T Nation

I NEED SOME REPLIES

Dear T-men, I have not been able to get to the bottom of my digestion problems. Whatever it is that is hampering me. Has taken all of 10 years of hard hard work in only 1 year. If you passed me by on the street you never know that I once deadlifted 550lbs, had 18inch arms, and was generally satisfied with my training. As a matter of fact like most everyone on this site I loved all aspects of training and nutrition. I devoted most of my life to it. now I feel so far away and deep down I feel unhappy. I dont know how it happened, I just started to feel bloated when I ate than before you know it I was barely unable to eat anything, bam my muscle was gone in a jiffy, and the softness just came on replacing hard earned muscle. I have spent so much money with doctors and consultations, with so called experts. I dont know what to do. i went to the gastroenterologist, he said your bloodwork is fine so your fine and gave me aciphex despite not having acid reflux problems. The only doctors that dont dismiss my symptoms that actually listen are the natural type and they all say they have the cure, more money etc and I get nowhere, I just lose muscle with each try. I was advised to go on a alkalizing vegtable juice diet, but that didnt help. I have tried so many supplements to aid in digestion, enzymes, hcl, etc, but nothing. I did a consultation with charles poliquin, he said I probably have yeast or parasite overgrowth,combined with adrenal fatigue and to get a cdsa stool analyasis to kill off any overgrowths. i dont know how common that is. I f any one has any adivce, experience, or knows of anyone who can help please help. I am a t-man oldschooler, that was here from the first 10 issues. Imagine if you lost all your training and was so weak to workout becaus e you couldn?t eat, wouldn?t you feel your life was over.It sucks seeing this site grow and not be able to enjoy itl.

Judd: sorry to hear about your troubles. Since you’ve already been to doctors that I’m sure have much more experience with this sort of thing, I think it would be hard for anyone to give you a definitive answer via the internet. A few questions/suggestions though:

Have you had a celiac sprue (aka gluten enteropathy) workup done? I think the d-xylose test is one of the diagnostic tools, as well as biopsy of the intestinal epithelium. It’s an autoimmune disorder in which your body attacks the absorptive layer of the small intestine and the result is villous atrophy and malabsorption. Villous atrophy refers to the destruction of the small fingerlike projections of the epithelial cell membrane. This causes a loss of surface area available for absorption of nutrients. I think another test for this is the anti-gliaden antibody. Let me know if this has already been ruled out so I can research further for you.

Another suggestion would be a probiotic acidophilus supplement.

If parasites are suspected, your doctor can perform a stool sample analysis for ova and parasites. Some parasites do not show up in the stool, however. Have your docs ruled out parasites?

Can you describe your symptoms pertaining to your GI problems further? You can PM me if you want.

Judd, I feel you…I’ve had TWO incidents similar to yours that have caused me to quit training and in general feel like shit. I’m going to relate the first to you to see if maybe your situation is similar.

In college, I injured my groin area on a leg press machine. I never did stop running on it, as I played baseball and was struggling to keep my spot on the squad. One day I woke up with a pain deep in my abdomen, just to the right of my navel. I went to eat that morning and vomited, and couldn’t keep anything down for weeks.

I went to a doctor, who put me on a bland diet…no relief. He sent me to a GI specialist, who ran all of his tests (upper GI, lower GI, endoscopy, colonoscopy) and found nothing. He said I had “Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” despite the fact that I had no diarhea or constipation…just that constant pain and nausea.

Finally, after two years, I went to the Mayo Clinic. They, too, ran all of the tests, but before I met with the GI specialist there. They found nothing.

As soon as I sat down with the GI specialist, he said ‘you don’t have a digestive disorder.’ He said ‘you have constant pain and nausea, and GI problems don’t work like that…with a GI problem, you’ll have at least some periods where you feel okay. Have you had any injuries?’ I told him of my groin area injury which still hadn’t healed, and he said ‘I’d say you have an abdominal wall problem.’ He diagnosed me with ‘abdominal wall pain’ and sent me home with a script to meet with a pain clinic.

The pain clinic gave me a cortisone shot right into the center of the point of the abdominal pain. The next day, ALL of my nausea was GONE. All of the pain was gone. After a few days it came back, and it was explained to me that the shot I had been given was more of a diagnostic tool than anything else…that if I got relief, that would reaffirm the Mayo Clinic’s diagnosis.

