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Old 08-30-2008, 08:35 PM   #1
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24/7 Nausea, Dizziness, Pain in Upper Right Abdomen... IBS, Liver, Gallstones??

I'm pretty desperate for some answers and ultimately a cure. I am so tired of being sick. I'm 22 years old and have been sick for a little over 2 years now. I'd love to hear your story and your advice. Here's my story (it's a long one!):

Basically it all started March of 2006, when I moved to Canada for a 4-month leadership school. I lived in a dorm and my food was limited to what the cafeteria served Ė which was far from fine dining. I worked in the cafeteria kitchen several times and what I saw appalled me. It was not a very sanitary environment, and the quality of food was just gross. To top it off, everything tasted very bland and rubbery. Most of the food was greasy and of no nutritional value.

Up to this point in my life, I had always been a very healthy eater. Lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, with some natural meat and dairy products here and there. When I arrived in Canada, my digestive system was in perfect working order. I felt great.

The day after I arrived, my whole abdomen started gurgling and I had to run to the bathroom with diarrhea. I felt weak and almost blacked out returning to my bed. The next day I felt fine, and assumed it was probably just due to the change in atmosphere and food.

During the next 3 months, I had similar abdomen gurgling and diarrhea spells about every two weeks. Some times were milder than others, and it wasnít a huge deal. For the most part I felt fine, and I attributed the diarrhea to the all the poor food I was having to eat. By the end of those three months, I will admit that I was beginning to feel a little nutritionally starved. When I occasionally splurged my very limited budget and went to the grocery store or restaurant, I would chow down on fruits and vegetables.

Then one day in June 2006, I sat down to eat a dinner of salmon and rice at the cafeteria (it wasnít as good as it sounds, believe me). I never did like salmon, and we were served rice nearly every day so I was quite tired of it. I didnít eat much. Then about an hour later my stomach started hurting in an odd way. I left class early and walked back from the school to my dorm and felt a weird need-to-gag sensation.

For the next eight or nine hours the pain and nausea grew until I threw up twice. (The pain seemed to be most severe on the upper right side of my abdomen Ė to the right of my stomach Ė but covered the rest of my stomach area as well). The last time I vomited, I spit up what looked like teeny tiny black dots in liquidÖ Iím still not sure what that was. (Anybody know?) I felt better then and I was able to sleep a few short hours. I spent the next day in bed.

I didnít eat anything that day, and hardly touched a bite the next day. I still felt sick. When I finally did start eating, I had diarrhea. I also had occasional minor discomfort in that same upper right part of my abdomen. These symptoms lasted about 2 weeks.

I diagnosed myself with food poisoning. It seemed to fit the bill since a flu wouldnít last so long, and the food there was certainly gross enough to be contaminated.

(No one else got sick though, and they had eaten the same food.)

After the two weeks of diarrhea, I started eating regularly again but wasnít feeling quite right. I felt nauseous occasionally and noticed that during a few meals I had to simply stop eating because of it. It was frustrating but I tried to ignore it, thinking it was probably some minor lingering effects of food poisoning.

A month after the ďfood poisoningĒ incident, I returned home to Virginia. Boy was I ever glad to see healthy food again. I returned to my normal diet of healthy things like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, natural meats and dairy. The traces of nausea went away. I felt renewed energy the first couple weeks and malnourished feeling subsided. Then I had a bout of diarrheaÖ Nothing abnormal, people get diarrhea sometimes.

Then about two weeks later I had more diarrhea. Hmm.

My mom suggested that I might have picked up parasites. I was then tested for several different kinds but everything came up negative.

At this time I started a temp job for the 3 remaining weeks in the summer before college started. The last week of this job, I was swallowing my first bite of lunch when I suddenly felt the urge to vomit. I stopped eating immediately and I fought back the need-to-gag feeling.

Iím not sure why, but this incident alarmed me more than anything else. I guess my alarm probably came from the fact that I was feeling better, eating right, doing great (other than the biweekly diarrhea), and then WHAM BAM suddenly I felt very sick.

I began feeling this way almost every time I ate. I would take a few bites, then nausea would hit me and I would have to stop eating. It didnít matter what I was eating.

I started school. I remember the first day I walked all over campus to my classes, feeling very weak and thin. My intestines just felt weak. I was having diarrhea and gurgling in my abdomen more often, and I wasnít digesting my food properly. I was starting to feel nutritionally starved again.

I made it through the first week of school. Somewhere during this time I began to feel occasional abdominal pain, mainly in the upper right portion of my abdomen (right underneath the bottom of my right rib). Sometimes it was just a pressure or dull ache feeling, other times it was an intense bend-me-over searing pain that was coupled by nausea and some pain all over my abdomen as well.

