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Biopsy Results Are Back...this Is Hilarious!

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Ok, so I've continued to have D even since going gluten-free...my symptoms are much better and the other things (dizziness, rashes, water retention, horrible bloating and a whole host of other things) went away but the D still persisted. I had a colonoscopy last week to rule out other problems...it turns out that I have some weird form of colitis (can't remember exactly what she said, I'll have to ask her Monday). They told me last week that everything looked OK, so I was pretty much over my huge fear that it was cancer, but I was thinking probably it was IBS which means that I'd just have to live with it. Then I get the biopsy results today.

So the miracle cure for this form of colitis is.......(drumroll please).......*Pepto Bismol*!!!!!!

Pepto?!? Really?!? The dr. seriously says that taking Pepto 4x daily for 8 weeks will cure me of the D that has been making my life miserable for years now. Pepto! Who knew?

Has anyone else had this happen? Did the Pepto really work? It *is* gluten free, right?

I'm still LOL over this one. Pepto!

"I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" -Psalm 91

gluten-free since January 26th, 2005

Feeling up and down, but better!

Mommy of a gluten-free 8 yr old, a 6 yr old who (much to her dismay) will be gluten-free soon and a 2 yr old who is so far symptom-free. Contemplating putting the whole family on the gluten-free diet since crumbs have become my nemisis!

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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There actually could be something to this.

This topic came up in the OMG thread a few months back.

Someone posted info about the active ingredient in Pepto (Bismuth) being effective against the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease. There was a study about bismuth and its effects on lyme in the GI tract. The bacteria was sensitive to bismuth and it did seem to be effective in reducing the bacteria load in the gut.

I believe there was also some mention of Bismuth being used as treatment for H. Pylori as well.

If the Pepto is effective in reducing symptoms there would more than likely be an infection its working against.

heres some info. I found...

Borrelia (Lyme) organisms are exceptionally sensitive to bismuth preparations. Bismuth is one of the most potent substances for killing the spirochetes.

A number of studies have been done on the use of Bi-EDTA against borrelia, primarily against Borrelia duttonii which causes East African Relapsing Fever. Most of the studies occurred in Italy in the 1950s. The studies repeatedly found that bismuth was active against these types of organisms. Antispirochetal effects were found from oral dosing of 25mg/kg in mice. Subcutaneous administration resulted in complete clearance of the spirochetes from the system within 3 days.

The researchers in this instance were looking at treating borrelia infections of the GI tract and so used ranitidine bismuth citrate, which is normally used to treat ulcers accompanied by Helicobacter pylori infection. A colloidal bismuth subcitrate formulation (De-Nol) is used to treat similar conditions such as duodenal ulcers and works in part by inhibiting campylobacter organisms (as well as H. pylori) which cause gastritis and damage the mucosal lining of the gut.

Bismuth is strongly active against numerous bacterial organisms. It was used in the 19th and early 20th centuries by the Eclectic botanic physicians primarily for gastric complaints, diarrhea, and so on, much as it is used today. Pepto-Bismol, in fact, is a form of an old treatment for gastritis and came into existence about 1920 and has sold well ever since.

In spite of its broader antibacterial actions bismuth is mostly used in healing for treating GI tract disturbances, infections, and ulceration. The primary over-the-counter (OTC) bismuth preparation is Pepto-Bismol (liquid or tablets) or its generic knockoffs. Such formulations contain as the active ingredient bismuth subsalicylate.

That was bits and pieces of info. I took from this page..


So yes...Pepto Bismol does have some capablity for treating infections in the gut and strengthening the mucosa in the gut.

IBS does not mean "I just have to live it". It actually means that you are having symptoms and the cause for those symptoms is unidentified...or undiagnosed. There is always a cause for the symptoms....IBS is just a label...its not a diagnosis.

The colitis could also be caused by infection....which would be why the Pepto could relieve symptoms.

"There has always been the concept that a single infectious etiology might be the cause of Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, but to date no single bacterium or virus has been linked with either disease. What is clear, however, is that bacterial flora within the gut, at least in a secondary way, perpetuate the inflammatory process in Crohn's."

