Avatar universal

SICK FOR 3 YEARS AFTER THAILAND - Asthma, Fatigue, Colitis, Gastro

Hi everyone,
I am so desperate for answers as I have been sick for 3 YEARS and am not getting any better! I can't stand living like this :( PLEASE HELP!!!

About Me:
-27 years old
-Never smoked, 1 drink of wine every 3 months? No drugs
-Normal Weight
-No major health issues before a trip to Thailand (except i had lots of minor colds/strep/dental surgeries etc. when i was a kid so lots of antibiotics; still felt very healthy 99.9% of the time and had tons of energy); was in good fitness.

3 years ago I went backpacking in Thailand/Laos for 6 weeks and did lots of things that I probably shouldn't have…. (drank smoothies (ice) and ate at street vendors, played with stray dogs/cats/other animals, ate at questionable establishments, walked barefoot, etc. and partied a lot!). About a week after trekking in Northern Thailand, I got sick with a respiratory illness:
- Severe cough (felt like i'd break a rib) – green stuff comes up *had bronchitis several times when i was younger so i didn't think much of this
- Chills
- Fever
- Aches/Weakness
- Runny nose & congestion
- Hives
- Nausea
- Headache
- Stomach pain

I used OTC cold medicine which I got at a pharmacy there for about 5 days but my cough stuck around. I felt ok otherwise. After 3 weeks of this, I went to see my family doc in Canada and was put on antibiotics for bronchitis. No change. Then put on steroid inhalers which I used for about 2 months and still no difference. Cough wasn't as bad anymore but it was still there and I developed post-nasal drip which bugged me all day every day. I also kept feeling like I just couldn't expand my lungs to get in enough air and I couldn't run anymore which was a HUGE passion for me before my trip :(  

About a month after I got back, I started having tons of weird problems that all started around the same time:

-LOTS of gas every day to the point I would look pregnant, constipation (I go 1-2x per week, only a tiny bit), stomach cramps, malabsorption, bloating, weight gain esp in legs of 15lbs, occasional mucous in stool, random stabbing pains throughout my intestines every day lasting 1-3 seconds, occasional diarrhea, feeling like stuff is moving around my intestines (bubbles moving up??), sometimes undigested food (usually corn). Also got sick again about 1 month after I got back and puked like clockwork every 20 mins for 5 hours, lasted 4-5 days (was puking nothing but green bile by the end). Endoscope/colonoscopy 1 month ago: LYMPHOCYTIC COLITIS (but I don’t match the symptoms of this). INTENSE cravings for sugar/bread – can’t seem to stick to any diets.

SEVERE brain fog (feel like I'm in a dream every day and just not registering things, forgetting stuff (short and long-term), new anxiety, new mood changes, ADHD (diagnosed about 8 months after i got back), new depression, EXTREME FATIGUE!!!! Weird personality changes (disconnected, moody) that last a month or so if I take Tylenol 3. Sometimes get debilitating tension headaches that usually last 48 hours.

Intense weakness, pain after minor exercise is extreme and can last 4-5 days, restless legs, tinnitus, dry eyes, random sharp stabbing pains in places all over my body, cannot get fit no matter how hard I try, very dry hair, sometimes get blurry vision

Female Stuff:
Irregular periods that last a week but I only get a tiny bit, blood with clumps, very brown. LEEP Surgery for CIN-II even though I had Gardasil 3x.

- Ear/Nose/Throat scope – saw the mucous stuff in my throat, which is what I cough up daily (it’s clear now). Doc said its gastric reflux, antacids for 6 months did nothing
- 2 bad lung function tests that were not diagnostic; POSITIVE METHACOLINE TEST FOR ASTHMA (inhalers do nothing)
- Normal Chest X-Ray
- High CRP (fluctuates though)
- Low Neutrophils, slightly Low RBC, slightly high WBC, anemic
- 5-6 stool parasite tests and stool culture – negative
- Negative Lyme, rickettsia, stronglyiodes
- Negative celiac, lactose intolerance
- Normal TSH, liver function, pancreas function, kidneys OK
- spit test thing was normal for lung bugs (was sent to lab)
- Estrogen normal

Infectious Disease Dr (doesn’t know what it could be)
4-5 general practice Dr’s who just shrug it off
Ear Nose Throat Specialist
Naturopath (hence leaky gut/candida treatment that did nothing)

