For the past four and a half weeks, I've had some sort of gastroenteritis - the first few days I came down with it, I had constant diarrhea, low grade fever, chills, dizziness, nausea, and excessive gas/belching/stomach gurgling, severe stabbing pains in the stomach area.. after the first few days, the symptoms became less severe but become somewhat chronic - I have diarrhea every day, which occurs primarily in the morning shortly after I get up - sometimes for only a couple hours, sometimes until about noon or so - I feel progressively better during the day, although my stomach is bloated, gurgling very loudly with excessive gas, along with very slight afternoon fevers/chills and extreme fatigue all the time (sometimes dizziness too, although that seems to be mostly gone). It seems to go through cycles where for a few days the symptoms will get better, to the point where the diarrhea is almost gone, then the next day it will be back worse than ever. (The diarrhea is just excessively watery, no blood or mucous or unusual colors to it). I still experience upper abdominal pain (sharp, in the stomach area) but in the lower abdomen just slight cramping (generalized) which persists throughout the day as well. I've lost a ton of weight, too, even though I'm trying to still eat normally.
The strange thing is that I know of at least eight different people who all are experiencing the exact same symptoms (right down to the time of day the symptoms occur) who have not recovered yet either. Three of them are co-workers, one is a neighbor, and two work in my OB/GYN's office, others are people I've met in passing, either patients at my office or spouses of friends.. One of them has had it for a week, one has had it for 3 months, the rest are around a month or so. And I must stress they are the EXACT same symptoms. Same morning watery diarrhea, afternoon fevers/chills, sharp stomach pains and generalized cramping, gas/bloating/gurgling and cycles where they feel they are getting better and then get worse again. Everyone in my office came down with it within days of each other (but no one got sick at exactly the same time).
I do not spend any time with any of these people outside of work, we never eat the same food or go out to eat together, (we all have very different diets and bring our own lunches) or drink the same water. Most of us live in very different areas, different counties even (we're all in upstate NY). Most of the people who are sick also have mentioned that their spouses are also sick with it.
I have tried Imodium, Kaopectate/Pepto Bismol, probiotics, fiber (Equalactin and Citrucel, tried small and large doses), and the BRAT diet - no effect whatsoever. Even when I avoided food for 24 hours and drank nothing but water the symptoms were the same. It doesn't seem to be affected by medication or by what I eat or don't eat.
I have been tested for every food allergy possible - including lactose intolerance and both blood tests and biopsies for Celiac's - all negative. My basic blood work (blood sugar, CBC) was fine. I have also had a colonoscopy and an ESR blood test to rule out Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, etc. - all fine. No immune deficiencies either that we can find.
I have not been out of the country or even out of the state in 10 years, (even 10 years ago I only visited Italy) and don't know anyone else who has recently. I also don't have any other medical conditions, haven't received any transfusions, etc. I don't have kids, I live alone.
My doctor is perplexed as there are other people with the same symptoms. She says it sounds like a parasite, but they're typically not THAT easily transmitted person to person, and we can't find any common food we may have all eaten, water or daycare centers we may have all been commonly exposed to. (I buy bottled water, my co-workers either have well water or filtration systems at home, my neighbor drinks well water.) No one drinks the water at work. And while I do work in a dental office, and am exposed to a lot of patients throughout the day, we're all impeccable about hygiene, handwashing, etc., and everything is up to OSHA standards.
Is there any type of bacteria/virus/parasite that could be transmitted easily person to person that you know of that could cause such prolonged symptoms? Are there any other tests you could suggest? I am going to have a stool culture done, but are there any specific parasites or bacteria I should ask them to test for that they may not test for routinely? Would it be beneficial to ask for a referral to an infectious disease specialist? Like I said, my doctor is stumped, I'm already seeing a gastroenterologist who is also stumped - he said he'd call it IBS except that other people are experiencing the same thing. My neighbor with the symptoms did turn in a stool sample which was apparently "negative for bacteria and parasites" but I don't know exactly which ones they tested for. We've talked about testing for Hep A and maybe even Hep C - could this be a concern, even though no one has gotten jaundice and it's not spread by casual contact? (Everyone in my office is vaccinated against Hep B).
