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Gall bladder, Irritable Bowel, or Gastroparesis?
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Gall bladder, Irritable Bowel, or Gastroparesis?

I am a 44 y/o femele podiatrist with no insurance.  I am not overweight, have not reached menopause, and am not diabetic.  For the last 20 years, I have been plagued by episodes of nausea, heartburn, and very foul, frequent, and voluminous belching and flatulence.  The odor/taste is always a bile-like, rotten egg or bad red wine type.  Diahrrea (sometimes severe)always follows, and provides relief.  There is no pain, other than vague abdominal cramping prior to diahrrea.  Episodes are brought on by eating rich, spicy, fried, or oily foods.  However, today it started after I ate an apple and four small cookies!  It also can occur from eating a very large meal.  An episode can begin as soon as 3 hours following a meal, but more commonly, is noticable when I awaken with belching the next day.  It can last 1-3 days.

Due to family circumstances as a child, I developed chronic nausea at age 9.  In response, I was given an upper GI at that age.  The doc was shocked that my stomach had not emptied the previous night's meal.  Dx: "spastic colon."  At age 18, a gall bladder test that required ingestion of a series of pills, as well as upper GI, were performed.  I was informed that the gall bladder did not visualize.  I was given an anti-spasmodic, but don't recall if it helped.  Please note that in my adulthood, I am relatively well-adjusted, calm and rather happy.

Lastly, my chemisties (liver & pancreas included) are perfect.  My H.pylori test is negative.  Due to my eating salsa that I assumed was mild enough, I was extremely sick with this syndrome three nights ago.  I just recovered from the dehydration, and now have started the syndrome again, simply by eating the apple and cookies.  This is ridiculous.  I am asking your opinion because I soon may have health insurance, and would like two opinions.  Thank you.





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There can be several conditions that may be causing your symptoms.  This can include GERD, an ulcer, inflammation of the upper digestive tract, or gallbladder disease.  

An upper GI series can be performed to evaluate for any anatomical abnormalities (i.e. a mass) that can lead to the nausea.  More specialized testing like a gastric emptying scan can evaluate for gastroparesis.  

If the tests continue to be non-revealing, an ultrasound or an upper endoscopy can be considered for a more comprehensive look.

If there is evidence of gastroparesis (as evidenced by the stomach not emptying when you were younger), treatment options can include motility agents, or pro-kinetic antibiotics (i.e erythromycin).

These options can be discussed with your personal physician, or in conjunction with a GI evaluation.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_b
15 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Step one: Abdominal ultrasound. This will check for visible inflamation (inflammation), and stones.
If this is normal-
Step two: HIDA-scan. This will evaluate the functionality of the liver, gallbladder, and biliary ducts.
If this is normal too-
Step three: Endoscopy and Colonoscopy. This will give a view of the entire digestive tract except the small intestine.
If a problem in the small intestine is suspected, the "camera pill" is the only thing available to see the entire small intestine.
Good luck, and post again if you have questions.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been posting on this site and other forums to let people know about Gastroparesis.  I have been recently diagnosed with it.  The symptoms are, bloating, nausea, feeling full after eating very little, constipation and abdominal pain.  These can be symptoms of many other things too.  I have had many tests and scans before I was diagnosed.  I also have IBS.  Fiber which is great for IBS is the worst thing for Gastroparesis.  Some causes of Gastroparesis are hypothyroid, diabetes, virus, surgery and certain medications.  My treatment is, eating smaller meals thoughout the day, no sugar or fats or fiber, dont lay down after a meal whatever you do. Many people who feel so full and bloated after a meal just want to lay down, big mistake as movement even the gravity of standing upright will help the food leave the stomach. I also have a prescription for Reglan which stimulates the stomach muscles.  Because Gastroparesis is caused by damage to the Vagus nerve, my doctor will be searching for an underlying cause.  Diabetes and hyperthyroid have been ruled out.  Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi,
my 16 yr old daughter has recently been diagnosed with Crohns, and Gastritis, tho she had no symptoms of it(gastritis) other than nausea.  She was given Salofalk for the CD and Losac for the Gastritis, for 6 wks only.  She recently started having pain under her ribs on her  right side, radiating to the back.  OF course I am thinking gall bladder.  The pain wasn't  bad enough to go to the er or anything, so we waited till today when she had a Dr appointment.
  Turns out that it is from her gastritis!! Of course, our Peds GI Nurse Clinician could tell me that or hardly any of the questions I asked.  But now I know.  I will call her  GI and see if she should take 2/day.
  But at least now I have piece of mind about 1 thing!

