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Mystery Medical Problem


I'm hoping you can help me to identify a "mystery" medical problem that has plagued me for about seven years now.

Just to give you some general health information, I'm 42. White. Not an olympian, but not morbidly obese, either. I smoke pot maybe 2-3 times a year and I don't drink to excess.

I keep having these - attacks. I don't know what else to call them. The first one took place in 2006. The most recent one was this week. Thankfully, they only seem to happen about once a year.

It always begins like a case of indigestion. A mild burning feeling in the stomach.

Over the course of 30-45 minutes or so, the burning gradually intensifies until it feels like I've got a lump of hot charcoal in my gut. I can actually picture it in there - angry, throbbing red.

The next 6-7 hours are pure agony. Standing under a hot shower helps somewhat, but other than that it's pretty much impossible to get comfortable. When I'm experiencing one of these attacks I literally writhe with pain. I keep changing position and location to try to get some relief. Bed. Couch. Chair. Floor. Climbing the walls. It makes no difference.

My body temperature veers all over the place. One minute I'm wrapping myself up in every spare blanket available, desperate to get warm. The next I'm flinging things off trying to cool down. I've never been tempted to try the stuff, but, based on what I've read, I can imagine that this is what kicking heroin must be like.

With some attacks, I'll experience a wave of nausea and vomit. The other night I barfed three times. Not much comes up, though. It's not like food poisoning, for instance. It isn't a case of my body rejecting something bad. I don't feel any better once I've puked.

Apart from one experience, all the attacks have happened around bedtime. This is important because it means I'm up all night, and, once the pain subsides, I basically pass out from exhaustion.

The day after I'm fine, more or less. Naturally, I don't eat much of anything for about 24 hours or so. I'll also feel pretty dehydrated, so I drink a lot of water. Other than that, though, recovery is surprisingly quick. I'll really just need to sleep and then I'm back in business.

Like I said, though, the exact cause of these attacks is a complete mystery. There doesn't seem to be a consistent trigger. It's not a particular kind of meal or drink or experience that brings them on... not that I've been able to tell.

Give me your thoughts - what do you think is going on here? The experience itself is sheer hell and I'd be willing to do pretty much anything to avoid another attack, but I'm not sure about what I should, or shouldn't, be doing. I have some theories, but I don't want to bias your responses...

Thanks in advance!

by Mereply 6411/05/2013

What does a doctor say??

by Mereply 110/31/2013

Sounds very much like the gall bladder attacks I used to get. They were awful and went on for hours. My only relief was to force myself to throw up until there was nothing left in my stomach besides green bile.

They found pretty big stones inside once I decided to have the surgery. No problems since then.

Get yourself to a doctor.

by Mereply 210/31/2013

See a doctor. Why would you even consider taking medical device from anyone on here???

by Mereply 310/31/2013

I second the gall bladder suggestion (I only had 2 attacks, 2 days apart, but that was enough for me), but go see a doctor pronto.

by Mereply 410/31/2013

If that happened to me, I'd be arranging an appointment with a doctor immediately after the first one, as soon as I recovered enough to use the phone.

Years ago, I had attacks of colitis (spastic colon) when I was withdrawing from nicotine -- the doctor ruled out everything else & gave me muscle relaxers, which helped. But OP's attacks sound worse & more sporadic than mine were.

Whatever it is, OP, please consult a doctor, now.

by Mereply 510/31/2013

Another vote for gall bladder attack.

by Mereply 610/31/2013

Get thee to a gastroenterologist, .. posthaste!!

by Mereply 710/31/2013

Sounds like gall bladder to me too...but if not, could be stomach migraines...yes it's a real has something to with the major artery right where your stomach is, and the muscles around it, etc. The symptoms are the same.

by Mereply 810/31/2013

You need to go to a psychiatrist first, to help you figure out why you feel more comfortable asking strangers for medical advice rather than your doctor.

by Mereply 910/31/2013

I've had similar things happen to me, four different times, so bad that I went to th ER. The pain was so bad they gave me morphine. Every possible test was done each time and no problems were found. Weird thing is twice the pain was up near my gallbladder, the other two times in my appendix area. Strange, I'm just praying it doesn't happen ever again. This has all happens ex within the period of two years or so. Oh, I am not fat, I'm in decent shape and a proper weight.

by Mereply 1010/31/2013

Perhaps acute pancreatitis.