Oh, and I don't know if this is significant, but three of the people I work with have had pets with recurring diarrhea which have been treated with Flagyl for a "bacterial infection". None of these people are sick, though.
Any suggestions would be appreciated by me, my co-workers and my doctors! Thanks!!
Hi, I am 23 Male and I have the same type of symtoms and Ive had them for about 2 years or so. The watery dirarreh comes and goes and its at different times. But I will get it like 4-5 times a week. I get stomach pains and contant bloating. and sometimes back pain. Ive been to the doctor acouple times and Ive had colonoscopy and blood tests and they were normal. It could be a gallbladder problem and I will go for tests on that. I also suffer from anxiety and some of my symtoms are probably caused my that. If anyone knows what this is and how to treat it I would be appreciative. Thanks
I have been in severe pain for 7 years. It started with abdominal pain, then headaches,joint and muscle pain, cronic fatigue, irritable bowel, anxiety,shortness of breath and many more. The abdominal pain is the worse and is unbearable. I was bed ridden for 5 years, but now i force myself to make it the couch.
Even with percocet the abdominal pain is unbearable, modtly ffrom the middle to the lower right side.The abdominal pain is the worst in the morning. I have been to 2 mayo clinics and to many doctors to list, but they never found anything in the tests. I have been searching the internet for years for a solution for years.I decided i had fibromyalgia and told doctors, that was a mistake.
I have recently looked at infectous diseases and i believe i have cronic lymes disease. I found a tick on me a few months before a started getting sick 7 years ago. The symptoms match perfectly. I didnt think i had it before because i didnt get a rash or fever. I recently read 30 % of people dont get a rash. Also doctors seem to think you dont have something if you dont have all the symptoms or certain ones. Its not true everyone is different.
Lymes disease gets in your fatty cells in your nerves, lungs, muscles, brain, and bile, so you can have abdominal pain, headaches, sinus problems, muscle pain, memory loss, confusion. I think lyme disease is overlooked alot. Cronic lymes cannot be treated ny antibiotics and requires special treatment. I am going to an infectous disease doctor. I think for people who cant find out what the problem is after years, this is the best doctor to see.
My 10 1/2 year old has the same pain in his lower abdominal and diarrhea everyday this as been going on since Nov. 24 and it is now Jan. 15 He has been to the Doctors 3 times and has done three stool culture test and all came back negative back around Dec. 20 he had a fever for a few days, he has also lost about 13 pounds so now he is 65 pounds. The doctor is now thinking he has pick up another virus so if this is not better in two weeks he will need a colonoscopy. My husband had the same thing for a week and a half but then went away. I just don't know what to do! He has never been a sick child. I am starting to think that all these flu shots are the cause.
I know you posted your message nearly two years ago but I thought this was worth a shot. Please let me know if you receive this post (perhaps sent to your email address). I would love to find out if you ever resolved your health issue because your description of your symptoms are the same as mine and I would love your input.
I also need to know if anyone has got to the root of this. My son is feeling somewhat better but he still has pain in his lower abdominal he goes to the bathroom three times a day with the diarrhea somedays the pain is not as bad as other days. He is going for a upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy Feb. 26, The gastroenterology Doctor is calling it Inflammatory bowel disease, I do not think so, I think it is a virus that will not leave is body. I'm going to take him to someone else this week before he goes for the colonoscopy. Maybe if we all work together we can help each other.
I think the colonoscopy is a good idea, particularly if he's been having an elevated temperature. IBD can cause these symptoms and my GI made sure to rule it out before seeking additional tests. The only thing I've found online with similar symptoms (and something that can last this long) is hepatitis A. I may push my doctor to screen for this. Otherwise, I have no clue what's going on and it's been about 2 months. Update this forum if you get any other answers. I'll do the same. You can certainly email me as well.
This thread seems little old, but i would like to put my input into this issue. Usually viral gastroenteritis doesn;t last more than few days and bacterial will not last more than 3 weeks or so. If it last more than three weeks it's called a chronic gastroenteritis.
In that case we have to suspect other causes of diarrhoea. Coeliac disease, malabsorptive conditions, inflammatory bowel disease ect..
Also if there is severe diarrhoea parents should act immediately since it can lead to life threatening conditions. Check this link for acute complications of severe diarrhoea.