Sweetbon
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Avatar_n_tn
I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis 3 months ago and have been suffering since. I had nausea, wretching and abdominal pain that would last 3 hours. I would spend all morning in the bathroom,in addition I would burb and pass gas all day. I did not go out because of the foul odors I was emiting. My doctor put me on Reglan and Zelnorm which helped very little. Afriend suggested digestive enzymes ( papaya) which I started  1 day ago and know I feel 90% beter. I wwent to a local GNC store and got Multi-Enzyme and Alpha Lipoic ( this helps with neuropathies).
I hope this will work .I have felt fine for 24 hours and it is like a miracle. I feel like a healthy person again.
Goodd luck to all!
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Avatar_n_tn
Why Me:  Is that alpha lipoic acid?  I've had it in my cabinet for months (had forgotten about it) and just started taking it again.  I also will try the papaya enzymes.  Anyway, I in fact DID get hired at this place I applied to.  I will have health insurance in a few months, which is good to know if I need tests.  Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone.I am 22 and have a 16 month old son..a few months after giving birth I started haveing nausea and stomache pain after eating...then progressed to severe pain, nausea and vomiting.. after a few tests including a hipatabilirary (not sure on spelling) scan, Dr.'s said my gall bladder only functioned 12% ,no stones.. I had it removed and was fine for a few days then the nausea came back with diarhea (diarrhea) and the stomache pain.. a few days after that started the vomiting continued... I had made several trips to the er where they gave me fluids, pain meds and fenergan.. it got to the point to where i couldnt eat a thing with out throwing up and sometimes didnt have to eat at all in order to be sick and in severe pain...my surgeon did an upper edoscopy and found i had several ulcers in my stomache, esophogus and duedenum and excess bile in my stomache.. he said the bile was backing up into the stomache causeing the pain and nasea.. he gave me several meds to correct it (reglan, carafate, and others i cannont remember) they didnt work, only seemed to make the pain and vomiting worse... finally after not being able to eat a bite or even hold down liquids i was hospitalized again and they started TPN through an iv in my neck (central line)..I was there for a week with not one bite to eat or one sip of water, not even ice chips..but i was still vomiting bile and blood all day and night...  they did several tests, cat scans, mri's .. and a gastric emptying scan... he diagnosed me with gastroperesis... i was then transferred to ohio state university hospital where a gastroenterologist team basically made me go through all the tests I had done here so they could determine their own diagnosis and after a week confirmed severe gastroperesis... they sent me home with my conditioned improved.. they told me to eat small frequent meals and to avoid high fat and fiber meals.. i did that for a month with still some vomiting and pain...mostly i lived off liquids.. i was still losing weight.. (i weighed 145 post gall bladder surgery, and got down to about 95lbs) Im a christian and believe very much in healing through faith and that is the only explanation i have for what has happend since ... I woke up one morning after praying about this for some time and decided i wasnt accepting my illness any longer and that i was going to eat again.. so i ate french toast...didnt get sick...the next day i ate pizza and still not sick.. after i kept the pizza down i just kept eating what i wanted when i wanted and i am fine.. i know weight about 120lbs. and i am very healthy..i would still like to know what caused the gastroperesis since i have no thyroid problem or diabetes.. and i wonder if my gallbladder was related to it in any way.. im really sorry to hear other ppl are having similar problems to mine and i will pray for you all...my doctors have no explanation for my getting better either.. i hope that all of you can be well soon... sorry this is so long.. i did leave out a lot so it wouldnt be but u probably cant tell... lol... sorry and God bless you all
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Avatar_n_tn
Does anyone bloat to where you look 3 months pregnant? I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis. I don't have the vomiting like most people and changing my diet hasn't helped either. I way 87 or 88 lbs. and have always been small. With this diet I lose weight which I don't want to do. I had the nuclear medicine test done. I am now on Erythromycin and have been for 3 months now. I think I'm immune to it. I also take Zelnorm. Does anyone have any suggestions for this condition? I also am tired all the time. I don't have insurance and still owe for the nuclear medicine test I took. I don't see how anyone can afford this. I'm 37 yrs.old and if I have to be like this the rest of my life it is really going to be miserable. Please someone out there help!
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Avatar_n_tn
To Jenny23t:

