Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
ELDERLY WITH STOMACH CRAMPS
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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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ELDERLY WITH STOMACH CRAMPS

My 89 year old uncle with (diabetes and other assorted ailments) has been experienceing terrible stomach cramps for several months now.  He has seen his general doctor and had both a colonoscopy and endoscopy both with negative results, and his doctor said he is fine...(also took laxatives to clean him out) Still his stomach pains continue so we are getting him a CAT scan later this week for further analysis.  His general doctor insists that my uncle is experiencing pain from anxiety and nerves to which my uncle (who is a holocaust survivor) insists the doctor is "a nut" and "should know such pain"!

The pain is mostly in the morning but flares us during the day and he complaining constantly about his stomach (lower abdomen) pains...

Does a colonoscopy and endoscopy and CAT scan pretty much tell everything and if all are negative what else can it be?  Could it be anxiety and nerves, frustration, etc.  I have insisted he needs to see a gastroenterologist but his doctor prefers to see the reports from the various tests and make his own determination.  

My uncle takes a variety of medications which could also be causing the stomach aches I guess, but his doctor says this is not the case, nothing can be seen on the endo and colonoscopy so it must be nerves and anxiety.

Is this typical in older adults and what else do you suggest we do for him?????  Thank you.
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Hello - thanks for asking your question.

With a normal upper endoscopy and colonoscopy, it makes diseases such as cancer, ulcers, gastritis, or inflammatory bowel disease less likely.  

A CT scan would be able to evaluate the pancreas to see if it is the cause of the pain.

Other considerations would include GERD - which can be diagosed with a 24-hr pH study, gall bladder disease - which can be evalauated with an abdominal ultrasound, gastroparesis - which can be evaluated with a gastric emptying scan.  

I would also suggest a tests for H Pylori - a bacteria that is associated with inflammation and/or ulcers.  

These are all tests to consider if the diagnosis is non-revealing.  

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.
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