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GI distress and vertigo

Posted by @shaelaruns in Brain & Nervous System, Nov 8, 2011

I'm 24 and have had GI issues since I was in 6th grade. I saw a pediatric gastroenterologist which diagnosed it as lactose intolerance. Didn't eat dairy until the end of high school. When I was 17 I had my gallbladder out after being hospitalized due to it being severely infected because my gallstones blocked the duct. In college I had a series of tests ... lots of blood work, sigmoidoscopy, barium contrast CT scan and nothing. I tested negative for every GI disorder/disease. My symptoms were labelled as IBS. I spent 2 years working with a dietician and started exercising more seriously (I've run half a dozen half marathons and a few marathons since then). I also did Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to deal with the anxiety/mental aspects that came along with my GI issues. These days my "IBS symptoms" are pretty much under control ... Did I mention I've also been underweight my entire life?

Now I get horrid episodes. It starts with severe vertigo. I need to put my hand on a wall to keep from falling if I'm going to walk. Accompanied is extreme abdominal pain and a very strong urge to vomit. My entire body shakes. That lasts approximately 4 hours.

Occasionally I get mild vertigo that lasts only 15-30 minutes that isn't accompanied by the pain. And sporatically I get muscle aches that aren't exercise related. It just feels like a mild case of the flu.

Just wondering if there's anyone else out there who has experienced this sort of thing. My primary care doc really wants to find out what's wrong but he's baffled. He's sending me to see a neurologist due to the vertigo. The only other thing he suggested was going to the ER when I'm in one of the horrid episodes ...

Thoughts anyone? Thanks for reading.


Posted by @jsorum, Nov 9, 2011

i know you said you have been tested for all gi problems..but what about celiac disease? I had very bad vertigo and my ears hurt so bad. I was finally diaganosed with celiac


Posted by @shaelaruns, Nov 9, 2011

I've been tested for celiac via blood test (looking for the antibodies) 3 times but it's come back negative. I've heard the only true way to know is by upper endoscopy and getting a biopsy of the small intestine to check for damaged villi.

Has your vertigo gone away since going on a gluten-free diet following your celiac diagnose?


Posted by @glutenfreecuredmycrohns, Jan 6, 2012

You need to try a gluten-free diet, the Dr's never recommend that.

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