gastroenteritis or something else? PLEASE HELP!!!!
So I know there have been many bugs going around this winter but I have had some very weird and ongoing symptoms that have left me completely perplexed. I'm wondering if anyone else has been dealing with similar symptoms or if anyone has any ideas/suggestions as to what I could be going through?
Let me give you a little history; At the very beginning of the year I was put on antibiotics for an impacted wisdom tooth which I had removed a few days after I was off of the antibiotics. This was Jan 9th 2013. I recovered from the extraction relatively quickly as I went snowboarding that following weekend. 2 days being back from snowboarding I felt very drained like I was getting sick. The next day I had full on flu-like symptoms. Fatigue, fever, headache, cough, congestion, etc. That lasted through the week. I started feeling more like myself that following Sunday Jan 20th. Although the cough still lingers to this day but is almost gone.
Jan 22nd I was working and felt a little discomfort in my stomach but shrugged it off and continued my normal activities that day. I went to the gym that evening and worked out for 2 hours which is pretty normal for me. While doing my cardio, I felt a sharp lower abdominal pain but shook it off as a side cramp thinking I was still recovering from the flu from the week prior. I went to dinner with a friend at a higher end Mexican restaurant. I ordered a salad with chicken and a side of black beans. My stomach was still feeling weird and when I tried to eat the salad it tasted weird and I barley ate half of it although it was a large salad. I only drank water at dinner. I went to the restroom directly after and had diarrhea. I had another bout of diarrhea about an hour later but chalked it up as I ate something funny. The next morning, I woke up with severe nausea and stomach pain. I threw up a handful of times that day. The vomiting subsided around 2pm but the diarrhea persisted. I threw up one more time the following morning and then the vomiting stopped but the diarrhea persisted.
Friday the 25th I felt less sick but still had diarrhea, abdominal cramps, a gurgling that seemed to get worse after I ate anything, and fatigue. All of these symptoms have continued and it is now Feb 2nd. My appetite has increased but only to about a meal and a half a day. These are light meals might I add. Because these symptoms have persisted, I cut out caffeine completely (I was a heavy caffeine user), I have stayed away from fatty foods, I have been drinking a lot of fluids, and I also bought a probiotic the same day I cut out caffeine which was Monday Jan 28th. I bought a relatively expensive probiotic from a natural foods co-op here in town.
Today, Feb 2nd I woke up extremely nauseous again with a pounding headache. It prompted me to go to the ER which I did. I was given fluids, anti-nausea meds, also urine and blood work were taken. All came back completely normal. I never threw up and was eventually sent home with a snide remark from the doctor making me feel as if I was being dramatic.
These symptoms are severely effecting my quality of life at this point as I am ALWAYS exhausted, have abdominal pains and a sense of fullness constantly, gas, headache, I am also belching a lot. I still have a gross "sick taste" in my mouth and am still craving a lot of fluids. Although it's not diarrhea I still have very loose stools as well. It has been 12 days of this stomach disturbance and I just don't feel this is the "stomach flu". Is it possible to have these symptoms for this long with a stomach bug? The doctor made me feel that it wasn't... Could me being on antibiotics at the beginning of the month weakened my immune system enough to where this could be lingering for an abnormal period of time? I read a bit about post infection IBS after gastroenteritis. Has anyone dealt with this before?
I am a 28 year old, relatively healthy female. I do have a history of ectopic pregnancy, as well as an intolerance to birth control. My obgyn feels I have endometriosis based off of my ectopic surgery, although I have not had the laprascopic procedure to specifically diagnose it. I was given a pregnancy test in the ER just to be sure but it was negative. I also had a normal period during this bout of illness.
I don't know if any of those facts can be related but my abdominal pain is located from right below my belly button to my lower pelvic area so I thought it could be? I also google and webmd all the time, and of course HIV always comes up so I am paranoid...
Someone help me to put my mind at ease...thanks
Well, without a detailed clinical evaluation it would be difficult to comment specifically on the situation. This does sound like a prolonged GI infection, which may typically last between 3-14 days. Specific medication may be required if it prolongs more than 10-14 days or there are additional symptoms such as blood in stools etc. Since this has been a prolonged episode I would suggest considering an evaluation by a primary care physician or a gastroenterologist for appropriate management. Meanwhile I would suggest drinking plenty of fluids to compensate for the fluids lost while OTC anti-emetics may be useful for nausea/ vomiting, if associated.
Hope this is helpful.
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