It sounds like there is hope for this gastroparesis. I am glad to hear that you are well. Did you bloat real bad with your gastroparesis? I am not going to accept this disorder and will go to the ends of the earth until I find something that will somewhat cure this. I still think stress plays a big part with this. I am so happy for you! Please say a prayer for me!!
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To Whyme@43:

I went and got papaya enzyme, GNC multi enzyme and lipoic acid. I also was taking Peppermint capsules with ginger and fennel oils. It seemed to help a little bit. I had already noticed a difference in my bloating with the peppermint capsules. I wanted to thank you for posting that information! I am still bloated but not to where I am looking 3 months pregnant! My doctor wants me to keep taking Erythromycin. She wouldn't put me on Reglan. She said I was too you but if I was in my 60's she would put me on it. She said it has long term side effects. Again, thank you so much!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Since being diagnosed with Gastroparesis, I have noticed that after I eat, I can really feel the pulse in my stomach beating harder and faster. Have any of you noticed similar symptom?
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Hello my name is james, male 25 years old. for about 3 years now going on 4 i have had terrible digestive problems worsening this past year.  hospitalized for about a month each time with no diagnosis.  currently i weigh about 145lbs. 6 ft tall.  i need some help.
symptoms:  shortly after eating very sharp pains in abdomin (abdomen) and vomitting,  every few months i go through a episode of constant vomitting and discomfort, even after drinking something for about a month.  
been seeing a GI specialist and nothing.  all that has come out is gallbladder test shows its at 20% and gastric emptying test was 244 minutes for half a bowl of ceral.  doctor called it idiopathic gastro something.  no hep c or diabetes, hyatal hernia all blood work negative no cancer.  did the camera thing both ways, ultrasounds, cts, xrays, nothing.  please help this is affecting my life greatly i can no longer work cant eat on dissability and at 145lbs. still losing weight, scared and dont know what to do.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just recently found this site. I was relieved to find that I am not the only person out there who feels the way that I do,although I am deeply sorry that each of you are sufferring with your dis-eases. I am a 32 year old female. I had my gallbladder removed about 5 years ago. Then around 4 years ago after my 3rd child, I became violently ill after eating a fish dinner. Vomiting, diarhea (diarrhea) with severe cramping, heart palpitations, sweating, weakness, dizzy fainting, I literally wanted to die. At first I thouhgt I had bad fish. But then it happened every day after every meal for a while. I made countless trips to the ER. Other than a heart rate of 130+, there didn't seem to be any thing wrong according to the doctors. It wasn't until one doctor prescribed my Lexapro for mild depression that I started seeing some relief from these horrible symptoms. It has been 4 years now and I have had tons of testing done, including a rather embarrassing thorough examination of my colon. I have been diagnosed with IBS. I have alternating IBS between constipation and diarhea (diarrhea). The medications that I have been given have not worked well for me. They either make me very woozy or give me a feeling of unrealness that I can not handle. The doctors tell me that there is no cure, and I just have to learn to live with it. Luckily for me the anti-depression meds have seemed to help somewhat. But I don't plan on staying on those for the rest of my life. I don't personally know any one else who has this and the people who know me don't understand it. I will not traveloutside my home neighborhood for fear that I will not be near a restroom. I avoid going to restaurants to eat, this seems to bring on attacks as well. If I want food, I normally have to request it to be delivered or pick it up. I feel trapped like a prisoner in my own home. It has had a huge impact on my social life as well as my job. I see things occasionally advertised that can help or "eliminate" the IBS, but of course there are substantial fees involved. My doctor recently prescribed Regaln for me to take prior to my meals. My only concern is that it says