Aa
A
A
A
Close
Gastroenterology Community
31.5k Members
Avatar universal

Unknown stomach issue

Okay, I'll start with letting you all know that currently I am unable to get to a doctor, so please don't just refer me straight to one.

This issue dated back since I was about 19 (and I'm now 27).

Started off as just pain after eating anything. Pain that would leave me doubled over, unable to do anything until it passed.
Would last anywhere between 1-8 hours after consuming any type of food, whether it was just a peanut or an entire meal.
Seen multiple doctors, all whom either: 1. couldn't find anything wrong with me and passed it off as IBS, or 2. put me on Prilosec and said it was just heartburn.
Stats on me: I'm female, age 27, 5'8", and ~100lbs. No other health issues aside from the one I'm typing about.

It has progressed over the years to the point where eating is nearly impossible. Here is a comprehensive (as much as possible anyways, there are a lot) of symptoms that I can think of.
From the first bite of food, it takes roughly 5 minutes to set in:

- Almost immediately vomiting it back up uncontrollably. The only way I can keep any food down at all is if it's tiny (aka a granola bar, or half a slice of toast.).
- Immediate onset of stomach bloating. I go from a completely flat stomach to sticking out about 3-4 inches(sometimes more) and looking as if I'm a few months pregnant. Persists even after vomiting.
- Whilst lying on my back, there is a large mass/lump thing around my belly button area that I can push and move around. Painful when pressure is on it. Size wise - around the size of a normal fist. Does not go away,
just becomes more noticable after I've eaten. Aside from being extremely scary, it's just plain freaky to look at.
- Noticed twice recently, blood in my vomit. Not a lot, but enough to streak the water red and taste it in my mouth.
- Massive weight loss - this is just in the past 3 months alone - of 10lbs. or more.
- Lack of energy, but that's probably due to not being able to keep down any food.
- Pain either happens or doesn't, it's erratic and doesn't seem to follow any food/consumption patterns.

Also, it's probably worth noting that I rarely have bowel movements. I chalk it up to mostly being unable to consume any food worth expelling, but who knows. It may also have something to do with my issue.
I've also been keeping a food log for the past few weeks, attempting to find any "trigger" foods. So far, no identifiable pattern has emerged. If it's a meal larger than a granola bar, it's thrown up. If it's smaller, it stays down but I still get the bloating and sometimes pain.

I know it's almost impossible to accurately diagnose someone over the web, I'm just at my wits end and trying the last resource I can think of. I've lost so much weight from this that I look like a bag of bones. Emergency rooms don't help (been there, tried that), I just get referred to a Specialist that I can't afford. However, when I can finally get to a doctor, if there is anything that you would recommend telling them so they don't just send me on my way again without actually helping, that would be appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Thanks,
Kelly, aka Tired and Hungry!
4 Responses
1728693 tn?1332168862
I'm assuming you tried simplifying your diet. My bosses wife has almost the same undiagnosed issues (after TWO colonoscopies and endoscopies, CAT Scans, Sonograms and multiple blood and urine tests) and she found that a diet of chicken and veg seemed to be the only thing she could eat. That being said, a periumbilical mass (which is what you seem to be describing) really needs further investigation given what may be causing it -

From Medline Plus-

"An abdominal mass can be a sign of an abscess, a problem with a blood
vessel (such as an aneurysm), an enlarged organ (such as the liver,
spleen, or kidney), a tumor, or an accumulation of feces.

Many of these do not fit your description, but some do.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause a pulsating mass around the navel.
- Bladder distention (urinary bladder over-filled with fluid) can
cause a firm mass in the center of the lower abdomen above the pelvic
bones, and in extreme cases can extend as far up as the navel.
- Cholecystitis can cause a very tender mass that is felt below the
liver in the right-upper quadrant (occasionally).
- Colon cancer can cause a mass almost anywhere in the abdomen.
- Crohn's disease or bowel obstruction can cause multiple tender,
sausage-shaped masses anywhere in the abdomen.
- Diverticulitis can cause a mass that is usually located in the
left-lower quadrant.
- Gallbladder tumor can cause a moderately tender, irregularly shaped
right-upper quadrant mass.
- Hydronephrosis (fluid-filled kidney) can cause a smooth,
spongy-feeling mass in one or both sides or toward the back (flank
area).
- Kidney cancer can sometimes cause a mass in the abdomen.
- Liver cancer can cause a firm, lumpy mass in the right upper quadrant.
- Liver enlargement (hepatomegaly) can cause a firm, irregular mass
below the right rib cage (right costal margin), or on the left side in
the stomach area (epigastric).
- Neuroblastoma, a malignant tumor often found in the lower abdomen,
that primarily occurs in children and infants.
- Ovarian cyst can cause a smooth, rounded, rubbery mass above the
pelvis in the lower abdomen.
- Pancreatic abscess can cause a mass in the upper abdomen in the epigastric area.
- Pancreatic pseudocyst can cause a lumpy mass in the upper abdomen in
the epigastric area.
- Renal cell carcinoma can cause a smooth, firm, nontender mass near
the kidney (usually only affects one kidney).
- Spleen enlargement (splenomegaly) -- the edge of an enlarged spleen
may sometimes be felt in the left-upper quadrant.
- Stomach cancer can cause a mass in the left-upper abdomen in the
stomach area (epigastric) if the cancer is large.
- Uterine leiomyoma (fibroids) can cause a round, lumpy mass above the
pelvis in the lower abdomen (occasionally can be felt if the fibroids
are large).
- Volvulus can cause a mass anywhere in the abdomen.
- Ureteropelvic junction obstruction can cause a mass in the lower abdomen."

While I know you said it's impractical for you to get to a doctor, you really DO need to have it looked at by a medical professional. I don't think you're going to find a comprehensive answer here to something that seems to need diagnostic imaging of some sort (endoscopy or sonogram at least) and possibly blood work.

Avatar universal
Thanks for replying.

To answer your question, yes I've simplified my diet.. almost to extremes. I basically live off of granola bars and/or something equally as small. My friends and family all worry that I have an eating disorder - which is NOT the case at all. All they see is my weight loss and freak out. Although, more recently, they've seen what my issue does to me after eating and are starting to see the big picture.

On topic - I agree with you that I need to see a qualified medical professional, and I knew I wasn't going to get a miraculous diagnosis via the net. I just have no insurance of any kind, and just a simple X-Ray or Ultrasound can go into the thousands of dollars. Not to mention any blood tests, etc. that I'm sure they'll need. Blargh! Anyone know any doctors in the Tampa Bay area that do payment plans, Pro Bono work?

Thanks again!
Avatar universal
try this; cost about 50 dollars for best price go to vitamin store;
buy probiotics and enough to take 100 BILLION cultures daily x 2 wks, cut to 50 billion x 2 wks and stop and stay at 25 billion daily; u can mix with plain yogurt
drink water only , no soda and at least 4 glasses daily
if u r a citizen u can get medical care with some effort or emergency is available

I am assuming u r not on any meds now.

try the probiotics and good luck
Avatar universal
Thank you for the suggestion. I'm willing to try pretty much anything at this point, so it will be looked into.

You're correct, I'm not currently taking any type of medication.
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem