I've been vomiting and having diarrhea for months and have no answer?

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For background:

I'm a 25-year-old female with a history of pancreatic cysts and who has broken several bones mysteriously doing everyday activities. Otherwise, I've been healthy. My family has a strong history of breast cancer, colon cancer, and diabetes. I'm overweight, and dieting. I have lost 40 pounds in the past year. I'm a vegetarian, if that's relevant. I used to smoke, but I quit months before this started, and I'm a light drinker.

Back in August, I started vomiting daily after lifting a heavy box while moving. I also started having about 6 bowel movements a day, most of which are not solid and are black/coffee ground consistency and/or have blood on the surface. I figured it was stress, but I went to the doctor anyway, fearing more pancreatic cysts. This was quickly ruled out with an ultrasound. I had also been feeling dizzy in addition to the vomiting, and having horrific headaches. My doctor ordered an MRI of my brain, which came back normal.

They also drew blood to test for thryoid problems, since my grandmother has them and so do many extended family members. That also came back negative, but I did show anemia and was low on blood, but not low enough for a transfusion. The day those results came back, I had blacked out for a few seconds at work and the doctor urged me to go to the ER. They treated me for a presumed ulcer, but I got steadily worse. I couldn't get in to see a GI for awhile, so I returned to the ER when I could not keep any food down, but the doctor there laughed at me when I told him I had gained 5 pounds in a day in spite of the vomiting and said that was "unlikely" even when I assured him I was not lying, but he ordered a CT scan that he said came back clear. The results proved my retroperitoneal lymphnodes were swollen. I've been having lower back pain, which might be related.

When I did get to see the GI, they ran blood test results to test my gallbladder function, and test for a variety of ailments. The only thing that came back was an Immunoglobulin A deficiency.

He also ordered an endoscopy, which showed I have a hiatal hernia and gastroparesis. They found a polyp in my small intestine, which was benign. I had a nuclear medicine test done on my gallbladder too, and that showed that my gallbladder is functioning at an above normal rate.

My GI seems intent on the idea that it's caused by my gallbladder, and wants me to have it removed, but none of the results indicate it. He has ignored my questions about the internal bleeding, the crushing pain in my lower back, and the diarrhea.

I'm currently being treated with: Reglan, Citalopgram, Pantoprazole, and Dicyclomine.

My blood level is still low. I take multivitamins with Iron in them, since iron pills tend to make me sick, but they are not helping. My GP gave me iron shots a couple times, but their help was fleeting. The Reglan seems to be making my appetite go through the roof, and since I started, my stomach has begun backing up into my throat, and it often feels as though there are sharp objects in it, like glass.

A friend recommended that I try glucose tablets to help with the dizziness, and they do help for a very short while.

Please, any information would help. I'm particularly scared since one test read that they had been unable to rule out cancer, and my doctor has been refusing to do a colonoscopy. This has cost me my job, and I have become suicidal and depressed as a result. I'm afraid I will never get better.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Iain, sorry you are not feeling well and feel frustrated by your lack of medical help. The problem is that some GPs don't treat the whole person and give out a bunch of meds to treat symptoms.

    Have you been offered counselling and have you told the GP about your suicidal feelings?  They have a duty of care to treat and not just prescribe anti depressants such as Citalopram. I had anxiety and depression and a course of sessions with a counsellor helped a lot.

    You have had blood tests and they would have shown up cancer so don't worry, didn't they reassure you? I wish you luck, remember you can ask for a referral to see a different medical person if you feel unhappy about your care.

    sheila

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your reply and concern! smile

      I know my GP wants to help, but is unable to. My GI is able to, but refusing tests that I ask for and fields my questions. I studied to be a medical librarian for 2 years, my sister works in a hospital, and my fiancee is a med student, so I do know a few things. I'm planning to see another GI, because I'm unwilling to have a perfectly functioning organ cut out.

      What's frustrating me in particular is the fact that I'm suffering from internal bleeding and dizziness, and my doctor seemed unwilling to acknowledge it or perform a colonoscopy when it was determined that my colon was bleeding.

