Tummy troubles several times a week


Q: I have always had a sensitive stomach with foods that are high in dairy (cheese, icecream) or high in grease (fried foods, pizza) but since coming back from hiking the appalachian trail, my stomach has gone through several uncomfortable episodes. I am very active. I live on the beach and am in the water/sun for probably 3-5 hours a day and I run/exercise regularly. Often, I feel very sick in either the late evening or early morning. It usually starts with nausea, and I eventually assist my body in throwing up. Sometimes I throw up thick yellow bile and sometimes it's that afternoon's lunch, seemingly fully undigested and in tact as if I had just eaten it moments before. I get weak, dizzy, and the idea of even standing up makes me want to puke. It doesn't seem to correlate with any certain food. It feels as though I was up all night partying and drinking and eating junk the night before, even though I had a healthy meal and went to bed early. I don't know if it's heat exhaustion, a lack of salt (I try to avoid salt) or a lack of sleep. Any ideas? Oh yea I am on Trinessa but have been for almost a year.

Symptoms:  Nausea, lethargic, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, dizziness upon standing. These episodes have been happening increasingly more often, several times a week.

A:   Thank you for your question. Your symptoms could be an exacerbation of your previous history of stomach sensitivity. Although you are maintaining a very healthy diet, it is possible that you may be experiencing gastritis (inflammation of the stomach) due to bacterial infection with H. pyori. This bacteria infects the lining of the stomach and causes and burning aching sensation of the stomach, coupled with bloating, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion. Since you are vomiting bile as well, it may be possible that your current stomach condition could be in fact be caused by a problem with your gall bladder, such as gall stones. We recommend that you consult your doctor to have the appropriate tests performed to determine would could be the actual cause of your problem. You may need to be referred to a gastroenterologist for a more expert opinion in diagnosing this stomach condition. H.pylori infections are commonly treated with antibiotics and medications to sooth the irritated stomach. Gall stones on the other hand need to be closely monitored in make sure they are not blocking the common bile duct. Usually surgical removal of these gall stones are required.

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