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Unexplained Stomach Aches
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Unexplained Stomach Aches

My wife who is 32 frequently suffers from stomach aches that are often - but not always - associated with a sensation of "bloat".  

She has a very healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grain and fiber with a moderate consumution of milk products and a very low consumption of meat.  She does not smoke, drinks adequate quantities of water and never more than a single glass of wine at dinner time.  She weight trains and runs several times a week.  She does have a habit of allowing small things to stress her out and she tends to breathe in air through her mouth when she is concentrating on something.

She is frequently very hungry and has a food intake that is quite astonishing given her slim build.  The stomach aches are most frequent in the evening and are preceeded by a unbearable sensation of hunger which manifests itself as a feeling of emptiness in the stomach.  The pain appears to be intenstinal in nature and disappears after having a meal.  However, she does tend to have an unusual amount of gurgling and rumbling noises emanating from the stomach immediately afterwards.

Less frequently, she has a more diffused feeling of bloat as though she has had an unusually rich meal or is carrying a heavy load in her stomach.  This sensation can last for several hours and is accompanied by a complete loss of appetite.

Her doctor suggests that she has an intolerence to certain foods has provided a long list of foods to avoid.

I have come across explanations ranging from IBS to Crohn's disease. I would much appreciate any help in better understanding  her condition.
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4 Comments
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This may be a long shot (and hopefully it is) but some of those symptoms resemble ovarian cancer.

When I was pregnant, I would eat a meal, and feel bloated and full before I finished.  
Later, when I read about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, I found it striking how the symptoms resembled the gastrointestinal problems of pregnancy.

I think that may have to do with the various hormones that the ovaries give off when you are pregnant, which apparently happens also when there are tumors on them.

To rule out this possibility, your wife should see her gynecologist for a thorough checkup.
There is a blood test for ovarian cancer.

If she can eat a great deal but doesn't gain weight, she may have a fast metabolism.  Sometimes this is due to an overactive thyroid.

I hope she can find some answers.
The only other suggestion I have is to try taking digestive enzymes with meals, and see if that helps.

Wishing you the best,
Carol
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By any chance does your wife eat a lot of pepper?  Black pepper is a form of fungus and can cause a lot of gas in the gut which can cause bloating, pain, and intestional distention (hard stomach) especially if they have problems passing the gas. The gas will take away the desire to eat and cause audible rumbling as the gas moves around.  This noise isn't a problem, just noisy.  When she eats something else, the food and gasses move and she will feel relief. Other foods that will cause this type of gas problems are broccoli, cucumbers, and bell peppers among others.  Try Beano.
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Firstly, thank you everyone for your comments.  The answer to the pepper question - no, she does not eat much pepper.  I like spicy food so since she met she has probably increased her intake of red chillies and the like but this is a problem she has had since her early teens.  To a certain extent it appears to be heriditary too since her father has similar symptoms but tends to pretend they don't exist.

The most visible thing to me is the sheer degree of discomfort she suffers when she is late for a meal or has to eat fast.  I don't like missing meals but like most people I can manage to contain myself.  With her it is almost as bad as not being able to breathe.

I am not sure just how much of a role her tendancy to stress herself out plays here.  She often breathes in through her mouth but does not take kindly to being told so.  Perhaps the advice needs to come from a medical professional, not from me.
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I think you are correct in that.  Try the doctor-mediated gastro site.  I am not sure if there is a charge, but it may be easier to have her read a response from a doctor than it would be to get her to see one.  good luck
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