My youngest daughter is 27. About six months ago she started having problems with her digestive system. Severe pain and unable to keep food down. She went to a doctor that did an array of blood tests, and the bastid didn’t get back to her. She ended up in ER last Thursday, a spinal tap and Cat Scan were perfomed, with negative results. They gave her pain meds and told her to drink Ensure to get nutrients. As of this morning (Saturday) she couldn’t keep even an ounce of water down; and is in ER again. She was so dehydrated that they had trouble getting samples from her.
I’m worried sick about her, and so far the test results have yielded nothing. Do any dopers have any experience in this area? What the Hell could be wrong? I’m thinking stomach cancer, anyerusem or any number of Drastic Things that could be going on. An update, I filled out paperwork for the hospital that named me as the finacially responsible person, and Viola! they admitted her for the night. Coincidence, or what?
Hmm… I’m no doc, but it seems a gastrointestinal specialist is needed. I suppose they have reasons for using a spinal tap and cat scan first, but it seems the symptoms require a gastro check of the highest order. Hey, this is IMHO.
I had my gallbladder out at age 28 after a lot of trouble, and misdiagnosis. I was throwing up every morning at one point. It sounds like she is even worse…but it could be something to look into. Once mine went bad, it got worse very quickly. I ended up having emergency surgery to remove it in fact.
BTW…They finally found out my GB was full of “sludge”, not actual stones, and causing the trouble. I think I had an MRI that actually found the problem prior to surgery. They gave me that horrid shake to drink, then did the test.
I agree about checking up on the gallbladder. When things first stared going bad with mine I had a CAT scan in the ER that didn’t show any gallstones. I was in agony and they couldn’t find anything wrong. An ultrasound taken two weeks later showed that I was packed full of them. “Enough to make a nice sized necklace”, according to the tech. He also told me they don’t seem to show up well in CAT scans for whatever reason.
My niece had her GB out when she was 28…she’d been in a lot of pain as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if diet/drinking hadn’t contributed to niece’s condition.
Niece said, “You know how when you poop, it’s brown? Well that’s from the bile. When mine stopped being that color, that helped diagnose it.” Wikipedia says:
*In the absence of bile, fats become indigestible and are instead excreted in feces, a condition called steatorrhea. Feces lack their characteristic brown colour and instead are white or grey, and greasy. *
If not the gall bladder, perhaps the pancreas? My sister has had a couple of severe pancreatitis attacks, with one landing her in the hospital for 10 days after spending 4 pretty much unable to even handle a sip of water. It was hard to diagnose, but once they started treating her for that, it was clear that that was the issue.
Gallbladder, Crohn’s, IBS and Celiac would be the first things I would rule out considering how long it’s been going on with her. On a side note, there is a particularly nasty stomach bug that is going around here that has put at least 5 people that I know of in the hospital for dehydration in the last couple weeks – she might have picked that up on top of whatever has been chronic for her. standard disclaimers apply
My ex lost 60 pounds in less than a year with similar symptoms that turned out to be GERD, or acid reflux. It took forever to get a simple diagnosis and it actually seemed like she might die, but once she got on medication it cleared up.
Gall bladder is my guess as well. Although these are not qualifiers, per se, I was told the Four F’s can raise a flag: Female, Over Forty, Fat, and Fair. If she has 3 of the 4, they’ll want to take a look.
Wow…word for word, I could have written this post!
GI troubles can be hard to diagnose, they need to do lots of tests. I had my pancreas checked out, MRI, GI scopes, amongst other things. Expect lots of tests and then more tests if they don’t turn up anything. There are just lots of things in the digestive systems that can go awry. She should see a good GI specialist.
The CAT scan would probably rule out anything serious like cancer.
I just went through this in January. I was in the ER for severe stomach pain and could not keep food down. I became dehydrated and lost a ton of weight in a short period of time. They did extensive tests (lower bowel series, upper/lower endoscopy) and found nothing, decided to chalk it up to ulcers and IBS. I know one has an instinct to jump to the very worst conclusions, but the CAT really does rule out a lot… you’ve be surprised how horribly sick IBS can make you. I am continually astonished at the new heights of pain and suffering it brings down upon me.