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Digestive Disorders

Nausea & gurgling in throat

03/16/2007

Question:

I`ve had these symptoms as long as I can remember. When I was younger, symptoms of nausea and a gurgling noise in the throat happened mostly when I slept or layed on my left side. But it also happened at other times which I always thought were stress related, such as in a quiet study room where I was fearful the gurgling would happen and embarrass me in front of my peers or while on a date. It doesn`t really resemble a burp and occurs near the throat. I have never been able to burp. I can`t make myself burp and very very rarely a wee one happens on its own.

I found out I had IBS and fibromyalgia several years ago, but because the symptoms were present when I was a child IBS may not explain it. Ironically, when I was a young adult, I found out that my Mom has always had the same problem. In my whole life, I`ve never heard anyone else mention anything like it.

The nausea that accompanies the gurgling noise won`t go away until I lay down. Lately the nausea and gurgling have been constant and even now happens when I lay on my right side. Laying down is beginning to work less and less and I`ve been using Gravol a lot. I often lay in bed at night for hours waiting for the nausea to pass. Its become difficult to do much of anything or go anywhere because when the nausea hits, I have to lay down.

There is an extreme bloating feeling as well and it always feels like I have liquid all the way up to my throat. I`ve been known to lose 6 to 8 lbs. in a day or two just by getting rid of the water/bloat.

I have recently lost about 30 pounds without even trying. My appetite has become very poor but what I do eat is healthy and well balanced now.

I`ve had a gastroscopy recently and no hiatus hernia was found nor ulcers though there was some irritation. I do get acid reflux (occasionally) and have heartburn every night when I lay down. Along with the nausea and gurgling being almost constant now, so is the heartburn. I take prescription ranitidine and over the past couple of months, I`ve had to take 2 or 3 at night.

Other conditions are diabetes, PCO`s, hypertension & migraines (type 2 developed in my early 20`s and I was not extremely overweight at the time and was never able to control it with diet or medication. I was insulin dependent almost from the start. My dad and all of his 5 siblings have diabetes, as did their Dad, but so far, I am the only grandchild to have developed it. My gall bladder was removed about 12 years ago.

Do any or all of these symptoms relate to a specific health issue? Its always stumped me as I`ve never been able to pinpoint what causes it nor how to get rid of it.

Answer:

Your symptoms could be from multiple things and the diagnoses that come to mind for me are heartburn, IBS, and even gastroparesis (slow emptying of the stomach) which can occur in people with diabetes, especially if it is not controlled. From your history, however, I am most concerned about your unintentional weight loss, and would recommend you see your primary care provider for further evaluation of this because heartburn and IBS usually by themselves don't produce weight loss.

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Response by:

Julia Gore Thornton, MD Julia Gore Thornton, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University