Discussions By Condition: Gastrointestinal conditions

Acute back pain, vomiting after eating

Posted In: Gastrointestinal conditions 5 Replies
  • Posted By: Ben Olson
  • November 25, 2008
  • 03:06 AM

Hello! Thank you for reading...

I am a 20 year old male, and I have had this problem as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of a specific incident is at 5 years old, but in my memory the event was something I was used to and I seem to remember that by then I had accepted it as a part of my life. I cannot be sure of when this problem first started, because I never mentioned it to anyone until I was 16 and I figured out that no one else I knew had these problems.

Occasionally, with eating, a kind 'tight' pain will gradually grow in just about the center of my back, which sometimes leads to vomiting (depending on the intensity). The first signs of the pain will usually appear while I am eating, though while I am still eating it is usually more of a painless, tight sensation. The pain reaches it's fullest extent within about 30 minutes of the first signs of this pain coming, although if I continue to eat after noticing the first symptoms the pain will usually continue to grow for longer. Depending on what I've eaten, how quickly I've eaten, and if I've continued eating after first noticing the symptoms, the pain can range from negligible to quite severe (when most severe I usually am unable to sit or stand up, but instead I have to lie on my back. Being on my back doesn't really relieve the symptoms so much...I just feel compelled to do so).

Also, depending how intense these 'attacks' can be, I will often times end up vomiting. The vomiting usually happens a little while after the onset of the fullest of the pain in my back, and after vomiting I usually feel 80% better almost instantly, and I will often feel 100% better soon after (as long as I stop eating). I only vomit once (meaning...like one cluster of food); I have never vomited more than once.

It should be noted that while I do feel very sick and feel like I am going to vomit, the 'sick' feeling is exclusively in my back. My stomache feels completely fine the entire time...no different than any other time. So it is not so much a nauseous feeling as a feeling of tightness in my back that is in need of relief. Sometimes that relief comes through vomiting, sometimes it just gets better over time. If I do not vomit, the worst of the pain is usually over after 30 minutes, though the symptoms will continue to gradually fade out over 2-4 hours. The pain usually goes away before this time is over, but a lingerin 'tightness' in my back remains, as well as slightly thicker saliva.

Another symptom I experience is a kind of tightness/feeling of swollenness (though I'm never sure if there actually is swelling or not) in both of the kind of round, squishy bumps just below the jawbone where the neck meets the head. This is accompanied by producing an incredible amount of very thick, sticky saliva. When I vomit, the food is usually coated in this saliva such that I have pierced the saliva with a pencil and pickup up all of the food out of the toilet by the saliva itself.

There is somewhat of a pattern in which food will bring this on, though it is somewhat inconsistent. For instance, two foods may not cause any problems for me if I eat them separately, but when I eat them together I can get sick. Also, how much a food will affect me seems to vary greatly. I can go months without any problems at all, and then at other times I might have this problem several times in a week. Some foods will never cause this problem for me, other's will cause it almost everytime I eat them. Also interestingly is that once I have ingested a problem food (or problem foods), depening on how much of those foods I've eating, it may be that continuing eating anything will make the symptoms worse in the long run.

A few foods that I've recognized as usual culprits for these 'attacks' include:

Combinations of breakfast foods (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, syrup, milk, and orange juice is probably the most deadly combination there is. Any of these foods by themsevles are usually fine, though sometimes bacon or sausage can cause very mild symptoms by themselves). Pizza is pretty consistently bad, though pizza usually just gives me the tight feeling in my back and thick saliva without any sickness or need to vomit. Frozen pizza is more likely to make me very sick. Sometimes pizza is completely fine. Combining mustard and onions can occasionally make me sick. Mustard rarely makes me sick by itself, and it is usually mild. Onions have never made me sick without another 'trigger food' present that I can remember. Apples can also make me sick, though it seems to be the skin that is the problem. Also, only eating actual apples creates a problem; applesause, apple pie etc. have never made me sick. Some Chinese food can make me sick as well, though I can't remember which. I don't usually pay much attention to what makes me sick just becaue I am so used to it.

I once asked a doctor about this, and she thought it may be heartburn, but she was mostly just guessing as she was very confused. It does not seem to be heartburn though, as the problem is completely isolated to my back. I have had heartburn as well, and occasionally even heartburn with one of these attacks, and I do not think that this is from some kind of unusual heartburn.

I've also considered the possibility of gallstones, which seem to match the symptoms fairly well except that I began having these attacks at such a young age. And again, my understanding is that gallstones typically have upper abdominal pains as well, which I do not have. I have also read that gallstone attacks typically take place 1-2 hours after eating, whereas my 'attacks' begin while eating and are at their peak no more than 30 minutes after stopping eating. I have also never had an 'attack' apart from eating. I'm also not sure if vomiting relieves the symptoms of gallstone attacks (unless that is what I am experiencing, in which case, it does).

