had a sigmoidoscopy and a colonoscopy. He diagnosed me as having Crohn's Colitis. He said it didn't really fit Crohn's but he thinks it's the best diagnosis for it. I had like an ulcer in my sigmoid region and I had no inflammation on anywhere in my intestine except for parts much deeper. He put me on Asacol 400 mg 3 pills, twice a day. The ulcer is getting better and I've felt much better since I started taking it. He also had me take Metamucil (teaspoon dose) but take it as 1 tablespoon to mix. That has helped me a lot as well. I still have my bad days but I feel almost like my old self again. Good luck to you.
    xyz2814 4 Replies
    • October 27, 2008
    • 02:09 PM
    • 0
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  • I found out that some guys that had similar problem had to remove their gallbladder. Their diarrhea and abdominal pain was induced by the lack of gallbladder functionality so their doctor has suggested the removal. I don't know if any of your doctors mention this as a option?
    Clear-sky 76 Replies
    • December 28, 2009
    • 10:47 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I'm 19 years old and currently at college. I was diagnosed with an IgA deficiency when I was very young. When I moved to college at the end of August last year, I began to have constant diarrhea. I figured it would go away once I was used to living at college, but didn't go away. After awhile I think I accepted in the back of my mind that having it constantly was normal (even though I know it's not). I came home for Christmas Break in December, which lasted about a month, and it did not go away during that time so I cannot blame the school's food for causing it. This semester I still have diarrhea, but I also have a lot more gas than I used to. I've noticed that this semester the diarrhea is more "pencil-thin" than it used to be. Sometimes the gas would get to the point where it would sound like my stomach is growling, but it wasn't, it was the gas in my intestines that other people around me could hear very well. Once in awhile I'll skip a class because it's so loud, embarassing, and uncomfortable. I tried taking Anti-gas (a cheap version of Gas-X that can be bought at a dollar store near me) which did help some. After the gas increased, I finally went to my doctor that's specialized with knowledge of immune problems last week to do something about it. I had blood and stool tests, but I don't know what the tests were specifically for (I'm calling the doctor tomorrow so I can add a comment later to list the tests). The main point is that the results came back saying that everything that was tested for is normal. The doctor perscribed Flagyl (I ended up getting the generic version for it) to try to fix this, but it hasn't helped. Even though I have diarrhea constantly, I haven't lost any weight. It's possible that I'm not eating as well as I could be, but for the most part I've been eating similarly to what I had at home before I got these problems. I'm aware that my dad has digestive problems and he has IgA so I'm just wondering if anyone else out there with IgA has this. I know my mom has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) so I'm not sure if it could be that either. Any help would be greatly appreciated.Hi, I can relate to your condition exactly. After 6 yrs of chronic diarrhea & gas problems, which at times were painful I have finally being diagnosed with IgA deficiency! I went to so called specialists for help seeking alternative medicine over the last 4 yrs. EVEN though my blood test showed up the IgA deficiency none of the doctors picked it up until I went to the hospital for biopsys last week. I am angry at the doctors for not diagonosing this condition earlier as I have spent thousands of dollars on different treatments of which none eliminated the problem. I still have chronic diarrhea & gas, which at times makes a loud gurgling noise, which seems to increase when bending over??? lol It is very embaressing that I have avioded relationships, especially when having to go to the toilet contionuously day & night. So I know exactly what you are talking about & changing diet hasn't helped with the diarrhea but at times I have felt more energetic. I haven't lost any weight as you'd expect but have gained weight which I think is caused by possibly being malnutrition ed as my body isn't getting anything aborbed from my food, as can go to the toilet within half hour? Still waiting for advice from the hospital doctor when results are back cheers A
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 28, 2010
    • 09:28 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi, I can relate to your condition exactly. After 6 yrs of chronic diarrhea & gas problems, which at times were painful I have finally being diagnosed with IgA deficiency! I went to so called specialists for help seeking alternative medicine over the last 4 yrs. EVEN though my blood test showed up the IgA deficiency none of the doctors picked it up until I went to the hospital for biopsys last week. I am angry at the doctors for not diagonosing this condition earlier as I have spent thousands of dollars on different treatments of which none eliminated the problem. I still have chronic diarrhea & gas, which at times makes a loud gurgling noise, which seems to increase when bending over??? lol It is very embaressing that I have avioded relationships, especially when having to go to the toilet contionuously day & night. So I know exactly what you are talking about & changing diet hasn't helped with the diarrhea but at times I have felt more energetic. I haven't lost any weight as you'd expect but have gained weight which I think is caused by possibly being malnutrition ed as my body isn't getting anything aborbed from my food, as can go to the toilet within half hour? Still waiting for advice from the hospital doctor when results are back cheers AI have had IGA deficiency since i was 2yrs old and experience the same issues, so much that i used to avoid going out, i basically have to carry immodium with me everywhere i go. However i try and eat 90% gluten free and this helps quite a lot, i also eat smaller portions more regularly and try not to have too much milk although im fine with cheese. I still experience issues and have to be carefull. The funny thing is considering the amount of diarriah i have i never lost any weight i am slightly over weight like a large size 12 . I also experience extreme tirdness and always feel ill ( but eat to try and feel better ).
    Sushigirl 2 Replies
    • February 7, 2010
    • 04:00 AM
    • 0
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  • I have the same problem as the unregistered user does, i'm going for a colonoscopy in the new year, will see what happens!!! ill post a replay to!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 21, 2010
    • 08:47 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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    • January 27, 2011
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