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Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: Is this some sort of the flu? Or What?

 AngieA - Fri Feb 13, 2004 2:53 am

Lately I have been feeling kind of ill, but I thought nothing much about it. My stomach hurts and I throw up every now and then, it wasn’t that big of a deal but it has been going on for almost a week now and I am so thirsty all the time, I mean REALLY thirsty, but it just makes me go the bathroom all the time and I get dizzy anyway, so… is that just a bad case of the flu? How do I fix it, Pepto-Bismol didn’t really help so any other ideas? I tried Tylenol, and Advil but they didn’t do too much. Anyway…
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:42 am

User avatar If its getting worse then I think its probably time you got a proper examination. You may also need some lab tests.
 AngieA - Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:46 am

Do you think I should wait another week or so to see if it goes away? Is there anything I could take to make it go away? I’m going to college right now and am really tight on funds so I really can’t afford to go to the doctor yet. So if there is anything I could take to get better I would be willing to try it.
Thanks again
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Feb 13, 2004 4:02 am

User avatar Angie,
It could be just a cold or some stomach infection but the more it stays the more demanding it becomes. You just have to exclude a more serious cause for this. It would be wrong to take something to make the symptoms go away before we exclude any serious causes.
 AngieA - Fri Feb 13, 2004 4:04 am

Do you think it will be alright to wait on the visiting a doctor for a little bit? What else could it be?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Feb 13, 2004 4:20 am

User avatar For a list of the causes of vomiting check this page:

What are your stomach pains like? Are they cramp like pains? Where are they situated? Above your belly button? Does it hurt when you press there?
Are you taking any medications?
Is your period regular? Is it due yet?
Do you have diarrhea or constipation? Is there a sense of nausea (feeling sick - unable to eat because of it)?
Are you complaining of anything at all besides the dizziness?
 AngieA - Fri Feb 13, 2004 4:54 am

My stomach is sore kind of lower then my belly button, and I am not on any meds, or drugs or anything special. My Period? I think it's fine. It's not regular (I don't think anyone really is...), but it isn't due yet. No Diarrhea, constipation, or "nausea”. I am more tired then normally, my throat hurts a little but I am guessing it’s from throwing up, and just a part of being sick. Like when you have a cold. Other then that nothing else is really bothering me. I don’t know if this is relevant or not… but I went for a small walk this morning to see if the out doors would help, and when I was finished it felt like my heart was going to beat right out, it took a little bit for it to slow down. I guess that’s just a part of the flu. Anyway, is it the flu? Any ideas?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Feb 13, 2004 5:05 am

User avatar It doesnt look like the flu, especially if you don't have a fever. It seems that whatever the cause maybe you have lost a lot of fluids through vomiting which has led to your sensation of dizziness and your palpitations. How many times have you vomited on avarage daily? I really don't think this should wait any longer. Do they have a university hospital that can help where you study?
 AngieA - Fri Feb 13, 2004 5:25 am

I throw up on average of 2 -3 times a day, but I have to go the bathroom a lot as well. I was hoping that if I go the bathroom I would stop throwing up. The Main City Health Center is not open yet, if you are talking about going right now. It’s a weird time here right now. I was so tired all day I barely made through classes, and I took a lot of naps. But I didn’t feel too great tonight, so I couldn’t sleep. The University here does have a Health Center, however they are used mainly for the sports, and they will be closed this weekend and beginning of next week for the holiday. If it is not the flu what could it be?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Feb 13, 2004 6:50 am

User avatar Its a very extensive list of causes really.

Migraine: nausea & headache
Labyrnthine disorders: nausea & vertigo
Cerebral lesion (increase ICT): blurring of vision, headache, projectile vomiting, focal neurological manifestations.

Toxic: maybe delirious + abnormal Labs, pH, electrolytes
Diabetic ketoacidosis
Metabolic acidosis
Electrolyte (Sodium and potassium) abnormalities

Kidney failure
Liver failure (hepatitis)

Adrenal insufficiency

Drugs & toxins

Food alergy

The common denominator in these conditions is that they are all accompanied by a sense of sickness (nausea).