Now may I have your stuff?

by Mereply 1110/31/2013

I have to ditto the gallbladder

by Mereply 1210/31/2013

Gallbaldder it is. I had much the same.

by Mereply 1310/31/2013

R5: a spastic colon is the same as irritable bowl syndrome, not colitis.

by Mereply 1410/31/2013

I vote gallbladder too. My last attack before I had it removed felt like a heart attack.

by Mereply 1510/31/2013

Its cancer. you're going to die.

by Mereply 1610/31/2013

It's the gall bladder. You need to get it removed while you are in between attacks. If you wait too long it will become major. So do it now. NOW.

by Mereply 1710/31/2013

Sounds like it could be kidney stones. The writhing with pain with no relief is a tipoff. I've had them.

by Mereply 1810/31/2013

You know, I have to say this. I think a lot of times people come here with these questions the way you'd call up a friend or family just to sort of talk thru what ails them.

But anyone who can post on DL ought to know how to Google and do a search. Web M.D. is a good start. You just tell your symptoms and they tell you what it might be. But you gotta go to the Doctor, OP. You really do.

by Mereply 1910/31/2013

Gallstones or kidney stones. The nausea and vomiting are due to the pain.

by Mereply 2010/31/2013

Symptom checker says it's probably gallstones, OP.

It does sound a bit like my experience with GERD; however, sitting down and leaning forward would ease my pain.

by Mereply 2110/31/2013

R21, severe GERD does feel similar, but not as intense (having had both). In fact, when I was having gall bladder attacks, I'd wait too long to go to the ER so the attacks were well under way, so when they gave me antacid as part of their diagnostic routine, my symptoms always eventually subsided. I'd also told them of my previous history of GERD, so they were predisposed to that. This delayed the correct diagnoses of gallstones by at least two years.

Putting off going to the ER right at the beginning of an attack caused me a lot of unnecessary suffering.

by Mereply 2210/31/2013

What's on your ipod?

by Mereply 2310/31/2013

OP, I had gall bladder attacks and no insurance, so I put off going to the hospital as long as I could. The attacks gradually became more frequent and severe, and eventually I was having them every week or so and couldn't hold down water. I had pancreatitis by then too. I had to stay in the hospital three days and suck up IV bags of antibiotics before I could have surgery. No food for three days either. They did surgery and that was it.

Don't wait until you can't anymore, it will just end up costing more. If I had gone right in, they would have released me much faster and it would have cost a lot less. They also have someone in the hospital who will help you apply for Medicaid or whatever you qualify for. Hospitals will also reduce your fee if you're uninsured.

by Mereply 2410/31/2013

"My body temperature veers all over the place. One minute I'm wrapping myself up in every spare blanket available, desperate to get warm. The next I'm flinging things off trying to cool down... With some attacks, I'll experience a wave of nausea and vomit. The other night I barfed three times."

Been there, done that. Trick or treat, cunts!

by Mereply 2510/31/2013

The symptoms you describe lead one to believe your problem is with your gall bladder. That statement is overly broad and unhelpful, really, and is merely a logical starting point for examining you. As others have quite correctly said, for crissakes get yourself into your GP's or internist's office right away. Because something is bearable once a year in no way diminishes the seriousness of the affliction.

If you were in your physician's office during or within hours of your attack, there are tests she/he could run to differentiate between several competing diagnoses. If you presented in my office, I'd want a look at your white cell count, and possibly look at your liver enzymes. I'd also press my fingers in the region and test for tenderness.

What you describe could very well have been acute cholecystitis, which has now likely morphed into chronic cholecystitis. Talk to your physician about ordering an ultrasound to examine your gall bladder. Repeated attacks of the sort you describe leave telltale signs on the condition of the organ (including the thickness of the walls, its overall size and geometry, etc.). The variability of your temperatures suggest the possibility of biliary colic, that is, when a stone temporarily obstructs a bile duct, it presents a site for bacteria to lodge and cause an infection.

