Monday, February 10, 2014

Four Fs

This post contains TMI!

Four Fs
Fat, female, flatulent, forty. A mnemonic with clinical currency as factors classically associated with cholelithiasis and acute cholecystitis
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
This past summer, while we were on vacation no less, I started having a most embarrassing problem with excessive flatulence.   Not only was it excessive, my loved ones, who suffered in the van with me, described it as if something had died inside me and was trying to get out.  The smell was really that bad.

At the time I blamed it on being lactose intolerant and apparently unable to remember to take lactase enzyme pills before having ice cream.  And since we were on vacation, there was a lot of ice cream.

However, the problem has continued to plague me and those around me ever since.  It doesn't happen daily, but frequent enough to be problematic.  The only saving grace is that it seems to be limited to occurring in the evenings, so I don't often have to deal with it while I'm at work.

Just over 2 years ago I had been having pains under my rib cage on the right hand side.  The pain could be so bad as to double me over in tears at time.  Again, it wasn't happening regularly and I was never able to associate it to any specific food or trigger.  The suspect was gallstones so I was sent for an ultrasound.  By the time I had the ultrasound, the pains had all but vanished.  In the last year I think I've only had one or "attacks" and never as bad as they had been.

Now, with the onset of the "Four Fs" I am once again wondering about gallstones as the culprit.  Gallstones, lactose intolerance, Celiac disease or mystery infections from travelling the world seem to be the prime culprits (outside of eating beans, beans the musical fruit) for excessive, odorous flatulence.  Since I haven't been outside of Canada in 10 years and I can't link up cause and effect with eating a specific food, gallstones have become my current self-diagnosis.

Of course the next step is to talk to the doctor.  Hopefully we can get this under control before Liam and Hilary ask me move out!

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