Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
ABDOMINAL PAIN AND SERVERE BLOATING
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ABDOMINAL PAIN AND SERVERE BLOATING

I AM A 43 YR OLD FEMALE THAT HAS BEEN EXPERIENCING SEVERE ABDOMINAL BLOATING AND PAIN WITH IT. I WENT TO MY REG. DR AND WAS REFERRED TO A GYN. WHO RULED OUT ANY PROBS IN THIS AREA. I WENT TO A GASTRO DR AND WAS DIAGNOSED WITH IBS. DR PRESCRIBED PAMINE (NO HELP. THEN CAME HYOSCYAMINE THE METOCLOPRAMIDE ALL NO HELP.I HAVE HAD A BARIUM ENEMA, CT SCAN, BLOOD WORK AND STOOL TEST. ALL SHOW NORMAL. I HAVE HAD DIAREHA CONSTANTLY FOR MORE THAN 15 YEARS (AFTER GALLBLADDER REMOVAL).DR KEEPS AKING IF THIS IS SOMETHING THAT I CAN LIVE WITH. NO!!! THEY ARE RUNNUNG OUT OF IDEAS. BLOATING SEEMS TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. IE. VACUUMING, LIFTING, TWISTING. IT IMMEDIATELY CAUSES SHARP ABDOMINAL PAINS MUCH LIKE LOTS OF PINCHES AND I BLOAT TO THE POINT OF LOOKING PREGNANT.THE "PINCH" FEELS LIKE IT IS RIGHT BEHIND THE GALLBLADDER SCAR. DR. AVOIDS LOOKING IN THIS AREA, SAYING NOTHING FROM THE GALLBLADER (gallbladder) SCAR OR THIS AREA COULD CAUSE THESE SYMPTOMS. I CAN PRESS THIS AREA WITH MY HAND AND FEEL THE PAIN AND BLOAT IMMEDIATELY (5 MINUTES). THIS BLOATING VARIES IN HOW LONG IT LASTS. LAYING DOWN AND RELAXING WILL USUALLY GET IT TO GO DOWN IN 3 OR 4 HOURS.SOMETIMES LAST FOR DAYS. ONE OF THE DR. DID A ULTRASOUND AND NOTED BOWEL DISTENSION. A BOWEL MOVEMENT DURING THE BLOATING DOES NOT RELIEVE THE PRESSURE. IT DOES NOT SEEM TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH ANY SPECIFIC FOODS AND I WILL BLOAT UP WHETHER I HAVE EATEN OR NOT. I AM GETTING FRUSTRATED WITH THIS CONDITION AS IT IS HARD TO FUNCTION WHEN TURNING SIDEWAYS OR LIFTING A 10LB BOX RUINS YOUR ENTIRE DAY. MY REGULAR DR AND THE GYN. WERE BOTH SHOCKED WHEN THEY PRESSED THIS AREA OF MY ABDOMIN (abdomen) AND WATCHED THE BLOATING OCCUR. I AM ON ATENOLOL FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND LIPITOR. I DON'T HAVE MUCH FAITH IN OUR LOCAL HEALTH CARE, BUT I AM NOW HEAVILY INVESTED IN TESTS AND DR BILLS WITH NO INSURANCE AND WOULD LIKE ANY IDEAS YOU MIGHT HAVE. THANKS
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233190_tn?1278553401
Hello - thanks for asking your question.

You note bloating and chronic diarrhea.  Tests include barium enema, stool tests, CT scan, and "blood work".  

There are many causes for bloating - it seems that your physicians have treated you for irritable bowel disease with the medications you have mentioned.  

Other causes include various malabsorption syndromes (such as lactose deficiency, carbohydrate malabsorption, or fat malabsorption), inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, or adhesions as surgeon has mentioned below.  

If endoscopy has not been performed (I see no mention of this), I would suggest a colonoscopy to evaluate for inflammatory bowel disease or any other anatomical abnormalities that can be causing your symptoms.  

Further tests such as fecal fat tests, tests for carbohydrate malabsorption or lactose deficiency, and antibody tests for celiac disease should all be considered.  

