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Abnormal bowel function/ intestinal swelling
Nov 14, 2000

For the last year , I have had abnormal bowel function w/ elimination problems. My stools are narrow in diameter & very broken. My regular MD prescribed Flagyl & then referred me to a Digestive Disease Specialist. Should I start taking Flagyl or any other medication? My CD4-350 & VL-4500 & taking no meds since 1985. Also, what questions do I ask the Digestive Specialist to determine the cause of my intestinal infection & if caused by bacteria,parasite or virus? Thank you for your opinion.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

You may have a chronic intestinal infection, or you may have something else entirely, such as spastic colitis (also known as irritable bowel syndrome). There are a number of tests that can be done on stool samples to look for a source of infection -- the GI specialist should know what to look for. With your T cell count, the problem is unlikely to be HIV-related. Your symptoms or the questions you might want to ask won't help you narrow the cause, even if it is due to infection. The only way to find out for sure is to be examined and have the stool tests done for a start. The GI doctor will know what to ask you, so don't worry about that part. I wouldn't take any more Flagyl until you know what you are treating -- otherwise, you're just shooting in the dark.


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