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So everything I read on this forum is severe pain - going to the ER. I don't have anything that bad but I'm wondering if it's something that might be leading up to being that bad. I've always had what I assume to be a little IBS where I eat something (non specific), later on I cramp in the lower abdominal region and within minutes I'm having diarrhea. As soon as i have diarrhea the pain is gone and I can go about my business. This happens MAYBE 1-2 times a month.
A few months ago I went to the doctor after a random bout of what I assumed to be indigestion (never experienced it before so I'm not sure). I ate lunch one Sunday (unfortunately can't remember what it was) and then immediately lost my appetite for 3 days - probably from feeling something I've never felt before. I panicked and ended up at my regular doctor's office on Tuesday. He asked me some general questions and I had very vague answers unfortunately - no blood in the stool, no nausea, no vomiting, cramps aren't due to a certain type of food, I hadn't eaten anything new at this point that could affect me differently. He pushed around on my stomach but I had no pain other than him pushing on my stomach pretty hard. The best news he told me is that he didn't think it was a form of IBD. He put me on 40mg of Omeprazole 1/day 30-60 min before breakfast, and told me to start taking a probiotic (suggested Align but said generic would work as well) - never said why or what he thought might be the cause. I started taking it throughout the week and he scheduled me for an upper GI series with lower bowl follow-through. Sometime last year during my last physical, he also told me to start taking 2000mcg of Vitamin D and 1000mcg of Vitamin B-12 as my levels were low. I never really did as I am horrible at remembering to take pills daily but for some reason decided to start taking them with the probiotic. I would take the Omeprazole when I left for work with water, and then by the time I got to work and got my breakfast prepared it would be 30-45 minutes later and I would take the other pills with my food.
I started having some morning sickness due to the medication although I started getting my appetite back. I went for the test - results were normal. I did have a bit of reflux laying on the table (barium went back up into the esophogus once, I didn't feel it but you could see it on the x-ray) but the tech or results didn't say that it was anything to be concerned with.
After those results were normal, I asked for blood tests just in case and all came back mostly normal. From what I remember, they tested for diabetes (2 tests), liver function, pancreas function, CBC and a few other things that I can't remember. Only thing that was "abnormal" was my plateletts were slightly elevated (411 I beleive). I think I also just had my period so they told me to stay on the omeprazole and have more blood work done in 2 weeks. I didn't take the omeprazole for two days (first day for fasting for the upper GI and second day for fasting for the bloodwork). After going back on it, the morning sickness feeling seemed to subside - maybe too much at once in the beginning? Not sure but it went away so I didn't think anything of it.
Went back 2 weeks later for my bloodwork and that all came back completely normal (didn't have to fast for that). At this point my normal doctor had left for Florida and the doctor that originally owned the practice had taken over. When they called saying that the test results were normal, they referred me to a GI specialist. At this point, I didn't feel the need to call because the only problem I had was ONE instance of possible indigestion. Other than that I felt fine - plus I'm on high deductible and specialists aren't cheap.
After taking the omeprazole for a month without feeling any different (didn't really feel bad at all in the beginning anyways) and my test results were normal, I decided to stop it after reading horror stories of being on it for too long.
About a week or two later I had my regular OBGYN appointment and wanted to bring up the fact that I have completely lost my sex drive (my poor boyfriend). I have previously been on the nuvaring for many years and a side effect is decrease labido. I still don't understand why it was fine for so many years and then if it was the birth control, it started affecting me recently. She told me to go get some blood taken and they tested my thyroid and testosterone levels which were normal. She switched me to the pill saying that it MIGHT help since it is technically a different type of hormone but its still basically the same hormones so don't be surprised if it doesn't help. So I started taking them - no big deal.
Unfortunately I can't remember exactly when I started having weird abdominal discomfort but looking at my calendar of appointments, it looks like about 2 weeks after starting the birth control pills and over 4 weeks of being off the omeprazole. It was in my upper right abdomen and it wasn't "pain" by any means. It was just there and more of an annoyance than anything else. It was slightly crampy at times, slightly burning at times. Then the following Sunday I ate a new recipe we tried - pasta with a spicy alfredo and to kick it up a notch we added some homemade venison italian sausage. The burning got worse that night after eating and again, it wasn't anything too horrible. The thing that bothered me most is that I couldn't find a good position to sleep in. I either found a good position or it went away because I ended up falling asleep at some point that night.
