Seeing the GI this week -- what questions to ask, tests to request?

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jcee
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 6/15/2010 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I posted a short time back and recently had a surgical referral where I was told not to have my gall bladder removed although my PCP thought it would help my digestive issues. GI consult is for later this week and in addition to going over my food/symptom diary what questions should I be asking or tests to request?

Things for me since I last posted have been very up and down with some days relatively GERD "free" and others like today where anything I eat causes a lot of distress, chest pains, acid, gas and feathery, loose bm's. I've been trying to get my arms around what my triggers are but even these seem to change or perhaps it's what I'm combining at any given time. Although my diet is pretty limited. On an emotional level I alternate between being anxious and not, feeling like I'm "withering away" or laying in bed unable to sleep since I'm convinced "tonight I'm going to die." Other times I have no problems sleeping but the GERD or whatever it is that's going on is starting to take its toll. Same with my energy levels. Some days I'll wake up and go to work feeling ok and then later will come home and can't keep my eyes open. I'm literally turning old before my time and even people at work have told me I look "tired" though I'm thinking that "tired out" is more likely. To recap I'm currently taking 20mg of pepcid (and 2 PB8's each day) prior to each meal and eating lightly with the only sugar coming from fruit, which I eat sparingly. I'm (mostly) vegan (plain eggs 3x per week) so am thinking I should start taking B12 but don't want to make any other changes until I see the GI. I'm hoping for the best but sometimes it's very hard to stay optimistic.

J-

Post Edited (jcee) : 6/15/2010 4:07:16 PM (GMT-6)


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 6/16/2010 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
You could have a vitamin deficenty. PPIs are nortorious for not letting your body absorb enough vitamins and minerals.
Also ask your doctor for a full thyroid panel. Some of you symptoms sound like hyperthyroidism, too.

Joy

jcee
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 6/16/2010 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you. I'll take that up with the doctor.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 6/17/2010 8:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Fruit is not the only source of sugar. It comes from all starch too. Starches are just long chains us sugars linked together. Bread is the notable culprit, but legumes and most other veggies have starch too.

Pepcid is not a PPI, but it does stop acid production and therefore interfere with digestion of essential nutrients like the PPIs do.

You might be taking too much bacteria. I don't see why you need to supplement that before every meal.

Before getting a gallbladder taken out you should have a bunch of tests to see if it is really necessary. Having it removed could make matters worse.

How about stopping the probiotic and start keeping a good food log? You need to find out if a particular food or type of food is causing your problem. A good journal with writing down symptoms can give your GI doc information. At least it doesn't entail a visit to the doc, is not invasive, costs nothing.
Alcie
 
 


jcee
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 6/17/2010 10:49 PM (GMT -6)   
During my surgical consult a few weeks ago the doctor advised against having the gallbladder removed which is what finally prompted my PCP to give me the GI referral that I had been asking for all along. I'll be doing that tomorrow and will also ask about my taking pepcid, which I've been taking for about 2.5 years, and how that might be interfering with digestion. I stopped the probiotic today and will see how that goes and I have been keeping a dairy of both food and symptoms since this all started up with a vengence in late April. And although some patterns are emerging I'm still not sure what my triggers are since sometimes the triggers aren't triggers at all, and other times things that sat just fine cause a huge amount of acid. Much to talk about with the doctor tomorrow and at the same time I'll get my blood drawn again to see if the elevated alkaline phosphatase level has dropped back into the normal range. Thanks for the heads up. :)

Nolique
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 6/21/2010 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jcee,
 
When I read your post, my heart almost stopped.  I had my gallbladder out five years ago and I regret it more than anything else I have ever done.  In November, I was diagnosed with gastritis (I have had since getting the gall bladder out) and esophogitis which was a result of the gastritis.  There are many foods I can no longer eat (I cant digest them anymore) and it will change your life forever.  My GI doctor says that no one should get their gallbladder out unless they are rolling around in pain, there are way too many unnecessary surgeries for this and 20-30% of those people will forever have digestive problems.  I went in because of lower left sided pain and found out (too late) that all I had to do was give up gluten.  It was just a gluten intolerance.  Please try to see if you have any food allergies or intolerances, that may be your culprit.  I just dont want to see one more person suffer needlessly from having their gall bladder removed.  I run into people all the time that have had theirs removed and regret it very much.  You spend the rest of your life treating an issue that you would never have had to in the firstplace. We have those gallbladders for a reason, we need them!  Sorry about the soapbox!  I wish you the best, do lots of research!
 
Nolique :-)

jcee
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 6/21/2010 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Thx Nolique. I'm glad I'm keeping my GB and my GI said that what the tests and past scoping showed, which I didn't realize I had (i thought I only had a colonoscopy) is that I have hiaetal hernia and IBS in addition to GERD. She put me on Prilosec for one month to see how I get on and had me stop taking the Pepcid so we'll see. It will still be a matter of life style changes, losing more weight, watching what I eat and trying to relax. Not easy for a worrier like myself but better than what I conjured up in my mind. At least as far as this episode/problem goes. Unfortunately a new one popped up or rather made itself known from the last round of tests that showed my elevated levels of Alkaline Phosphatase is not due to the liver (thankfully) but is coming from bone. A thought that has my mind reeling with thoughts of lymphoma, bone cancer and who knows what else. Waiting to hear from my primary care doctor to see what the next steps are while trying to keep my flip-flopping tummy/guts in check. Might be a good night to take an Ativan. Take care and thanks again.
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