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Long-term nausea/vomiting: symptoms only subside if I lay down
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Long-term nausea/vomiting: symptoms only subside if I lay down

For the past year I have been getting consistently sicker and have been to a wide array of doctors. No one knows what is wrong!

I am constantly nauseous and have bouts of vomiting. It does not seem tied to any one type of food. There have been days where I have had a vitamin water and a poptart -- and will walk around for awhile and have had to vomit. The only way I feel better is if I lay down.. sitting and/or standing do not help at all. Anything that is tight on my stomach makes everything worse. I'm never sure what will trigger my nausea -- but I know that alcohol is the thing that is most likely to cause me to have an upset stomach. And I do not mean a number of drinks, sometimes I will have one drink with my friends and I'm done for.

I have had an ultrasound, test for the H Pylori Bacteria, a scan of my gallbladder (they injected me with something to see how my gallbladder would react -- I had a very strong adverse reaction to this test but my gallbladder came back normal), food allergy test, and I have also had a biopsy tissue sample of my stomach taken. Apparently there is nothing wrong.. and I feel like I am getting scammed by constantly getting tests done (and spending a lot of money) without any result.

I have been on Protonix, Carafate, and some other medications for a month or so at a time.. and it did not make a difference.

I'm also about 5'6" and 130 pounds -- so I am not overweight, but I am not exceptionally active as I am in my last year of graduate school.

I am on birth control, concerta (for ADD), wellbutrin (Anxiety) on a daily basis -- and I have exercise induced asthma. (Just trying to cover all the bases).

Usually after I eat I just want to lay down for about 30 minutes to an hour in order to not feel nauseous. Usually I can just put up with the nausea, but other times it is unbearable and I have to run to the bathroom. If I do any sort of exercise (I mean.. like even walking around a little bit) when I start feeling nauseous -- well that just makes everything a lot worse. The only thing that makes me feel better is to lay down with my head propped up a little bit.

Basically I am at my wits end. I am so sick of being sick -- I am never sure when it is going to hit and so I have to have a planned exit strategy to head home if need be. I would really like this to get taken care of so I can manage it better. My current diet consists of oatmeal, pb&j sandwiches, ham & cheese sandwiches. I basically eat the same thing every day so as not to upset my stomach, but that doesn't always work -- and sometimes I will get sick anyway.

I'm really in need of some answers. I'm supposed to study for the Bar exam this summer and take it in July -- and I don't want this stomach issue to interfere with my ability to study well this summer. Additionally I would just love to know what I can do to manage my symptoms to the best degree possible!
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8 Comments
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Have you been checked for inner ear problems?
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Perhaps you have  a food allergy? I would say abdominal migrane (migraine) due to stress or migraine variant?  I have a migraine variant and was just throwing up at night all night  and stomach pain and no headache. It is possible but my symptoms were at night only and would continue on into the next day if not treated. I was EEG positive and got on an antiseizure/antianxiety med and it helped. I don't know if this is related to your problem just mentioning that you can get stomach problems from a migraine. Can you pinpoint certain foods that trigger it?  Only other thing is something like reflux or even Krohns or irritable bowel.  Have you had an upper and/or lower GI? I'm sorry you are going thru this.
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I recenitly dealt with chronic stomach pain and a drug that really helped me is Xifaxan. It's an anti-parasite drug and it also helps many people with IBS.  The theory is that there are unknown parasites in the gut causing pain and inflammation. I took it for 10 days, but I didn't notice significant improvement for about 5-6 days. I continued to improve for 3-4 days after I finished it as my poor ravaged stomach healed.
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One more thought... I also had some gallbladder pain along with my stomach pain. I researched the HIDA scan, and I learned that if it's really painful, it could suggest the gallbladder itself is infected (even if it's functioning okay). I was prescribed Ursodial for a couple months and the gallbladder pain faded away.  I don't know if the Ursodial helped, or if it was referred pain from my stomach that the Xifaxan took care of.  I was just grateful my doc was willing to try things not knowing exactly what was causing the problem.
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No I haven't.. Maybe I should look into that?
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I haven't had an upper GI done, but I do know that there are no certain foods that trigger it
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I had severe gallbladder pain during the procedure, but then it went away. Did yours go away? Or were you prescribed medication because the pain didn't leave?
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I was considering the HIDA scan, but my gallbladder pain went away.  I was treated for both h.pylori and unknown parasites and each treatment helped me feel a bit better. I also had too much stomach acid which was causing pain. (I clearly had multiple issues.)  

In my research on the HIDA scan, I learned it could be painful.  But severe pain suggests the gallbladder itself could be infected. Sometimes an infection doesn't show up on blood tests or on scans.  Did your scan show full function?

Have you been checked out for a hiatal hernia?  Do antacids or mylanta or pepto bismol seem to help, even if just temporarily?  Could it be an acid balance problem?  Have you tried eliminating gluten from your diet?

Do your intestines seem to be functioning normally?  Too slow or too fast or too many?  Do you seem to have undigested food coming through?

Sorry for so many questions. I don't know if I can help, but I can share from what I learned about my own experience. This is a scary thought and I apologize for sounding scary, but a friend of ours developed colon cancer in the transverse colon close to the stomach.  Her only symptom for several months was stomach pain and nausea.  Two stomach biopsies didn't show it, but when they couldn't thread the tube through for a colonoscopy, then surgeons went in and did exploratory surgery and found it. You are much younger than most colon cancer patients, so this is really unlikely, but given the unknown, it might be worth asking the doctor if s/he thinks it's a possibility.

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