For over a year now, I've been having periodical bouts of nausea. It first began last February after an enormous meal and continued for about a week, but then disappeared for a while and came back rather infrequently throughout the Spring and Summer. In September-October it came back in full force, causing me to miss many school days and becoming a nearly constant problems.
Initially I saw my general practitioner and he diagnosed it as general anxiety, for which he prescribed Xanax to be taken as needed. While this controlled it for about a month, eventually the nausea returned and the Xanax did not seem to help. At this point I saw a phsychiatrist and he prescribed Lexapro, which had terrible side effects, then changed me to Remeron, which agreed with my stomach better. I was on that for about a month and the symptoms, while not as bad as before, still continued.
I had an endoscopy recently and there was some irriation of the stomach walls which initially led him to prescribe Aciphex for gastritis, to be taken daily. While I have only been on that for about 2 weeks, it has not seemed to help much. Initially, I felt much better after I began taking the Aciphex, but over the last few days I have felt horrible, with nearly constant nausea and often times the feeling of gas breaking when I lie down.
Recently my mother and the gastroenterologist has been suggesting that this may be a result of Celiac diesease, partially because of gas and what he called "mucosal flattening." When I looked this up, almost all of the results were referencing Celiac disease. While the recent problems I've been having seem to trace back to a day where I ate nothing but pizza and pasta (both with a good deal of gluten), I have always eaten a large amount of pasta and other wheat-based foods and often times I feel better after eating and the nausea is reduced, although not taken care of. Gas, while it has been a problem, only occurs periodically and usually only when I'm lying down, which seems to be a fairly common complaint, labeled "burbling." There is no history of Celiac in my immediate family, although a distant relative may have it. Likewise, nausea is not a symptom commonly associated with Celiac, and while the recent nausea has been accompanied by gas, normally it is not. Celiac would also not explain why the Xanax and Remeron seemed to offer some relief.
My question is whether or not these symptoms are, if not typical, at least indicative of Celiac Disease. I am going to talk to my doctor on Monday, but if none of this is typical of Celiac, I do not want to get blood work done, as I am terrified of needles. Thank you for your time and I apologize for the long post.
One way to find out if you are sensitive to gluten is to go on a gluten-free diet for a month. This involves no needles. If your symptoms start to get better, then you know that was the cause. There are also other foods that may be causing your symptoms. An elimination diet can help figure them out. A dietitian or allergy doctor can help here.
Isn't it interesting that when we become freaked out because we don't know what's causing our ill health, doctors assume that we're "anxious" (it's all in our heads) and prescribe medicines to calm our nerves, but don't assume that there MAY be some reason why we're anxious.
I developed acid indigestion in my forties, which got so painful that I couldn't sleep. Once I found out about celiac disease (I called it my "cool disease I found on the internet") I learned all I could about eliminating gluten from my diet, and found that this diet helped considerably. It took about six months for the symptoms to go away entirely, and it has taken a few years before I'm not so reactive to small amounts of gluten when I eat at friend's houses. But for the most part, I'm able to live gluten-free and my whole health is much better.
I think whenever you begin having symptoms in a particular region of the body, you need to start with the most obvious causes. I began having stomach issues a couple of months ago, and I jumped to Crohn's and Celiac right off the bat. When you look at the number of people who have either one, its extremely rare...although, Celiac is more common than we once thought.
I've been to roughly six different gastros, and I had every test known to man run....all negative. The reality is that 40%+ of people complaining of chronic stomach problems are diagnosed as idiopathic, i.e. no known cause. Most docs firmly believe that lifestyle is a big component, and since I'm an anxiety sufferer, it probably isn't too much of a stretch to say stress is at the root of it. The problem with stress and anxiety is that we all too often ignore the signs. I never saw myself as particularly stressed until one day I realized that I had never sat for one complete meal without getting up to either turn the tv on, make a call, etc.
You'll read alot of posts on this board from people who are offended that a doctor could possibly suggest anxiety or depression is at the core of the problem. However, as I mentioned earlier, these are very very common causes. Where it gets difficult is determining whether the anxiety is a result of the pain, or the other way around.
One bit of advice on the gluten free diet: If you're going to try this, you must go completely gluten free, not simply cutting back on pizzas and pasta. Unfortunately, alot of foods that claim to be made from potatoes or the like, will still contain a bit of gluten. Even the smallest amount will cause your immune system to go haywire. Its much easier to go in to the doc and get a blood test where they test for the three antigens. A few years ago, these tests weren't conclusive, but they have since been refined.
Hope this helps. Don't let it get you down...eventually, you'll figure it out.