GI Issues

 

I have been sick for about six weeks. I have run three half marathons in that time, been to urgent care, my regular doctor, a cardiologist, and most recently this week, a Gastrointestinal doctor. We have been trying to get to the bottom of my problems, and the result is….more testing.

A couple weeks ago I had an EKG and  echocardiogram, and also wore a holter monitor for 24 hours.

photo 97

Things got worse while I was in Disney, and so now I am scheduled next week for an upper endoscopy, some lab work, and an ultrasound of my gallbladder. I am also taking Prevacid twice a day and carafate to help with my stomach. I am supposed to run a half marathon on the 9th and I am still undecided.  I may wait and see what happens next week after my procedures are completed.

All I know is I am ready for some answers and ready to feel better and get back to my regular running and workout routine. Some days I feel ok and can run just fine, and others I can barely get out of bed I feel so bad, so I just never really know.

So, anyone have these tests done before? Any words or wisdom or advice?

I shall leave you with a picture of our tree all lit up at night because it makes me happy.

tree

QOTD: Ever had to have either of these tests done? I’m not really worried about the actual procedures, I just want answers!

*Stay tuned for an Under Armour giveaway coming up next week!

Comments

  1. I had those issues and tests done. Everything ended up being normal, and what helped was switching from Prevacid to Nexium (not cheap!) Good luck on your tests, I hope they find something (NOT serious) to help you feel better. The tests were pretty easy-though I did my own ultrasound as an ultrasound tech ;) Keep us posted. Saying prayers for you!

    • interesting! so you have GERD?

      • Gerd and chronic gastritis (sorry shouldn’t have said everything was normal-I meant it wasn’t anything bad). Trying to cut down on my diet coke addiction and from taking NSAIDs for joint pain (by losing 50 lbs, exercising, and yoga). I’m going to try getting off the Nexium again in the spring. Fingers crossed! Chest pain (heart problems) and GB pain mimic each other. So it sounds like your doctors are covering all bases. Rule out heart first, then move on to GB/stomach issues. I really hope it’s not serious for you, but they can find something that relieves your pain.

  2. What does your pain feel like? I am VERY familiar with gallbladder pain. Pregnancy caused my issues, and I had to have it out 8 weeks after I gave birth.
    The ultrasounds aren’t a big deal. You will have to hold your breath a lot, for up to 30 seconds at a time, as they check around. If that is the problem, stay as low fat as possible with what you eat. Endoscopies aren’t terrible either. They put you out and put a tube down your throat. It’s pretty painless.
    Let me know if you have anymore questions. I am very well versed in this stuff!
    Hope you feel better soon.

    • I have had 3 ultrasounds before for different body parts, I am more concerned with them doing allt his and still not knowing what’s wrong.I just want answers lol!

      My symptoms vary daily, but over the course of 5-6 weeks I have had
      heart palpitations, chest tightness and heaviness, burping, gas, stomach gurgling, nausea, feeling of fullness, bloating, etc. etc.

  3. Have you been tested for food allergies? Until I was tested I thought I was going to die. I would spend HOURS in the bathroom. I now take an SGI when I eat and I have to watch what I eat. BTW the needle allergy test shows nothing but the blood one does. GOOD LUCK!!!

  4. Oh girl so sorry you’re going through all of this. My sister had some major issues and it ended up being her gallbladder. She had to have it removed and has still battled GI issues. She is now totally GF and that’s helping a great deal finally.

  5. Hang in there Heather! Tests and “the unknown” are NEVER fun. But just do your best, go through the motions and trust in the process! My thoughts are with you – can’t wait to see you next month!

  6. I’ve had TWO endoscopys… they’re not as bad as they seem =] I have gone through this issue myself somedays im fine others im in a lot of pain…I was told I have too much stomach acid and to take a biocarbonate pill, I took it for a few weeks and it was all cleared up and now whenever I have a “flare up” I plan to take those antibiotics again

    Hope this helps!

  7. I’ve had GI issues for about 6 years. I’ve had the upper endo, colonoscopy, tons of blood work, allergy testing and ultrasounds. They never found anything major but a bunch of minor problems (lactose intolerance, IBS, etc.). I found the only thing that helped was changing my diet. It seems that foods that are easier to digest and not spicy/creamy are best for me. I’ve been on a vegan diet for about a year and a half and it seems to be the thing that helps the best. I know it’s frustrating but hang in there! Hope all of your tests go well!

  8. So sorry Heather! You have had so many issues lately! I really hope you get answers soon! Hugs!

  9. I have Ulcerative Colitis, so I have tons of these tests done all the time. Just have a good sense of humor… enjoy it… and hopefully figure something out!

    Hang in there!!!

  10. Heather,

    I’ve had just about all those tests over the years. Upper GIs, EKGs, heart ultrasounds, etc. I was diagnosed with two things at two separate times. Acid Reflux and MVP.

    Acid Reflux is easy to deal with. I took prescription stength Pepcid (and other acid reducers over the years). What works for me is taking the prescription stuff for about 6 months and really working on my diet. No chocolate, mint, caffine, fatty foods, soft drinks, etc. I focus on eating fresh, local food the majority of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Mexican and cheeseburgers as much as anyone (okay, so probably a little more than anyone), but you have to eat it in moderation. Serious moderation. If I splurge, I compensate for it the rest of the day and always carry over the counter stuff with me. By keeping my diet healthy I can go about two years without prescriptions. I say this, but the two year mark is about where I forget why I need to eat healthy and start to backslide starting the whole cycle over again.

