Hey all. This is my first post on the boards. My story is a long one, and the only reason I'm here is because it's one of the last 'possibilities' on a very long list.
Sorry for the long post. I just figure the more info I share, the better.
Back in May of this year, I had things going on in my life that made me feel very stressed and caused large amounts of anxiety. Shortly after this, I removed myself from my stressors, but the feeling of anxiety remained. Symptoms such as gnawing and burning pains in my stomach coupled with nausea (especially at night when I would lay in bed), no appetite and burping almost constantly made me think I had a stomach ulcer. I also lost ten pounds. I went to my primary, who agreed, and said I should have an endoscopy done.
Now, I don't have insurance. I've tried, but because I'm sick, no one will support me (yet).
I was told to take prilosec and to avoid spicy and fatty foods. I did as I was told for two weeks. Once I ran out of prilosec, I went on Omeprazole to save money. When I was off prilosec, I felt very, very ill. I had stabbing pains in my abdomen and couldn't eat. Sadly, omeprazole made me ill as well (big D) so I went off it.
By this time, it was a month or two later, and I wasn't feeling any better. I was barely eating, and had close to no sleep. I slept during the day and suffered major bouts of depression and anxiety. One thing I did realize was that, whenever I felt nausea or had the gnawing pains in my stomach, eating something usually made the symptoms go away. This only lasted two hours at most, then I'd have to eat again.
Hubs and I changed my meal routine so I was eating multiple small meals throughout the day. But I was still suffering from the stabbing pains in my abdomen, nausea at night as well as C and D every two to three days (one and then the other).
In September, I decided to stop with the dairy, caffeine as well as most sodas (aside from Sprite). I also went to a local urgent care because I couldn't stand waiting for health insurance anymore. The woman I saw checked me out, prodded my abdomen and told me I had Gastritis. I was given a med for my nausea and was told it should help most of my symptoms.
I waited a few days, but the meds only helped for three days before my health went downward again. The stabbing pains were worse, my mind was foggy, my hands shook, and I can barely concentrate on the smallest things. So, I went back to see her, and she still insisted it was gastritis. Bloodwork was taken for liver, kidney as well as H. Palori. All tests came back negative.
I didn't go back for a week or so. We decided to remove wheat and most other gluten as a possibility. I was starting to have very pale stools. This was a concern, even though the bloodwork for my liver was fine. We went back to urgent care, saw a new doctor, and he assured me it was probably because of my diet change. I had to eat more protein. So I did, and the pale stools slowly went away.
The only thing that was left to check on a possible diagnosis was a stool culture, which the woman at Urgent Care told me during our first visit as a possibility. Fast forward a few days to get the culture, followed by going to UC (again) to have it tested. They did a hemocult, which was negative. The doctor on call saw me, but didn't listen to what I had to say. He asked questions, then kind of assumed my answers. He said I had IBS as well as Colitis, wrote up three scripts and sent us out the door (not a good experience).
Hubs and I read up on colitis before filling the scripts. We didn't agree with the diagnosis. This was in the middle of the week. By this point, I was still off dairy, caffeine and gluten.
On the weekend, we went to the new Urgent Care closer to home, and what a difference! It was clean, organized, and the doctor sat with us for close to an hour, going over my history. Once we finished, he looked at us and said that I either had a gluten intolerance or something was wrong with my thyroid. He told me I had to go completely 100% gluten free to see if my symptoms cleared up. He asked me to do this for two weeks, with no cheating. I hadn't cheated before, but he said sometimes even rice (which I was eating) can be contaminated.
It will be two weeks this Saturday.
Last week, I went to see a holistic doctor. By now, I'm out of options. I still have the stabbing pains and slight nausea at least once a day. I went over my history with her as well as what I'm eating now. My staples currently are chicken, ground turkey in place of beef, gluten-free pastas with either rice flour or corn flour in them. She advised me that corn is harder to digest, as is quinoa. She also agreed it could be celiac, which I may find out tomorrow during my first full visit (the last one was a consult).
I've been keeping a food journal for almost two weeks now that includes food, reactions as well as bathroom visits. This past Friday, I made something with gluten-free pasta. I didn't look at the ingredients until I starts to feel sick and bloated. It had quinoa flour in it (never had quinoa before). By the evening, I had sharp stabbing pains, which got even worse come morning. I was constipated, and the pains kept moving from left to right, then left again.
Three days of pain and being curled up in the chair until it passed. Early the next morning, I had severe diarrhea. So, I now know quinoa is a big no-no for me.
As for why I'm here now, even though I still have the feeling of being unwell, I have seen improvements since I went gluten-free. I have suffered mood swings, loneliness and depression especially. I'm also tried, restless and have muscle fatigue.
I'm hoping to get closer to a definite answer tomorrow, but I'm also scared. I've been frustrated since most restaurants around us don't offer gluten-free, and if they do, it's only one item on the menu. I realize eating out is a thing of the past, and that it will take time to get used to it.
With everything I've said though, is it similar to what others have experienced?
I've had stomach issues for as long as I can remember. Not to the point of being homebound (until this past year) but going two or three days without a bathroom visit has been my 'normal' since I was a teen.
Any bit of advice or encouragement is appreciated. I'm trying to stay calm, but inside, I'm pulling my hair out and looking for a way to escape.
Edit to add: Oh, not sure if it matters or not, but I was also tested for anemia. Which like all my other tests came back negative.
Edited by Nicole Thomas, 23 October 2013 - 09:43 AM.