I started feeling a little dizzy and light-headed sometimes, and my heart began racing at weird times (like whenever I lay down to sleep at night or right in the middle of a boring lecture). A week and a half into school, I blacked out momentarily in class. I was just sitting there when my heart started pounding, I started sweating, got really dizzy, and then I literally saw everything go black for a second. I almost fell off my chair. I caught myself though, regained my consciousness, and the class ended then. I walked out and called a friend to drive me home. I knew at that point that something was seriously wrong.

I went to see our family doctor the next day. He ran several tests, including more parasite tests, coming up with nothing. He told me it sounded like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and referred me to a local gastroentologist.

I attempted to keep going to classes but it got to the point where I had to leave nearly every class halfway through to rush to the bathroom. I was having diarrhea constantly now. Honestly, some of the time it didnít even look like diarrhea. It was so liquidated that it was basically dark brown water.
I felt so weak, so sick, so dizzy, and so tired. I lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks (Iím not at all overweight so this was a huge deal). After missing classes and watching my grades sink, I decided that I needed to drop out of school. This was a very hard decision because I was very driven to finish my degree.

My mom and I still suspected it might be parasites since my symptoms (the diarrhea especially) seemed to come in cycles and since there was so much nausea and dizziness associated with it. I went to an emergency clinic nearby and had them prescribe me Flagel for Giardia (a type of parasite that can easily go undetected on tests). I took the Flagel for about a week and the side effects nearly killed meÖ trouble breathing and swallowing, heart arrhythmias, and sending me into anxiety attacks.

Finally I was able to get a visit to the gastroentologist. They basically had me in and out in twenty minutes. No tests, no colonoscopy, no nothing. The doctor said I have IBS, prescribed some anti-spasmatic drugs, recommended that I eat yogurt and take probiotics. He told me thereís no cure, but the drugs should help to cope with the symptoms. He said IBS generally comes and goes throughout your lifetime and that I probably wouldnít have to deal with it very long before it goes away for several years.

I took the anti-spasmatics but they gave me blurry vision (a known side effect) and didnít seem to help my diarrhea or nausea any. I stopped taking them. I started taking probiotics and that was fine but I didnít notice any change. I read up on IBS and changed my diet to what IBS sufferers are supposed to eat. Nothing changed. Having people tell me that IBS is often ďmostly in your head,Ē I tried relaxation and stress relief techniques. Nothing changed.

I started taking Dramamine occasionally for the nausea, and Imodium for the diarrhea. These were two things that DID help, though only temporarily since theyíre not something you can take every day for long-term.

I went to see another doctor that specialized in helping people with digestive problems. He was both a medical and holistic doctor. I was again diagnosed with IBS. He recommended yet another change in diet (which only made me feel weaker), a treatment for Candida (which made me too sick to take), and enzymes with my meal (which were fine but didnít seem to do a thing), in addition the probiotics and supplements like a multi-vitamin and vitamin C.

Even after trying all these things, I was still very sick. I was essentially homebound and bedridden. I couldnít drive, couldnít see friends, couldnít go to school or work, had to quit everything and stay at home. I could barely take showers or prepare my own food.

At this point I was having severe abdominal pain and nausea (especially in the upper right portion, but it also covered the rest of my abdomen sometimes) nearly all the time. Often it was so intense that all I could do was curl up in a fetal position and cry, wishing that someone would cut my whole stomach and digestive system out and give me a new one. I eventually discovered that taking an Advil during these severe bouts of pain could lessen the intenseness or length of the pain. Still, it wasnít pleasant. I was also having diarrhea, dizziness, bloating, heart arrhythmias, and other symptoms. I often felt like I was recovering from a stomach or viral fluÖ I would have body and muscle aches all over and a very mild fever.

I had heard that colon cleanses could help people with IBS, so I decided to give one a try. I did a cleanse for about two months and actually started feeling a little better. The nausea was still present but the pain wasnít as severe or as often. It got to the point where I would only encounter severe abdominal pain attacks about once or twice a month, lasting about 10 to 24 hours, accompanied or followed by diarrhea, muscle aches and a slight fever. The rest of the time I generally had a dull ache in the upper right side of my abdomen, or simply felt nauseous.

I kept up with probiotics, a healthy diet, lots and lots of fiber, and supplements. Gradually the nausea lessened and I started to feel a little stronger. I gained my 10 pounds back and was able to eat more. I started to function as a human being again Ė I went out to see friends, went shopping, got out and exercised. I still felt nauseous often (especially when eating), and still had random bouts of stomach pain, but I was certainly doing a lot better.

It was great and frustrating at the same time. I wanted to be well. I wanted a cure. And I still wasnít happy with my diagnosis. I wanted to know why I have pain in this specific part of my abdomen and how I can actually get to where I feel WELL. (What a concept).

