MAVNY – gastroenteritis Qs

Hi Lisa,

I’m now heading into day 4 of this gastro nightmare. On Tuesday I was at an all-day conference the first day back on the job and about half the people there all got hit with the same gastro bug about 36 hours later. It was almost certainly in the food we all ate that day off of platters. There were different types of wraps, some with prawns (shrimp) in them and platters of fruit. I was just reading about the viruses responsible for this and the big one seems to be norovirus which is responsible for about 50% of foodborne outbreaks. I’m pretty certain this is viral because it is now mainly causing a general heavy malaise, continuous low-level nausea, tons of aches and pains in the joints (not migraine-like), and zero appetite. I have moments of feeling slight chills as well. Does this sound consistent with a viral cause do you think? I’m slightly concerned that I still feel pretty shocking heading into the 4th day. Any previous gastro bugs I’ve had over my life have burned out in about 24-36 hours. The Wikipedia article says the following:

“Norovirus causes acute gastroenteritis that develops between 24 and 48 hours after exposure with a median of 33–36 hours, and lasts for 24–60 hours” … and “[gastroenteritis] is usually of acute onset, normally lasting 1–6 days, and is self-limiting.”

Of course it’s all starting to to take a toll now considering I only just got back and now MAV is kicking in on a nasty level like it did initially in Toronto. Just woke with my heart in my throat feeling way too much doom for my liking. My vision is really going down the drain (things moving etc; unable to fix my eyes on a target) as well. It’s benzo time again to ward off getting completely smashed. :?

Honestly, the hoops I’ve had to jump through with this “holiday” are just stupid. It’s been a MAV field day.

Have you managed to gain some ground back again since that cold went through you? Hope you’re managing to have a good weekend.

Best to you … Scott

Hey Scott,
I am so sorry to hear of your gastroenteritits. I just feel that because we have MAV we should be immune to all other illnesses… Isn’t this enough to deal with???

I am going to assume you are also having diarrhea? Acute infections whether bacterial or viral in healthy people can last up to 14 days without being overly concerned or requiring treament. They are usually self-limited and require nothing more than taking some tylenol for the aches, and drinking lots of fluids such as Gatorade, and trying to eat when you can. If this lasts for much longer or worsens, if you get very high fever, have bloody diarrhea, or severe abdominal pain, you might want to get evaluated. The initial work up would include stool cultures but for most “healthy” people this is not required.

I’m really sorry your MAV is acting up again too. Poor timing with this gastroenteritis. Please keep me updated. I think next year you should have all your friends and family fly to Australia to visit you on your holiday… :smiley:

As for me, I took the “bull by the horn” yesterday and got my doc to move my verapamil from 120 mg to 180 mg. My nights have been worsening over the last week (constantly being woken with dizziness), days are pretty awful as well, and it’s time to find out if this med is gonna work at higher levels provided my body can handle it. I am pretty desperate these days and since most people find relief with this med at 240 - 360 mg, I got my doc on board to move my titration schedule a little faster. Today is day one of 180 mg and my heart is still beating last I checked and I have not passed out yet:-)

I hope you feel better soon all around…


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Hey Scott,

The Gastro I had in Paris lingered off and on for about two weeks, sometimes hitting without warning. My brother and his wife were the same, although the kids were OK after a few days.

It is no fun, that is for sure. Hope you get better soon.


Hi Lisa – thanks for the heads up. I’m just going to leave it and let it come good on its own. Yeah, I’ve had the big D too but only on the first day. Now I just feel cramping here and there not long after eating a meal. The main problem has been nausea and an overall ill feeling. I spent most of the weekend in bed.

Today the MAV is very bad. I actually found some valium yesterday as I was cleaning up the house! YAY. So I’ve got that pulsing through my veins making life bearable today at work. Sitting in front of my Mac right now is sending me right off the rails though. The visual vertigo is in full swing.

Really hope the higher Verapamil dose finally does the job for you. I really feel for you waking with dizziness in the night. It’s awful stuff. Do you feel anxious on waking when you’ve been dizzy in your sleep? Sometimes I’ll wake and BAM, my heart races like crazy for about 30 seconds because I’ve been dizzy.

Vic – thanks for letting me know too. It turns out everyone here at work is still unwell with the bug. All have no appetite and feel queasy all the time. They, of course, don’t have MV to contend with on top of it all.


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Scott - I sure hope you feel better soon.
Lisa - very smart to increase the dose. I am thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed that this drug will work for you. At least, you’ll know a lot sooner now.

Scott and Lisa… thanks so much for your good wishes. I will keep you updated. So far my bp and pulse seem to be holding up to the increased dose and I suspect I can go even higher which I will if no results on this dose.

Lisa–how are you feeling? Any change?

Scott-- I don’t wake feeling anxious, more just disappointed that it is happening again. I want this med to work and stop this… and of course stop the rest of the 24/7 suffering throughout the day… I hope your GI symptoms let up soon. I’m glad to hear the big D stopped a bit and I would hope the cramping and nausea would follow in time. How are your MAV symptoms doing today? Ugh. Hang in my friend. Any drugs in the pipeline? Clonazepam?