The fact that you have frequent micturition raises the possibility of diabetes which should be excluded.
 AngieA - Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:41 am

On a Update
I do not have “nausea” if that is the feeling that keeps you from eating, my stomach just hurts a bit. However I am not throwing up as much any more (but that might be because I don’t eat as much either). I am still very thirsty and have to go the bathroom all the time I think I am losing weight too, is that cause I go the bathroom all the time? The thing that has me really concerned is the fact I am so tired, and that I think I am drinking enough to fix all that I have lost in fluids but I still get my heart racing and feel dizzy. One thing on the list is that I am definitely not pregnant.
Anyway the University Health Center opens on Wednesday (after the holidays) So I think I might go in then if anything else happens or it gets worse. But until then is there anything I can do (take Anti-urinating meds?) OR something that will keep me awake?
Thanks tonz
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:27 am

User avatar I am glad your feeling better Angie! Could you get a blood or urine sugar test done? If you know anyone thats diabetic or you know a nurse they maybe able to help you with that till you have the opportunity to go to the health center on Wednesday.
You shouldnt take anything to make you stop urinating, rather you should take as much fluids as possible to compensate for the amount you are losing.
 AngieA - Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:23 am

One of my roommates has one of those blood sugar test things, she is hypogycem...whatever. She said I could use it while she was on her date tonight.
What is it suppost to be? It said 425 is that ok? put the wrong digit in the first time...
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:20 am

User avatar Angie 425 is very high and is clearly in the diabetes range. Did she help you with the technique or did you do it yourself? I think you should go to the nearest hospital and check your blood sugar there. This cannot wait any longer. Please keep me posted as to what happens.
 AngieA - Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:31 am

I've seen Linda ( my roommate) do it before, you take the little strip, put it in the surgar blood test then prick yourself with the little neddle shoot thing, then put the drop of blood on the part of the strip with the blue mark, wait ten sec. then walla..
What could happen right now?
At the very sec I cannot go to the hospital, can it be fixed here?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:51 am

User avatar Angie, this is how I think you should proceed.
If possible you should go to the hospital immediately. If not then call 911.
If you can't then as soon as your roomate comes back have the test repeated and have her do it for you. Thats just to make sure that your reading is that high. It certainly matches your symptoms.
If confirmed then you have a very high blood sugar level. Combined with your vomiting and your stomach pains then you are already starting to go into diabetic ketoacidosis. A very serious and very grave condition. You will need insulin and will need fluids until the situation is controlled. There is no way you can fix this alone. There is also no way you can leave this for later. Ketoacidosis progresses without insulin and you could enter a phase of coma. Do you know a nurse or does one of your friends have a relative that works in a medical facility in your area. They may be able to help. If not then it will be worth while to go to get it checked at the hospital.

yes its serious it shouldnt even wait till the morning!
 AngieA - Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:59 am

until she gets back is there anything I can do, she will be out for a little while...
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:06 am

User avatar No Angie, theres nothing at all for you to do as long as you take it seriously. All that said I want to add that if it is confirmed that your blood sugar is high then treatment at this stage will be straight forwards. The only risk is by neglecting this.
 AngieA - Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:08 am

This is a really dumb thing but I thought I would ask, I hope you don’t mind that I used the Last night I started my period and today it hurt so bad and on top of everything else it was just… well it really wasn’t fun so I took some Tylenol (2). Cause that is all I have, but it didn’t help so I took some more (abo 2), please tell me if it ok to take Tylenol more then just a few times, cause I took it a bit more then a few but the pain never went away.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:11 am

User avatar With Tylenol you should not exceed more than 4 gms per day (its very difficult to do that), but i don't think it has anything to do with your situation.
 AngieA - Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:12 am

Its getting late, is it ok to take a nap until my roommate gets said something about a coma, (its getting really late out here and I was wondering if it is ok to still sleep?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:16 am