It was at this point that things in my life got kinda crazy. It was a good kind of crazy, but not for my health. Basically I single-handedly planned my wedding in 6 weeks, and I was super busy. I ran out of my fiber and probiotics, neglecting to get more. I didnít have time to exercise. I hardly had time to eat, so my diet became scarce and not as healthy as it had been. I also started taking birth control pills which I later learned can actually destroy the good bacteria in your gut (the kind all those probiotics were building up). I got married and a month later started suffering from all my poor health choices.

The nausea and pain started getting worse. I felt dizzy all the time. And despite making quick changes in my diet and supplement intake to get things back on track, my health kept declining from there.

Itís been a little over 3 months now since I got married, and I feel absolutely awful. I am unable to leave the house. If I absolutely have to get out to get something, my husband drives me AND comes in the store with me. I feel like passing out, fainting, and blacking out a lot of the time. I live with constant, horrible, 24/7 nausea. Often to the point of running to the bathroom and fighting the urge to vomit. (I never actually do throw up, but I definitely come close and sometimes start to gag). I carry a trash bag around with me in my purse whenever I have to go out because I literally feel like throwing up all the time. I donít remember what it feels like to eat a meal and not feel nauseous from start to finish.

I donít have diarrhea very often any more, but I do suffer from abdominal pain about 50% of the time. Specifically in the upper right portion just underneath my ribs. The pain varies from a dull ache that adds to my nausea, to long searing waves of pain that cripple me over and have me in bed for most of the day. Generally the episodes of more severe pain (lasting about 24 hours) are accompanied or followed by muscle aches, diarrhea, and a mild fever. Iíd say this happens every other week or so. But in-between Iím pretty miserable with the intense nausea I feel constantly.

I also have a lot of dizziness Ė I feel at least somewhat dizzy about 80% of the time. Sometimes it gets so bad that the world literally seems to be spinning.

Lately I have felt very weak and almost shaky whenever Iím standing up.
I started taking Dramamine again a couple days ago and that has been the only thing that has helped the nausea at all. (I also take ginger at least twice a day, drink peppermint tea and ginger ale, eat saltines, and do all sorts of things that actually used to help cope with the nausea but currently donít seem to be working whatsoever).

I also have headaches, bloating, gas / intense bubbling in abdomen / gas pains, burping, heart arrhythmias, occasional diarrhea or constipation, ďhot flashesĒ (arenít I a little young for those?), mood swings, occasional panicky feelings, occasional acid reflux, a burning sensation in my stomach, fatigue, loss of appetite (Iíve hardly felt like eating at all lately), difficulty swallowing and occasionally difficulty taking deep breaths.

I started another colon cleanse about 2 weeks ago. Iím eating mostly fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Iím juicing a lot (fruits as well as vegetables). Iím taking tons of fiber. Iím taking probiotics, a multi-vitamin, vitamin C, vitamin B, flax oil, and powdered greens. Iím getting outside in the sunshine and fresh air almost daily.
I
ím on the right track to getting better again but I just feel awful and I really want some answers. Specifically, I want to know if what I have is just IBS, or if I might have some kind of gallbladder or liver problems. The pain and nausea really do seem to generate from the upper right side of my abdomen (as Iíve mentioned probably five too many times already). Isnít that where the gallbladder and liver are? Maybe I have gallstones. The symptoms seem similar. Maybe I have liver disease. I donít know, but I want to find out. Iím planning to see a new doctor next week and hopefully be tested for problems relating to the liver and gallbladder. Weíll see what happens.

What I want to know for now, though, is your advice, recommendations, suggestions, experiences and similar stories / symptoms?? Do you think itís just IBS, or could it really be something wrong with my liver or gallbladder, or something else?

Iím so tired of dealing with this and I could really use input from people who have actually been through this kind of thing, or know of people who have.

Help!

 
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: 24/7 Nausea, Dizziness, Pain in Upper Right Abdomen... IBS, Liver, Gallstones??

abeautifulash,
Hi,
I am so sorry to hear everything that you are going through. I know how terrible and scarey it can be.
I am not sure if this is what you may have or not, but I have candida. I took a blood test called candida albicans and it came up very positive. I have been sick as well for over 18 months with basically the same symptoms as you listed.
I am now on a candida diet and supplementation, and it does make you sicker before you get better. Because the program is killing off the candida and they do not like that at all. They release lots and lots of toxins (79 toxins) and it will make you very sick.
I am also being tested for leaky gut syndrome which usually goes with candida. I am still waiting for the results on that.
I too have the trouble with the heart arrythmias and I know how scarey they can be. I take inderal now. I was told that my condition was anxiety and then ibs possibly and I have been diagnosed with many many more. I actually paid to have this testing done myself, so when it came up positive I took it to my doctor. She was not very supportive, I think because she did not find it and I did. She is a very nice lady, but I was very disappointed because I was not offered any help with this. So, I am now going to a naturopath.
Please post back with any questions. I truly feel for you being so sick. I know how scarey and life-damaging it can be.
mmee

 
Old 09-01-2008, 07:51 PM   #3
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Re: 24/7 Nausea, Dizziness, Pain in Upper Right Abdomen... IBS, Liver, Gallstones??

