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Severe Stomach Pain, Bloating, Discomfort - Help Please!
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Severe Stomach Pain, Bloating, Discomfort - Help Please!

Hi there.

Starting about two weeks ago, I noticed my stomach was being a bit temperamental at random points throughout the day.  The symptoms were mild and few and far between, but it would feel as though I needed to vomit, but couldn't.  

Recently, as in within the past few days, the discomfort has increased tenfold.  Now it's not a mild stomach upset, its more along the lines of severe pain and bloating.  I usually have several outbreaks of pain per day, and it goes from feeling 95% normal to excruciating pain.  It almost feels as though my stomach is full to overflowing with stomach acid - if I lay on my left side, the left side of my stomach hurts, and vice versa.  If I lay on my back, the back of my stomach hurts, and vice versa.  I'm hungry at times, but the hunger is mixed in with pain, which makes me very wary of eating anything.  When I do eat, I severely regret it within an hour or two.

I've been to the doctor's office over this, and my nurse practitioner advised that I try Nexium.  She said the three possible culprits could be GERD, a bacterial infection in my stomach, or problems with my gall bladder.  I called back the next day (yesterday) to report that I was worse, and was instructed to go to the Emergency Room.  I did, but of course while I was there I felt relatively normal.  There, they drew blood, took a urine sample, and did a CT Scan after making me drink two bottles of liquid barium mixture.  The doctor there said all tests came back normal, and it's most likely an excess stomach acid problem, and advised I stick with the Nexium.  As of right now, tomorrow morning is my third dose of the stuff, and I see no improvement, if not a worsening of symptoms.  Right now, I'm also seeing mild diarrhea, but that's the least of my concerns, I believe that's most likely from my current overdosing of Mylanta (which provides little to no relief, anyway)

A little bit about myself - I'm an otherwise healthy 19 year old male with a strong family history of GERD and lactose intolerance.  To this point, I've been mildly lactose intolerant, but have had no signs of GERD or any other digestive problem.

Any ideas?  What can I do to relieve my symptoms?  Anyone experience this before and know something that I should?  Any help at all with this unbearable problem would be greatly appreciated.  Hell, I might even send you a thank you card.

AJ


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Avatar_m_tn
One easy thing to do - you can stop with anything containing lactose.

Next, ask for results of your tests : if you have a H. pylori infection of your stomavh, Nexium alone won't help, you'll need antibiotics.

In gallstones, pain appear as a cramp on the right upper abdomen, usually after a fatty meal. So, try low-fat foods, and see if helps. It wil help you, if you have GERD anyway.

Avoid eating/drinking anything acidic, including fruits, soda...Have small meals, avoid anything what stays in the stomach for long time, like meat, nuts...
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you.  I've tried the cutting-out-dairy thing, that's no help.  I'm usually pretty cautious with dairy anyway, and I take lactaid supplement pills when necessary.  They just told me all test results came back normal, so I'm assuming there's no infection or gallstones.  One interesting piece of information is the fact that I usually wake up feeling normal, and as the day goes on, I just bloat up and get severe pain.  
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Avatar_m_tn
If bloating goes with the day, it probably goes with the food.

Lactose is in mayn things, I'm sure you know. Avoiding all dairy and all commercial products completely (to make it simple), since lactose can be added to virtually anything.  A thorough complete lactose-free diaet trial for 2-3 days would tell you is it lactose or not.

Fructose malabsorption is another common disorder. It occurs after fructose and sorbitol, just like after lactose. Then you still have to consider GERD and maybe gallbladder.

Try in peace, one trial at the time...
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Avatar_n_tn
Update:  Went to the E.R. again, they tested for gallstones, among other things, and nothing showed up.  Today, I got an upper endoscopy, and again, nothing showed up.  No ulcer, no gallstones, no nothing.  Doctor now suspects Celiac.  She took two biopsies, to which I'll have the result on Tuesday.  Still in moderate to severe pain.  I'll try a gluten-free diet to see how that works out.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello, I was just wondering if you had an update to your situation because I am a 24 year old male and I have been experiencing almost identical symptoms and have had a CT scan, blood tests, urine sample and nothing has showed up either, also friends and family have brought up Celiac as a possibility. I am actually going to a Gastroenterologist today, but I read your post last night and was curious to know where you stood with the symptoms? Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Actually, I do have an update.  Turns out it was acid problems.  The doctor got me on Nexium 40mg twice a day, and while it took a LONG time, it finally got it under control.  If that is the problem, don't be discouraged if it seems to take a month or more to fix the problem, but right now, the problem is fixed.  The only problem I have now is the fact that my stomach feels a little worse for the wear - its more sensitive to certain foods than usual (raw peppers, tomatoes, etc), but overall, now I can eat completely normally without any pain or discomfort whatsoever.  My (and my gastroenterologist's) general idea is that the problem started with an overproduction of stomach acid, which made me feel a little queasy or nauseous every day.  At that point in the problem, food seemed to help the discomfort.  As the overproduction of acid went on unregulated, however, it damaged something (don't know what, nothing showed up on an upper endoscopy) in my upper intestines, causing the severe pain.  This damage would explain why food aggravated my system, causing the excruciating pain.  When the food passed the damaged area of my intestines, there was nothing to irritate the wounds, which would explain the lack of pain after long fasts.

So that's my situation.  Here's what I did to fix the problem, and if I had known this earlier, spring 2009 would have been much easier for me.  Eating ANYTHING would cause me unbearable pain, so much so that I never even wanted to think about eating, and any time I did, I just knew that it would give me hell.  Drinking anything, however, seemed to have little to no negative effect on me.  Therefore, I began drinking Ensure and Boost meal replacement shakes in place of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I lost a lot of weight and was only getting the bare minimum nutrition, but it was enough to keep me alive, and it didn't annoy my stomach to any great extent.  After a week or two of this diet, I began to mix in real foods.  I slowly shifted the balance until I was back eating 100% real food.  One HUGE word of caution though, if this sounds exactly like your situation and you're thinking of trying this solution, do not switch back to real food too quickly.  Its difficult to tell when to switch back, because you may experience no pain on the shakes, but I felt that I switched back too quickly and too early, only prolonging the healing process of the injury.  Some meals for me were fine, others would leave me in outrageous pain, depending on the size and the contents of the meal.

The bottom line is, if this sounds like your situation, get on Nexium or a similar drug as soon as humanly possible (with a doctor's recommendation, of course), try meal replacement shakes, and hang on for as long as you can, because it is treatable, and it will go away.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you very much for the update... I am currently on Protonix which I believe is a similar medication and will see where it goes from there, but the length of this irritation is definitely frustrating. I do have a few more tests coming up though which may or may not show anything, but we will see. I hope that you continue to feel better and thanks again.
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Avatar_n_tn
did you just have to take the pills for a while or do you still take them?
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Avatar_m_tn
I know you did not direct your question to me, but I wanted to let you know that I had a similar issue to Lamar and ended up taking 40 mg Omeprazole pills twice a day for awhile before breakfast and dinner (I'd say for like 5 months or so), also I would take a Reglan as needed after eating for like 5 months and things did start to get better (although I have still had some issues here and there depending on what I eat), I am still taking pills, but it is a 20 mg Omeprazole once a day now.
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