Hey, folks. Long-time lurker here, first-time poster.
I am starting to wonder how many people out there had their GI problems start like mine did. Twice in my life, I've had functional GI issues crop up suddenly and last for an extended period of time after suffering acute gastroenteritis (stomach "flu"). Based on my symptoms and the progression of the illnesses, I believe both cases were due to Norovirus. I had this happen when I was 8 years old, and I then experienced about
a year of chronic nausea, early satiety (I remember feeling terribly full after just a few bites of food), and what I now recognize as symptoms of GERD (feelings of gagging, burning in my chest and throat, fullness in my throat, and constant throat clearing). I got to the point where I would refuse to eat or even drink to avoid the pain and discomfort food caused me; I lost massive amounts of weight. This eventually resolved spontaneously, and I continued on with my childhood and adolescence as if this had never happened.
At the age of 21, I once again suffered a stomach flu. Before this point in time, I had been about
as healthy as person can be; I was very fit and loving life. But after this acute gastroenteritis, I suddenly started suffering with eerily familiar symptoms. The same symptoms I'd had as a child were back to haunt me, and I struggled to force down food. I started having nausea constantly, I would regurgitate food and acid immediately after eating anything, no matter how small the amount or type of food, and I started getting an incredibly full, "tight" feeling in my stomach after eating only a small amount of food; it felt like my stomach just wouldn't stretch to accommodate the food.
I have lived with these symptoms since I had the stomach flu in August 2009, though I have experienced several months where I felt totally better out of nowhere. I was diagnosed with GERD in early 2010 based on my symptoms and an endoscopy. Two gastric emptying studies have been normal, so I'm assuming the stomach problem is functional dyspepsia at this point. Barium esophagrams have shown normal swallowing (I have a hard time swallowing and a globus sensation, as well as a lovely taste in the back of my mouth). I have lost a significant amount of weight due to these GI issues, which is not good, as I was skinny to begin with.
Based on my own research, in recent years it has been discovered that functional GI disorders (gastroparesis, functional dyspepsia, IBS, and most recently - GERD) are seen more commonly in the following years in those who have had some sort of GI infection. The belief at this point seems to be that immune-mediated nerve damage is to blame (due to immune response to the infection). I think it is very suspicious that this has happened to me twice in my life, and though I have noted the stomach flu/chronic GI problem connection many times in the past, I only recently thought to research it. I will be discussing this with my GI doc the next time I see him. Here are links to just a small sampling of journal and review articles concerning post-infectious functional GI disorders:
Here is a fantastic overview:
Post Edited (DestroyTheMap) : 12/22/2012 8:27:42 PM (GMT-7)