View Full Version : Mystery sickness...again.

06-25-2009, 01:06 PM
For the past several months, I've been having severe stomach problems. It started out with me being nauseous after eating. That continued for a few months. I'd sometimes have to leave class to be sick after eating lunch.

Then it started being shooting pains in my lower abdomen that occurred when I changed position quickly and a constant dull ache below my ribs that worsened when I woke up from sleeping.

It hit a point when it was excruciating and I went to Urgent Care. They sent me to the hospital. I waited 4 hours and they discharged me without doing anything saying I had a UTI (which didn't explain many of the symptoms.) The next day I was violently sick from about 5 in the morning until 10 at night.

After that, the pain lessened but was still there.

In the past month, it's gotten worse again, so I went back to Urgent Care. They did blood work and a Urinalysis and nothing came up. They ordered every kind of ultrasound you can think of. Still nothing.

I am so frustrated by this! I want to feel better but I can't when no one can figure out what's wrong. Has anyone had problems like this before? I have an appointment with my Rheumy at the end of July and I don't know if I can wait until then for relief. It's interfering with my life, making it hard to be active and breath when I work out.

Sorry about the long post, I'm just hoping someone may have some insight.

God bless!

06-25-2009, 01:46 PM
Hi Kirsten - May be a long shot but it may be something for you to have checked....I just had a "HIDA scan w/ CCK" done to test my gallbladder. I had been having weird stomach issues - although not really the same as yours because I didn't have nausea - but terrible pain after eating sometimes, alternating really bad diarrhea and constipation, bloating... I got my results yesterday and my gallbladder is functioning at 20% so I will have surgery to remove it which I've heard SHOULD make me feel tons better! They did an ultrasound first to check for gall stones first and I didn't have any. My doctor said a lot of other doctors will only check for gall stones and will not check to see how the gallbladder is functioning so you have to find a doctor willing to let you get the HIDA test. I didn't have pain where my gall bladder is after eating (the pain was in the lower part of my abdomen) but when my doctor did an exam, it was very tender when she pressed where my gallbladder is (upper right area of abdomen, not far below my ribs). Not sure if this is what's causing your problems but thought it was worth mentioning! Best of luck figuring out what is going on!


06-25-2009, 05:25 PM
Thank you so much for that information! I actually passed some gall stones last summer. That was no fun either. I will definitely have my the doctor check on this!! All the best with your surgery. I hope it helps!

06-25-2009, 10:08 PM
You may also want to look into what you are eating. My step-mom also has Lupus and a few years ago she was going through the exact same thing you were. They did a colonoscopy and an endoscopy and found out she had celiac disease. She is allergic to gluten. As soon as she stopped eating anything with gluten in it she felt much better! Also I have lots of stomach issues. I have been in the hospital for them and everything. I have IBS and recently have had to stop eating dairy. These are issues that are a pain to deal with if you have to cut things out of your diet but once you do, you will feel so much better if you this is a problem for you.Good luck and keep us posted! We will be thinking of you and sending you lots of hugs and well wishes until you find out what is going on :grouphug:

06-26-2009, 05:17 AM
Maybe check for H. Pylori...


06-26-2009, 08:28 AM
Kirsten, (((hugs))) I hope and pray you find answers and relief from this very soon...VERY soon.

06-26-2009, 09:49 AM
I cannot explain how lovely I think you all are! Your help is so wonderful.

I have considered both Celiac's and Lactose intolerance and I've gone spans of time without both, seeing if I could see a pattern. None developed. Also, the pain no longer seems to be triggered by food, though in the beginning it was.

I will continue seeking an answer, even if the doctors do make me feel crazy! I expect that's a pretty big part of a life with Lupus. ;)

06-26-2009, 10:19 AM
FYI...Love, O.

