Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Trapped Air
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Trapped Air

For 8 years I have suffered from sleeplessness caused by "Trapped Air" in the length of my digestive system.  If I sit up or turn over I expel air.  Additionally, I have acid reflux which I am currently treating with Prilosec.  My stools cause a burning sensation externally.  A GI physician said this could not be from acid because I couldn't possibly have any acid in my system because I was taking 2 Nexium daily at that time.  I have had an endosocopy, colonoscopy, upper GI, that digestive test where the speed of digestion is scoped. All tests were nondefinative although I do have a small hiatal hernia. I have been tested for H. Pylori and am not lactose intolerant.  I do have Spinal Muscular Atropy but am ambulatory.  I am 59 yrs. old.  My physician thought perhaps the muscle disease was causing slowed Peristalic function.  My neurologist said "nope".  I can eat virtually nothing without having indigestion.  I was recently prescribed "Ambien" and at last I am getting some sleep.  The bloating still awakens me and a sudden, prolonged, explosive burp often follows.  I have an electric bed becaause of the GERD and have experimented with the elevation.  This situation is no joke and has a much more profound effect on me than the muscular dystrophy.  Basically I cannot sleep because of the "Trapped Air" and I cannot eat anything without suffering the consequences.  Despite my dietary limitations I am overweight at 5' 3"/160 lbs.  Frankly, I think the gas is produced because of all the acid in my system but all my antiacids should be blocking that.  Who knows?  Do you?
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You have already had a pretty comprehensive GI evaluation, including colonoscopy, upper GI series, and upper endoscopy.  Other causes that can present with this includes GERD, esophageal dysmotility as well as gastroparesis.  

Tests to further evaluate this would include a 24-hr pH study with esophageal motility studies.  This can evaluate for esophageal dysmotility as well as GERD.  A gastric emptying scan can evaluate for gastroparesis.  

You may also want to consider gallbladder disease, which can result in the symptoms associated with food.  An abdominal ultrasound would be the first test in evaluating for this.  

You may want to discuss these options 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.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
1 Comment
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there are some article on the web (UK) in regards to air/gas from the intestine/colon area-due to lower acid production due to age and/or medication like nexxium etc,food which is not well digested is passed from stomach down to intestines and colon and interact with bacteria to creat gas,sometimes these gas is strong enough to push thru the sphincter into the stomach and up the esophagus.
interesting articles.
also medication such as nexxium,prilosev etc either contain magnesium or aluminium which cause constipation or diarhea (diarrhea),you would think feces staying too long in the bowel area could get fermented and creat gas.
food for thought!!
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