Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Gastritis and Bloating?
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Gastritis and Bloating?

Hello,

I'm a 21 year old male.  For the past 2 years or so, I've been suffering from persistent gas & bloating, along with very distressing stomach noises that make it hard to do alot of normal activies. I've been going on the assumption that IBS is a likely culprit, since persistent, unexplained bloating seems to be a main symptom.  Despite going on a very restricted diet, my symptoms have been very consistent over this time period.  

My doctor, who's been very good, also seemed to think that IBS was likely, but scheduled for me to have a upper GI series and a barium enema. The UGI revealed that I have gastritis, and the doc prescribed for me a proton pump inhibitor (Protonix) to cut down on the acid. He seemed fairly sure that the gastritis was causing my bloating.

I have my doubts that the bloating has been caused by gastritis alone. I dont see the obvious connection between irritated stomach lining and bloating...you'd think that heartburn and nausea would be more likely symptoms.  I dont suffer from these symptoms.

My question is, are gastritis and IBS commonly found in the same person, and is it likely that the proton pump inhibitor will help with my bloating? I honestly was surprised that the UGI found anything, as my problems seem to be lower in my guts. I definitely have some IBS symptoms, mainly gas and bloating, but others are markedly absent-the stool is fairly normal and while i get very frequent discomfort, I'm not really in pain. Maybe the barium enema wlll find something else.  I greatly appreciate your help--Brian
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Yes, it is possible for gastritis and IBS to be found in the same person.  If the symptoms are caused by the gastritis, then the Protonix will help.  If it is caused by the IBS, then it won't.  

For further evaluation, you may want to consider an upper endoscopy - which is a more comprehensive test, and can evaluate for inflammation of the upper digestive tract.  A blood test looking for H Pylori can also be considered.

Another consideration would be the liver and gallbladder.  Diseases here (i.e. gallstones) can also cause bloating, and an ultrasound may be considered for evaluation.

Finally, if acid continues to be an issue, a 24-hr pH study can be done to definitively rule out GERD as a possibility.

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.
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2 Comments
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so what treatment did the doc prescribe for IBS??
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Well, he didn't diagnose me with IBS just yet.  He thinks the problems are caused by gastritis.  However I have some doubts, based on the longevity of the symptoms and the fact that bloating does not appear to be the major symptom of gastritis.
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