Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
chronic stomach pain
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chronic stomach pain

For the last 2 weeks my stomach/intestines have been in constant pain. This pain gets worse after I eat. My doctor has prescribed anti-spasmodics for my colon, and although this helps the "twisting" of my intestines, the pain remains and is concentrated under my lower left rib. This pain also sometimes spreads across to the other rib. I have tried antacids, gas remedies, pain killers (including codeine), herbal remedies (acidophylus), lactose exclusion, lactase tablets, but nothing helps.
My blood tests don't show anything and my doctor thinks the pain will just "go away".
I have just recovered from pneumonia (diagnosed 1 month ago) and was on a course of 3 types of (oral) antibiotics. My stomach complaints started a week after I finished the last course. I thought the pain was something to do with all the antibiotics I took but I don't have the typical symptoms of diarhea (diarrhea), etc.
The pain is so bad I am house-bound, (I am 28, female).
Does anyone have any ideas, recommendations, PLEASE!
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12 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
i have crohn's and your symptoms could be that, but it's doubtful.  the main thing is you don't say if your doctor is a gastroenterologist (gi).  for your symptoms you need to see a gi dr.  my crohn's never would have been diagnosed 20 yrs ago if my gp hadn't referred me to a gi.

as for the pain, you state you have even tried codein.  first, codein is a fairly mild pain releiver and the dr's frequently don't tell you how much you can take.  with the pain i have had, i needed a theshold level of analgesic before i would get any pain relief (this was more than what the dr had on the bottle).  so check with your dr and find out just how much you can take at once.  second, a stronger pain relif is the hydrocodone class such as norcol.  last, the strongest pill is oxycodone (percocets) which will releve your pain.

besides checking with your dr about stronger doses and/or pain pills, do a search on the internet on pain relief and find out for yourself whats available.

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Avatar_n_tn
You need to go back to your doctor and make sure he knows how much pain you are in. Stomache pain comes from all sorts of things. It sounds like yours is related to your recent illness and probably will get better as time goes by. I thought of maybe coughing alot with pneumonia pulled or tore something, my sister once cracked ribs coughing with bronchitis. The other thing I thought of that makes more sense is the antibiotics irritated the lining of your stomache and/or intestines. Pain relievers will also do that, so maybe you just need to give yourself a rest from meds if you can and see what happens. I take many meds around the clock and have for the last 11 years. My stomache hurts most days and I wonder if I'll end up with an ulcer. If you continue much longer with such severe pain that you are housebound you really need to have your doctor work with you to sort it out and not just say it will go away on it's own. What if you have something serious?
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Avatar_n_tn
hey, i was treated for H pylori with antibiotics (10 day 2 antibiotics.)  then, have had stomach pain since 3 weeks after the last regimen.  that was 2 months ago.  i think ABs do something to the bowels that doctors do not understand.  hmmm.  it has only recently gotten better.  but, ive had a CT scan and colonoscopy w/endoscopy since.  the pain was bad.  i also have a bit of a bulge in my stomach, just below the navel.   luckily, all the tests reveal nothing...  dont know what the bulge is though.  thats all...
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello... I am 32 and have had chronic right upper quadrant pain for about 2 1/2 years.  I had my gall bladder removed 11 years ago. I have had every test in the book and most have come back basically normal. My GI doctor has just labeled it IBS. IN MY OPINION, I think that diagnosis is such a joke.  I think that they use that when they cant find anything else wrong. I have the same pain every time, same place. I end up in the ER all the time. I also have diffuse esophageal spasms occasionally.  I have had CT scans, ERCPs with stent and sphincterotomy, enoscopies, colonoscopies, entercolisis, etc.... I am at my wits end with this! Does anyone have any ideas or anything I can go to my doctor with to help out? Please! E-mail me at ***@**** if you have any suggestions. Thanks for listening!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for all your comments... I really appreciate them- you've been a lot more helpful than my doctor!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Jason, how are you feeling now? Hope it feels better.
Did the CT scan, colonoscopy w/ endoscopy show anything?
Did blood tests, etc. show anything?
Did you just have to wait for it to get better?
Did ANYTHING ease the pain?
What did you eat? Did that seem to affect the pain?
Were you able to work?
How did you cope?
Thank you so much for your comments, I really appreciate it!
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Avatar_n_tn
I went through antibiotic treatment for H pylori bacteria just like Jason about a year ago.  I never had a stomach and colon problem prior to the treatment, but after two rounds of treatment (10 days of flagyl, amoxicillin, and prevacid 2X a day), I developed severe burning stomach and colon problem.
It took me almost 9 months to soothe my stomach even though i have minor problems on and off even till today.  Just like Jason, I had also developed bulge in my lower stomach area.  
It feels as though my colon had hardened loosing intestinal
immotility.  Hardened area extends on both sides of my belly buttom and I hear water gurgling sounds in the morning and
also there is frequent belching.

