dizziness

Does anybody ever experience dizziness with constipation and/or diarrhea? I have gastroparesis and dizziness is a new lovely symptom. it is freaking me out!

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Hi Merietta,

First, I would like to say WELCOME to the group.

I have experienced dizziness several times, particularly when I have been vomiting a lot. I usually have an electrolyte imbalance. I do know that you need to discuss this with your doctor to make sure it is nothing serious.

I feel like this group is an extended part of my family. The members of the group have a lot of good ideas, some work and some do not. I felt very alone and that no one understood what was happening prior to finding this group. Again, welcome to the group.

Charlotte

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Hi Charlotte, Thanks for your response. I am very happy to have found this group! My dizziness is not connected to an electrolyte imbalance or vomiting. It seems to occur when my body is trying to digest food. If I don't eat, I don't get it. It happens when I've been constipated for a couple days and then have an episode of diarrhea. On those days, the dizziness comes - along with pounding heart, etc. But it is not always accompanied by pounding heart or blood pressure changes. Sometimes it only happens when my body's trying to handle my lunch! Can anybody relate to this? The dizziness is a new problem, by the way.

I also have times when it is very hard to believe - as though everything is tight in my chest and abdomen. This happens when I'm constipated. I've been checked out by cardiologists who tell me my problem is GI. The gastroenterologist tells me to see a cardiologist! It is exasperating and frightening because they obviously don't understand my issues.

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Hi Marietta. I too suffer from chest pains and was recently hospitalized for them but after undergoing every test available on my heart, the Cardiologist called in my GI doctor as he said it was all caused by my GI problems. All I can recommend is that you change your GI doc if you can. I am very fortunate in that I have a wonderful doctor who is like a friend to me, in fact this Friday morning I have a consultation with him and two of his colleagues (one of whom is a surgeon) they have asked to see me and my family members to discuss my case as he is worried about my weight loss. So Marietta like I said before if your doc doesn't understand your issues get rid of him as he is doing you a great disservice. Good Luck to you my dear. Mags

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Marietta,

I understand the shifting of responsibilities from doctor to doctor. Do you have an internest or a family doctor that you can get him to direct the other doctors. Have you considered going to Mayo or a teaching hospital? I hate that you are having so many unexplained symptoms.

I will keep you in my prayers.

Charlotte

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I do experience dizziness. Usually it is because my blood pressure is too low and I'm dehydrated! I have GP and constipation.
Judy

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Hi Marietta -
Oh, how I can relate! Seeing your post was actually a huge relief to me. Unfortunately I don't have any answers for you, but I can at least assure you that you're not alone. I've had episodes of dizziness for the past 3 years that are absolutely connected to digestion - like you, if I don't eat, I don't get it. Mine are also often accompanied by pounding heart, but not always. The dizziness happens even when my hydration and blood pressure are normal, with or without obvious diarrhea/constipation. And again like you, I have times when it seems hard to breathe with everything in my chest and abdomen tightening. Its frightening and discouraging to have these episodes with no understanding of what causes them, let alone how to avoid them.
I have one additional symptom that really bothers me... the only way I can describe it is 'jolts'. Its almost like an electrical current that runs from my abdomen up into my chest. It's verry sudden and very fast - over in a second or two - but terrifying. The jolts are always connected with dizziness, weakness, and difficult digestion. Have you or anyone else ever had something similar?
Anyway, thank you for posting and letting me know I have company out there! This is a wonderful site, and an amazing source of education and comfort.
-E

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I thought that i was the only one! My first symptom was an overwhelming dizziness, cold sweats, and intense confusion (after eating some grapes). That is what originally sent me to the er from work. It subsided after a little while, and then the stomach cramps and nausea started. I ended up leaving the Er because I thought it was just a stomach flu. A week later I was admitted to the hospital due to CIPO. I still get dizziness and trouble focusing my eyes after eating when I'm not well. My GI doc. looked at me like I was crazy when I told him about it, and so does everyone else for that matter. It's nice to know that I'm not crazy.

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Hi Kara, Charlotte, chewy and Mags and E, thanks for your kindness and sharing your experiences. I went to the emergency room Wednesday night because I was having such trouble breathing - my stomach felt like a beach ball pressing on everything. An x-ray showed no obstruction, but lots of gas and I am certain my esophagus and throat are inflamed from acid reflux because of my gastroparesis and, now, mysterious constipation alternating with diarrhea. I had been alternating with zellnorm and bethanechol - now the bethanechol constipates me and the zellnorm gives me diarrhea. They put me on reglan - which I was really dreading. I've taken five of them which seemed to help a little, but I am still constipated - and when I wake up in the morning (it is still dark), I perceive a vague flashing light sensation in my eyes. When I open them, I don't have it. At first I thought my eye was twitching, but it happens in both eyes. Can anybody relate to this? Does reglan work for you? i don't know what I'm going to do!

