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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Burning stomach, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting.


 confused mommy - Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:33 pm

I am a 29 year old female. When I was 12-14 years old my pediatric doctor diagnosed me with acid reflux, he stated that the flap at the top of my esophagus was ate up by me drinking a well known cola. I was not put on anything for it, and I controlled it through diet. I had constant constipation since I was a child and having one bowel movement a week was normal for me. When I got pregnant the acid reflux became uncontrollable to the point that I needed IV fluids. After the pregnancy things got better and worse, until 2004 when I started having stabbing pains in my side with horrible acid reflux, I went to the family physician whom referred me to a specialist after I had a scan done of my gallbladder that came back less than 20% after 2 and 1/2 hours. The specialist said I had GERD and put me on Prevacid. It stopped the bad pain in the side, and the heartburn, but after losing my insurance I switched to TUMS. I had some trouble especially after bouts of vomiting that the heartburn was still uncontrollable, to the point of constant nausea. My husband and friends have told me I puke with stealth, not even gagging as I would vomit. Now after a bout with a virus a month ago I have the constant nausea/heartburn back, with fits of harsh projectile vomiting with heaving with no known cause (not a certain time of day... it doesn't matter what I eat.) about one out of every 3 days, explosive diarrhea that has lasted 3 days now, and my stomach is swollen. After I realized I couldn't get my vomiting under control I went to the ER who gave me a bag of fluids and phenergan (which I only take after I vomit due to not wanting to sleep all the time), and I felt better for a day or so, then I started vomiting again, so I contacted my family physician who checked me out and asked if I had my gallbladder, which I do. He seemed upset that they had not removed it previously, but wants me to go in for a CT scan to rule out Crones or an infection in my intestines, but I am currently waiting for a pre-approval from my insurance carrier. I am now sleeping all the time if I am on the phenergan or not, and my diet at this time is almost all bread which is concerning my husband. Yesterday I peed twice all day, and it wasn't as much as normal and the night before I threw up my plain bagel. We had asked if I needed any dietary supplements and the doctors office said it wouldn't matter because it is going straight through me. I have been having bad night sweats, hot hands and feet, and my arthritis started acting up worse than ever. Since this has started I have lost 15 pounds and it all dropped off in a 2 week period. Could this be my gallbladder again, since I know it is an issue that was never fixed? Is there anything else I should be looking for or ask my doctor about?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:11 pm

User avatar Hi there -

GERD has probably clouded the picture (as well as a very old-school physician who cared for you when you were 14 -- far too young to have suffered damage to your LES from drinking cola, if, in fact, that theory is ever settled, as it is pretty controversial anyway). In the meantime you have a gallbladder that's probably not been functioning properly for years, and you may have Chron's disease as well. Both need to be ruled out/in now. The gallbladder could well be causing this, but the fact that everything triggers your GI woes now makes this sound more like Chron's than gallbladder. The problem is one can have more than one thing going on at the same time, and in this case each thing could make the symptoms of the other get worse. So it's really wise that your current doctor wants to rule out Chron's. If that gets done the gallbladder will have to be rechecked and may well need to come out. There's a good chance, given the symptoms, that either or both could be causing this.

In the meantime, until you can have this aggressively addressed, you'll need to make hydration your number one concern, followed by adequate nutrition. This will obviously not be easy, so the sooner you can get this resolved medically, the better off you'll be. Oh, and the "stealth" vomiting is probably due to the grossly incompetent LES/GERD problem. There's pretty much an open door when your stomach decides to throw things out/up. That makes three things going on at once.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please follow up with us as needed. Good luck!

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