      I'm currently seeing a psychologist for my depression, but even she doesn't know how low I feel. I'm out a job and a lot of money in medical bills only to be met with apathy when I ask for help from my GI.

      They didn't even mention cancer as a possibility, the blood test results I got sent to me indicated that the lab was unable to rule out cancer due  to some abnormality and said a colonoscopy was required, and then they refused to do it when asked later.

      (Don't get me wrong. I hate colonoscopies. I don't WANT one, but having one done would certainly rule things like Chron's Disease and Colon Cancer out completely.)

      They didn't reassure me at all, unfortunately. They haven't said much to me. Maybe they can tell I'm ready to give up.

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    • Posted

      Hi Iain, You have some knowledge on your side which is good but it needs to be joined up, just like the GPs and Consultants don't always join up the symptoms. As you may have read our experience is of UC which was diagnosed at one point as Crohns and then indeterminate. We went to John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford under Prof Mortenson and they were brilliant and definately treated the whole person including the pscychological damage of the pain and uncertainty that comes with illness. Along with St Marks in London, JR is the gold standard for treatment of GI diseases in UK, referral from your GP is an option. We wish we had gone there first rather than wasting time at the local general where they see only a certain group of symptoms infrequently and lacked the experience and insight.

      My son had his first colonoscopy without any sedation or pain relief and passed out as he was flaring up with severe UC at the time, i think some medics are sadists.

      Don't give up.my son has had 2 difficult and painful 2 years but is great now  fit and disease and pain free. There is light...

      Sheila

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you Sheila, I'm just glad I have enough knowledge to know that something is wrong here! I just wish I had gone to the right doctor. I'm planning to change to a different one with better ratings, and one that's closer. More than anything right now I need a doctor that's on my side.

      I'll try not to give up! I'm glad your son got better, it's good to be hearing from other people who have struggled with similar things! :D

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    • Posted

      Hi Brian, my son had Ulcerative Colitis, diagnosed by blood tests and endoscopy. i have written lots on here under UC as it was a severe case and he had many symptoms especially pain and blood and mucous from his bottom. He is well now as the diseased area was removed by surgery.

      Difficult times but his symptoms were so extreme that he was easily diagnosed, my heart goes out to the people with complex, diverse problems that are so hard to identify and treat.

      Good luck to all.

      Sheila.

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  • Posted

    Being aneamic is going to cause dizziness, when l had l was on ferrous a lot, also started causing nausea, injections problematic. l had to have my gall bladder removed due to inflammation, as seen on scan, chocylitus, and the g.i did a colonoscopy before doing surgery, some connection.Sounds like colonoscopy for you is highly needed, so cant understand your gps resistant to that, but l think its happening more with gps, l,m now struggling to get referral despite debiliating fatigue, bouts of nausea and pain.  Dont give up, l know its wearing when your feeling bad, been there, still there,  maybe back up might help,  have you tried contacting the practise manager, or changing docs. Are you usa, due to mentioning costs, further worry, but if private you,d think you had more say in it, but keep plugging away for colonscopy, and good luck

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, Lynne! I'm sorry to hear you're going through something so awful! sad

      I am in the USA, this whole thing is making me consider returning to Ireland, where I lived briefly. I just don't have the money to leave the US right now. I wish I did.

      My GP can't order the colonoscopy themselves, I don't think. They've been very kind to me so far, but they can't do much. The GI hasthe power to order it, but has refused to do so repeatedly. He really wants me to have my gallbladder removed even though tests have ruled it out as a cause.

      I've been going through this whole thing on my own, and I'm very weak, so it's hard for me to defend myself from getting steamrolled. I've tried very hard and tried to get people to go to the doctor with me, but so far scheduling has been an issue. I definitely have to change doctors, I'm not quite ready to give up yet!

      I hope we both get an answer soon!

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    • Posted

      hi, Its a battle wherever we are it seems, unless your loaded, but think its same procedure here, consultation and down to specialist what further treatment they decide on.  l,m the same, bad days, and days of battling on with symptoms and docs, and its a drag changing but needs be. Ireland is lovely, though rubbish weather as in uk at present, wet and floods, but not cold.

      good luck

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