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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes flu like symptoms after having food?

Answered by
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Dr. Klerida Shehu

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 2228 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 2 Sep 2014 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Question: I feel very sick all over similar to flu like symptoms almost every time I eat.. Any ideas regarding the cause? It seems to occur almost regardless of what the food is. Though sometimes the food will be okay and the next time I will have that pain everywhere. I have had a gastric bypass many years ago. Has been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis and fibromyalgia. Also deal with depression and anxiety. Very disrupted sleep cycle sometimes not sleeping for 24 hours other times sleeping for a full 24 hours.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Klerida Shehu 16 hours later
Brief Answer:
Gastric bypass to be re-evaluated...

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX

I am sorry for the situation you are in.

You are reporting to have had gastric bypass many years ago. Unfortunately, such interventions are often associated with cancer of stomach, That's why it is important to get further evaluated by GI specialist and to run following tests:
- abdominal ultrasound
- upper endoscopy
- complete blood work.

Next, you are also reporting to be experiencing flu like symptoms almost every time you eat. Can you please specify such symptoms in details?

Thank you!
Dr.Klerida
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Klerida Shehu 18 hours later
I start to feel achy and throbby all over, from my inside out to my extremities, like I want to roll up in a ball. Everything hurts. Sometimes headaches accompany but not always. The frequency and severity has been increasing. I have not been able to identify a specific food cause, for example, I can drink water or soda one time and it will be fine, and the next time it will cause these issues. The same with any type of food like celery or bread.

This is different from the diarrhea and nausea that sometimes comes from eating the wrong combo of foods, sugar and fat, similar to what often occurred right after the surgery. (My surgery was over 30 years ago.)

Thank You so Much for your help!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Klerida Shehu 54 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Possible side effects of prednisone...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back XXXXXXX

I have gone through your medical history and noted that you are using prednisone which is a corticosteroid drug. Among the side effects of using prednisone include:
- flu-like symptoms (like you are experiencing: body aches, feeling throbby all over)
- possible viral infection

Upper endoscopy is needed to exclude possible tumors or cancer developement after gastric bypass as mentioned earlier.

At the end, if I was your caring doctor would determine whether your symptoms comes from:
- the very first diagnosis that was resolved with surgery?
- possible viral infection (common cold/flu)?
- side effect of prednisone use (irritation of stomach mucosa/gastritis/flu-like symptoms)?

You can discuss this further with your doctor to come to a final conclusion!
All the best!
Dr.Klerida
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Klerida Shehu 3 minutes later
Thank You

I an using a very minimal amount of prednsione, 2 mg daily, would that be enough to cause the symptoms? And only show up after I eat?

Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Klerida Shehu 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Did the symptoms start recently?

Detailed Answer:
Hi back XXXXXXX

If you have been using prednisone for long time, and such minimal dose, that won't cause the symptoms you are experiencing.

Another cause might be hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia after gastric bypass, which is settled at least 1 year after the surgery. Can you please specify once again how long have you been having such symptoms?

You can measure your blood sugar and blood pressure when you have the episodes, record the results to pass them to your doctor (you can pass them to me too).

Possible common viral infection should be ruled out together with electrolytes imbalance.

Thank you!
Dr.Klerida
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Klerida Shehu 2 hours later
I think I know what you mean by the hypoglycemic stuff, and this is a different issue than that it seems.

I have been having these symptoms about 7 years, at first just occasionally,they have gotten increasingly frequent and more severe. I can be feeling pretty good and once I eat, I feel ill and sometimes can remain hurting all over for 12 hours or more. I often think if I could just not eat I would feel okay.It has gotten more obvious that the eating is triggering so much of my pain.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Klerida Shehu 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Gastritis/ulcer...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back XXXXXXX

Definitely, you are having gastritis/ulcer. Upper endoscopy is necessary to determine it. You might need to start PPIs and antacids.

Following strict diet regimen is also highly recommended.

All the best!
Dr.Klerida
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Klerida Shehu 7 minutes later
I have had an ulcer in the past, and do take antacids along with omeprazole and ranitidine off and on. I took them very steady for a few months. Should that have helped the symptoms at that time?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Klerida Shehu 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes,,,

Detailed Answer:
Hi back,

Now, theorically, yes. However, it all depends on:
- current symptoms
- current situation
- dosage you used

That's why I insist to run upper endoscopy in order to:
- rule out cancer
- reactivation of ulcer or appearance in other sites
- decide for the most suitable therapy

Without the upper endoscopy results and without other test reports you had recently or earlier, we cannot conclude anything.

All the best!
Dr.Klerida
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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