Hi, I am a 39 year old woman with a history of ulcerative proctitis that hasn't been flaring up lately. However, in the last three weeks I've had enormous pressure and bloating on the left side of my abdomen, right next to my ribcage. It has been getting progressively worse, especially after my GP had me take an overnight cleanse of Magnesium Citrate followed up by three nights of docusate sodium. She thinks I am just severely constipated, even though I have passed several small loose stools since then. She said that sometimes it isn't all gone even if we pass stool. The noise and movement on that side of my abdomen is unbelievable. It was very bad right before my period - I was so bloated and swollen and the belching was so bad, especially in the morning, it was unbearable. It gets worse when I drink coffee. It subsided after my period but got bad again after the colon cleansing. If I eat anything now the gas and belching is horrible. The GP did blood tests and liver and kidney and electrolyte were fine but I was anemic. I noticed just last night that acid reflux was coming up my esophagus to the base of my throat - not a common occurence with me. Even having just soup today caused belching and bloating. I am seeing the nurse practitioner at my GI doctor's office tomorrow am but I am scared she is just going to tell me it is colitis, which has previously just been confined to my lower rectal part of my colon and just tell me to take asacol. This is on the upper left side, much higher, under my ribcage.I had a colonoscopy last year and had two polyps removed but everything else was fine. Is it an ulcer? My brother had a problem with his duodenal sphincter not operating right and leaving too much acid in the stomach, by way of note. Right now the pressure actually has given way to almost a burning sensation. Gas X, Activated Charcoal, Mylanta, and Asacol are doing nothing to help. THANK YOU.
I agree with the colonoscopy, and at this time I would consider imaging with a CT scan. This can exclude colitis or diverticulitis.
Ulcers, GERD, malabsorption or irritable bowel syndrome can all be considered. An upper endoscopy, 24-hr pH study, celiac testing and sending the stool off for analysis and culture are all options that can be done.
I would start with the imaging first and discuss the other options with a GI physician.
These options can be discussed with your personal physician.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patients education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
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