User avatar Yes its ok to sleep. As long as your sure to wake up when your friend comes back. It would be a good idea to write a note telling her to wake you up to confirm the blood sugar reading.
Keep me posted.
Good luck!
 AngieA - Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:50 am

My roommate got back, And she did check my blood sugar levels, they were 426. She was surprized, but she wanted to know since I have been sick most of the week and seem not to be as bad, is it ok to wait 4 hrs (it will be 7am then) since it only seems to make me sick but not dieing. Linda also has a friend who uses insulin that lives only a block from here, do you know or think I could just use some of hers?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 15, 2004 6:00 am

User avatar Angie, please do not wait any longer as you can clearly see your blood sugar is on the rise. Diabetic ketoacidosis unfortunately can kill.
 AngieA - Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:10 pm

So, we went to the community hospital. Well the doctor was REALLY surprised at the sugar level and had it done twice to make sure. Then there were I.V.s, Blood samples, urine samples etc… and bags of what looked like water… They called it something like Normal Sal...I have no clue looked like water. Gave me some shots. The Doctor was also surprised that my breath didn’t smell funny. (I don’t know why he thought that was so important, but he changed his mind on what he thought the problem was.) He thought it was “Diabetic Ketoacidosis” but then said he thinks I might have a case of what’s called “Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Coma”. They are going to run tests I guess and call me about it later. He also thinks it is weird that I have it so young. Then he said that he thinks that I might be a little sick (like normal sick) on top of it (perhaps because of the weather out here) Anyway Got to come home for a little bit. I am going back there in a few hours, but he wants me to go to a different Doctor tomorrow, one that doesn’t work at the ER in the hospital. But to come in if I feel at all sick. Is the second problem worse then the first? Am I then Diabetic. I didn’t ask there cause I was to upset about the tests and all and wanted to come home as soon as it was fixed. They seem to think that it can’t just be fixed like that though.

 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:13 pm

User avatar Angie,
I am glad you went to the hospital. It was really dangerous going around like that on your own. I am not in a position to say if you have diabetic ketoacidosis or not. That was just a speculation based on some of your symptoms. It can easily be determined by the blood tests and /or urine tests they may have requested in the ER? Either way the shots you were given were probably insulin. This is something you need to have regulated.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency. The blood sugar goes high and the blood starts acidifying due to something called ketone bodies (molecules such as ketonic acid which are made by the body to compensate for the lack of energy accompanying diabetes). If your blood goes acidic thats very dangerous. This could lead to coma and could lead to death if left untreated.

You were wise to go to the ER this morning. Please go the doctor you were referred to tomorrow. He will know more about your condition and fix this thing for good.

Check our page about diabetes to learn more about it.

 AngieA - Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:18 pm

What is the difference between Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Coma?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:22 pm

User avatar The difference lies in the fact that in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) the body form ketone bodies which are acidic. In hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic coma the body does not form ketone bodies. But like your doctor said this is usually more common in the elderly Type II diabetes (milder form of diabetes).
 AngieA - Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:37 am

Went to the new doctor, had the sugar tested again. It was normal when I went home from the hospital, but it jumped back up to 295 by the next morning. My new Doc wants me to go the hospital and stay there for a while, so they can get everything under control. I am kind of scared. They think I have that HHNK thing ( I learned the abbreviation for it makes it easier to say, and type. ) What does this mean? And what is going to happen?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:21 am

User avatar Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Coma develops as a result of very high blood glucose concentrations in blood. Dehydration resulting from excessive fluid loss with very high blood glucose causes blood water levels to fall. This dramatically worsens the problem of high glucose, concentrating sugar more. In patients who develop HHNK insulin is produced in contrast to diabetic ketoacidosis in which no insulin is produced. So severe ketosis seen in DKA is prevented. Still, HHNK is life threatening and requires immediate medical attention. I agree totaly with the second doctor, I was rather surprised when they allowed you to go home the first time. They will invistigate your condition and will also exclude that there is a cause behind your diabetes (2ry diabetes). I know you must be worried but from now on since you are receiving medical attention it will be just a matter of time before everything is fixed.
 memorylane4ever - Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:02 pm

