Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Unbearable Stomach Pains
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Unbearable Stomach Pains

A friend of mine has severe stomach pains. She has gone to the several doctors several times over the years and they don't seem to help. Every time they actually give her a legitimate diagnoses, they end up doing a test that rules it out. Off the top of my head I know they have mentioned cysts, female problems, appendicitis, itbs, celiac, and colon issues. The most common response to her string of symptoms is female problems. This is clearly not the case. Its like as soon as she says abdominal pain, every other possibility goes out the window. Detailed overview to follow

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She is 26 and these problems began senior year of high school. (The pain started out far less severe than it is now and has gradually gotten worse over the years.) She is a clean eater 95% of the time and is a fitness instructor that rarely misses a workout. She has pain on the right side of the abdomen that is made worse by food intake. Over the last several months, she began thinking it was celiac and began a gluten free diet. It didn't really make much of a difference until about 2 weeks into it and that was combined with a slew of digestive aids from a local health food store. She found that eating small portions prevented the pain from being so intense but still left her uncomfortable as well as hungry. After she eats, her intestines feel like they are going into spazzums and her stomach is sensitive to the touch. Initially, applying pressure relieves discomfort but as the issue intensifies, any pressure makes it worse. When this happens, her stomach swells to at least twice its normal size and becomes rock hard. In a matter of minutes she goes from having a flat stomach to a stomach equivalent to the size of a woman that is at least 3-4 month pregnant. It this point breathing becomes mildly labored. This pain can last anywhere from 30 minutes to the rest of the day. The only way she can get any relief is if immediately upon onset she takes a muscle relaxer. For the last 3 weeks, the gluten free diet hasn't been enough and living on muscle relaxers is less than ideal. Now when she eats ANYthing (grilled chicken, vegetables, peanut butter, etc) her pains intensify and her stomach swells leaving her in discomfort a majority of the time. The pain is to the point that she is unable to sleep at night and lives on 1-2 hour naps during the times when the pain has subsided. She has also begun to sacrifice eating more than once or twice a day in order to allow her to carry on with her daily activities. At this point she will try anything to just go back to normal and not have to fight this battle on a daily basis.
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Hard to advise without any information as to what tests have been done. I would encourage her to post this information herself. Dealing with the patient directly is more appropriate.
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