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Help! Doctors are stumped!
Posted by: E.P.
Date: November 2, 2001 5:33 PM

I'm a 39 year old female. I've been in good health until August 10, 2001. First my feet and ankles began swelling,then my legs, knees, thighs. The swelling never went down. It has gradually progressed up my body and into my face. I now have swelling 100% all-over my body. When I awake in the mornings I am very nauseated. Two years ago I started having migraines and frequent (monthly) sinus infections. The swelling does not go away. It is constant. If I walk a lot (e.g.: going shopping or to grocery store) my legs and stomach get bigger and my guts feel like they're going to fall out of my stomach! When I lay down at night to sleep I feel like my throat is closing up and I snore. The tests I've had so far have all come back normal. My blood was tested for everything, including Lupus, Rheumatoid, Thyroid, Metabolism, Liver, kidney, cholesterol, Diabetes, and others. I have had a Thyroid ultra-sound, Abdominal CT-Scan w/dye injection and drinking 4 pints of barium, Abdominal ultra-sound, chest x-ray, EKG, and Echocardiogram. Everything came back normal. I've tried taking Prednisone in case it was an autoimmune disorder and had no results. Although Lasix causes heavy urination for a couple of hours, it does absolutely nothing for the swelling. Currently, I'm taking Zyrtec and Singulair. I'm still swollen all over and miserable. I have gained 60 lbs. since August 10, 2001. My diet is good. I don't sit around the house watching t.v. and eating bon-bons.
So far 5 doctors are stumped! Do you have any suggestions?

RE: Help! Doctors are stumped!
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: November 2, 2001 11:35 PM

While I can't propose to diagnose you from here, what you describe is consistent with the acute onset of a leaky gut syndrome. Here is a full description of symptoms: abdominal pain, asthma, chronic joint pain, chronic muscle pain, confusion, fuzzy or foggy thinking, gas, indigestion, mood swings, nervousness, poor immunity, recurrent vaginal infections, skin rashes, diarrhea, bed-wetting, recurrent bladder infections, poor memory, shortness of breath, constipation, bloating, aggressive behavior, anxiety, fatigue, feeling toxic. AS to the cause, when the intestinal lining becomes severely damaged, even larger substances, such as disease-causing bacteria, undigested food particles and toxins, pass directly through the damaged cells. Again, the immune system is alarmed and antibodies and substances called cytokines are realeased. Cytokines alert white blood cells to fight the particles. This fight produces oxidants, which cause irritation and inflammation throughout the body.

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