Your physician will be in a much better position to guide you on what to do next. Laparoscopic cholecystectomies are frequently an in & out the same day procedure, although overnight observation is usually indicated.

by Mereply 2610/31/2013

It sounds like gall bladder attacks. Easily diagnosed with an ultra-sound, and laparoscopic surgery makes recovery a breeze.

by Mereply 2710/31/2013

I used to get something that sounds exactly like what you're experiencing. I would get them every couple months for years. One day they just stopped.

The best thing I found for the pain was to wolf down an entire pint of Hagen Daz, and I mean wolf--big chunks as fast as you can. The cold really eased the pain, and it relaxed me enough that I could sit up and even walk.

by Mereply 2810/31/2013

gall bladder

by Mereply 2910/31/2013

Are you female? It could be early perimenopause.

by Mereply 3010/31/2013

R24 is right. Get it done before you get worse. Laparoscopic surgery and you'll be home within 24 hrs. My sister had it done as an outpatient. She had to "take it easy for a few days at home. She had a teensy incision by her navel, and it was about an inch long. Cheap too.

by Mereply 3110/31/2013

Whatever it is, it is not acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis does not resolve itself and go away so easily. It requires hospitalisation...

by Mereply 3210/31/2013

Have you seen the movie 'Alien' OP?

by Mereply 3310/31/2013

If you have insurance, get the thing out.

Pancreatitis is awful from all accounts and if you let it go too long you can get liver damage. The surgery...if you get a good surgeon, won't be that bad.

by Mereply 3410/31/2013

Probably pancreatitis (gallbladder), but my son went through the exact same thing for about five years, in the exact same part of his abdomen and with the exact symptoms you describe, but the doctors couldn't find any evidence of pancreatitis, and couldn't figure out what was wrong--and then finally he had one attack where he was dumped in an emergency room for so long, the pain shifted--to his appendix.

Turned out it was appendicitis attacks all along, apparently. In the eight years since his appendix was removed, not a single attack.

Appendicitis pain routinely presents in other parts of the abdomen, so this might be worth checking out, just in case.

by Mereply 3510/31/2013

OP -- You have no doubt ingested tainted imported spices and something is growing inside you that wants to get out.

by Mereply 3610/31/2013

Take two tablespoons of baking soda and mix them with with a half a cup of water. Drink it. It will get rid of any gas in your stomach and it will get rid of the heartburn

by Mereply 3710/31/2013

OP I had the same, the EXACT same thing you have. Where is the pain exactly?

Mine felt like I had a stone in my chest area. I had many "attacks", I barfed a lot. I went to the ER. They took a sonogram of my gall bladder, did not see much action there. Insisted I get the GB out right then and there. Referral to a specialist & surgeon.

Well I didn't do it, and it subsided a bit. I have a lot of stomach issues in my family so I wanted to be sure.

Then I started getting the attacks again. Worse this time. Heaving, over and over, I went to my primary, I got blood taken out at the lab, I got a CT exam.

I got a referral from my primary to a Gastroenterologist. This is when it started to get great. This guy went to Yale & Georgetown. He's one of the best in the country.

He said we'll do the endoscopy to be sure. Did it, (this is the easier one), and I have/had ULCERS, big ones.

Started on DEXILANT (which is expensive & no ins covers it) & I'm basically ok now. Mine was ULCERS, I never had gall bladder!

Dexilant is related to prevacid, I haven't tried Prevacid but you might want to. See if that works.

PS, keep a food diary

by Mereply 3810/31/2013

OP, my brother-in-law's gallbladder was about to explode and kill him. It became gangrenous. He had stones that eventually blocked his bile duct to his liver. He turned yellow, and was knocking on Heaven's door when we rushed him to ER. He was in surgery for several hours and on antibiotics for a while too. More than a week in the hospital. Do not wait.

by Mereply 3910/31/2013

I had the symptoms you're describing--sent me to the E/R more than once. Had every test imaginable. Other than high blood pressure due to the pain--everything checked out fine.

