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Thickening of the bladder wall after having a stomach bug?

I am a fairly healthy 37 year old male. I used to keep myself in really good shape, lifted weights a lot, etc.  Then in my 30's, my energy started declining considerably. A couple of years ago, I had a sleep study that showed I might have a mild to moderate sleep condition. However, a little over a week ago my family got severely ill with something that swept through the household. One family member got violent vomiting/diarrhea at the same time for about a day and a half. Another got moderate diarrhea. Neither had GI symptoms past their sickness time. I got diarrhea for about 1.5 days and probably went to the bathroom at least 30 times during that time. It was dark, liquid/tarry-like diarrhea. Apparently Pepto Bismol (which we took a good bit of during that time) can cause that dark stool. Some medicines, drinks, etc., can also cause it. After a few days, mine went away. However, I have had lingering symptoms where my lower stomach below the navel hurt for days. Hurt as in...I couldn't sleep one night it hurt so bad. I went to the ER. They did some blood work, took a urine sample and also sent me for a CT scan with contrast of my abdominal and bladder area. The ER doc came back and vaguely mentioned that they saw a little thickening of the bladder wall for some reason. They sent me home with 500mg Ciprofloxacin twice a day for 5 days "in case I had some kind of infection" (which they didn't think I had). They basically told me to see a GI doc. When I bend over, I feel like a "folding" sensation around my bladder, like it is stiffer or something. My urine is normal/clear. I have been over the official stomach bug for over a week now, but I still have some diarrhea about once a day. Some days it is more normal and others it isn't. I believe I may have had Gastroenteritis. In addition to the antibiotics, I'm taking a probiotic pill once per day. Sometimes I feel like my abdomen area is "pulsing" at night or something if I lie on my stomach while sleeping. There isn't really much or any pain from the bladder area most of the time. Sometimes it feels a little sensitive or slightly painful if I press on it. Sometimes I have frequent urination, but again, it is clear like water. I do drink a lot of water.

What would have caused this to come out of nowhere and what could it be? I have Cigna "critical care coverage" for stuff like cancer diagnosis and such. However, my official health insurance sign-up isn't until March and it kicks in April 1. I've already spent a few thousand at hospital ERs. They claim it is "anxiety" causing me to have rapid heart beat/sometimes elevated blood pressure. I get random "panic attacks" out of nowhere, for no reason. I just started getting those a couple of months ago. GP doc worked me over for every kind of blood test imaginable. Nothing. ER did the same. Nothing. I've had an MRI of my organs. Only 5 insignificant cysts (said to be commonly found on/in the liver by accident when scanning for some other problem) showed up on the MRI. Adrenal glands and other organs look fine. Sometimes if I press on my bladder/lower stomach, I find that I start getting some kind of odd "panic attack" for an unknown reason. I woke up after being asleep for an hour the other night and had a very severe episode that I do believe was anxiety-related. I do not dispute the possibility of anxiety; my issue is that in 37 years, I've never had panic attacks. Ever. They came out of nowhere over the past couple of months and then I got hit with this stomach bug. Now I seem to have bladder issues and diarrhea with a dull ache/pressure in the bladder sometimes. Some days I urinate more frequently and other days I don't. I can't accept their diagnosis that this physical problem is "anxiety" related only. Some days my GI tract seems really upset/out of balance after I eat. When I lie down, my stomach gurgles and bubbles a lot. No history of any GI issues, no history of heartburn or any digestive issues.
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Avatar universal
Bladder wall thickening is nonspecific. If the bladder is not well filled, then it can appear artifactually thickened due to partially collapsed state. If the bladder is well filled, diffuse wall thickening can be seen with bladder infection (cystitis) or chronic bladder outlet obstruction (due to BPH). Alternatively, bladder wall thickening may be reactive to infection in adjacent organs (e.g., colitis or diverticulitis) or recent interventions (e.g, radiation therapy).
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