I'm supposed to go away from home for 10 days - I am really nervous and am not sure I'll be able to handle it. E, too, have had these jolts and am not sure what they are. Kara, I feel like my problem is lower in my gut, too. My stomach actually seems to be emptying even though I have gastroparesis. But then it's like everything "gets stuck." or something! I am considering the Mayo clinic or going somewhere with an expert on staff!

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Kara - why did they decide to admit you? Was it then they discovered your CIPO?

Maria

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Maria,
The first time that they admitted me, they thought that I had a bowel obstruction due to the symptoms and x-ray results. By that point I was vomiting heavily and had intense pain. After several days of enemas, etc, and no food, everything cleared out by itself. They thought that it was just a virus. It was two weeks later when I was re-admitted to the hospital for the same problem that they did a barium study of my intestines and found that my small intestines did not move properly. That is when I actually received a diagnosis.

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I suggest anyone with these symptoms checks out the functions of the vagus nerve - as a summary - it is a very long cranial nerve (vagus means "wanderer") with multiple functions - sensory, motor and autonomic -

general sensory from the ear; visceral sensory (but not pain) from the pharynx, larynx trachea oesophagus thoracic & abdominal viscera; parasympathetic to ganglia innervating thoracic and abdominal viscera (ie the relaxation responses required for digestion to take place) motor to pharynx and larynx.

ie It's your vagus nerve that controls the whole digestion process from swallowing, formation of stomach acid etc . and other automatic processes like heartbeat and breathing !! Also stimulation of the vagus nerve will induce vomiting. (although there are other inluences for this too)

However that's not the whole story as "Your gut has a mind of its own" according to Michael Gershon in his book "The second brain" and the gut is therefore able to override influences from the vagus. Its all pretty complicated and is the subject of a lot of ongoing research.

Whilst I don't pretend to understand all the details of this I think it helps to appreciate that this nerve has multiple functions and that it could be contributing to symptoms that at first sight might seem to be unrelated. Dizziness has multiple causes and must be investigated to rule out anything serious (cardiac related) . However a simple cause relates to hyperventilation (breathing too rapidly) which can be a normal response to pain. And with us the electrolyte imbalance will definitely contribute and I can personally confirm this association from my own experience.

Stay calm and become fascinated with the neurology of your gut!

Skinny

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Marietta,
I just read your post. I can't relate to all your problems but some of them sound very similiar to a few of mine. I was diagnosed with GP back in 2001. At that time I tended to range more in the range of diahreaa if anything. The past couple of years it changed over to constipation. I had seen several GI doctors who all seemed to think it wasn't anything to be concerned about and eating more fiber would solve the problem. Of course, more fiber just made the nausea and vomiting worse. Back in the fall, I was having an increase in the really bad episodes and began having a lot of pain. My family doctor couldn't figure out how to help and we weren't getting help from the local GI doctors. So, he sent me back to Mayo (I was here in 2001). Anyway, this time when they redid the gastric emptying it was discovered that my stomach was now emptying too fast. It was dumping almost as soon as the food hit my stomach and the volume was too much for the intestines to handle at one time...thus, the increase in pain. I asked if this was common for a person to change from one extreme to the other and the GI doctor told me, that they were discovering more and more people with this...he wasn't sure if it was the changes in testing or if it is just a new phenomenon though. The other thing you might be interested in was when I told him of the constipation problem he sent me for an analrectal mannometry with a balloon expulsion tests. It was discovered that I have a severe pelvic floor dysfunction. My colin and everything are healthy and normal but my muscles in the pelvic floor outlets are not working correctly. In my case, my muscles are always in a tight. In order for the waste to leave the body, these muscles have to relax. Mine stay tight and then tighten more instead of relaxing. I was told this was really pretty common in people who have stomach motility problems. I had never heard of this before so I was really surprised at this diagnoses. I was asked to return to Mayo to go through a 2 week Pelvic floor retraining program. I have just finished my first week. I have a ways to go to get to the point they would like for me to be at but I am beginning to recognize when I'm tightening the pelvic floor and am learning techniquest to help me relax it.
Anyway, I wanted to share this with you when I saw you mention that you thought your stomach was emptying but things were getting stuck...there is a good chance that it is! I also completely recommend Mayo to anyone who is not getting the results and help they need elsewhere. It is a truely amazing place and the doctors and staff are wonderful to you. I have not run into even one person who works here that has been anything but friendly and very helpful...this is my 3rd time here too.
I hope you might see some connections to your problems in this message. If you won't to read more about it you might look under Constipation/Outlet Dysfunction, or Pelvic Floor dysspersia (not sure about the spelling).
Good Luck
Judy

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Thank you very much, Judy. Lots of information and hope, too! I was just telling my husband that some of my symptoms seem more like rapid dumping than delayed emptying. Good luck to you at the Mayo. I may end up there myself.

