Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

18 yr old with strange ongoing symptoms

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 4 Replies
  • Posted By: Abprobs
  • November 1, 2006
  • 04:11 AM

I've been having the same symptoms for almost the past year and can not get an answer. Almost everytime after I eat something my stomach is upset and i have trouble breathing. One time i ate something kind of spicy and my stomach hurt so bad and it felt like someone was sitting on my lungs. I do have asthma and i stay away from foods that might trigger my asthma. I also tried avoiding spicy/greasy foods. Its come to me only being able to eat crackers and water sometimes because everything else upsets me. Many times I've had bad diahrea with blood and vomitting. I've also felt faint and dizzy. Often my stomach gets bloated and it hurts to touch or move around. Doctors have suggested to take zantac, but even 150mg doesn't last the whole day. Many doctors have told me at different times is just the stomach flu but I don't believe that. Please help, I feel trapped in my own body. I can't eat anything I would like because its too irritating.

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4 Replies:

  • Have you been checked for GERD? Or bleeding ulcers? Sounds like symptoms of both. Which causes bad heartburn. Hope this helps. And best of luck to you.
    Dana77535 8 Replies
    • November 1, 2006
    • 01:26 PM
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  • I totally understand what you are going through. I had the same thing and lost a total of 30lbs in 2 months because it got so bad I couldn't eat anything. I would have such bad pain and couldn't breathe. I went to the gastroentorologist and he ran test after test. I found out that I have moderate/severe acid reflux disease (GERD) caused by a week valve in between my stomach and esophagus that doesn't close so the acid just keeps on coming back up. I still have other stomach pain that they haven't figured out but that was a major part of it. They put me on protonixs which I take 1-2 a day and I have to stay away from everything spicy, greasy and I am not supposed to eat anything raw (don't ask me why), nothing acidic like citrus, nothing hard to digest (like lettuce) and the worst part is no chocolate. I know what is there left to eat. Also they said absolutely positively NO ibuprofen!! That it could eat a hole in the lining in my esophagus or cause an ulcer. I don't know if this helps, but it just sounds so similar to what I went through. I started to think I was going crazy!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 1, 2006
    • 11:37 PM
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  • Hi. When I saw your post, I just had to register so I could reply.I had the exact same issues from when I was 15 until I was 22 or so, and still have a touch of it now (I'm 25 now). The inability to breathe and pain after eating were the major issues for me. After I ate anything, it would feel like my stomach muscles would clench up, followed by my back muscles, followed by my chest muscles, which would make it impossible to breathe. The doctors could not find what was wrong, but I did find a way to cope with it. This was the only way I was able to live a normal life for those 7 years.First thing to do is cut out all caffeine, alcohol, carbonation, and spicy foods from your diet completely. No coffee, no beer, no soda, no salsa, no pepper, and be careful of the amount of chocolate you eat in a single day. If it feels spicy on your tongue, spit it out. Even root beer floats were a no-no for me.Second thing is go out and buy some chamomile tea. Any grocery store should have it. Any time you start to feel the pain or have trouble breathing, drink a cup of chamomile tea immediately. I used to carry a packet of tea and a sugar packet with me at all times in case of emergency, and had to use it more than a couple of times.Also, you should drink a cup of chamomile tea every night before bed. I found a distinct difference in how I felt the next day if I skipped my nightly tea -- even something as mild as bread could upset my stomach, if I hadn't had tea the night before. But as long as I drank a cup of tea right before bed, I could eat most foods that don't fall into the caffeine, alcohol, carbonation, or spicy foods categories. And I had the emergency tea with me for the times when something would upset my stomach unexpectedly.The third thing you need to do is to go on a very mild diet for a week, just to give your stomach a chance to calm down. Go on the BRAT diet for a week, nothing but bananas, rice, apples, or toast. Rice cakes fit into the rice category. It'll be a tough week, but at the end of the week you can start adding things back in, keeping in mind the restricted categories I've listed.And finally, you should start keeping a health journal. Get a small notebook that you can take with you everywhere, and write down everything that you eat and the time, and any time your stomach gets upset. This will allow you to start to see the patterns in what upsets your stomach and what doesn't.I know this all sounds like a lot, but I don't know how I would have survived high school and college without it. As long as you have tea with you (and sugar if you don't like the taste of chamomile without sugar), hot water can almost always be found. I even drank the emergency tea cold a couple of times, and while hot is better, cold chamomile still settled my stomach enough to allow me to breath. I've had tea in hotel rooms on school trips, back stage at community theater plays, and every night in my dorm room during college (I bought one of those electric tea pots, which helped a lot).I did eventually train my body out of most of the restrictions. I stuck to the diet religiously for three years, and then when I was at college decided that I would like to be able to drink coffee. So every morning I would have a cup of hot chocolate, and would put one small squirt of coffee into it (ah, the wonders of a college cafeteria!). After a year, I was up to half coffee, half hot chocolate. I started slowly with carbonation as well. At first I would open a soda and let it sit out for several hours before I drank it, so that most of the fizz would be gone. I eventually worked up to being able to sip a single can of soda over the course of an hour. Once I had coffee and soda mostly under control, I went through the same slow process with alcohol.Now, 10 years after I first started having problems, I would say I'm mostly normal (though I do have other health problems now). I slowly weaned myself off the nightly tea a few years back, but I still need it every now and then for emergencies. Black coffee will upset my stomach, but other than that I'm fine with caffeine. I can drink a single soda like a normal person, but more than one in a sitting can have bad effects. I never did find a way to work up to spicy food, since even one bite would make my chest and back muscles seize up and make it terribly painful to breathe. So I don't eat salsa, peppers, curry, or anything that tastes spicy, but I don't think that's that weird, since there are a lot of people who just don't like spicy foods.Anyway, I hope some of this has helped. This was such a frustrating health issue for me, but figuring out what worked for me and sticking to my guns no matter what anyone told me was the only way I got through. Oh, and I don't know that this is at all related, but a few years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which the doctor thinks I've had at least since I was 16, and I have at least one other autoimmune disease. I have what we think is a third autoimmune disease, but I'm having trouble getting that diagnosed. Like I said, I don't know if its related or not, but I thought I'd mention it.Let me know if you have any questions about all this, I would be more than happy to help.-Ryot
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 3, 2006
    • 09:46 PM
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  • Ask to be checked for Celiac Disease. It's an extreme allergy to gluten. (oats, wheat, rye, barley) It causes so many issues, but can "easily" be managed when you cut out the allergens. You would have to eat rice, potatoes and corn as your starches. You have to ask people at every restaurant you go to how the food is prepared. Your french fries can't have been fried in the same oil as the fish sticks, etc. Food manufacturers are making strides in the area of gluten free foods. It used to be you had to go to specialty markets, but now your local grocer carries plenty of options. Chex has 5 cereals that are gluten free. Betty Crocker sells a few gluten free cake/brownie mixes. etc. Anyway,I hope it isn't this, but it would give you an answer. You need to make sure the doctor you are going to is somewhat familiar or knowledgeable about Celiac. (also known as Celiac Sprue Disease) I hope this is helpful.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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