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Can Allergies Cause Digestive Problems?
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Can Allergies Cause Digestive Problems?

For the past 11 months I have been having digestive problems.  It all started the sensation of abnormal swallowing & occasional tingling pain in the esophagus (base of the neck).  No regurgitation or stuck food or inability to pass food or liquids.  This was accompanied with chest pain, back pain, abdominal pain and slow digestion (occasional constipation)  I had a few episodes that felt like I was having a heart attack (chest pain, difficulty swallowing, feeling of intense fullness and anxiety) - on one occasion I went to the 24hr emergency care.  I went to the the GI specialist and between then and now we have ran the gammet of tests (endoscopy - normal, barium swallow - normal, 24 hr ph study - very little reflux, which they say is normal).  I went on a trial run of nexium, 80mg a day for 6 weeks, which absolutely no change.  I tried all the lifestyle changes associated with GERD (no spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol etc.).  After that we tested for gallbladder disease.  I forget was the measurement is called but I tested at 13 (they say above 35 is normal).  So I had my gallbladder removed about 3 months ago.  After the procedure, my surgeon told me that I did have some fat on my liver and that reducing the alcohol was prudent.  So ever since the removal I have felt quite a bit better, especially in terms of the upper abdominal pain and bowel movements.  Recently the difficulty swallowing/throat pain has come back, but to a lesser degree.  I started getting bad eye allergies and have always had a post nasal drip.  The doctors have said that my glands are swollen pretty much consistently.  Before all of the problems started I was very healthy, except for occasional allergies.  I had sinus infections throughout my childhood into early adulthood.  I had an episode of excema about 8 years ago.  Though I have never been tested I am pretty sure I have seasonal allergies (maybe pollens & hay fever).

Could allergies cause dysphasia (trouble swallowing)?  Also can post nasal drip/mucous cause stomach pain or slow the digestive system?

I am really out of answers.  I was hoping the gallbladder removal would be a 100% solution but that is not the case.

Has anyone had these symptoms or have a possible explanation?

Thanks,

Eric
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YES, allergies can and do cause digestive issues.  They can and do aggravate already existing GI problems such as GERD and IBS.

That's the short answer.  Discuss further with the GI.  Go ahead and see an allergist, but be aware that not all food sensitivities will show up with the usual allergy tests.  You will need to pursue this further with a naturopath and going through an elimination food challenge diet.  A naturopath will be able to guide you through the elimination diet properly and help you discover which foods are bothering your digestive system.
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