Discussions By Condition: Gastrointestinal conditions

My son is very ill and no one knows what's wrong.

Posted In: Gastrointestinal conditions 7 Replies
  • Posted By: MemphisMuse
  • April 10, 2007
  • 02:11 AM

My son is 24. For the past 2 years or so, he has had a recurrent rash on his legs and feet, and severe abdominal pain near his umbilicus, accompanied usually by vomiting. We didn't connect the rash to the other symptoms at first and tried to find the source from topical agents (soap etc) to allergies (no luck there either). Doctors treated his stomach pain with antacids, with no relief. He was admitted to the local ER for vomiting blood, bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and rash. He has been tested for everything including: Lyme's disease, lupus, Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, diabetes, Henoch-Schonlein purpura, and allergies. He has had an upper GI, CT scan, and had endoscopies from both ends - no inflammation found. All they found was a slight increase in lymphocytes in his gastrointestinal tract - "not enough for cancer" was all I was told. All other tests came back negative. They sent a biopsy of his rash to some lab in Virginia and keep telling us they don't have the results back yet (this was in November!). He has never been out of the country so they ruled out tropical diseases. "We don't know what's wrong" is all the doctors tell me. He was treated with tetracycline and released - his rash having gone away and the stomach pain abated. No diagnosis yet and thousands of dollars in medical bills. He has no insurance, and he's sick again (rash, abdominal pain, vomiting - no blood this time). I am worried sick. Can anyone help us??

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7 Replies:

  • Dear Mrs,has your son been tested for presence of porphyria? This disease may present intermitently with abdominal pain and skin changes.Yours very trulymedicald@hushmail.com
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you for your reply. I don't think the doctors tested for that, no. It is my understanding that the rash involved in porphyria can blister, and can erupt from exposure to the sun. His doesn't do that. His rash is flat, never blisters, and looks more like measles or some form of vasculitis. However, I will add porphyria to the list of diseases I will ask the doctor about. Thanks again.Muse
    MemphisMuse 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • I saw a medical show recently on TV where people sometimes experience these symptoms when that are exposed to toxic mold. Could there be mold in the walls where he lives?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • You know, I did consider that, because he seemed to have a lot of symptoms when he lived in his dorm. The doctors dismissed that. I don't even know where I could even begin to get help with that. He lives with me now, but I know that the mold thing doesn't necessarily resolve when you change households. Any idea how I might check this out?Muse
    MemphisMuse 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, if they have not tested him for parasites, you may consider that. Do some research on internet, they provide all the symptoms with each parasite. Good luck.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm not a doctor, but I know that Lyme disease tests can frequently come out negative. If I were you, I would try to find a doctor who has a lot of experience in Lyme disease so it can be ruled out properly. Good luck with your son.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 24, 2007
    • 03:10 PM
    • 0
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  • Guys, Lyme disease gives you those migratory rashes (erythema migrans) acutely. It's not a chronic process. And the Lyme serology has a sensitivity of more than 95%. Forget Lyme. And molds too. Doesn't fit at all. It might be a vasculitis of some sort, maybe a manifestation of some larger autoimmune process like scleroderma or SLE (lupus - I know you said it was negative, but looking for ANA is operator dependent, can have a 20% false negative rate in some labs).... But wait, you said he vomitted blood and had bloody diarrhea. And the G/C scopes were normal? Where did the blood come from? IT should have been VERY obvious from the endoscopies!
    GI guy 45 Replies
    • August 31, 2007
    • 06:07 AM
    • 0
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