Test Results

This is just a copy of an email because I'm too lazy to retype everything.

Hi, I'm sorry I haven't written sooner about my most recent test results. It took a while to get the results and talk with him so I didn't know much of anything for a while. I did talk with him last week though and the gallbladder test was normal. He says that even though I have classic gallbladder symptoms he is worried that surgery would not fix my problem since I have had 4 normal tests on my gallbladder. So, he is treating me for non-ulcer dyspepsia given my current normal tests (they have tested me for everything and everything is negative). Basically, it still could be gallbladder or it could be something else, but the likelihood is that its non-ulcer dyspepsia. He is treating me for this and if I get worse or I stay the same and don't respond to treatment, he will reasses me in June and may decide at that point to send me to surgery.

Doctor's are divided about non-ulcer dyspepsia and what causes it. Basically your body acts and feels like it has an ulcer but there isn't one. It's painful and can be chronic, or it can be episodic, or it can be acute and then disappear. What they're divided about is the cause of it. Some believe it's a reaction to stress. Others believe its a condition that occurs after a virus when the GI tract is weakened. Still, others believe that its linked to the gallbladder. In 50% of patients with this disorder, gallbladder surgery fixes the problem, so it could be related to bile back-up or an over-production of bile. Though there's a 50/50 chance I'd be fine after surgery, he wants to wait and see how I respond to a new treatment over the next few months before he makes that decision. I did not respond to acid blockers like Nexium and those types of drugs over the last 4 months. He is weaning me slowly off of those right now. He's doing it slowly just so my body can adjust. I'm down from 2 pills a day to 1 and doing fine. After 3-4 weeks or so I'll come off of it completely. He's switched me to a liquid medicine that coats the stomach but does not stop acid reduction. It is a medicine that will heal an ulcer or gastritis after about 90 days. I'm on a 3 month course of it right now. Interestingly, I didn't notice much at first but now I'm feeling better and better. It's been about 3-4 weeks. I used to have a chronic gnawing pain in my stomach all the time. That has gone away to a large degree, and only happens for a short time every few days. I've only noticed this huge difference in how I feel over the last week or so. Prior to that I felt sick every single day. I do not know if i can eat a normal meal yet because I'm a bit frightened to try. When I eat normal foods in the past, I'd end up in the ER. So, I'm slowly increasing my fat intake and that's going well. When I feel a little more confident I'll try to eat a semi-normal meal on a Saturday evening, so if I have to go to the ER at least it will be a convenient time. I've gained 3 pounds this month and am actually finally up to 100 pounds though, so that's very good. I used to get sick after about 2-3 grams of fat. Now I can tolerate 6 to 8 per meal with no troubles, so long as its not greasy and oily. I think slowly adding more fat each week is working well for me. Rushing it might cause problems. I don't know if it's this non-ulcer stomach pain, but the treatment is working. I don't agree that in my case it's related to stress because I feel so great these days in that department (thank you Mark!). I do know that I trust the doctor and I feel confident in how he is treating me. He doesn't agree that my issue is stress either. He said usually in those situations someone will lose a few pounds, but not the 23 pounds I've lost. He knows my stomach is ill, but unfortunately some of these weird stomach and digestive problems are hard to diagnose. He said my diagnosis is not static, and he isn't afraid to change his mind if the non-ulcer dyspepsia treatments do not help. I do seem to be responding to this medication though so that's something to be very happy about.

2 comments:

Deneen said...
Tuesday, 08 April, 2008

You did lose too much weight and were skinny to begin with. I ended up losing about 20 from the stomach problems and it stayed off completely, so who the hell knows. The gallbladder surgery stopped the constant vomiting problem I had (TMI, I know), but not right away and it did stop the high fevers with the auto-immune flares (apparently my immune system was fighting the gallbladder infection I didn't know I had because the steroids were covering it up).

After the surgery, and after lower doses of steroids, the differing stomach issues showed up and it was diagnosed as chronic gastritis-period. I tried the Donnagel and all the pills and Nexium calms it, but I cannot eat anything with a high fat intake without getting sick to my stomach and I really am careful about what I eat. I also found now that if I have a stressful week, I have "trouble" eating and can drop 5 lbs in a week easily. I am now taking the meds (wish I could use the aloe, it really helped) and careful when eating and avoid anything that isn't easily digestible (like nuts, seeds, etc).

Good luck April and hopefully the new liquid med will help.

Lizze said...
Tuesday, 08 April, 2008

Yay for responding to the new meds! Yay for the weight gain! Yay for more fat in your diet!

Yay for April! :)

*hugs*

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