The culprit? Naked Juice. Seriously. It's not 100% natural--it's a chemical cocktail with a fiber substance that is nearly impossible to digest for some people. (Fibersol-2.) My body cannot digest it and I had every symptom of a gall bladder attack. I stay away from this substance and haven't had an attack since. (Hope your answer is an easy one as well.)

by Mereply 4010/31/2013

Too direct, R11. Leave a few moments for the terminal diagnosis to set in, then ask, innocently, "Have you made any plans for your stuff?"

by Mereply 4111/01/2013

It could be gallstones or kidney stones. I do have a question - Do you notice this pain after easting certain foods? I only ask this because years ago I had similar problems and ended up in the ER. They ran me through some tests for a few days and found nothing. It wasn't until I saw and ad on television about lactose intolerance that I decided to check that out. It seemed I could not digest lactose - which is a milk sugar found in milk, cheese, butter, etc. Anytime I had anything with a milk product in it - even the slightest amount - I would get varying degrees of pain and sickness. A slice of cheese sent me into terrible pain and then later, sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. It was AWFUL. I started taking lactase tablets any time I had anything with a milk or cheese product in it and my pain and sickness has completely disappeared. You should really go do a doc to have yourself checked out, but, if you think you get this pain after drinking milk or eating cheese or something like that, you may have a simple case of lactose intolerance which is easily and cheaply fixable with lactase supplements.

by Mereply 4211/01/2013

Oh geez, OP, you didn't tell us the most important thing.

What did you eat before the attack? Was it greasy and fatty? Was it something you rarely eat?

If this is a gb thing, you can help your gb out by eating a bland, low fat, high fiber diet. Coffee (unsweetened) can help. There are also GB digestion pills that you can take.

Go to a gastro and have a pibida test done.

by Mereply 4311/01/2013

You ate an apple with a razor blade in it and occasionally it gets jostled.

Could be an ulcer also.

by Mereply 4411/01/2013

No word from OP? If he died, we should auction his stuff, then split the proceeds. He had terrible taste.

by Mereply 4511/01/2013

either kidney or gallstones

Possibly pancreatitis

by Mereply 4611/01/2013

[quote] Probably pancreatitis (gallbladder),

See? This is the kind of idiocy you get when you ask for medical advice on an internet messageboard. .

by Mereply 4711/01/2013

Everyone is different, OP, but if you have gallstones, they can do a CT and tell you fairly quickly. Please don't wait - go to your primary care physician for a referral or just go to the damn ER the next time you have an attack. (Unless your insurance is shitty.)

Usually a gallbladder/gallstone attack presents more on the right side of your body. (Yes, I know - I just had mine yanked this summer).

Your symptoms sound more like acid reflux/GERD to me, and I had very similar symptoms when I first had GERD about seven or eight years ago.

I also think R38 might have it right - long term acid reflux, untreated, probably created some ulcers. In the long run acid reflux is easy to treat and, while not exactly mega-cheap, you can get a 30 day supply of generic Prevacid now for under $20.

[quote] Probably pancreatitis (gallbladder)

Sorry, these are two different things. Their functions can affect each other, and some of the symptoms are very similar, but they are different.

And OP, if you do have gallstones, have surgery. I was scared as fuck (I even started a thread here about it!) but they can do it laproscopically and it's damn easy and almost painless. I had more hassles with my wisdom teeth.

by Mereply 4811/01/2013

I suggest that you research Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

by Mereply 4911/01/2013

R40 there is a class action suit against naked juice. You should get in on it for a settlement.

by Mereply 5011/01/2013

If you changed the location of your pain from your gut to your lower back (to the side of your spine), it sounds almost like when I have a kidney stone attack.

So I'm going to go with the others that think it might be gall-bladder related.

Does it happen after eating particularly high-fat content food?