Well, sad to say, but no MRI or CAT scan showed an exact injury, so no doctor would ‘open me up’ with an exploratory surgery to see what could be done to fix this. Instead, I began to try and strengthen these muscles with a good core program. I don’t have 100% relief, but I feel much better with less pain and only occasional nausea.

Now the reason I related this story to you was because in my search for a 100% cure I’ve read numerous articles where GI doctors basically said ‘GI specialists are making a mistake in overlooking abdominal wall problems when diagnosing patients with difficult to figure out disorders.’

So, do you have any localized abdominal pain? Did you have any injuries around the time that this began? The doctors at the Mayo Clinic believed that chronic pain, especially in the abdominal region, could be a big cause of nausea/digestive upsets.

There’s a book called “The Metabolic Diet”. It might shed some light on your problems…

That sucks, man. Good luck.

Anyone else with replies, It all helps guys! I really appreciate it.

My two cents, for what they might be worth. I’m no professional, but for about five months I had an eating disorder when I was doing my university finals, over a decade ago.

A few months before exams, I was ill for about three days, high fever and all, and afterwards had no appetite for a while, felt a bit sick when I ate: The normal recovery from a flu-type thing. But this didn’t go away, and got worse until I felt ill at every meal, sometimes even the smell of food, and often had to throw up after eating cos I couldn’t keep it down. I lost about 40lbs very quickly, lots of it fat, but more of it muscle. People (not who knew much about training) thought I must be dieting really well, but others noticed I was wasting away, had no energy to get to the gym, and was in a bit of trouble.

We all assumed I had some kind of bug or virus. Tests found nothing. Treatments did nothing.

But I mentioned to one doctor that I had exams coming up, and so I needed a quick fix. He reckoned that stress causing it, worries about exams and so on. I had developed a psychological problem that was expressing itself through my eating, or not eating. A few trips to a cognitive psychologist taught me how to deal with nausea ‘in the field’, and how better to tackle the issues underlying it, and I recovered in a matter of weeks. It wasn’t easy, but I just had to break the habit, and deal with the problems properly.

I got back to training pretty quickly, I’d lost loads of strength, muscle, and a lot of motivation. I was so SMALL and WEAK - not what I wanted to be. But attitude is what caused the problem in the first place, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to let it cause any more. Part of being a T-man is battling against any obstacles, and that’s what I did.

So what I’m saying is, you may be the hardest training, biggest eating guy in town, but it may be your mind, and not your body, that is letting you down. If you have problems in some other area of your life, or your subconscious, they may manifest themselves in unexpected ways.

