Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Abdomen Conditions
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This is a place to ask questions about digestive problems and receive a personal answer from a highly qualified doctor. You will also find support from other members who share your interest in digestive disorders. Digestive Disorders include: Anal and Rectal problems, Barrett’s Esophagus, Bleeding in the Stomach and Digestive Tract, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, GERD, Heartburn, Proctitis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Whipple’s Disease, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and many more).

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Abdomen Conditions

I have the following stomach conditions: distended abdomen with what appears to be swelling from right side to left side of stomach. Also it is distended down to just above the belly button. The swelling appears to spasm, but I currently cannot tell if this is gallbladder spasms (I have gallstones) or if the swelling is coming from just the stomach.

This started with me finding out that I had gallstones. Now it appears there may be another underlying condition. I have diarrhea (forgive my spelling, if not correct) and other times I am constipated. A part of this problem could be the gallstones (relating to constipation). The distended stomach I have had for some time but believe it to be from a hiatal hernia that I had about 10 years ago. My stomach has been distended without pain or any problems for about 5 years until the primary doctor discovered gallstones.

Could this be Diverticulitis or something equally as disturbing as peritonitis? And how will I know it is going from Diverticulitie to Peritonitis?

Could you please tell me the symptoms, so I will know what to have ER to look for. We live out in the wilderness in the Pacific Northwest and sometimes have to travel a ways to get to the nearest hospital.

Thank you,

Percetta
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Diverticulitis typically causes pain in the left lower quadrant, not around the stomach area.  Peritonitis presents with fever, as well as fluid within the abdominen.

At this time, you can consider an abdominal CT scan to evaluate for the possibilities mentioned above.  If there is fluid in the belly (i.e. ascites) this can be tapped to evaluate for the possibility of peritonitis.

Stomach distension and upper abdominal pain can be caused by GERD, an ulcer, or inflammation of the upper digestive tract.  The most comprehensive test to evaluate this would be an upper endoscopy.

More specialized testing can be considered with a gastric emptying scan to evaluate for gastroparesis.  

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

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.

Kevin, M.D.
http://www.straightfromthedoc.com
2 Comments
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Thank you for responding. One question: What is gastroparesis?
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For the last couple weeks I have had a burning sensation in my upper abdomen between my ribcage right under my bra line?  I also get the same kind of burning sensation in the lower part of my abdomen as well right above my belly button?  Sometimes it is tender to touch, not sure if it is just acid reflux or an ulcer?  It comes and goes, for a week I will feel ok, adn then it comes back?  Can you please give me your suggestions on what it could be?                Thanks
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