Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Gastrointestinal mystery...

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: miniskittles07
  • October 19, 2009
  • 04:27 PM

History:
I'm a 20 year old female. I have two children, 3 1/2 and 22 months. I typically have a clear medical history, with only one surgery (gall bladder removal, 21 months ago), and one chronic condition (IBS, that isn't prevalent anymore). Lately I've been having some stomach problems that I cannot find an answer for. I can typically figure out anything that is plaguing me, but this one I haven't been able to fathom. I've done a lot of research on it, and have came across people with the same symptoms, and none of them have answers.

Symptoms:
I always know when its going to happen. I'll wake up in the morning, and begin burping. Not regular burps. Horrible smelling, sulfuric, rotten egg like burps. Its as if my stomach has just stopped working and hasn't digested the food I ate the day before, and its just sitting there, rotting in my stomach. And I know its going to happen. I start vomiting. Many times. First all of the food that was in my stomach, then just acid. But it won't stop. Then the diarrhea begins. It's like my body has just decided to purge any form of liquid in my intestinal tract, and it's doing a good job of it. I get dehydrated, to the point of tachycardia. It gets even better, because sometimes I'll throw up to the point of vomiting blood, and I have to go to the hospital to be put on fluids. This was the time before last. The doctor said that it was a UTI (kidney infection). That my white blood cell count was 24k, rather than a normal of 10k. She gave me Cefalexin, 2000mg a day for 7 days. I took them. That was two weeks ago. This weekend, I got sick again. This time I had some anti-nausea pills she also prescribed. I threw up four times, just to get the rotten food out of my stomach, and then took the pill. It worked, and thats great, but how long is this going to go on?

The twists and history:
I started getting sick like this on Sunday, Sept 13. The next time I got sick was Sunday, Sept 20. The first time I thought it was food poisoning (that’s what this feels like) from some leftover Chinese food. The second time, though the same thing and only a week later, I attributed to coincidence, and possibly stomach flu, because my oldest daughter had the flu at the time. But I told myself that if it happened again, I’d go to a doctor about it. The third time was Saturday, Oct 3rd. That’s the one I threw up blood and went to the ER for, the one they diagnosed as a kidney infection. There were no other signs of a kidney infection (I’ve had them before, I know what they feel like), no back pain, no trouble urinating, no burning feeling, nothing. But I was just going to agree with the doctor, and hope that she was right, because I’m so tired of this. Its only on the weekends, every, or every other weekend. This last time was this past Sunday, Oct 18. I took one of the anti-nausea pills, and they sort of worked, but made me sleep literally all day. I had gotten 8 hrs of sleep the night before, woke up sick, took the pill, and slept for another 8.

I don’t understand it. None of the food matches up. It’s not something I’m eating. After the hospital incident, I was doing everything I could to prevent this from happening again. I didn’t eat past three hours before I went to bed, slept on my right side so that my stomach would empty correctly, followed all food guidelines, etc. I don’t have any food allergies, and like I’ve stated, none of the food has been the same in any ways. I really cant figure out why this only happens when it does, though I’m actually grateful that its on the weekends and not during my work week. I just don’t understand this, and it’s starting to worry me. I don’t really have the funds to go through every test on the planet to figure it out. When I went to the hospital they did a CAT scan that came back clean, but now I’m pretty sure they’re wrong. So, to conclude this long-winded explanation, any ideas?

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5 Replies:

