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Avatar universal

Severe pain without gas/nausea

I have severe pain after eating certain foods.
I've been through having a gastroscopy, x-rays, blood tests, ultrasound, and barium x-rays from my lips to the end of my small intestine. My family doctor and GI specialist have ruled out diverticulitis, gallstones, pancreas issues, h pilori, ulcers, and a few other things I can't think of. The results of all of this have been the advice to avoid foods that I know cause problems. Which wouldn't be a big problem if the list of foods to avoid wasn't growing AND included most of my favourite foods. I do have acid reflux which has been very responsive to pariet, but it didn't start for several years after the pain condition started. I also have hypothyroidism (treated with synthroid) and high ldl cholesterol, which I am currently trying to control with dietary changes. It took me several years to convince my family doctors that my weight gain was not due to overeating before they finally checked my thyroid. I have only managed to lose 10 pounds in the year since starting the thyroid treatment, but for now I'm just glad I'm no longer gaining it.

The abdominal pain started in my very early 20's with raw carrots. Not a big deal, as long as I kept it down below half a carrot at a time, I didn't have any ill effects. Then peppers, but only sweet peppers. To this day, I can eat raw chilis by the bowlful with no stomach trouble at all, not even reflux. But even a 1/4" square of raw or cooked bell pepper and I'm in trouble. Shortly after that, raspberries joined the list (I can't even eat raspberry jam or cookies). I can still eat strawberries and blackberries though. Occasionally rare beef causes the symptoms, but not always. Same thing with lettuce, especially iceberg lettuce. Walnuts and raw almonds, but not other kinds of nuts so far and roasted almonds are ok. Peanut butter, except for the stuff that I have ground fresh at the health food store. I was ok with Jif brand until recently, now even a teaspoon of it sends me into extreme pain. And now for the last year, zucchini is worse than carrots, whether its raw or cooked to oblivion.

The big gas/indigestion causing culprits like cabbage, beans, onions etc don't cause me any distress at all. A little extra gas, but that passes through no problem. I tend to eat a fairly high fiber diet with a big variety of foods, so my insides are pretty accustomed to change.

The pain usually starts about 30-40 minutes after I eat. If I drink obscene amounts of water right away, it seems to cut the severity, but not much. I do not get heartburn or acid reflux, bloated, my pants don't get tight, there are no gurgling noises, belching, or abnormal quantities of flatulence afterwards. It doesn't seem to affect my bowel movements at all, no diarrhoea, not even a variance in the time of day I feel the urge. What I do have is a horrible cramping/burning feeling a couple of inches above and to the left of my navel, that does not move anywhere and isn't relieved by anything. I've been going through this for over 15 year - I've tried EVERYTHING from hot baths to ice packs to pepto bismol. It lasts 3-4 hours then goes away faster than it starts and life continues as if nothing had ever happened. The pain is so intense I shake and sweat. If it gets bad enough that I induce vomiting to try to relieve it (which only works sometimes), my stomach contents seem to come out dry, as if all the liquid has drained from my stomach, leaving behind a thick mass of chewed, undigested food.

Taking digestive enzyme tablets taken before meals seem to help with small quantities of some of the foods (when eating away from home, it's not always possible to pick the green peppers out of the salad or the almonds out of the stir fry), but with zucchini, raspberries, and carrots, they just postpone the pain so it starts a couple of hours later.

I'm starting to feel pretty desperate and hopeless. The GI doctor seems to thing a shrug and a booklet about a "modified high fiber diet" is an acceptable answer to the problem.

All the information I've been able to find on my own research is primarily focused on gas and diarrhoea symptoms, which do not help me because I don't HAVE those symptoms. Any ideas, insight, witch doctor remedies?
6 Responses
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1551963 tn?1302292732
well, that ruled that theory out. maybe you should grow some tomatoes, celery and blueberries. if i were you i would just avoid the known triggers. i dont know of any cure for intolorences
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Great advice, but this happens with zucchini, carrots, and raspberries grown in my own pesticide/chemical free garden. In the area I live there are a lot of things that aren't available in organic versions, but I do get the organic version of everything I can, if it's not something I can provide for myself.
Helpful - 0
1551963 tn?1302292732
with the zuccini, it may hold the chemicals better when cooked i dont know though. im not a zuccini chemist.
Helpful - 0
1551963 tn?1302292732
the reason why i think that is plausible is you dont seemed to be effected by it when it is cooked or roasted. that may be because some of the chemicals are netralized when cooked or roasted.  But i could be wrong. you may just have a crappy intolorence that henders you from eating what you want.
Helpful - 0
1551963 tn?1302292732
google it and learn more
Helpful - 0
1551963 tn?1302292732
If it doesn't say organic dont purchase it. you might be having a reaction to the pesticides that are being used on these certain fruits, veggies and nuts. just something to think about.
Helpful - 0

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