Does anyone have any idea of what this might be? Heartburn, gallstones, or something else? Food allergy perhaps?

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5 Replies:

  • Hi Ben - My name is Ali and I've been scouring the information on this. I've had symptoms EXACTLY like yours going on about 2 years now. I'm close to your age. Sometimes I feel weird pressure in my shoulders too, but everything else is exactly the same. Have you found out anything else about this? I have crappy health insurance and can't afford to go get a bunch of tests. I need to know because every time this happens I freak out and want to go to the ER, but then I feel better hours later (with a little bit of lingering pain), and fine the next day.I'm not sure how old this post is, but I would love to know if you've found anything out...Thanks!Hello! Thank you for reading...I am a 20 year old male, and I have had this problem as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of a specific incident is at 5 years old, but in my memory the event was something I was used to and I seem to remember that by then I had accepted it as a part of my life. I cannot be sure of when this problem first started, because I never mentioned it to anyone until I was 16 and I figured out that no one else I knew had these problems.Occasionally, with eating, a kind 'tight' pain will gradually grow in just about the center of my back, which sometimes leads to vomiting (depending on the intensity). The first signs of the pain will usually appear while I am eating, though while I am still eating it is usually more of a painless, tight sensation. The pain reaches it's fullest extent within about 30 minutes of the first signs of this pain coming, although if I continue to eat after noticing the first symptoms the pain will usually continue to grow for longer. Depending on what I've eaten, how quickly I've eaten, and if I've continued eating after first noticing the symptoms, the pain can range from negligible to quite severe (when most severe I usually am unable to sit or stand up, but instead I have to lie on my back. Being on my back doesn't really relieve the symptoms so much...I just feel compelled to do so).Also, depending how intense these 'attacks' can be, I will often times end up vomiting. The vomiting usually happens a little while after the onset of the fullest of the pain in my back, and after vomiting I usually feel 80% better almost instantly, and I will often feel 100% better soon after (as long as I stop eating). I only vomit once (meaning...like one cluster of food); I have never vomited more than once.It should be noted that while I do feel very sick and feel like I am going to vomit, the 'sick' feeling is exclusively in my back. My stomache feels completely fine the entire time...no different than any other time. So it is not so much a nauseous feeling as a feeling of tightness in my back that is in need of relief. Sometimes that relief comes through vomiting, sometimes it just gets better over time. If I do not vomit, the worst of the pain is usually over after 30 minutes, though the symptoms will continue to gradually fade out over 2-4 hours. The pain usually goes away before this time is over, but a lingerin 'tightness' in my back remains, as well as slightly thicker saliva.Another symptom I experience is a kind of tightness/feeling of swollenness (though I'm never sure if there actually is swelling or not) in both of the kind of round, squishy bumps just below the jawbone where the neck meets the head. This is accompanied by producing an incredible amount of very thick, sticky saliva. When I vomit, the food is usually coated in this saliva such that I have pierced the saliva with a pencil and pickup up all of the food out of the toilet by the saliva itself.There is somewhat of a pattern in which food will bring this on, though it is somewhat inconsistent. For instance, two foods may not cause any problems for me if I eat them separately, but when I eat them together I can get sick. Also, how much a food will affect me seems to vary greatly. I can go months without any problems at all, and then at other times I might have this problem several times in a week. Some foods will never cause this problem for me, other's will cause it almost everytime I eat them. Also interestingly is that once I have ingested a problem food (or problem foods), depening on how much of those foods I've eating, it may be that continuing eating anything will make the symptoms worse in the long run.A few foods that I've recognized as usual culprits for these 'attacks' include:Combinations of breakfast foods (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, syrup, milk, and orange juice is probably the most deadly combination there is. Any of these foods by themsevles are usually fine, though sometimes bacon or sausage can cause very mild symptoms by themselves). Pizza is pretty consistently bad, though pizza usually just gives me the tight feeling in my back and thick saliva without any sickness or need to vomit. Frozen pizza is more likely to make me very sick. Sometimes pizza is completely fine. Combining mustard and onions can occasionally make me sick. Mustard rarely makes me sick by itself, and it is usually mild. Onions have never made me sick without another 'trigger food' present that I can remember. Apples can also make me sick, though it seems to be the skin that is the problem. Also, only eating actual apples creates a problem; applesause, apple pie etc. have never made me sick. Some Chinese food can make me sick as well, though I can't remember which. I don't usually pay much attention to what makes me sick just becaue I am so used to it.I once asked a doctor about this, and she thought it may be heartburn, but she was mostly just guessing as she was very confused. It does not seem to be heartburn though, as the problem is completely isolated to my back. I have had heartburn as well, and occasionally even heartburn with one of these attacks, and I do not think that this is from some kind of unusual heartburn.I've also considered the possibility of gallstones, which seem to match the symptoms fairly well except that I began having these attacks at such a young age. And again, my understanding is that gallstones typically have upper abdominal pains as well, which I do not have. I have also read that gallstone attacks typically take place 1-2 hours after eating, whereas my 'attacks' begin while eating and are at their peak no more than 30 minutes after stopping eating. I have also never had an 'attack' apart from eating. I'm also not sure if vomiting relieves the symptoms of gallstone attacks (unless that is what I am experiencing, in which case, it does).Does anyone have any idea of what this might be? Heartburn, gallstones, or something else? Food allergy perhaps?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have not found out anything other than that I don't have any gallstones. The only other thing I can offer you is the comfort that I have had these symptoms for 15+ years and I'm still alive and kicking, so whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be life threatening. If your insurance covers it, you might consider actually going to the ER sometime when this happens, since they might be able to better figure out what is going on while it is happening. If it is something that worries you that much, it could be worth your while in the long run.I'm going to the doctor for a general checkup on Monday, and maybe I'll bring it up again. The last time I mentioned it, he told me to go get a bunch of tests which I never got around to...so maybe I'll get around to them this time.
    Ben Olson 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Last night I had an episode that was very similar to this. The pain was so severe that my girlfriend called an ambulance. Shortly after eating Chinese take-out, I started to have a tightness in my back, it was accompanied by heartburn. It began to get really uncomfortable, to the point where I couldn't sit or stand. I didn't know what to do with myself. I started searching for "Deep Heat" (the US equivalent of Bengay or IcyHot) and some indigestion medicine. Before I could finish sifting through my medicine cabinet, I vomited everything up, and the pain got very, very bad. I had my girlfriend put the Deep Heat on my back, and as time went by, it seemed to help a lot.It seems to have been a case of contaminated food, but the doctors did seem a bit puzzled so they ran some tests. Their first instinct was that it was 1. Just really bad indigestion.but the back pain didn't seem to correlate with most cases of really bad indigestion which led them to want to do tests for 2. PancreatitisI did not have a history of anything like this, which made them think that it was not 3. Gallstonesafter running some tests, it turns out that it was a case of4. Acute food poisoningThose 4 things may be something to look for. A persistent problem like this really suggests gallstones or a problem with your pancreas. I imagine it is possible that you have been exposed to some kind of contamination in your food repeatedly, be it an exotoxin, bacteria, or even something inorganic. I assume the milk you are drinking is pasteurized. But some people are very sensitive to unpasteurized products.If it is something other than than those things, then it will require a trip to the hospital to diagnose. Sorry I can't provide you with anything more definitive, but hopefully that gives the next Googlers something to work with.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 31, 2010
    • 02:07 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I wonder if you have some kind of "kink" in your pipes? Sounds like you may have. Have you had any ultra sounds done or swallow testing done? I HOPE this has worked itself out but if not.. look up that problem.. usually when a person eats too much that happens, in combomaybe you have food allergies? Gallbadder can be an issue too, you can have more than one issue!! GOOD LUCK!Hello! Thank you for reading...I am a 20 year old male, and I have had this problem as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of a specific incident is at 5 years old, but in my memory the event was something I was used to and I seem to remember that by then I had accepted it as a part of my life. I cannot be sure of when this problem first started, because I never mentioned it to anyone until I was 16 and I figured out that no one else I knew had these problems.Occasionally, with eating, a kind 'tight' pain will gradually grow in just about the center of my back, which sometimes leads to vomiting (depending on the intensity). The first signs of the pain will usually appear while I am eating, though while I am still eating it is usually more of a painless, tight sensation. The pain reaches it's fullest extent within about 30 minutes of the first signs of this pain coming, although if I continue to eat after noticing the first symptoms the pain will usually continue to grow for longer. Depending on what I've eaten, how quickly I've eaten, and if I've continued eating after first noticing the symptoms, the pain can range from negligible to quite severe (when most severe I usually am unable to sit or stand up, but instead I have to lie on my back. Being on my back doesn't really relieve the symptoms so much...I just feel compelled to do so).Also, depending how intense these 'attacks' can be, I will often times end up vomiting. The vomiting usually happens a little while after the onset of the fullest of the pain in my back, and after vomiting I usually feel 80% better almost instantly, and I will often feel 100% better soon after (as long as I stop eating). I only vomit once (meaning...like one cluster of food); I have never vomited more than once.It should be noted that while I do feel very sick and feel like I am going to vomit, the 'sick' feeling is exclusively in my back. My stomache feels completely fine the entire time...no different than any other