Nuclear Eggs For Breakfast
So last week, I went into the nuclear medicine dept at Kaiser to get a test done to see if I had a condition called Gastroparesis. Yes, I am sure it sounds pretty foreign to most, but it is basically a type of nerve damage somewhat common with Type I diabetes that delays the stomach from emptying. The test lasted four hours! I basically had to eat an egg scramble that was injected with radioactive material, so they could take a two minute x-ray of my stomach every hour for four hours to see how quickly the materials emptied from my stomach into my intestinal track.
I had been having stomach pains, acid reflux and delayed high blood sugars, so the Dr. thought this may be a condition. I would go to bed with great blood sugars in the 80-120 range and wake up at 3-4am with blood sugars of 250-300+. Not only is that not healthy, but I wasn't able to get a good night sleep and for me, SLEEP is my haven! Good news, the test came back negative! I had completely normal stomach emptying time. I think the high blood sugars in the night were from my Lantus (long acting) insulin going bad, coupled with some high carbohydrate dinner prior to bed. I have replaced my insulin and it has really seemed to help.
As long as the study was, it was totally worth it and essential to determining if I had the condition or not. The thing that erks me, is I had gone to see a gastroenterologist about two years ago and the Dr., right away did an upper endoscopy. So he decided to put me under anesthesia and put a camera down my throat, which cost me a small fortune. My nuclear egg study was free at Kaiser. The endoscopy came back normal, so he said, "You probably have gastroparesis, since you are diabetic". I didn't think I had it and hate when every condition you have "IS A RESULT OF YOUR DIABETES". [Side note: Recently went to chiropractor and I clearly had a pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder and it would run down to my hands and she said, "well you know that diabetes can cause nerve issues, so maybe it could be that". I clearly replied, "Yes I am aware, and that's NOT IT".]
To make things worse, after my endoscopy, the Dr. put me on a gastroparesis drug to "TRY" to see if things get better. That "Drug" (Reglan) he put me on has severe side effects like depression, involuntary twitching, Parkinsons-like symptoms and other terrible disorders. The only side effect I remember him saying was depression and I wasn't willing to even risk that. I only used for about a week, but still mad that I even used it. Why would he risk a "Test" with a drug like that on me when he didn't even know if that was my diagnosis! I usually take full responsibility of what I put in my body and research it, but shouldn't a doctor share in the responsibility and know best? Guess not. Should the takeaway here be, "Always be skeptical, even from your doctors?", that is a tough reality, but I guess when it comes down to it, you are responsible for your health and well-being! So always be aware and ask questions when you are unsure. Your health is YOURS!
12/29/2012 11:28:00 am
it has taken five years to figure out what this is. i have also have watermeleon stomach that seems ti come and fo. i will not take that medication. i have priblems rwtaining vitimin d ans other medication. I do have it. My test came back positive. My stomach empties really slow. Better to eat small portions every couple of hours. Bas thing also you will not know if your are diabetic. Also the bowls move slow. Are your stomach is extremely bloated.
12/30/2012 05:32:36 am
Hi Jennifer - Thanks for sharing your experience. It really is a terrible condition, and the worst part is, there doesn't really seem to be any remedy for it. I feel terrible for some of the people with similar stories. Yes, I have read that small meals help. One drug that is in Canada that I have not yet researched is called Domperidone. One doctor mentioned it, but have not look into much. I am extremely relieved that I do not have it. I have typically had a pretty sensitive stomach all my life, with food allergies. I think I may just have difficulty with certain foods, mostly grains. I've been tested for celiacs, which I do not have either. I really just need to watch my diet to try and figure out which foods cause the most problems. Thanks!
12/30/2012 04:37:20 am
Hi, I'm so happy that you don't have gastroparesis. I have severe GP and it has ruined my life! I have multiple hospitals visits and I had to be tube fed for four years. I had the gastric emptying study and the egg didn't move for 4 hours and I ended up vomiting while laying in the tube! I now have a gastric pacemakerI and now can et again. For those four year food or drink did not pass my lips. D not take reglan if the test came back negative that is ridiculous! But I see the point of your blog and I totally agree, not everything is from diabetes. They even told me that my carpal tunnel was from diabetes! That's crazy....I have learned way to much about the medical PRACTICE and we have to be our own advocates. I feel scared for the nonprofession patients who are at their mercy! Best of luck to you!
12/30/2012 05:40:12 am
Hi Karen - thanks you for your sharing, I feel absolutely terrible for you to have to have put up with this for so many years! It truly sounds like a horrible to be deprived of food, which is essential to life. I dont think many people understand the severity. I am glad the pacemaking is helping, I have read mixed reviews. And yes, I have learned from a young age that I need to be my own health advocate and I am the one that actually demanded this test be done through a phone interview with a gastro doctor. I hope this blog can help educate the "nonprofessional" patients to take more responsibility for their health as well. Thanks you and wish you the best of luck as well! Enjoy the new year!
I'm surprised you don't use an insulin pump. I've raced mountain bikes (NORBA) for years and done a lot of high intensity training. I just don't know how it would be possible without a pump. I generally stop the pump 90 minutes before an intensity ride, and then bolus about 3 hours later for the amount of insulin I didn't take. I still drop about 80-100 points during the first 45 minutes of the ride. Just wouldn't be possible to manage without a pump and CGM. (Type 1 for 45 years).
1/1/2013 10:03:39 pm
Hi Dave - Yes, I have been using the pens for last 10 years, but am actually getting the Animas Ping today. Starting the saline trial. I have had pretty good control while working out, crossfit, bike, swim, run, sports, ect. I usually drop when exercising, but have noticed recently with my dexcom that blood sugars were rising during intense exercise. However, I believe a pump will be beneficial. - Happy New YEAR!
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