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Avatar universal

Nausea for over 6 months

History
1. Lactose Intolerance since approximately 10 years old. Main symptom is diarrhea after consuming dairy products, especially milk or ice cream.
2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome since approximately 16 years old. Main symptoms are frequent bowel movements/urges and diarrhea.
3. Mononucleosis at 17 years old.
4. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 17 years old, presumably as a result of mononucleosis.
5. Kidney Stone in September of 2006 that was passed without surgery.

Current Symptoms
In approximately September of 2007, I began having occasional bouts of nausea. This occurred only once or twice. In October, I consumed approximately 6 beers, then ate food from McDonalds at midnight and went to bed. I began having nausea that night. The nausea was accompanied by general stomach discomfort. The condition lasted until the next evening at 9:00 when I finally vomited and immediately felt better. One week later, the same condition occurred with the only differences being that I had eaten at Wendy’s rather than McDonald’s and that I vomited within an hour of eating and had no problems the next day. Again, the following week I had the same condition. This time, I developed excessive gas that built up in my abdomen along with constipation. The nausea was less or non-existent. The gas, bloating, and constipation lasted for the next 4-5 days. A few days later, I developed the nausea again that didn’t go away. I vomited every night for 3 nights in a row. The final night, I vomited at least 3 times and continued to have dry-heaves following that. After the vomiting had passed enough that I could leave home, I went to St Joseph’s ER.
At the ER on October 31, I had an abdomen CT Scan that showed a section of “inflamed bowel”. They tested my stool for blood and did several other minor tests. The physician’s assistant who saw me concluded that it was  a result of poor diet. He instructed me to stop eating fast-food, white bread, sugar, soda, and red meat. He told me to eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more water. I also received a prescription for Bentyl. I followed his instructions to the letter and slowly improved somewhat, but continued to have periods of nausea with no vomiting. I then made an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Leavitt for the end of November.
Dr Leavitt reviewed my symptoms and discussed the problem with me. At this point, I had made the appointment 3 days earlier, but on the days in between I had no symptoms. As I had no health insurance and no job, we tried to diagnose the problem without any expensive tests. We decided to try treatment for an ulcer. She prescribed Protonix and I tested negatively for H. Pylori. I rescheduled an appointment for 6 weeks later and was told if my symptoms didn’t return, I could cancel. The 6 weeks passed with only one or two nights with minor symptoms, so I cancelled the appointment.
Two days after my cancelled appointment, my symptoms began to return. Initially they only occurred one or two nights a week, and have never resulted in vomiting. Since January, the frequency of symptoms increased until nausea has become a nightly occurrence and sometimes occurs during the day. I would compare the feeling to the feeling one gets when he is very nervous or very hungry. It seems worse on nights when I haven’t had enough sleep. Also, belching has become difficult. I have to tense my stomach muscles and force the belch out. I also have occasional brief sharp pain in the middle of my back that is similar to what I experienced with a kidney stone. This may be unrelated as I think it could be a kidney stone, gas pains, or general back pain. At this time, I am still uninsured and have a low income, so testing and treatment cost is an important issue. My main concern is ensuring that the condition isn’t potentially life threatening or disabling.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
The 'inflammed bowel' is somewhat problematic. A poor diet is not going to cause an inflammatory condition. So at some point in the future that symptom needs to be investigated more fully.

Some of the symptoms you're relating could be due to a gallbladder problem, such as the one you're relating about the back pain. Typical gallbladder symptoms can be pain in the right side under the ribs and pain that radiates through to the back. Gallbladder issues can be provoked at times by eating fatty/greasy foods.

For the time being, you may want to try to follow a low fat diet to see if it is of help. But when you're able, get the inlammatory condition looked at.
Avatar universal
My original thoughts leaned toward gallbladder problems. If it was stones, they didn't show up on the CT Scan. I realize that a biliary scan is needed to be sure, but wouldn't the condition worsen if it were gall bladder? Recently good or bad diet has had no affect on the condition. I then began thinking it was an ulcer, but the H. Pylori test was negative. The fact that the condition doesn't improve or worsen is what confuses me. Also, would a lower GI problem cause perceived upper GI problems (nausea, etc.)?
Avatar universal
Nausea is a 'generalized' symptom. People with problematic conditions in a number of systems including the GI system experience nausea, so it would be hard to definitively say whether a lower GI symptom would produce nausea. But In my experience I'd say it probably could.

Also consider that one doesn't HAVE to have H. pylori to have gastritis, so that possibility can't be ruled out either.

Gallbladder issues can stay 'low-level' for weeks-to-years, so, no, it wouldn't have to worsen. And keep in mind that sludge may not show up in either a CT scan or on ultrasound. It's 'tricky stuff' and may need a really experienced radiologist to detect it.
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