You need to go to the doctor if you haven't already! My son is Type1 Diabetic and you are having classic sypmtoms of diabetes. Either type1 or type2. If you go into diabteic ketoacidosis you could DIE with out treatment..... His was misdiagnosed until he went into DKA,,,, please don't wait this is a life threatning situation. I hope I am not intruding here, just concerned. I am a nurse for PCU, Med/Surg here in Ak and when you go in to the doctor I would make sure you let him/her know about the blood sugar reading you got off your friends meter... i hope everything works out for you.
 AngieA - Sun Feb 29, 2004 4:57 pm

J Thanks for your concern. Went to the doctor a little bit ago. I have Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Coma. From what I understand I can’t go into DKA. My case is rather odd in the fact that it happened with iut me having a history of Diabetes and me being 19. However is not unheard of. For people in my case sugar can go quite high, higher then normally high and I still might not have signs of it till then because the body has enough insulin to not let the body make “ketones” but not enough to get rid of all the sugar. Anyway I think this is right, I might be wrong since I am just learning about it.
If I am wrong I am sure on of the doctors on here will post a correction after me…
Thanks for your concern
 AngieA - Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:02 pm

On a update…
Life is getting back to normal now, I went back to classes and am catching up in homework. My doctor hasn’t worked with someone so young that goes into HHNK. So this is kind of new for him, I have to go in every couple of weeks for a while then I will be able to stop for a few months. He wants to keep a tight tab on my sugar levels seeing how fast they rise and all that. I have sugar monitor. We are currently planning out the best way to keep it at normal levels. I really don’t know how I feel about taking insulin. I feel better though. It is nice not to feel like I have the neve ending flu.
Thanks for your help
 AngieA - Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:54 pm

Quick Question, I will not be seeing my doctor for a week or so...I am going on a trip to the mountains this week, but there is a chance we could get stuck there for a little bit ( if bad enough about two weeks) you think it would be ok if I went, and possibility miss my Doctors appointment? Or do you think that because this is new I shouldn’t chance that?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:00 pm

User avatar Well I have a feeling your not going to like my answer Angie. I don't think you should chance that until you understand your disease more and become an expert in treating yourself. Not a good idea to miss your doctors appointment when you are trying to adjust your dose.

 AngieA - Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:06 pm

Dr. Fouad,
You have got to be kidding...I personally think that he is already being too protective, REALLY do you think that it would be unwise. From a persons view and not a doctors view?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:11 pm

User avatar Angie,
Im not kidding. You have to be very protective till your body gets used to your insulin shots. As straight forward as everything seems right now, diabetes can come up with some pretty nasty surprises that you have to be ready for. Wait a little.
 AngieA - Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:18 pm

Can we make a deal? I go on this little trip and if anything goes wrong, or even is the sugar gets a tiny bit high then I will turn around and go back…or call 911 or something? If you’re not game on that then I think I might decline from the trip. What do you think could go wrong with the shots? If I took too much on accident couldn’t I just eat something and get better?
….Thanks again
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Mon Mar 01, 2004 3:41 am

User avatar The thing is that while you are in the process of determining the most appropriate insulin dose, your physical activity is taken into account as well as your eating habits. One of the most serious complications of diabetes is when you get a hypo. I am sure your doctor must have told you about that. Your blood sugar goes very low because the insulin dose is higher than is required for your blood sugar level (because you either didnt eat too well or you performed too much physical activity).

Ok we will make a deal! Call your doctor up and if he agrees ok! :)
He's probably the best person to judge since he can change your dose and diet to make it more agreeable with your trip. Not sure he'll be too happy about hearing it though.

Good regards.
 AngieA - Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:40 am

He doesn't like the idea and is against it...he says no. Because the area we are going to has no medical facilities near by and that I am not stable enough to taking long trips that have a chance of a mishap ( such as the snow/ice for many days) with no way to get to a medical anything.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:09 am

User avatar I guess its all for your own good. Its just a matter of time before everything in your life returns to normal.

Warm regards

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