Lisa - I’m not doing well at all. It seems like things get worse and worse with each passing day, and am pretty much bedridden. I just hope this all turns around for all of us.

Hey Lisa,
Sorry to hear… How many months are you now? Would you consider starting the zoloft? I don’t think it is just used for people with anxiety issues as you had mentioned in a previous post. It is used to treat MAV by some docs. I just wish you could have something in you to give you some hope. I know with each increasing dose, I at least feel like I am working towards something. Of course I respect your decision around meds and your pregnancy first and foremost…
Hold tight my friend. It can only go up someday.

Thanks Lisa. I am 5 months along. I think about the zoloft everyday, but just cannot get myself to take it. My husband actually emailed Dr. Newman and inquired about SSRIs. He wrote a short response, but basically said that it can possibly cause increased headaches (as my other docs have said), but, of course, he also said that it might also help. I just wonder how effective it would be for a person (like myself) with chronic dizziness and the other crappy sxs, as well as daily head pain and frequent migraine with auras, as so much that I read said that it can make headaches worse. I did take it last year for a short time, and I noted that I had more headaches during that time period. I was only on 25mg for a very short time, so it was surely not a good trial. maybe this will be the week that I take the plunge with zoloft. we’ll see.

All I can add is that I too have daily headaches… acutally all the time, the occasional migraine, and zoloft will be next in the que for me…
Good luck Lisa. Remember, you can always come off of it if you feel worse.

Hi Lisa,

Do you know it’s now been 12 days since I was hit with the gastro and there are still some small lingering effects? I still feel slightly nauseated after eating some foods and I don’t have a normal appetite back yet. Some foods that I normally love eating make me cringe at the thought. My sleep is still bad too.

The worst thing about all of this has been the huge MAV fallout. It seems different than the usual reactionary MAV I get from exercise or a flight. There are symptoms going on now that feel like they’re here to stay for a while yet. Tons of continuous dizziness and surrealism now for days nor can I bring myself to be social much. I STILL don’t have any valium either and am getting by on smaller hits of Ativan. They have a thing here in Australia called “bulk billing” where selected GP practices just let you visit the doc without paying anything as long as you show a Medicare card. The practice I can go to near my house (I’d usually go the university but haven’t been able to see my usual doc) suddenly no longer does bulk billing I discovered yesterday. I was not up for paying 40 bucks to get a script for valium when the likelihood of getting more than just 5 tabs would have been low considering they don’t understand my case there and do not like handing out benzos here.

Glad to hear you seem to be handling the Verapamil increase well. Sure hope it works. I decided to bump up the Paxil today to 5 mg. I’ve been on it now at 2.5 mg for 7 weeks with no detectable SEs so should be better this time (last time at 5 mg, my gut took a beating).

Best … Scott

Hey Scott,

Bummer about the no bulk billing thing, that is indeed a royal pain. My GP doesn’t bulk bill but he’s worth it - he will provide a repeat prescription though over the phone, he just charges $10 to do so - better than $40+.

Where I live (inner west) there are a lot of junkies so a lot of medical centres won’t prescribe benzos at all, and have signs up to that effect. It’s crazy that we don’t have a central data base where any dr in the state can look up your history, including meds. That would also eliminate the practice of “dr shopping” by people addicted to benzos.

Hope things settle down for you soon!

Hey Vic,

I can’t believe they post signs about it out there! I’m going to wander up Bondi Road and see if anyone is open up there. Even if I can get a small pack of valium until I see my usual doc next week, it’ll keep me going for a bit. I can’t imagine anyone will have a problem giving me a small box. Impossible to become an addict on 5 of the damn things. :lol:


There’s a bulk billing medical centre at the end of my street that has a “no benzos” sign out the front. It’s such a dodgy place - I’ve been there once or twice if I’ve had the flu (we all know all you need is rest but have to go through the stupid farce of getting a certificate for work) and have had to wait for hours (even with an appointment). The creepy thing is, the dr herself looks like a junkie, or worse, on ice/speed. Doesn’t fill me with confidence!

Good luck getting some valium. You don’t’ look like a junkie :lol: so you should be OK.


Hi Scott,
Sorry to hear you are still not 100% over the GI bug, but I am not surprised. It can take awhile to get back to 100% in that area as all the normal good bacteria need to replenish. There is some evidence that eating yogurt with live active cultures can help replenish the bacteria, but if you are following the migraine diet they say yogurt is a no-no. Try to be patient with the lingering effects. They should continue to abate. I suspect your MAV demise is also correlated to the GI bug and any change in our bodies whether it be a cold or other illness can throw things out of whack for even longer than the original illness lasts.

I am so sorry about how difficult it is to get benzos. I’m not very familiar with your medical system there, but in the states many psychiatrists use benzos for anxiety. Can you see a psychiatrist? I am not suggesting that you lie in any way, but there is definitely a potential tie in and maybe if you spoke to a psychiatrist they could work with you in prescribing adequate valium monthly. Plus the doses used for treating anxiety are much greater than for MAV so you would have plenty.

Hope you feel better soon. Good luck with the Paxil increase. You are still on a teeny dose so hopefully with more time and continued upward titration things will calm down.

Keep us posted.