Digestive problems are common in lupus. The symptoms you may experience include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Often these symptoms are caused by drugs you take for lupus, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corti-costeroids. Sometimes, though, these symptoms occur because your muscles are not properly moving waste through your intestines. This group of symptoms is known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and may be caused by irregularities in your nervous system.
Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
Ulcerative colitis (which causes ulcers in the lining of the rectum and colon) and Crohn’s disease (which causes inflammation of the digestive system) are two forms of inflammatory bowel disease that affect the colon. Bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain are common symptoms in both, but there are differences that will help your doctor to distinguish between the two. People with lupus sometimes will develop ulcerative colitis, but only rarely will a person have both lupus and Crohn’s disease.
Peritonitis and Ascites
The peritoneum is a thin lining on the inside of your abdomen. Inflammation of this lining can cause a condition called peritonitis. Most cases of peritonitis are due to an infection. However, inflammation caused by lupus can also cause a build-up of fluids in the abdominal cavity called ascites (pronounced uh-SAHY-teez). The symptoms you may experience can include severe abdominal pain, tenderness when your belly is touched, nausea and vomiting, fever, and/or lack of bowel movements. Ascites can also be caused by infection, pancreatitis, liver disease, cancer, or other conditions, so your doctor may want to examine a sample of the fluid to determine its cause and begin the proper treatment.
Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) can be caused by lupus, but also can be caused by vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) or by certain medications you may be taking for lupus, including corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and diuretics. Because pancreatic vasculitis is treated with corticosteroids, while steroid-induced pancreatitis is treated by withdrawing the steroid medication, it is very important that your pancreatitis is diagnosed accurately, and that you are treated and closely monitored by a doctor with experience in this area.
Liver Complications
Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It is also one of the most important. The liver has many jobs, including changing food into energy and cleaning alcohol and poisons from the blood. Your liver also makes bile, a yellowish-green liquid that helps with digestion. When lupus causes inflammation in the liver, a condition called hepatic vasculitis can occur. This affects the blood vessels that supply the liver and can cause blood clots in those vessels. The liver may become enlarged due to ascites or congestive heart failure. People with lupus also may develop jaundice, a liver condition that gives a yellowish color to the skin. Jaundice in lupus also can be a sign of anemia or pancreatitis. If your liver enzyme levels are increased, this may be due to NSAIDs or acetaminophen, or may be a sign of lupus activity.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the liver, causing the liver to become inflamed. Autoimmune hepatitis is classified as either type 1 or 2. Type 1 is the most common form in North America. It occurs at any age and is more common among women than men. About half of those with type 1 have other autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes, proliferative glomerulonephritis, systemic lupus, thyroiditis, Graves' disease, Sjögren's syndrome, autoimmune anemia, or ulcerative colitis. Type 2 autoimmune hepatitis is less common, typically affecting girls ages 2 to 14, although adults can also be affected.
Fatigue is probably the most common symptom of autoimmune hepatitis. Other symptoms include an enlarged liver, jaundice, itching and skin rashes, joint pain, abdominal discomfort, abnormal blood vessels on the skin (spider angiomas), nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, dark urine, and pale or gray colored stools.
Because severe viral hepatitis or hepatitis caused by a drug -- for example, certain antibiotics -- have the same symptoms as autoimmune hepatitis, tests may be needed for an exact diagnosis. Your doctor also should review and rule out drugs you are taking before diagnosing autoimmune hepatitis. Both types of autoimmune hepatitis are treated with daily doses of a corticosteroid (such as prednisone), but azathioprine (Imuran®) is also used.
Peptic Ulcers
If you take NSAIDs as a lupus treatment you are at increased risk for damage to your stomach. This tissue damage could cause bleeding ulcers to develop either in your stomach lining or in your duodenum (where your stomach, bile duct, and pancreatic duct meet your small intestine). Ulcers also can be caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacterium, which may be more common in people with lupus due to their generally higher risk for infection. Medications that help prevent ulcers from developing include Prevacid®, Prilosec®, and Cytotec®, and medications that help to relieve the upset stomach associated with NSAID use include Zantac.

07-02-2009, 12:18 AM
Thank you for all that great reading!

As odd as it sounds, the pain has shifted again, to below the left side of my rib cage that gets worse after exercise and at night. So odd. I'm going to try to keep a journal of my symptoms and see if any triggers develop and take it to my rheumy at my appointment at the end of the month. Hopefully we can figure something out!

07-02-2009, 05:50 AM
Me and you are in the same boat I wish I had some kind of answers for you. I just went to see a gastroenterologist yesterday, He said I looked fine and of course they couldnt find anything. I feel your pain I hope you feel better. Good Luck Honey

07-02-2009, 10:09 AM
Thank you for all that great reading!

As odd as it sounds, the pain has shifted again, to below the left side of my rib cage that gets worse after exercise and at night. So odd. I'm going to try to keep a journal of my symptoms and see if any triggers develop and take it to my rheumy at my appointment at the end of the month. Hopefully we can figure something out!

Kirsten, this is a LONNNNNNNG shot, but if you have ever had pain/swelling in any other body part that has mucus membranes, you might suggest your doc look at HAE (hereditary angioedema). It can cause really severe stomach/intestinal pains that seem to appear/disappear for no good reason. Like I said, a long shot, but one that many docs miss unless they're tipped off...good luck getting a diagnosis and more importantly feeling better!