Judd,
Your problem sounds very similar to my past problems. I used to be in very good condition when I got out of the Army in 1993. Then through laziness my gym time slowly dwindled and my eating habits turned bad. Bad eating habits screwed up my digestive tract real bad! I was bloated and sick all the time. At least once a month I had the runs and when I didn?t have that I was constipated. After about two years of this I must have seen every doctor in Arizona to get it fixed. They all said exercise and eat more bread, grains and vegetables and stay away from animal flesh, and take this pill for the pain. I just got worse! It was to the point that I was pretty much addicted to pain killers, and was fat and weak with no desire to do anything. So I looked up my symptoms on the web and found out that my digestive tract was packed full of sludge of some sort. So I read about this holistic plan to rid the human body of toxins and it would flush out my lymph nodes and sweep the sludge out of my intestinal tract. Since I had tried everything else that the medical community said and got no where I tried the holistic approach. That plan I used was called The Master Cleanse.
Now I am a firm believer that exercise is a cure all. But it was not working for me. So I gave this Master Cleanse Mumbo Jumbo a try for the minimum time it says (10 days)
Now this plan sounds really hokey but it works for me like a charm and a lot of people swear by its health re-generating powers.
First off you must FAST for 10 days straight! That means NO food! Look I know what you are thinking because I was thinking the same thing the first time I read it but bear with me.
During these ten days all you are allowed to put in your body is.
Willard Water
Organic lemon juice
Grade B Maple Syrup
Cayenne Pepper (Liquid extract)
Sea salt
Water
Super Cleanse pills by Natures Select (Powerful Stuff)
Fiber ( I use Fibersol by HDT)
Thats it. So here is how the plan works.
Squeeze the juice out of one lemon or use a juicer. Add two table spoons of grade B Maple Syrup. Add 8 to 12 oz of water. Add 5 to 15 drops of Cayenne Pepper. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Willard Water.
Mix this concoction together and drink this whenever you get hungry. This is what you will be living off of for 10 days. This drink is very tasty.
Now here is why you drink this.
Organic Lemons are supposed to have one of the highest concentrations of vitamins; Grade B Maple Syrup is rich in mineral content, Cayenne Pepper extract breaks away mucous and adds a nice spice to the drink, Willard Water is a weird substance that makes water in the body (Wetter) and promotes the bodys natural healing process.
What we are after is to get the body to repair its self. No doctor can repair the body better then the body its self. So we must give the body the proper blocks and energy to do the repairing. The repairing your body will be doing is cleaning! If you dont clean behind your couch for a year you will be surprised what ends up back there and under the cushions.
It takes energy for the body to digest food. But it takes minimal energy for the body to process a liquid. We dont want the body to waste energy processing food because we want the body to cleanse the digestive tract. So what we are aiming for is 3 to 5 bowel movements a day! When you achieve this you will feel AWESOME!
So here is how it goes down. Or comes out. (Joke)
You start on Friday night. Before bed Friday, take the super cleanse pills like the directions say.
When you wake up Saturday morning you should do drink the intestinal bath drink before you do anything.
The intestinal bath drink is nasty shit! It is 2 teaspoons of SEA SALT (Must be sea salt not iodized salt!) and 32 to 40 oz of water mixed!
Now you just mite puke when trying to drink this shit but it will work wonders for your GI tract. Just make sure you get 32 oz down your gullet! Now sea salt water has the same molecular weight as blood so your body will not be able to extract the sodium out of the water or the water out of the drink so it will just pass it through the GI tract. This will take about 1 to 2 hours so get out a good book. You will feel a little nausea but keep it at bay and let the drink get into your GI tract. For me to keep the nausea at bay I just take a little walk in my back yard.
When you feel like you are going to fart, DON?T! Go sit on the crapper then fart otherwise it will spray down your leg! Yes just incase you guessed it the Sea Salt drink comes out the other end just like you drank it, Liquid. So be prepared with an ample roll of soft ass wipes!
Now I will only recommend the Salt water drink on Saturday morning cause you need some 2 hours of private time to do this. Not good for working days. After you have drained your self of the salt water go drink a double serving of the fibersol fiber. Throughout the day take two more double servings of fibersol. When you get hungry just drink the lemon juice concoction. Youre first few days you might drink 8 to 15 glasses of this juice. Its ok. Drink as much as you like because it will not hurt. At night before bed take youre Super cleanse Pills according to the directions on the bottle.
Sunday-Friday just do the fiber and the lemon juice through out the day. Remember the goal for the week is 3 to 5 bowel movements a day.

Now I did this over two years ago and still do it every 6 months. When I first did this plan I did it for 21 days straight because I was real sick. You would not believe the amount of filth that was stuck in my body. I also lost over 25 pounds. When I started working out after the 21 day fast my body responded like I was a beginner again. Now when I fast I dont really loose that much LBS. Most of the time its 5 to 10 lbs but I get that back real quick after I get back into the gym.

When ever I start to feel like crap (Flu, stomach ache, stress) I just give the Master Cleanse a 2-5 day go and I am as good as new. Also this fast has helped me get a better feel for the way my body feels so now days I hardly ever get sick and my bowel movements make me feel great! I also just heard the other day that this is the same plan Robin Quivers from the Howard Stern Show used to drop 50 lbs in 2 months. Shes supposed to be looking real hot now and couldnt be any happier with her health! This program is not new. Its been around for some 50+ years. If you want to read the book on it the author is Stanley Burroughs.

Here is a link to the master cleanse kit.

Good luck and I hope this helps you if you give it a try. It works for me.

You might want to read “Restoring Your Digestive Health,” by Jordan S. Rubin, N.M.D., and Joseph Brasco, M.D. Also check out an HSO supplement called Primal Defense.