For the past 7 months following a sudden bout of what was likely gastritis, I developed chronic symtoms. Pain in my abdomen, specifically in the upper and upper right side (aka stomach and liver area), extreme bloating after eating, nauseua, fatigue/malaise, loss of sex drive. Also my tongue will turn bright orange sometimes, and often there is a "raw dough" taste in my month, it feels like my stomach and esophagus are full and bloating.I've been getting rashes all over my ribcage, abdomen, back and sometimes legs after supper time, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night sweating, shaking, feeling nauseous and almost hungover. I have not been able to associate the rashes to any possible allergy (no common food/enviroment).
Gastroscopy ruled out H.pyori, celiac and ulcers, only mild chronic gastritis was found. Gastric emptying test was normal, as was a colonoscopy. I'm not in the process of completing a battery of hydrogen breath tests for lactose, fructose, glucose, sorbitol and lactulose intolerance, and a screening for parasites (my symptoms started after a trip to Latin America with low grade fever, vomiting, fatigue/malaise/muscle pain, bloating and vomiting after ingesting alcohol or oily foods. After a couple months I was fine, then suddenly one year later, I get sick again.
Also interesting is that my normal blood pressure is 90/60. In fact, in january it was 90/54. In march it spiked to 115/80, and it was 115/78 again when i checked in may. Very odd.
I had a blood test on Monday. Everything was normal except the following:
Mean Cell Hemoglobin - 33 HIGH (normal: 27-31)
Ferritin - 10.9 LOW (normal: 11.0-306.0)
Iron Level - 46.5 HIGH (normal: 11-29)
UIBC - 33 NORMAL (normal 26-52)
Iron Binding Capacity - 79.5 HIGH (normal 43.8-67.0)
Iron Saturation - 0.58 HIGH (normal 0.21-0.42)
Albumin - 38 NORMAL (normal 38-50)
Everything else was within normal ranges except the above which was either borderline or in the case if iron, way high.
What does all this mean??? Could I have an autoimmune disease?
Your iron labs are very unusual and don't match any pattern listed on medical websites but reading a comments board Healing Well - "Low Ferritin, High Iron? Contradiction. Also High Hemoglobin. Anyone know what this might point to?" a couple of board members showed high iron with low ferritin labs; one with a diagnosis of bartonella (bacterial infection) and another with viral infections EBV (epstein barr virus), CMV (cytomegalovirus) and HHV6 & 7 (Human herpesvirus 6 and 7).
Viral infections, bacterial infections, and parasites can lie dormant then reactivate and cause symptoms again. One cause of lower albumin levels is when the immune system engages in a battle with invading bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other germs. Infections of varying types can cause high blood pressure. Cytomegalovirus was found in a study to be a cause of hypertension. Based on all of this, it looks like whatever you picked up in Latin America has reactivated.
The following is an excerpt from Oxford Journal article "Infections in Hispanic Immigrants"
"Several infectious diseases that are rare in the native US population occur often in the Latin American population (table 1)
Thank you for this, very informative and thourough. There is no history of autoimmune disease, heart disease, liver disease or other digestive disease in my family. However I do have endometriosis, which may be an autoimmune diease, so that could increase my chances of having another autoimmune disease, but I think an infection is far more likely.
I'm not going to lie, I was in South America for 4 months before I was sick and I wasn't being super carefully. I spent most of my time in rural Peru, living with locals. I ate only at resturants where I was the only tourist, ate raw fish (ceviche) and raw vegetables, and sometimes brushed my teeth with tap water. Also spent time in the amazon jungle, and swam in a little stream. 14 days before the onest of symptoms I was in the jungle and woke up one morning with the back of my legs (no where else) covered in itchy little red bumps, it looks like a thousands of mosquito bites, though I had been careful to check my bed nets for holes and use bug spray, if it were insects its very odd they would only bites so heavily just behind my legs and nowhere else... maybe it was hives or something else? But any part of this trip could have made it easy to catch something, bacterial, viral, fungal, parasites, etc.
I was vaccinated against Hep A and B, yellow fever, thyphoid, dengue, and may routine shots are up to date. My tb test came back negative, and I was told (by a doctor in Bolivia) that my fevers were not nearly high enough to consider malaria.
My biggest concern is that I'm having surgery next week for my endometriosis, and I don't want this "infection" to make surgery more dangerous and vice versa... my doctors don't seem to show the same concern.
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