I am a 25 year old female who started have epigastric pain and nausea about 7 months ago. I've had liver function tests, been tested for pancreatitis and gallbladder disease, had an upper endoscopy and all came back normal. My symptoms include malaise, a gnawing, constant hunger-like feeling beneath my breastbone, nausea, lack of appetite, and fatigue. Often I feel like there's something stuck in my throat, and there are times when I can't eat more than two bites of a meal. About 7 months ago, I also had quite a bit of bright red blood in my stool, but this was before my symptoms really started manifesting themselves.
My symptoms get worse if I try to eat too much or anything other than bland foods. Alcohol makes it much worse.
As mentioned, all my tests came back normal, except for one. Since July, my white blood cell count has been consistently low, measuring around 2.7 - 3.3 on a 4.0 - 11.0 range.
I met with my doctor two days ago, and he said he was "stumped" and referred me to a gastroenterologist for further testing. We had discussed the possibility of parasites, but I hadn't traveled out of the country or anything, and it seemed unlikely. But last night, I had a bowel movement after 3 days of constipation and noticed many small, white thread-like...things on my stool. They didn't appear to be alive or moving, but it was still a shock. I haven't eaten anything but bread, crackers, peanut butter, bananas, apples, etc. in the last few days, and I have no idea what would have caused something like that in my stool. The rest of my stool looked digested, so it's unlikely it was undigested food.
My question is: could this be parasites? Would worms, or whatever they are, cause epigastric pain and NOT show up on an endoscopy? And could they be potentially contributing to my lowered white blood cell count?
I'm going to try to get a hold of my doctor today, but it's a Friday before a holiday, so I'm not sure I'll be able to.
Please, any help/advise would be GREATLY appreciated!
Welcome to the gastroenterology community! Parasites will most likely not show up on an endoscopy. I would recommend you talk to your doctor about getting a stool test to look for many things (including parasites).
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.