I had upper endoscopy done twice last year which revealed
major inflmmation of the stomach lining after the firt exam and
healed lining after the second.  Two rounds of antibiotic did not kill bacteria so I had top resort to Mastic Gum and since then endoscopy biopsy shows negative bacteria presence.

Extended antibiotic treatment is something I should not be taken lightly. Unfortunatly, antibiotics are abused by so many doctors these days.  Extended use will lead to severe gastric
damage which are permanent sometimes. Stomach tissues can be irritated and stomach can remain swollen.  Extended stomach
presses down on the colon making difficult to perform rythmic excercise to pass food.  Also antibiotics wipe out all the good bacteria in your gut which lead to poor absorption of food and
intestinal immotility.  Small and large intestine when subject to this stress will sometimes lose ability to pass food
and harden not being able to excercise.  When food does not go down too smoothly in your gut, stomach is also stressed.
In addition, food especially meat will rot in the intestine and
toxins produced in the intestine will get absorbed to the blood stream, making your liver that much hard.

It was only after antibiotic treatment that I found out about these horrible side effects.  Some of the damage that I got
through the treatment is permanent.  I regret that I ever took this antibiotic treatment but what is done is done and I am trying to make best efforts to recover as much as I can through
smart diet and excercise.  I hope that you can also recover from
your problem very soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
At 33 I too have been overwhelmed with not stomach relief for the past 7 months. The heartburn is controlled by many small bland meals. But the stomach aches and is in pain every day, Better at work in the morning. I miss eating and pain free days as you do.
I had the endoscopy and Ph test for and swallowing evalustion. I think a CT or MRI might be a good tool for seeing more of the stomach ? Did this test help any of you sufferers? I have put off dental visits due to the sensitive state of my stomach would be worse with antibiotics. I have taken nothing but crushed vitamins and eat: skinless apples,skinless potatoes and a couple things listed on other posts. How long can a tummy be on the outs or a confused patient finds out what, why, how and when will I recover? Keep us posted
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Avatar_n_tn
I am recovering from a course of flagyl for giardia, and I too am having stomach pains, continued diarrhea, weight loss, weakness....  I am convinced that I am now recovering from a double whammy on my gut (and I'm not sure which was worse, the bugs or the drugs).  So I feel your pain, and would love to hear dietary/nutrition ideas folks have (for instance, sweet potatoes are bad, so is wheat, rice is good, etc).  Also, I am receiving accupuncture and taking some herbs and acidophilus, which I think are helping, for those open to an alternate route.  Also, I find the less I move the better, when I move suddenly or quickly symptoms come on.  Does this sound familiar?
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Avatar_n_tn
How long have you been trying accupuncture?
I want relief from abdominal pains and aches, heartburn and I need to eat again. I have been on Choice drinks.Some ins. I know cover a portion
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Hi, since I've been told it is the antibiotics, I have gotten powdered probiotic drinks that comtain a whole range of bacteria (not just acidophylus)- this helped A LOT. I also started taking aloe vera juice because it is supposed to help sooth the colon. I don't know if its the right thing to do, but the pain is immeasurably better. I found that I couldn't eat "tradional" things that were "easy to digest" (eg white rice) but with a "hit or miss approach" I found boiled chicken and mashed potato were ok. Now I can even eat tinned veg (mushy things). Anyway, even though now I can eat a range of things, my body still isn't absorbing them properly and I am weak, tired, and sometimes feel like I am going to pass out. I was recommended to drink Gatorade (US) or any other isotonic "sports drink" to replenish electrolytes and glucose levels in my blood, that may be a help for you if your blood shows you have low electrolyte levels or blood pressure. All the best.
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Avatar_n_tn
How long have you suffered?
What tests did you endure?
I am on Choice and a crushed multi in my cream of wheat to help with nutrients.
Have you tried the Hollistic approach with your G.I. doctor approval?
Are you taking anything over the counter ? How much weight have you lost?
I am so frustrated that it my stomach has not healed. But the Endoscopy showed a clear stomach at this time.
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