Many years ago and I am talking about 35 years ago, my dad went on a job location and became very ill. He lost alot of weight. He had test after test, everything was negative. He was just wasting away. Months later, the doctor gave him sulfa. He recovered immediately. I was still a teenager at the time so I don't know more details, but for years he talked about the sulfa saving him.

 
Old 01-05-2009, 06:16 PM   #4
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Re: 24/7 Nausea, Dizziness, Pain in Upper Right Abdomen... IBS, Liver, Gallstones??

abeautifulash,

Are you still having the same problems? I have everything you do. I am going to see a GI doc hopefully soon. I know getting massages and going to the chiropactor is helping to adjust/loosen my neck. Neck tightness can cause these symptoms.

 
Old 01-07-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
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abeautifulash HB User
Re: 24/7 Nausea, Dizziness, Pain in Upper Right Abdomen... IBS, Liver, Gallstones??

Hi, as it turns out I was diagnosed with biliary dyskinesia a few months ago (a low-functioning, sluggish gallbladder). I've been trying different natural remedies for it... feeling a little better but still have a long ways to go. Don't want to have surgery -- I like all my organs right where they are

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Old 11-19-2009, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: 24/7 Nausea, Dizziness, Pain in Upper Right Abdomen... IBS, Liver, Gallstones??

Hey There,
I know it's been a while since you posted this, but I figured I'd comment anyone.
You're syptoms sound gallbladder related. Since you're female and fertile, you're definitely in the right demographic. I experienced the same symptoms when I went abroad (from Canada to Europe) for a year. The change in diet exacerbated a gallbladder problem.
Since your pain is in the upper right abdomen area, it is most likely gallbladder. The chronic nausea and gas is typical, and the subsequent problems you described likely are caused by a domino effect that having gallstones and/or a sluggish liver/gallbladder can create. Bile is stored and concentrated in your gallbladder, and is released to digest fat. The pain, fever and vomitting occcur when a gallstone gets stuck in the common bile duct, not only blocking bile release but also blocking pancreatic fluids, which include digestive enzymes and hormones such as insulin. When this happens, you get really sick. Generally though, the "neutral" experience may be nausea.
As far as treatment is concerned, if you prefer holistic or naturopathic medicine or don't want surgery, there are a number of liver/gallbladder cleanses. The lemon juice/olive oil treatment is very good, but hard to drink. There is lots online about it, but doctors are generally skeptical. As well, the french use peppermint oil as a daily treatment. These treatments do two things: the oil causes the release of bile to flush the gallbladder, and the citrus or mint cause the gallbladder to contract spasmodically, which shoves rancid bile and often stones out as well. It can make you feel worse at first, but within a day or so there should be improvement. You could also get your gallbladder out if its really bad. It's important to be pushy with the doctor though, because recent research has shown that some gallstone problems don't actually show up on ultrasound. Also, other research has shown that the liver can also produce stones, so the problem might lie there. For a less invasive surgical treatment option, you can have a laproscopic surgery in which a camera and scalpel is sent down the throat, through the stomach and into the common bile duct to cut the sphincter that closes the cbd from the duodenum.
Hope this helps! It is a long, frustrating and often painful process, I know, but once you get control over it, it is tremendously empowering to know what's going on and what you can do about it!

 
Old 12-21-2009, 07:05 PM   #7
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Re: 24/7 Nausea, Dizziness, Pain in Upper Right Abdomen... IBS, Liver, Gallstones??

Hi there, i have pretty much all the same symptons and on the road the better health right now. I am seeying naturopathic doctor and using only natural remedies to cure myself. ive been to many many doctors and specialist and they all told me i had IBS..ever since ive been seeying this naturalpath. ive seen improvement. I just found out a week ago that i have low beneficial flora( so low good bacteria ) and i have to much bad bacteria. The bad took over the good in this case..That can be caused by many things...frequent use of antibiotics( which i was on strong meds when i was 2, 5 and 6 because of kidney operations and such) Also..it can be caused by the birth control pill. I also found out that i have yeast in my intestine. Both of these things can cause all symptoms you are experiencing. Aswell as brain fog.
I just got of the pill...i am taking good bacteria before i eat with tea extract as a pill and a probiotic called ib relief. Also i am taking something called R52- they are drops that you put on your togne to help nausea. and R37 - they are drops that you put in water to help your stomach spasms and colon.

 
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