Greenberg cites several lines of evidence, including studies from his own center, on the effect of specific antibiotics, which he's found to be particularly effective in helping to control the inflammation of Crohn's disease. His initial data suggest improvement or remission in up to 63% of Crohn's patients treated with antibiotics. "More and more the concept is emerging that bacteria do play an important role, and that selected antibiotics are quite helpful in the management of patients with Crohn's disease," Greenberg notes.

Dr. Freid recently saw an 8-year-old girl with blood in her stool, a typical symptom of ulcerative colitis. He prescribed medicine to calm the inflammation, but he also sent a tissue biopsy off for analysis. Surprisingly, it revealed an active Lyme infection. He put the girl on antibiotics for a month, and she made a complete recovery. "That's not the nature of ulcerative colitis, which would come back. But an infection would go away if treated properly. I thought it was fascinating."

Neither Dr. Fried nor Dr. Greenberg is sure just what's going on in their patients, but the evidence certainly points to a role for bacteria. This uncertainty over causation extends as well to mysterious problems like chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Some think the Lyme bug may be to blame for a lot of cases, others suspect another organism called a mycoplasma - it's going to be a while until we know for sure.

So as crazy as it might sound...Pepto just might be the cure!! If you feel better while taking the Pepto and then symptoms come back later...I would look into getting tested for some bacteria infections..including Lyme.


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Yes, Pepto Bismol is the first line of treatment for microscopic (collagenous or lymphocytic) colitis. I have this type of colitis and was on high dose (8 per day) pepto. The bismuth is anti-microbial, but is also anti-inflammatory. My symptoms completely disappeared on pepto. After about a year, peptobismol quit working for me and I was then switched onto Lomotil. I don't like Lomotil because it makes me very sleepy, but I take it when necessary. I mostly have my symptoms under control (have about 2-3 day flares of D about once a month) with a very restricted diet (only fish+chicken, bananas, cooked apricots and a few non-inflammatory veggies, no grains including no rice or corn, no dairy, soy, nuts etc etc).

Most people won't want to go that restricted and there are stronger drugs available (Asacol, entocort) that work for some people and don't for others. Also, NSAIDs should not be taken if you have this form of colitis. This is a rare form of colitis (about 2 in 100,000 people) and there isn't a lot of research about what works. Microscopic colitis shows up clearly when samples from a colonoscopy are examined under the microscope, so it's a very definite diagnosis.

Check the website: http://forum.microscopiccolitis.org/

You can also PM if you have questions. I was diagnosed with the collagenous form about three years ago.

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I also have collagenous colitis. Pepto is the first line of treatment. If that doesn't work, you move onto Budesonide (a mild form of steriod). If that doesn't work, they move you onto Prednisone.



positive bloodwork, positive biopsy

Celiac, collagenous colitis, hypothyroidism

endometriosis (at age 20)

spinal stenosis (early 20's)

Biopsy August 2006 confirmed complete villous atrophy despite being gluten-free for years and bloodwork within range showing compliance with diet. Doctor has confirmed diagnosis of Refractory Celiac Sprue.

Endoscopy also showed numerous stomach ulcers, have started taking Losec.

Mother to Eileen 13 yrs

Rhiannon 8 yrs

Daniel & Connor 6 yr twin boys......

"Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young. A good laugh makes us better friends with ourselves and everybody around us."

Orison Swett Marden

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

-- Victor Borge

"An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh."

Tom Nansbury

"Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac."


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I want to thank everyone that posted info on the pepto. It has worked for me even when all the strong meds haven't, for pain at least. Perhaps now I know why and the next time I have a colitis flare (or ?diverticulitis? my exGI has never done colonic biopsies even with swelling so bad he couldn't finish the scope) I think I will try it, previously I have only used it for stomach pain related to GERD that was related to gluten and it has worked like magic but I never thought to use it when my colitis acts up. That only happens thank goodness once every couple of years. Again thanks for all the info.

Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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