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Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Stomach Infection for Two Months?


 budgie2 - Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:28 am

My husband and I (both age 32) have a stomach problem that appears to be un diagnosable. We have both had upset stomach with loose stools or diarrhea for nearly two months now. My Dr. has ruled out all the following: h.pylori, e.coli, cyclospora, cryptospora, and ghiardia. I've had numerous blood and stool tests without result, and my upper GI series was completely normal. Our Dr. keeps telling us that we're completely normal, but we're still feeling sick - I'm hoping that someone on the forum can help me out. For about a week before the acute symptoms hit, I had reflux that was more like vomiting into my mouth without the full on vomiting. Then the vomiting really hit me, and I had very watery (but not bloody) diarrhea for a few days. The ER Dr. thought this was a stomach virus, since an MRI and x-rays showed no problems. Normally I've got a strong appetite, but for the next month I had no appetite and felt constantly nauseated. Within a week of my acute symptoms, my husband had the same exact thing. He still has reflux very badly, and we can only eat small amounts of bland foods. I'm drinking plenty of water, and am definitely not pregnant. I've lost about 10% of my body weight, and still my appetite is weak. What kind of infection could cause us to still be ill after two months? Can salmonella hang on this long? Any thoughts would be most appreciated - I'm at wits end!
 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:24 am

User avatar Hi budgie2,
Since you and your husband are both suffering the same symptoms it would seem to indicate a possible infection is present. I see that you stated that you have been tested for some types of infections but what about for example, C-Diff (Clostridium difficle)? Symptoms often encountered with this infection are abdominal discomfort, mucous in stools, foul smelling, diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset. Although this infection is often associated with hospitalization and long term care facilities it also is associated with certain antibiotics as well as transmission from contaminated surfaces, person to person, etc. I would suggest that you not only inquire about whether or not testing has been completed for this particular disorder but also testing for toxic heavy metals which is also a cause GI disturbances. If infections and toxic heavy metals are ruled out, I see where you stated that you had diagnostic xrays but what about any endoscopy procedures? Has this been completed or mentioned? Symptoms resulting from an infection caused by Salmonella typically last approximatly a week.
Sincerely,
Theresa Jones, RN
 budgie2 - Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:55 am

Hi Theresa,

Thanks so much for your quick reply! I have access to all my test results online through my Dr's office, so will go back and check whether they tested for c.difficile or heavy metals. They tested me for cryptosporidium and cyclospora because I asked - I know that test is not normally done. Those were the only things I could find which might last a long time and come and go as our symptoms have.

My husband is a student in social work graduate school, and has a placement at a rest home this year - that makes me suspicious about c.difficile. I'll update later on.
 budgie2 - Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:17 pm

Unfortunately, no luck on the tests after all. I was tested for clostridium difficile and it came back negative. They also did an ova & parasite culture x1, which doesn't explain exactly what they're testing for, but I think that is where they checked for e.hystolica, shighella, and yersinia. That test also came back negative, as it did for my husband. I think they also did check for heavy metals - we have both had about a dozen different blood tests to check for what kind of nutrients, antibodies, and everything else in there. My husband had elevated liver enzymes, which have gone down slowly over the last month. He has no general health issues that would explain that, so my Dr. is monitoring him on that. She's stumped as to what we could have. The gastroenterologist I saw said I'm completely healthy.

I forgot to mention that I haven't had endoscopy or a lower gi series. I did have ultrasound of my abdomen done, with no anomolies showing. The upper gi was so unpleasant I'm scared to do more testing.

Are there any other infections that are not commonly tested for that I should look into? Is it possible that whatever infection we did have caused some damage that will just take some time to work itself out? Thanks again for all your help!
 Theresa Jones, RN - Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:50 am

User avatar Hi budgie2,
Certain infections that cause diarrhea, generally speaking, may take more than one stool sample to be identified or ruled out. I would suggest inquiring about retesting with your physician.
Sincerely,
Theresa Jones, RN
 budgie2 - Tue Feb 28, 2006 4:24 pm

I've had a follow up with my Primary Care Dr. and am going to go back to a gastroenterologist for more testing. They want to do a colonoscopy, so I'll go and try that. Thanks again for all your help!

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