I have pretty bad acid-reflux/GERD due to a sliding hiatal hernia (too minor to fix), but those attacks are a LOT different than what you describe. They usually hit me if I've eaten too much, too close to dinner, and lie flat. I actually got an adjustable bed (for $$$) so that I don't lie flat at night any more. That's helped a lot. But the sensations and experiences are all very different than what you describe.

So I'm still leaning towards the gallbladder issues.

Go see a doctor. Get an x-ray.

by Mereply 5111/01/2013

My father has similar problems. What do you do if you have kidney stones and a gallstone? My father has both. He only knows about the gallstone because the tech mentioned it to him when he was getting an ultrasound for kidney stones. The urologist said the pain probably wasn't from kidney stones because of where it was located. He also has arthritis but he had a blood test that said the rheumatoid factors were normal, or something like that. He also has had two surgeries for colon problems and now has a hernia. On top of everything else, he's been doing a lot of physical labor doing renovations, so he could have pulled something.

There are so many potential causes of his pain it's taking forever to narrow it down. In the meantime the pain comes and goes.

by Mereply 5211/01/2013

I think the BabyTaste troll contrived to murder OP by spiking his sasparilla with absinthe.

by Mereply 5311/01/2013

OP? Are you going to the doctor?

by Mereply 5411/02/2013

Textbook case of gallbladder attack.

by Mereply 5511/02/2013

he's dead.

I hate when this happens.

by Mereply 5611/02/2013

Demonic possession.

by Mereply 5711/02/2013

I think OP's gone to New Orleans to visit the overacting pussies on Coven. He thinks maybe they can help him. Good luck with THAT, my friend.

by Mereply 5811/02/2013

So OP ... dead yet?

by Mereply 5911/02/2013


Below is Hulda Clark's Liver/Gall Bladder Flush.

Prepare 3 cups (clean) water with 4 tablespoons of epsom salts. Refrigerate. (The following times are more about duration). Before 2:00 P.M. Eat anything you would like, but NO fat (We eat raw fruits and vegetables, rice, etc.) After 2:00 P.M. NO food or drink (except water). 6:00 P.M. drink 3/4 cup of the epsom salts water 8:00 P.M. drink 3/4 cup of the epsom salts water 10:00 P.M. get everything ready for bed, prop up pillows in bed so you can get in and lay on back and not move for 30 minutes. Go to bathroom. Lock doors. Pet the cat and set clock for morning wakeup. Prepare FRESH-made PINK grapefruit juice (2 grapefruits) and 1/2 cup good olive oil (cold pressed). Shake up very well in a jar so it emulsifies.

Shake, Drink and go to bed. Don't move for 20+ minutes and try to lay like that for much of the night (on back with upper body higher). If you get tired of that then lay flat (fetal) on your right side (not the left side) or back. 6:00 A.M. drink another 3/4 cup of epsom salts water 8:00 A.M. drink another 3/4 cup. You may then slowly begin eating like normal.

All through the epsom drinking you will be going to the bathroom. You will see things float, little round, bumpy round, funky round, beige, green, orange, black, maybe red. They are made of cholesterol so they float and have parasites in them too. This can go on for the morning or the whole day, depends on where your system is with releasing. Afterwards, you can also eat a slice of apple and then (wait a little bit) eating a fat like an egg (or butter or avocado, etc) will help too because the ducts are softened and more bile will rush out.

It is good to do high fiber for 2-3 days after a liver flush to assist the ducts in letting go of the old fats. Oats, apples, bentonite/psyllium, etc.

If someone is really sick I would go very easy the first time. Maybe 2 tablespoons of epsom in 3 cups of water). I would drink 1/4 cup of olive oil instead of the half cup. This gives the stones a chance to move without digging deep for them.

by Mereply 6011/02/2013

He gone.

by Mereply 6111/05/2013


by Mereply 6211/05/2013

OP you have the Consumption.

by Mereply 6311/05/2013

[quote] Prepare 3 cups (clean) water with 4 tablespoons of epsom salts.

1 to 2 tsp is the dosage for taking it as a laxative. 4 Tbs is a lot and it is above the recommended daily doseage

by Mereply 6411/05/2013
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