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Old 06-03-2008, 11:06 AM   #1
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Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with GERD and mild gastritus after an upper GI, and I took Prevacid at first, then Priolsec, and now Nexium, but it has never alleviated all my symptoms. I also eliminated many things from my diet--citris, caffine, artificial sweetners, etc.--and limited other things by trial-and-error--no raw vegetables except at dinner, limited amount of fatty foods, etc. Still, my symptoms haven't gone away, and some of them are worse than they were ten years ago. I'm nauseous and bloated almost every day, I get sharp pains in my stomach, as well as cramping, and I sometimes throw up--usu. in the morning, but not always. Sometimes it's just bile; other times, it's undigested food.

I had an upper endoscopy recently, which showed nothing new. Now my doctor's testing for any gallbladder problems, and he suggested that I get that test for gastroparesis (the one where you eat a radioactive egg). At first I said no, because Iím worried about the cost, but then I went home and read the description, and it did sound just like how I feel all the time, especially the part about feeling full after eating only a little food. I generally eat something and feel full almost immediately, but then I'm often hungry again an hour or two later (if I'm not nauseous).

My question is, can you have gastroparesis for many years and live without getting diagnosed? Are there varying degrees of intensity with this illness? My pain is not severe enough to make me stay home from work. I basically just feel very uncomfortable all the time, though sometimes it's more severe and I have to spend the night on my couch rather than go out and do anything. And though my weight has fluctuated, it's been pretty steady for a few years now.

Is it worth getting the test done? I am just sick of not knowing what's wrong with me. Any information would be extremely helpful.


 
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:36 AM   #2
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Re: Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver77 View Post
My question is, can you have gastroparesis for many years and live without getting diagnosed? Are there varying degrees of intensity with this illness?
There are varying degrees of GP, according to my doctor. It seems like many of the cases are linked to those who are diabetic but there are plenty of others that can't be explained. Treatment options are still mostly experimenal, imo. There are a few drugs that can help with stomach contractions and there are some folks who get pacemakers. In the most severe of cases they can use a feeding tube. Ugh. Not trying to scare you, just that's what I've read while preparing myself for diagnosis.

Another thing I've read, and found interesting, is that longer term usage of some PPI antacids can slow stomach emptying. If you've been on them for a long time you may want to see if going off of them would help those symptoms. Maybe using a combination of natural alternatives (DGL Licorice, Calcium Carbonate, and mild diet) would help?

 
Old 06-03-2008, 12:25 PM   #3
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Re: Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

I didn't know that about PPIs. Unfortunately, I can't go off them. I don't know anyone who has worse problems with acid reflux than I do (although I'm sure they exist). Before I started taking the meds, I was throwing up every morning and had heartburn every day. In the few times I've been stranded without my meds, it's been just as bad. Obviously, I can't live like that, and though I tried some alternative options, I found them not to be sufficiently effective (as not even the PPI meds prevent me from still getting heartburn a few times a week).

I know there's a link with reflux and gastroparesis, but from what I've read, it seems to say that it's both a possible cause of reflux and a possible result of reflux, which makes no sense to me. Anyone know any more about it?

 
Old 06-03-2008, 07:04 PM   #4
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Re: Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

Hey Silver, yes there is a wide variety gastroparesis (GP) severity. I personally have gone from very mild, to extreme where I had to IV nutrition and a feeding tube, and back to almost normal again. It really varies. So yes you can go for quite some time without the proper diagnosis. We have a thread on here titled gastroparesis..please share it is a group of us that has gastroparesis that are not diabetic, and a few that are diabetic. We have tried many medications and can help ya. But you spend some time reading through some of our posts, warning its many many pages long. If you honestly think you have GP, spend the money and get the test. It is the only way to diagnose GP.

 
Old 06-06-2008, 11:01 PM   #5
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Re: Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

Hi Silver! I'm sorry you're sick. I have gastroparesis, and your symptoms sound pretty familiar to me. You can absolutely have long-undiagnosed gastroparesis! And definitely - gp comes in all degrees.

If your insurance is at all decent, I'd press for an emptying test. Compared to most stomach procedures, it's pretty painless - the one I took involved only a very small, easy-to-swallow egg sandwich, and then a couple hours hanging out in radiology for the scans. I wasn't getting much solid food down back then but even so the test was fine - so, no worries about the test itself!

If you do get a diagnosis, then maybe you can see about domperidone - an international drug if you live in the US. For me it's been a life-saver. People have varying success with it, but the good news is that side effects are pretty negligible... and, I think it's pretty hard to get in the US without a gp diagnosis.

Good luck working this out! I hope something helps - feel better!