Again, you guys are great and I'm glad I found you.

Take care!

Maria

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Skinny,
I have just started reading "The Second Brain" myself. Very interesting so far. Might I also suggest "Restoring Your Digestive Health" by Jordan Rubin and Joseph Brasco. I read it two weeks ago after I ran out of Zelnorm (I was getting it from Mexico, but the web site I used shut down, and my emergency app. with the FDA is taking FOREVER). It was tough doing the diet because I was a strict vegetarian and ate a lot of soy protein products, but I have doing great! I don't know that it would work for everyone, since we all have different problems, but for me the change in diet and digestive enzymes has made a huge difference. I am still getting some dizzy spells sometimes, though.


*And a special note to Maria: God bless you and do not give up hope. I do not share all of the same problems as you, but I know how it feels to be scared and not be getting answers from your doctors. Sometimes there is a lot of trial and error in medicine before they can really figure out what's going on. Good luck!

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hi marietta

got the same thing, trying to figure out what the heck it is......the dizziness is new........i have had the chest pressure for last two years and i know its gas......
but the dizziness part i cant figure out.....but it seems
to come on 5 min after eating
letme know if you get any info and i will do same
best
bruce

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(Briefly)..I have read all of these posts and wonder whether anyone has considered SMA (Superior Mesenteric Artery) syndrome. Please google it.
My 24 year old daughter has it.

Cheers,
Maria

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I know EXACTLY what you are talking about!!! It first started happening to me when I was trying to fall asleep...15 or 20 times every night!. VERY scary. It's like an adrenal, electrical zip that shoots from your mid section to your head and face.
I have dealt with this for 7 years now. I was diagnosed with Neurocardiogenic Syncopy (after a tilt table test)..and was put on Nadalol (beta blocker) for it. It helps a lot. I was also put on paxil, not for depression or anything, but to calm the over active nerves that are at play. The autonomic system. The vagal nerve. It causes a lot of problems. I have palpitations, breathlessness, I get confused, fuzzy headed, VERY sleepy afterward, get zips and tingles, sudden movement of the bowels, headache, the 'white flashes' when my eyes are closed, the irritability.. I feel like being very quiet and everything around me makes me feel very jittery. It was confirmed by the RIGHT cardiologist, that it is all part of the NCS. I DON'T have mental issues..lol.. That was the biggest relief! Even he could not tell me there this comes from or how to fix it. 2 GI dr's have done an endoscopy and said everything 'looks' normal. I was put on reglan, and didn't see a big difference in the gastroparesis. I ended up with the 'tremmors' that are a side effect, so I went off of it. I put MYSELF on magnesium after linking so many of the issues I have to a defficiency. It helps a lot too, but doesn't fix the problem completely. It helps me get to sleep, shortens the duration on the attacks, and keeps the digestive system moving along a little better. Google your symptoms, linked to "magnesium deficiency". You'll be amazed at how many things you'll see are linked to it. I have noticed that when I feel an attack coming on, I will start forcing myself to belch. Once it starts, there is always a LOT of gas that comes up. That will usually relieve the problem, at least for the most part. Is it the cause? don't know... Is it childbirth causing a shift in everything, hiatal hernia, a problem with the diaphram? Who knows?...really! I need a doctor who KNOWS. This seems to be much more common that what I ever thought, and there isn't a doctor who knows! That SUCKS!!!!

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Be very careful with reglan.. if you notice any shaking or anxiety please stop taking it.. I have Dystonia and Parkinson's like tremors Ive ground and broken all my molars, from uncontrollable teeth grinding. I don't know what it is like not to be dizzy... all the reglan....
good luck you found a good place.... here.

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I get dizzy too. I haven't noticed any relationship to food though. I just get dizzy when changing positions. If I get up out of bed, get up from sitting on a chair, lean over and then stand back up, etc. I will get dizzy and "see stars".

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