it is supposed to aid with contractions of the stomach and small intestine. Well I am trying to avoid the "spasms" that I have now because they are very painful. Has anyone personally taken Reglan? Did it make cramping worse? Any side effects, good or bad? I can only imagine how each of you feel and what you are going through, I will pray for each of you to fell better. I hope that we will put more researcn and funding into finding out what causes and more importantly what cures IBS. It does not seem to be at the top of anyone's priority list. I realize that it is not life threatening, however with such quality of life, what's the point?? Does any one have any good news or positive perspective on this?
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been diabetic for 17 years.  I'm 31 now.  I also have hypothyroidism, gastroparesis, Acid Reflux, and neuropathy, along with depression.  I take many medications.  For around four years I've dealt with gastroparesis.  I took Reglan, Zelnorm, and Erythromycin.  This past November I had a bad case of what seemed to be the stomache flu.  Weeks had passed and no improvement.  I ended up in the hospital right after Christmas after many tests my doctors had come to the conclusion that the flu had ate at the lining of my nerves of my stomache (which the nerves there were already weak).  My medications were no longer working.  I went from 154 pounds down to a tiny 90 lbs.
I'm from a small town and my doctors decided to send me to a big hospital.  My doctor decided I would be a perfect candidate for the gastric pacemaker.  I was at the point where even liquids and ensures were no longer staying down.  Everyone around me was terrified at how I looked.  I actually looked like those sick starving peop;e from other countries.  Everyone just prayed.  I am a mother of two beautiful children and have a husband who over the past months have had to see me at my worst and go on without me.  A week in a half ago I had the pace maker put in.  I'm very sore still today.  I have to say the food is staying down so far, although I'm eating small amounts.  My stomache still bloats really bad after I eat, but alot of the other problems (belching, and gas) have went away.  The only thing is the pacemaker (they say it's because I'm so small and will disappear as weight comes back on)sort of sticks out like a bulge in my stomache.  I hope this is the only problem.  Once more time passes I will update and let everyone know how it is going.  This was a major step in my road to recovery and was a big surgery for me.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been diabetic for 17 years.  I'm 31 now.  I also have hypothyroidism, gastroparesis, Acid Reflux, and neuropathy, along with depression.  I take many medications.  For around four years I've dealt with gastroparesis.  I took Reglan, Zelnorm, and Erythromycin.  This past November I had a bad case of what seemed to be the stomache flu.  Weeks had passed and no improvement.  I ended up in the hospital right after Christmas after many tests my doctors had come to the conclusion that the flu had ate at the lining of my nerves of my stomache (which the nerves there were already weak).  My medications were no longer working.  I went from 154 pounds down to a tiny 90 lbs.
I'm from a small town and my doctors decided to send me to a big hospital.  My doctor decided I would be a perfect candidate for the gastric pacemaker.  I was at the point where even liquids and ensures were no longer staying down.  Everyone around me was terrified at how I looked.  I actually looked like those sick starving peop;e from other countries.  Everyone just prayed.  I am a mother of two beautiful children and have a husband who over the past months have had to see me at my worst and go on without me.  A week in a half ago I had the pace maker put in.  I'm very sore still today.  I have to say the food is staying down so far, although I'm eating small amounts.  My stomache still bloats really bad after I eat, but alot of the other problems (belching, and gas) have went away.  The only thing is the pacemaker (they say it's because I'm so small and will disappear as weight comes back on)sort of sticks out like a bulge in my stomache.  I hope this is the only problem.  Once more time passes I will update and let everyone know how it is going.  This was a major step in my road to recovery and was a big surgery for me.
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