 
Old 06-08-2008, 02:24 PM   #6
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Re: Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

Silver, you sound exactly like me. I was diagnosed with "mild" gastritis and acid reflux about 5 years ago. Has been a nightmare ever since. I have taken every PPI out there with no relief. I am currently taking 20 mg of Pariet (down from 40 due to bad digestion). I often have to take pepto, tums or another med in addition to the Pariet. My dr. has no idea as to the cause of my gastritis and reflux. He gave me a prescription for Domperidone telling me it "could be" gastroparesis. I get a full feeling under my left rib cage after only eating a tiny bit of food, nausea, hot flashes, just a general feeling of blah! Feels like the food is just sitting in my stomach making me miserable. This is worse at night and wakes me from a dead sleep with the feeling that I am going to vomit, but never do. I sometimes get whole body shaking with this too. I then have to lay on the couch (where it is usually cooler than the bedroom) until the feeling subsides in an hour or 2 after which I am exhausted. I suppose it is possible I have gastroparesis, but why would it happen all of a sudden? Really strange. Anyways, I just thought I would post to let you know I really sympathize with you. Hope you and the others feel better soon!

 
Old 06-19-2008, 01:18 PM   #7
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Re: Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

Thanks to everyone who posted. I still haven't scheduled taking the test yet, as I am waiting to hear about my gall bladder tests. I just found out that I have a few aunts that had their gallbladders removed, which made me wonder if I could have similar problems.

I have to admit, I'm terrified that I'm just crazy and that nothing is really wrong with me. Even writing that, I know it can't be true, but I still feel afraid that I'll find no answers. It's just that, I'll be okay for a few days sometimes and feel like maybe it's all in my head-- and then it will happen again. Like this past week, I was absolutely fine Sunday and Monday. My mom saw me and thought I'd lost a bunch of weight, and I said, "No, I haven't. I'm just not all bloated as usual." It's so embarrassing to always look like I'm 5 to 7 months pregnant, not to mention painful. Anyway, is it possible to have gastroparesis and still have days when you feel okay?

I'll check out the email chain. Thanks!

 
Old 06-20-2008, 04:44 AM   #8
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Re: Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond79 View Post
I then have to lay on the couch (where it is usually cooler than the bedroom) until the feeling subsides in an hour or 2 after which I am exhausted.
Your symptoms sound like what I've read about for others with chronic gallbladder disease.

I'm also wondering if Silver77 may have bile reflux problems. It would explain the burning even while on antacids since bile is tougher to manage. No idea about the bloating though. In either case, if they've already ruled out some other items getting the GB checked out is definitely a good idea and hopefully the results will shed some light. Good luck!

Last edited by eihcet; 06-20-2008 at 04:44 AM.

 
Old 06-20-2008, 05:52 AM   #9
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Re: Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

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Originally Posted by eihcet View Post
Your symptoms sound like what I've read about for others with chronic gallbladder disease.

I'm also wondering if Silver77 may have bile reflux problems. It would explain the burning even while on antacids since bile is tougher to manage. No idea about the bloating though. In either case, if they've already ruled out some other items getting the GB checked out is definitely a good idea and hopefully the results will shed some light. Good luck!
Actually, I had my GB removed back in '05. Everything started about a year before that, when I became pregnant with my son and had a real bad stomach virus. Ever since then my stomach/digestive tract has never been the same.

 
Old 06-20-2008, 11:17 AM   #10
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Re: Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

Diamond79, so your doc didn't suggest getting the gastric emptying test? It seems like if it's not gastroparesis, you need to eliminate it as a possible diagnosis and find out what's really wrong with you, since you're in a lot of pain. But I am new to all this . . .

What you described actually reminded me a little of me at my absolute worst, which was when I accidentally (don't ask how) ingested citris after ten years of not eating it. I have never been so violently ill in my life--shaking, vomiting, having terrible diarrhea. I gave up all citrus 12 years ago because it made me throw up, but I had no idea that it would make me as sick as it did. It's pretty much like poison to me. There's no possibility that anything you're eating is contributing to your symptoms, is there? I've been figuring out by trial and error for years what I can and cannot digest, but I am reluctant to make my diet too bland and boring. I guess if I had to, I would, but I can't seem to make myself give up chocolate or salad, though I do try to limit my intake of raw vegetables (I'm not as good limiting chocolate, but I try). Anyway, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one.

 
Old 06-20-2008, 11:21 AM   #11
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Re: Do I have Gastroparesis? Something else?

Oh, and I definitely have acid reflux (GERD), but it doesn't explain all my symptoms. I take Nexium for it, but I still get heartburn and throw up sometimes. Is bile reflux different?

 
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