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lifelong stomach problems
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lifelong stomach problems

I have been suffering with stomach problems since I was a little girl.  When I was about 13 I had an upper GI to reveal hiatal hernia, duodenal ulcers, beginning of stomach ulcers.  By 20 I found out about H. Pylori and took the antibiotics which seemed to help a lot.  Found out about the same time I have Kidney Stone Disease, which I had 2 surgeries for.  Over the past 10 years I have controlled the stones with lots of water and only water, still am loaded with stones and pass them several times a week, but the pain is tolerable.

My stomach problems have only gotten worse.  This year I finally went to a digestive specialist but am not getting many answers only more tests.  I don't mind having tests and realize they are necessary, but I would like to have some input on where to go from here.

My symptoms seem to be getting worse and I add an additional one every other day.  Some may seem strange, but I am going to include them anyway, I already think I am crazy, you may as well too.

1. Lots of gas.  Constant belching, at first after food, now it is all the time, even when I am asleep I will wake up and have to expel gas.  Also lower gas, sometimes crampy, but usually just volume.

2.  Nausea.  At first it was just after food and if I didn't eat I would be fine, but now it is constant.  I never vomit, but come close.  I have prob only thrown up 3 times in my life, I manage to control it amazingly well

3.  Constipation/Diarhea.  I have always had chronic constipation, never had an issue with diarhea (diarrhea) until the past month.  I thought it was the new meds and quit them, but it has continued, which is strange for me.  It sometimes is every day for a week sometimes every other or third day.  Almost always starts out the same, I wake up with stomach cramps and have runny or very thin light stool 4 or 5 times in 2 hours, then feel better for most of the day, but later that evening I feel the need to go only to strain and push to get a few small pebbles out.  Sometimes after a bout I will go a couple days straining to produce small hard stool, sometimes I wake up with diarhea (diarrhea) again.

4. Weight loss.  I lost about 20 pounds over the summer when this flared up, gained some back and now I have lost about 25lb in the past 3 months.  I do not have weight to lose and am now underweight. 5'4" 117, which is not dangerously low by any means, but I am typically 125 to 135, healthy and curvy, now my bones are visible and gross.

5.  Uncomfortable when I lay on my sides.  At first I only was uncomfortable laying on my left side now it is either side.  My left side produces a sensation of my organs being squished, my right side causes nausea and I get hot and start sweating. As soon as I lay on my back or prop up the symptoms go away.

6.  If I get too warm I get extremely light headed and nauseaus.

7.  Had a strange attack yesterday.  I had been asleep for 2 hours and woke up with a terrible pain on my right side.  It started under my rib cage (about 3 ribs up) and went down to my pubic bone, stretched from navel to around my side.  It felt like a charlie horse, my stomach on that side was hard, I couldn't stand straight for 30 min, as soon as I thought it was feeling better I would try to stand only to have it back full force. It went on for about 2 hours.  I was out of town with no car at a hotel and nearly called for an ambulance, but was afraid I would be told it was gas.  This attack is what has started me looking further.  It is now the day after the attack and my right side is sore, like I got punched and my ribs actually feel bruised.


About 4 months ago I saw a digestive specialist.  I had an EGD which showed hiatal hernia, gastritis, and acid reflux.  My symptoms continued to worsen.  I went 4 days with very little food.  I would try to eat and it would feel stuck in my throat, my DR sent me to ER.  On the way I ate, since I figured they could take better care of me if I got sick and they could see what was going on, but they said since I ate they couldn't do any testing.  They did an ultrasound of my gallbladder which was inconclusive because I had eaten. I was sent home.  I went to Digestive Dr. again, he ordered another bunch of blood tests and CT of abdomin (abdomen) and pelvis with and without contrast.  He said my pancreas is slightly enlarged but doesn't feel that could be causing the problems and has ordered lots more tests.  I had no gallstones.  The problem is the amount of time between his ordering the test, them getting me in, then getting back in to get results!  It takes like a month.  

I had numerous blood tests, some of which I know, others he did not go over or I did not understand. H. Pylori negative, the ER said they did a pancreatic enzyme test and it was normal, negative for Celiac disease.  It seems like I am doing more research than my Dr. and I had to ask for the H pylori and Celiac test.  Now he wants me to do some kind of lactose test (like a breath test) and a gallbladder test that is supposed to last like 6 hours, I fast for a period then they ultrasound gallbladder then give me sugar drinks and they ultrasound some more.  

I have never heard about a test like this, I am however hearing about this HIDA scan.  Should I skip the above test and insist on the HIDA scan?? I cannot understand the need for a lactose test, I already told him I am lactose intollerent.

I am at my witts end.  I cannot live this way any more.  Who would want to.  I cannot imagine living my life this way forever.  There has to be an answer out there.  I have considered stress, but I just don't believe it is the cause.  It may make things worse, but I do not think it is the cause.  There is something wrong.  Could the enlarged pancreas be to blame?  I have been following the high carb, low protein, no fat diet, but it isn't doing much good.  Am I going in the right direction following the gallbladder?  What if the HIDA scan shows nothing??  What is next?  I feel at times I am crazy, but I am not making this up.  I got a prescription for protonix and prilosec which gave me diarhea (diarrhea), now I have a script for zantac but cannot take it until the diarhea (diarrhea) clears up and I even got an antidepressant (prozac) which I am waiting to take as well.

what direction should I take?  Where can I find more info on which tests would produce results? I live on the gulf coast but am willing to travel to find a good dr that will take a few minutes to look at a lifetime of testing.  I would love to think that one day I can enjoy food and trying new things, but now I am surviving on yogurt, dry cereal, baked potatoes and crackers.  Life *****

any help would be more than apprecicated
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