    My junior and senior years of college I had some serious chest pains that were unrelated to the acid reflux. I was seriously concerned it was a major heart issue. Turns out MVP is pretty common in women and is not really that serious at all. I know its REALLY scary. I found that it’s totally related to stress. When I’m majorily stressed out I’ll start feeling those pains again and I have to remember to stop, slow down, breathe and relax. They go away pretty quickly.

    If you want to talk about it more, you know how to reach me. It can be really scary when you don’t know whats going on with your body. But if you are experincing the same things I was, its not as serious as our minds let us think that they are.

  11. I would get tested for food allergies. They can reek havoc on your body. It is an easy test and always over looked when Dr’s think about the HUGE picture but not the basics.

  12. I hope you can get everything figured out soon. I can only imagine how frustrated you are feeling now.
    If you decide to run Woman’s and want to take it easy, I’d love it if you would pace me to a 2:30 PR if you are interested :)

    • Haha. I don’t even know if we are making the trip. if we go, I will def run, but it is going to be a last minute thing after my procedures next week. :)

  13. I cant believe they havent checked your gall bladder yet… that’s usually the first thing. Gall bladder causes a LOT of issues similar to what you’re saying. I’m betting thats it! And the procedure is so simple now to get it out. You may be down for a week or two, but you’ll bounce back quick.
    Fingers crossed that’s all it is!

    • in defense of the dr I just got in on monday and the earliest they can do an ultrasound is next wednesday. :) I was out of town from nov 2-17th and couldn’t get in to see GI until 2 days ago. So they are checking it I just haven’t been home haha. I am hoping it’s something simple like that though!

  14. So many things it could be, but your followers have a lot of great thoughts! I went through a similar thing like 8 years ago. Lots of testing ended in a rx for Nexium.

    That little purple pill was a miracle pill for me. It healed up everything and I haven’t had to go back on it since.

    Good luck Heather!

    • how long did it take the nexium to work for you?

      • It took a couple weeks to really feel better, but several months to completely heal up. I wanted to be sure it was going to last, so I took it for an extra month or two just to be safe.

        All in all, I would say 3-5 months for the entire process (depending on how bad things down there are).

  15. Sorry you are going through this. I went through something similar a few months back – not symptoms-wise, but lots and lots of tests-wise to determine the issue. In the end, they finally figured it out (after I had surgery). Anyway, I understand the frustration of not knowing!! Sending you peace during this time and hopefully you will find out soon.

  16. GI issues are a way of life for me. I have ulcerative colitis and had acute pancreatitis in 2007 which resulted in having my gall bladder removed. While I hope these tests give you the answers, make sure to keep exploring your options with diet. Doctors continue to believe that foods do not have an effect on my issues, but I notice a difference when I make diet changes. I agree with Angela that you should probably look into food allergies. I’m actually in the process of doing that and hope to get some more solid answers.

    GI issues are really frustrating because they tend to be ongoing even when you do get the answers. Hang in there…

  17. I hope they figure out what’s going on!

    Thinking of you xo

  18. I’ve had several upper endoscopies over the past several years. The sedatives that they give you are awesome. I feel so great afterwards that I have the habit of getting in a great run later that day which leaves me so so sore.

    It’s nothing to be scared of. Be glad they’re not interested in a colonoscopy ;-)

  19. Keeping you in my thoughts. I hope you get to feeling better soon.

  20. Yes, I’ve had all the tests multiple times :( I went through most recently 18 months of GI issues until I had answers. Sorry you are dealing with this, it sucks not having answers. My GI issues were first related to hiatal hernia which I had repaired and then gluten intolerance (2nd endoscopy), after diet changes life is good :)

  21. I struggle with GI issues all the time. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy, and they found quite a few things unfortunately – torturous colon, hinatal hernia, hemorrhoids, and I can’t even remember what else. It sounds like you are having some different symptoms as I have, but the hinatal hernia does give me chest pain sometimes and mostly it gives me nausea. I was just diagnosed with “IBS” and it’s a constant unknown with me. The worst thing about the procedures was the liquid I had to drink beforehand – blech! I hope you get some answers and get it figured out soon! Feel better. <3

  22. Good luck! I dealt with these issues from age 10-22 (24 now). I took all of those tests, changed my diet, went on multiple medications, yet was left undiagnosed. I attracted the interest of a med school and became a test subject for their students, but even after 2 years of tests, I was still undiagnosed. I was an NCAA athlete and had to quit because intense exercise agrivated it further- how frustrating!

    Fast forward to 2010, I came to terms with the fact that medication and stomach aches were going to be a part of my life forever. That year for lent, I decided to go vegan- I know it would be difficult and be a constant reminder of what lent is about. Lo and behold, my GERD/stomach issues disappeared! Needless to say, I haven’t gone back. I think it may be related to dairy, but it could also be eggs/meat. Not saying that you should make a major life change, but I feel 100x better and am no longer on medication. It took the whole 40 days to feel the difference, so those 1-2 week trail periods of removing foods didn’t work.

    Hoping you get some answers and feel better!

  23. Fingers crossed that you get some answers soon! Hopefully you’ll be on your way to feeling better very soon.

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