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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Stomach ache and difficulty concentrating


 goff1976 - Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:30 pm

Six weeks ago I initially had severe diarrhea for a day, which was followed by 6 days of chills, severe fatigue, stomach ache, difficulty sleeping, irregular bowel movements, pain in the back of my head, and a loss of appetite. (No fever)

Those symptoms left for a two week period, although my stomach didn't feel quite right during this time, and then three weeks ago I had similar symptoms return, although they are not as pronounced. I have a stomach ache periodically right below my sternum, which sometimes feels better when I eat, but not always. The discomfort in the stomach seems to be worse when I wake in the morning with an empty stomach. My head has this dull feeling like I am in a fog and makes it difficult to concentrate, which comes and goes as well. It almost seems that if my stomach doesn't ache, then my head has this dull feeling. Also, I seem to be tired and weak, with slight chills periodically. I have waited for this to go away, assuming it was a virus of somekind, but I am gettign discouraged at this point.

I have been placed on a series of antibiotics and have had my blood tested for elevated white blood counts, which have been normal. Rectal exam noted no blood in stools and a stool sample indicated no parasites. No tenderness in abdomen area as well.

Any thoughts of what I have?

Thanks for any advice!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:21 pm

User avatar Hello -

While your initial complaint sounds a lot like "stomach flu" (usually a viral enteritis), what you're left with now is sounding more like gastritis, which can be caused by any number of things or can be idiotpathic (without known cause). Some people are more prone to this than others, and for some it often functions as a barometer of the emotions.

At any rate, gastritis (excessive stomach acid production) can be quite painful and can, over time, cause gastric ulcers. Either condition can produce a lot of the symptoms you desecribe, especially the epigastric pain (often relieved by eating), fatigue and weakness, and, yes, a dull feeling in the head or actual headache.

It's probably time for referral to a gastroenterologist, who can read these symptoms better and is equipped to test for gastritis (and also for helibactor pylori or h. pylori, a bacterial cause of some gastritis and stomach ulcers). Once you know what's going on it can be treated appropriately and sometimes dramatic relief can be achieved.

I'm sure you're tired of feeling this way by now, so please either ask your doctor for referral to a GI specialist.

Follow up with us, too. Good luck to you.

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