If those tests are negative, then you may want to consider surgical options (i.e. laparoscopy) to evaluate your symptoms.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
12 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Possibilities include an incisional hernia or adhesions causing intermittant obstruction. Unless the xrays were done at the time you were bloated, they may not show anything. Ultrasound over the incision might show a hernia. Better yet, see a surgeon with idea of whether you could be having intermittant obstruction. Laparoscopy to look for and treat adhesions is a fairly minor procedure (not without risk, like any procedure). In some cases, if bloating is documented, exploration is appropriate even when the prior tests are ok.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Surgeon,
You have been so helpful in the past.  I was wondering if you could help me again.  I just need an opinion. I have a weird feeling above my left knee when leaning on it.  It is not painful, red, swollen(I don't think, looks normal), heavy, or numb.  It just feels when I lean on it, something is there.(like extra tissue or meat) I have had no injury to it.  I am worried it is a clot? What do you think? No history of clots, even while pregnant. No recent surgery. Am I being paranoid? How can Ihome treat/ Should I see doc right away?
Thanks,
LGWorried
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Avatar_n_tn
FYI:
History of other sensory sensations, went to a neurologist, completely normal neurological exam.
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Avatar_n_tn
wondering if you ever actually found out what was wrong.
My mother is having the same symptoms as well as lots of
gas.  All tests continue to show nothing yet she is in major
pain.  she had surgery awhile back and a hernia came from that
in which a mesh was put in....stomach area....ever since then
she has been in pain with severe bloating and gas also trouble
doing a bowel movement.  any ideas or suggestions appreciated????
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Avatar_n_tn
hello,ever heard of fungal or yeast infection??
in and out of hospital,having something removed,taking anti biotics,eating too much yeast food-beer,mushroom,white bleached flour,moldy preserved food,live in an old house etc etc.
yeast and fungus can cause bloat big time,plus mucous in stool and constipation and excessive sleep or cant sleep.
craving for starchy junk food and the list goes on.
get some good yogurt from health food store ,not the trashy food laden supermarket type and see if it makes some difference.
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Avatar_n_tn
Cronic Giardiasis also shows the similar symptoms. Check for that.
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Avatar_n_tn
Did your GI test you for Celiac Disease?  It can cause chronic diarrhea and an extended, bloated abdomen as well.  2.2 million Americans have Celiac disease, but only 97% are actually diagnosed.  If you haven't been tested for this disorder, I would again consult your physician so he/she may run a Celiac Panel.

Good luck!

rhyanen
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Avatar_n_tn
OOPS.  I meant that only 3% are actually diagnosed with Celiac, and the 97% are actually undiagnosed.  Having a brain fog moment here.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had the same symptoms, but only near the site of incision. Lower right abdomen pain, that feels like someone is cutting me with a razor blade--burning and severe stinging pain. I recently had to have my 12th surgery in 3 years and had a white blood count of 30,000and they did emergency surgery and found nothing to associate the pain or the high white count. Did have double pneumonia with no known cause--no viral or bacterial infections. My surgeon does not want to do any more surgeries, but the pain is horrible. He now wants me to go to a pain management dr, but I want to know what is causing my pain, not cover it up or the old phrase "You will have to deal with the pain"I wake up hurting in the morning and take an anti-inflammatory and then by noon, I have to take a 5mg LorTab. By bedtime, I am in such severe pain and the area is one big lump. Sometime laying flat on my back helps, but I can't stay there forever. Anyone here, if you had this problem, any help or suggestion would be welcomed. I also had about 2" of intestines removed, because of a partial small bowel obstruction, in January. In three years I have had incisional hernias, nissan for reflux, spleenectomy, lysis of adhesions and polyps removed.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am experiencing pain in my right side that comes and goes.  But, I feel it everyday.  At night when I lay on my right side some times it throbs.  I have had all of the tests;  Endscopy, colonscopy, ct scan, vaginal ultrasound and renal.  One of my tests showed cysts on both ovaries and one test show my right kidney larger than the left.

But what came to my attention in your posting were I too had surgery in 1998 for a small bowel obstructions and they removed my appendicts at the same time.  I have had the same since that time.  I think it could be scar tissue or other adhesions.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am also wondering if you ever found out what was wrong.. I am 31 years old, and have been SERIOUSLY ill since my gallbladder ruptured in 92. I developed a bowel obstruction that continually reforms, despite 6 surgeries. I have swelling in my abdomen to the point I look 6 mths pregnant. The gas won't move when I swell.. sometimes I can burp, but not usually, The pain is above my belly button and is so sever that the attacks leave me sobbing. 7-8-9 pain on the pain chart. I also have chronic excrutiating diahrrhea, and attacks that resmble labor pains, timing like contractions, and building in intensity until I'm screaming from the pain, no one has been able to exsplain the bloating or the the timed pain attacks, which occur separately, sometimes I think its from what I eat but sometimes it happens when I don't eat anything at all.I've also started getting chest pains under my left breast so sever they make me cry out. I just had another Bowel surgery on the 25th of last mth, along with a bladder resuspension and a hysterectomy, I don't want to have anymore surgery, and all of the symptoms I've described are still present after surgery. I have a small child and am so frustated that no one can help me, so I can be a better Mother for my son, If anyone has any suggestions I would welcome them. I'm truly desperate and so very tired of being in pain. I want my body back...
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Avatar_n_tn
I read your post and wanted to let you know I have good friend with similiar symptoms and it took 2 years of tests with no diagnosis until her abdomen got really bloated and extended (she looked several months pregnant overnight).  Her white count was elevated and she would comment that she felt like she had a under her arm, near her neck and in her groin areas.  She also had mono twice and was very prone to infections.  During a her emergency surgery for a hysterectomy and removal of some lymph nodes for biopsy, the pathology report on her lymph nodes came back indicating non-hodgkins lymphoma and she is currently on chemo.  It took many tests and trips to doctors for her to get diagnosed (which happens all the time) but your symptoms sound like the ones she encountered.  She did not get double pneumonia but had mono twice due to her immune system being impaired - her white counts were also high.  Her CA125 test also came back elevated but she does not have ovarian cancer.  

I am not sure all the tests she had done to confirm this diagnosis other than blood work and CT scans but it was only after she had the very extended abdomen overnight, and emergency surgery that she had her lymphoma diagnosed.  I would ask your doctor to run tests to rule this out because some of your symptoms sound very similiar.  

Hope this helps.  



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