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Recurring Nausea After Viral Gastroenteritis
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Recurring Nausea After Viral Gastroenteritis

I'm a 39 year old male in reasonably good health. About 7 months ago I had a severe bout of viral gastroenteritis that lasted about a week or so. Because of the diarrhea, I became severely dehydrated and was diagnosed with low electrolytes which were causing numbness, dizziness and nausea.

After the intitial illness, I continued to struggle with symptoms off and on, sometimes more severe than others, but always focused around diarrhea and nausea.

I have had blood tests, stool tests, parasite tests, a kidney function test, an abdominal ultrasound, flexible sigmoidoscopy and thyroid funciton test. All have come back normal. My doctor seems to think it is either IBS which flared up due to the viral infection, or just my body taking a prolonged period of time to recover. Since I am not losing weight, have no fever or abdominal pain and have no blood in my stool he suggests just treating the symptoms of nausea and diarrhea and taking a "wait and see" approach.

I am following a diet for IBS which seems to help control the symptoms somewhat, but I still have unpredictable bouts of the nausea and diarrhea. I am taking 5mg of compazine as necessary to help control the nausea, but no other medications besides atenelol for high blood pressure.

Is this type of prolonged recovery normal? Can IBS be triggered by something like this?
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You have had a pretty comprehensive evaluation for the diarrhea - including the flexible sigmoidoscopy.  

It is possible that the symptoms of nausea can be prolonged.  Further evaluation to look for obstruction, ulcers, or inflammation of the upper digestive tract can be done with an upper endoscopy.  

Gastroparesis can also lead to prolonged nausea.  A gastric emptying scan can done to evaluate this possibility.  

If negative, then IBS can be considered, and medications to optimize treatment can be discussed.

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.
http://www.straightfromthedoc.com
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