time. So it is not so much a nauseous feeling as a feeling of tightness in my back that is in need of relief. Sometimes that relief comes through vomiting, sometimes it just gets better over time. If I do not vomit, the worst of the pain is usually over after 30 minutes, though the symptoms will continue to gradually fade out over 2-4 hours. The pain usually goes away before this time is over, but a lingerin 'tightness' in my back remains, as well as slightly thicker saliva.Another symptom I experience is a kind of tightness/feeling of swollenness (though I'm never sure if there actually is swelling or not) in both of the kind of round, squishy bumps just below the jawbone where the neck meets the head. This is accompanied by producing an incredible amount of very thick, sticky saliva. When I vomit, the food is usually coated in this saliva such that I have pierced the saliva with a pencil and pickup up all of the food out of the toilet by the saliva itself.There is somewhat of a pattern in which food will bring this on, though it is somewhat inconsistent. For instance, two foods may not cause any problems for me if I eat them separately, but when I eat them together I can get sick. Also, how much a food will affect me seems to vary greatly. I can go months without any problems at all, and then at other times I might have this problem several times in a week. Some foods will never cause this problem for me, other's will cause it almost everytime I eat them. Also interestingly is that once I have ingested a problem food (or problem foods), depening on how much of those foods I've eating, it may be that continuing eating anything will make the symptoms worse in the long run.A few foods that I've recognized as usual culprits for these 'attacks' include:Combinations of breakfast foods (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, syrup, milk, and orange juice is probably the most deadly combination there is. Any of these foods by themsevles are usually fine, though sometimes bacon or sausage can cause very mild symptoms by themselves). Pizza is pretty consistently bad, though pizza usually just gives me the tight feeling in my back and thick saliva without any sickness or need to vomit. Frozen pizza is more likely to make me very sick. Sometimes pizza is completely fine. Combining mustard and onions can occasionally make me sick. Mustard rarely makes me sick by itself, and it is usually mild. Onions have never made me sick without another 'trigger food' present that I can remember. Apples can also make me sick, though it seems to be the skin that is the problem. Also, only eating actual apples creates a problem; applesause, apple pie etc. have never made me sick. Some Chinese food can make me sick as well, though I can't remember which. I don't usually pay much attention to what makes me sick just becaue I am so used to it.I once asked a doctor about this, and she thought it may be heartburn, but she was mostly just guessing as she was very confused. It does not seem to be heartburn though, as the problem is completely isolated to my back. I have had heartburn as well, and occasionally even heartburn with one of these attacks, and I do not think that this is from some kind of unusual heartburn.I've also considered the possibility of gallstones, which seem to match the symptoms fairly well except that I began having these attacks at such a young age. And again, my understanding is that gallstones typically have upper abdominal pains as well, which I do not have. I have also read that gallstone attacks typically take place 1-2 hours after eating, whereas my 'attacks' begin while eating and are at their peak no more than 30 minutes after stopping eating. I have also never had an 'attack' apart from eating. I'm also not sure if vomiting relieves the symptoms of gallstone attacks (unless that is what I am experiencing, in which case, it does).Does anyone have any idea of what this might be? Heartburn, gallstones, or something else? Food allergy perhaps?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 9, 2011
    • 07:21 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Last night I had an episode that was very similar to this. The pain was so severe that my girlfriend called an ambulance. Shortly after eating Chinese take-out, I started to have a tightness in my back, it was accompanied by heartburn. It began to get really uncomfortable, to the point where I couldn't sit or stand. I didn't know what to do with myself. I started searching for "Deep Heat" (the US equivalent of Bengay or IcyHot) and some indigestion medicine. Before I could finish sifting through my medicine cabinet, I vomited everything up, and the pain got very, very bad. I had my girlfriend put the Deep Heat on my back, and as time went by, it seemed to help a lot.I went through a similar episode last night. I had lunch around 1pm (and thought that it tasted funny) and dinner at 8pm. Around 9pm I started to feel pressure all through my upper body but the worst part was a severe pain right in my spine at the base of my rib cage. It felt like I had pulled a muscle really bad. I couldn't get comfortable. I used a heating pad and found that laying on my back brought the most relief although it still hurt like ***l. My wife was running around thinking I was having a heart attack, but I didn't think so. After laying on my back for a while I started to feel nausia. I went to the bathroom and barfed up what felt like 3 days of food. As soon as that was over the tightness in my upper body started to go away. My back still hurt so I got back in bed on the heating pad and somehow fell asleep. I awoke at 2am and felt great. If was as if the whole thing had never happened. If this happens again I'll head for the ER, but for now I think I just had a very bad, and very scary, bought of food poisoning.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 20, 2011
    • 10:31 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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