** Waiting on referral to see an Internist, who knows when - Canada healthcare system at work here :)

- 1 week of metronidazole 500mg, three times daily (doc gave in case Giardia was hiding – never came up on any tests though)
-       Inhaler for asthma; steroids for asthma
- Candida diet (1 month); Adrenal Fatigue treatment; Leaky Gut Treatment
- Anti-ADHD, anti-depressants did nothing to improve energy or mood
- Humaworm parasite cleanse (2x)
- Juice cleanse (5 days)
- Gluten free for 1 month
- Probiotics (lots!)
- Fibre supplements

I take multivitamins (high B vita's), omega 3, 3000-4000 ius Vit D, CoQ10, calcium, Iron (only recently), 5000mg glutamine to help gut. Have a copper IUD (put in past month) so no more BCP.

8 Responses
1415174 tn?1453243103
Hi and so sorry you have all these problems. I am not a doctor but can try to give you advice. I read your post several times and it is difficult to figure out because you have had several tests done. I don't see that you have had tests for Lyme and the coinfections. You may want to test for these. Igenex and some other reference laboratories test for these organisms. Lyme, Bartonella, Erhlichia, Babesiosis. Also, you don't have night sweats or relapsing fevers right? I would rule out malaria. They don't test for this on a regular stool test it is a blood test. Also, since you had a lot of antibiotics you could test for Clostridium difficile but usually they won't unless you have a lot of diarrhea. Some of the symptoms sound like Helicobacter pylori as well. They don't always catch it on endoscopy. So for H. pylori you could get a urea breath test. Low white blood cells can be  several things but a viral infection or parasitic infection would do this. Bacteria usually goes up. But Lyme is sort of different since it invades and hides in the lymph nodes. These some things to start with. Maybe there is something else you can think of?
Avatar universal
Virtually everything you describe I or members of my family had in Thailand... and they are symptoms of a heavy parasite infestation (roundworm...etc.). For example, my dad had a mysterious chronic bronchitis... found out it was actually parasites making his way through the lungs...etc. We were also so weak we could not get up from the bed (this is roundwork in your gut sucking blood and nutrients). I had diarrhea for months, along with severe fatigue, breathing problems...etc. Turned out to be all parasite problems.

What you need is anti-parasite medication (sold in Thailand, don't know about Canada). Do anything you can to get it, it will likely clear everything.

Bronchitis, fatigue...etc. (and other mysterious symptoms) all disappeared within 24 hours after taking anti-parasite meds.

Eating street food, walking barefoot, petting street dogs...etc. are all  high risk activities in Thailand virtually guaranteeing you will get yourself into lot of trouble.
Avatar universal
So you know, this is the med I took:

I went from bronchitis, diarrhea, severe fatigue...etc. to good health in short time.

Later I did a complete treatment just in case, 2 pills morning, 2 pills evening, 3 days... and repeat in 3 weeks (because of potential eggs).
Avatar universal
Great, thanks! I'll look into it. I did a course of mebendazole which is similar but not identical. Things have bee a tiny bit better since then but by no means fully resolved. Is there any way to get this without a script? Doctors won't prescribe be anything unless the parasite shows up on lab tests...
Avatar universal
You can get it in any pharmacy in Thailand without prescription.
Avatar universal
I see that this was posted in 2015, and I was wondering if you have found any answers or solutions to your problems? I ask this because I got back from a 3 week Thailand trip in December of 2016 and have noticed about 80% of these symptoms in myself and they're only getting worse with time... let me know.
jjohn93, Yes if you think you may have a parasitic infection, you really should try to get tested. They have an antibody test they can do on blood (serum) if you haven't been treated yet for the parasite Strongyloides. Also, they can look for other parasites in the stool because often you may have several parasites at once if you were contaminated with one. So, it is fine to the antibody test for the thing but better  to get  a stool test a couple of different days apart to look for the larvae or other parasite eggs in the stool . These are microscopic so you can't see them with your eyes. That way you can get the correct treatment and not just throw some medication at it (self treat). You don't know if you are treating with the right medication and killing all the parasites.
Avatar universal
What are symptoms
Avatar universal
Hi! I know this was posted years ago. Were you ever able to find an answer to your health issues? And how are you doing now? I ask because my story aligns too well with yours. I've seen every specialist in my medical network, have had countless blood work and two colonoscopies/endoscopies, CT scans, X-rays etc. No answers. I've been very sick for nine months now since Thailand and am getting progressively worse.  I hope you're doing better xx
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