Panicking again, I called the doctor's office and they told me to call the specialist and try to get in there. I called and set up an appointment - of course since I'm new and not urgent, I couldn't get an appointment for another month. Still panicking, I called my normal doctor back and they agreed that I shouldn't wait that long just in case so they squeezed me in the next day. He too pushed on my stomach a bunch and nothing hurt yet again. Since I said I had sausage the night of the discomfort, he immediately assumed gallbladder and scheduled me for an ultrasound the next day and told me start a low fat diet - no fats, creams, sausages, etc. After I told my dad all this, he decided it would be nice to mention that his sister and his mother both had their gallbladders removed - yey for heredity!
I went and got that done and boy was that painful. I'm on the heavier side so the tech was really pushing into my abdomen to try to get images. I cringed in pain once and she said she was trying to get images of the gallbladder so that just made it more clear to me that it's most likely that. Forunately but frustratingly, the results came back normal - whatever that means and my doctor told me to keep the appointment with the GI.
I was sore for a few days after that from the ultrasound - or so I assume as I was getting the discomfort on my lower right side as well now. By the weekend, it was clear that it was more of a burning sensation that seemed to originate in the upper right abdomen - more so on the side than near the center - and it radiated down (gallbladder usually radiates up so I thought). I would feel it on my lower right side and when I would go to squeeze in the area, I would realize that I would end up on my upper right side below the ribs is where the sensation was really coming from.
I started doing more googling (horrible, I know) but I came to the conclusion that I might have an ulcer. So on Monday morning I started taking the omeprazole again. Burning seemed to go away for the most part until Friday when I apparently thought I was SuperWoman and tried to eat a piece of breakfast pizza with sausage, bacon and ham - just one little piece! By the afternoon the burning was back. Yet again, not dibilating, hunched over, can't move pain. Just annoying. I went home from work at my regular time, laid in bed on my left side for a few hours with my right leg stretched out which seemed to help a bit. Decided to hop in the shower as it was feeling a bit better and I've noticed that the hot shower water usually helps. At some point in the middle of soaping up, I felt a minor pop in my upper right abdomen and didn't think too much of it. By the time I was done with the shower, the burning was gone and I felt great.
Over the following weekend (last weekend) I started feeling nauseous again in the morning and actually started having nightmares and was sleeping horribly. Remember that the nausea was caused by the omeprazole the first time, I stopped taking it (last dose was on Sunday morning). I felt nauseous most of the day Monday and Tuesday but started sleeping better. Today (Wednesday) I woke up feeling pretty much normal after having a normal nights sleep (I can never actually sleep the entire night, I'm always waking up and flipping over at some point or boyfriend's snoring wakes me up).
At this point - I have no idea what went on, what could be going on, or if it'll get worse or go away. The low fat diet seems to be helping as I haven't had any more instances of bad burning sensation. I either feel it or THINK I feel the burning every once in a great while - all along my right side for the most part. But if I start to do work or get my mind off of it, it seems to go away. It could be completely mental at this point and I'm doing my absolutely best to not stress out about it. My GI appointment isn't until 9/2 so hopefully then I can get some answers - or rules more things out.
Also in my googling spree, I found out that birth control pills put women at a greater risk for gallbladder problems. It's also ironic that I just switched methods and am wondering if this could be causing the problems.
Sorry for the lengthy post but the more information, the better - right? I was just wondering if anyone else experienced this, figured out what it was and cured it, or if it ended up getting worse in some fashion? As I mentioned - I am technically "obese" - 28 yr old female, 5'6", 225 lbs. I'm sure my weight doesn't help anything as gallbladder problems happen in obese women so now I'm out to lose some weight (SLOWLY!). Any input or peace of mind is appreciated.
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