Gastroenterology Community
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Avatar universal

Extreme nausea, fatigue, lethargy, headaches, IBS, PMS

Bit of a long story but......

I have been a long sufferer of Gastritis, diagnosed with an endoscopy ten years ago.  It has generally remained relatively controlled by medication (I have been on one form or another of Nexium for ten years, at quite high dosage), though I have always still had issues with nausea.  I was also 'diagnosed' with IBS about 2 years ago, though without any real tests, as I know it is hard to pin point.  Two years ago I also had an MRI of my small intestine which revealed no abnormalities.  I have a history of depression but have not been on medication for it for over 2 years as I never felt that they did me much good.

In the last 4-5 months I have been increasingly ill.  I am from Scotland but have been travelling in Australia for almost 16 months now.  I did experience quite severe emotional trauma 6 months ago, and due to my deteriorating health it has been difficult to fully pick myself back up since then, tough other aspects of life have certainly improved.  My nausea has increased to a point that it debilitating on a daily basis, my fatigue can be anywhere from mild to extreme day to day. Some days I can barely lift my arms over my head.  I am almost constantly bloated, I have occasional acute headaches, dizziness, bad flatulence, inconsistent bowels (often feeling constipated, but when I do go it comes out like diahrea).  My menstrual cycle has become less regular, and my PMS has changed completely.  My whole life I have experienced some nausea, depression and fatigue the day before my period starts, with cramps and a little nausea on the first day or two of it.  now my PMS is beginning over a week before my period, with cramps, extreme nausea, increased fatigue, and it is quite debilitating.  I have been to several doctors in Australia (as a UK citizen I am entitled to the same medicare as residents), walked into 4 different emergency departments and tried to seek further help, but to little avail.  I've had a few blood tests, all of which have ruled out celiac and have shown relatively normal levels of everything else.  Vit b12 was a little low on last check, but not low enough to indicate pernicious anaemia, and it has been low in the past.  I finally explored a more holistic route in took on an anti candida diet, since all of my symptoms fit it.  So for over a month i have had no sugar, yeast, wheat, dairy, fruit, preservatives or additives.  The detox is supposed to come with side effects, but for the first week I felt fantastic.  A little over a month in and I feel awful again, easily as bad as before I started it.  I have been a relatively heavy and/or regular drinker for quite a long time, always enjoying a little too much red wine, but now I have not had a drink for over a month and it doesn't feel as if I've made any difference.  If I miss so much as one dose of my gastritis nexium I am instantly plagued by acid reflux and heart burn again.

I have been un able to work for over three months now due to sickness and am scraping by on the last of my money.  I can't afford to go on like this and I have stopped living as I travel, but merely existing instead.

Any tips or advice would be so so welcome or if anyone wants to ask further questions I'd be happy to answer.  About to go and see new doctor number 12.

Tags: nausea, bloating, PMS, dizziness, Headaches, lethargy, fatigue, Depression
8 Responses
Avatar universal
Welcome to the gastroenterology community!  A lot of your symptoms could be from depression or anxiety/stress which could be due to your recent trauma.  I would recommend talking to your doctor about this possibility.
Avatar universal
I have thought about that yes, and thanks for the feedback.  However I not unmotivated, generally unhappy (apart from with my health), and on the days I am feeling better I am full of energy and optimism.  It really doesn't feel lke my past depression but I suppose it's worth looking into anyway.  Cheers
1756321 tn?1547095325
My mother's dozens of medical health conditions/symptoms (some very serious and potentially fatal) was actually due to nexium. It was only when she stopped this drug, the symptoms started to resolve..took up to 6 months if i recall.  Nexium is known as the purple pill of misery for a good reason.

My mother has been on acid blockers for 25 years, the last 5 with nexium. She had gastritis for 25 years/last 5 years in severe pain, severe GERD and LPR for 5 years.

She stopped nexium and gaviscon and started digestive enzyme supplements (helps with digestion) with meals and betaine HCL with pepsin (increases stomach acid) only with protein meals.  25 years of gastritis improved 95% in over a year and GERD and LPR went away after a few weeks. The proteases (enzymes that digest protein) significantly speeds up healing of ulcers, gastritis, and wounded tissue.  Insufficient stomach acid is the most common cause of non obstructive acid reflux conditions.

The following steps help to determine your stomach's acidity:

1. Perform this test first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (before
eating or drinking)

2. Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of baking soda into an 8 oz glass of cold water

3. Drink the solution and start timing

4. Record the time until you first burp up gas

5. Perform this test for 5 consecutive days (or longer) at the same time each day to give a better estimation of your stomach’s acidity

Time until first burp:

If you burp immediately and excessively your stomach acid level is probably too high

Under 2 min: indicates normal acidity

2 - 5 min: low normal acidity

Over 5 min: possible hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid)

No burping indicates possible achlorhydria (no stomach acid).
Avatar universal
Thanks for clarifying that.  I would have recommend that you think about trying different food elimination diets, but it seems like you already tried that and it didn't help.  Have you had an endoscopy recently?
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for taking the time to write so much!  There's a lot of really great advice there and I'm going to look into it more and see if the change in meds might be suited to my needs.  Thanks again and I'm glad your mum's so much better.
Avatar universal
Oh and patient915, thanks also for the advice.  I have been on a wheat free, dairy free, yeast free, sugar free diet for weeks!  I have just started eating small amounts of fruit again but nothing else yet.  And sadly it's not helped.  My last endoscopy was 10 years ago and I've been pushing to get another one for months.  But public health care is not the best and I'm struggling to be seen by anyone!

Also red_star......I have not tried the baking soda test yet, but my whole life I have been un able to burp up gas.  I do get feelings of rising air in my chest and throat, often very uncomfortably, or when I have indigestion, it can be dibilitating.  But I do not and cannot actually burp up gas.  I remember doing it maybe three times in my whole life.  Does this indicate anything that you're aware of?
1756321 tn?1547095325
No problem. :)

A condition called "Schatzki ring" can prevent burping.

From the able2know forum on inability to burp:

"I have a blood relative that had a simple procedure done in Canada to fix his problem. Turns out he was having lots of difficulty burping and had the same symptoms. The ring at his esophagus was 9mm wide. The doctor did a test with liquid and found this out. They inserted a balloon type device to the opening and enlarged the rings to 17mm or more. He can burp now."

The liquid test mentioned above is called a barium swallow study or esophagram.  
Avatar universal
Digestive enzymes have changed my life! I had constant abdominal pain, bloating, eggy burps, diarrhea, constipation, vomitting, heartburn, reflux, etc. Had become scared to eat. Someone suggested digestive enzymes. I have been pain free for a week. I have eaten full meals. I'm convinced.
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