  • Have you had a stomach emptying test? How about a Hepatitis C test (and other types as well)? If not make your doctor give you one. Be assertive!Also, try taking some OTC digestive enzymes (GNC has one) and probiotics.You could also have Celiac disease. There's a special gluten-free diet for that.I know this is a yucky question, but how are your bowel movements? Is the color a normal brown or is it somewhat lighter than normal?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 19, 2009
    • 07:33 PM
    • 0
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  • Have you had a stomach emptying test? How about a Hepatitis C test (and other types as well)? If not make your doctor give you one. Be assertive!Also, try taking some OTC digestive enzymes (GNC has one) and probiotics.You could also have Celiac disease. There's a special gluten-free diet for that.I know this is a yucky question, but how are your bowel movements? Is the color a normal brown or is it somewhat lighter than normal?Normal, except for when I'm sick with whatever this is, or having an IBS episode. The color is normal as well. I haven't had any of the tests you mentioned. The doctor that worked with me at the ER seemed pretty positive it was an infection, due to my white blood cell count. I don't think an infection would cause this every other weekend with no additional symptoms though. Same with the stomach emptying. Why would it only occur on a weekend? If my stomach didn't empty properly (which by the way, I've thought of before - a condition called gastroparesis, meaning a paralyzation of the stomach, can cause the stomach to not work properly, but the dr didnt seem concerned about my theories) wouldn't that occur more frequently?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 19, 2009
    • 09:47 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The same thing has been happening to me too. It started happening in graduate school on and off for about 6 months. Now, 2 years later, it's happening again. I can usually ward off the vomiting by drinking lots of water. I mean LOTS. I probably down about 2 liters or more within a couple of hours if I start feeling it come on. Usually, I still feel very lethargic and sick for the next 12-24 hours, but the vomiting doesn't happen. I usually take a shot of apple cider vinegar too (I theorize that the acid helps with digestion). I don't know about you, but when I'm stressed my whole body turns against me. Like I said, this started in grad school when I was under a lot of pressure. I'm at another point in my life where I'm very stressed and unhappy with my job. I wonder if this is my body reacting to the stress? I hope this information helps. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 12, 2009
    • 02:49 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • History:I'm a 20 year old female. I have two children, 3 1/2 and 22 months. I typically have a clear medical history, with only one surgery (gall bladder removal, 21 months ago), and one chronic condition (IBS, that isn't prevalent anymore). Lately I've been having some stomach problems that I cannot find an answer for. I can typically figure out anything that is plaguing me, but this one I haven't been able to fathom. I've done a lot of research on it, and have came across people with the same symptoms, and none of them have answers. Symptoms:I always know when its going to happen. I'll wake up in the morning, and begin burping. Not regular burps. Horrible smelling, sulfuric, rotten egg like burps. Its as if my stomach has just stopped working and hasn't digested the food I ate the day before, and its just sitting there, rotting in my stomach. And I know its going to happen. I start vomiting. Many times. First all of the food that was in my stomach, then just acid. But it won't stop. Then the diarrhea begins. It's like my body has just decided to purge any form of liquid in my intestinal tract, and it's doing a good job of it. I get dehydrated, to the point of tachycardia. It gets even better, because sometimes I'll throw up to the point of vomiting blood, and I have to go to the hospital to be put on fluids. This was the time before last. The doctor said that it was a UTI (kidney infection). That my white blood cell count was 24k, rather than a normal of 10k. She gave me Cefalexin, 2000mg a day for 7 days. I took them. That was two weeks ago. This weekend, I got sick again. This time I had some anti-nausea pills she also prescribed. I threw up four times, just to get the rotten food out of my stomach, and then took the pill. It worked, and thats great, but how long is this going to go on?The twists and history: I started getting sick like this on Sunday, Sept 13. The next time I got sick was Sunday, Sept 20. The first time I thought it was food poisoning (that’s what this feels like) from some leftover Chinese food. The second time, though the same thing and only a week later, I attributed to coincidence, and possibly stomach flu, because my oldest daughter had the flu at the time. But I told myself that if it happened again, I’d go to a doctor about it. The third time was Saturday, Oct 3rd. That’s the one I threw up blood and went to the ER for, the one they diagnosed as a kidney infection. There were no other signs of a kidney infection (I’ve had them before, I know what they feel like), no back pain, no trouble urinating, no burning feeling, nothing. But I was just going to agree with the doctor, and hope that she was right, because I’m so tired of this. Its only on the weekends, every, or every other weekend. This last time was this past Sunday, Oct 18. I took one of the anti-nausea pills, and they sort of worked, but made me sleep literally all day. I had gotten 8 hrs of sleep the night before, woke up sick, took the pill, and slept for another 8. I don’t understand it. None of the food matches up. It’s not something I’m eating. After the hospital incident, I was doing everything I could to prevent this from happening again. I didn’t eat past three hours before I went to bed, slept on my right side so that my stomach would empty correctly, followed all food guidelines, etc. I don’t have any food allergies, and like I’ve stated, none of the food has been the same in any ways. I really cant figure out why this only happens when it does, though I’m actually grateful that its on the weekends and not during my work week. I just don’t understand this, and it’s starting to worry me. I don’t really have the funds to go through every test on the planet to figure it out. When I went to the hospital they did a CAT scan that came back clean, but now I’m pretty sure they’re wrong. So, to conclude this long-winded explanation, any ideas?YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The same thing has been happening to me too. It started happening in graduate school on and off for about 6 months. Now, 2 years later, it's happening again. I can usually ward off the vomiting by drinking lots of water. I mean LOTS. I probably down about 2 liters or more within a couple of hours if I start feeling it come on. Usually, I still feel very lethargic and sick for the next 12-24 hours, but the vomiting doesn't happen. I usually take a shot of apple cider vinegar too (I theorize that the acid helps with digestion). I don't know about you, but when I'm stressed my whole body turns against me. Like I said, this started in grad school when I was under a lot of pressure. I'm at another point in my life where I'm very stressed and unhappy with my job. I wonder if this is my body reacting to the stress? I hope this information helps. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 12, 2009
    • 00:37 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The same thing has been happening to me too. It started happening in graduate school on and off for about 6 months. Now, 2 years later, it's happening again. I can usually ward off the vomiting by drinking lots of water. I mean LOTS. I probably down about 2 liters or more within a couple of hours if I start feeling it come on. Usually, I still feel very lethargic and sick for the next 12-24 hours, but the vomiting doesn't happen. I usually take a shot of apple cider vinegar too (I theorize that the acid helps with digestion). I don't know about you, but when I'm stressed my whole body turns against me. Like I said, this started in grad school when I was under a lot of pressure. I'm at another point in my life where I'm very stressed and unhappy with my job. I wonder if this is my body reacting to the stress? I hope this information helps. Good luck! Yes, I do think stress is a factor to some degree, but its more a factor for my IBS than for this. As an update to the original post, I got sick again on 10/31, and went to see a specialist on 11/9. He told me it could be one of about six things, and that I'd need an upper endoscopy (about $2k) to figure out what's wrong. He said it's likely that my stomach isn't digesting or emptying properly (duh), and used the term "idiopathic gastroparesis"...which broken down means my stomach stops working and they dont know why. Grand. So we'll see. If I can manage the test, then I may have an answer. In the mean time, he gave me some better pills for nausea than I'd had before, and I'm basically going to fast on the patterned weekends. For some reason it happens every two weeks or there abouts. So I just won't eat on those weekends, or if I do, not past about three in the afternoon. Won't be fun, but neither is vomiting my guts out to the point of going to the hospital. Lesser of two evils.
    miniskittles07 2 Replies
    • November 12, 2009
    • 11:08 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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