Discussions By Condition: Gastrointestinal conditions

Problems With Abdominal Pain/Nausea

Posted In: Gastrointestinal conditions 21 Replies
  • Posted By: Kinote
  • July 17, 2007
  • 09:45 AM

I posted in the general diagnosis forum but I haven't had much luck in the way of responses, so I figured I would post here as well.

Ahoy, for that past four years I've been having increasingly bad abdominal pain that resides about three finger-widths above my belly button and seems to be four inches in depth. It is accompanied by intense nausea which requires me to take Zofran once or twice a day to even be able to eat (I went about three or four days without eating before getting this stuff). I've become more and more reliant on high strength painkillers (Demerol takes a good chunk of the edge off) to get to sleep, or to maintain some semblance of sanity. The severity is rising quite a bit as time goes on. I haven't been able to go to school, work, exercise, ect. It feels as if I was punched in the abdominal area hard enough to take my breath away, except the fist bypassed about an inch of flesh and is still inside my abdomen. The nausea is well... extreme nausea, it has never caused me to vomit but I have been very close on several occasions.

I have been to several doctors: Family Doctor, a Psychiatrist, two Gastroentrinologists, and a Pediatrician. All have said that I appear fine and that this is all in my head. All tests (Several blood tests including Anti-Thrombin III, abdominal CT scan, two abdominal ultrasounds, Upper G.I. series, an endoscope down the throat and biopsies from the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine) have returned clear. A stomach emptying study was returned with a result of slow digestion, but the results are blamed on the painkillers.

To take care of the common questions: I don't have bloody stool, the pain is constant but will flare up, it never fully goes away, I am a wee bit constipated but have been so all my life and the entire side of the Mother's family is the same way except without the pain, Milk of Magnesia has been tried and improved the amount of bowel movements but had no affect on the pain, I had had a few extremely severe attacks where I have been lying on the bathroom floor nearly passing out from pain and a combined feeling of intensely extreme nausea and a feeling of diarrhea like cramps but with no stool. I have tried a diet for IBD for three months with no affect on the pain.
When all this started I was mildly anemic and spent 14 to 18 hours a day sleeping, a month or two of iron pills solved the extensive fatigue but not the abdominal pain.

For the longest time there was a persistant, foul tasting, white film on my tongue. Recently I was on 30mg of Nortriptyline to help with the pain, while it had absolutely no effect on the pain it seems to have eliminated the white film when the extreme dry mouth kicked in. I'm now off the medication and the film slowly seems to be coming back.

The only "diagnosis" I have received is "Well, it's probably not cancer and if it was terminal you would likely be dead by now." I'm hoping you folks can help.

Another thing, my Aunt had a similar problem when she was around 10, it was never diagnosed but eventually went away after eight years. Very similar symptoms.

If any additional information is required, just ask. I think I've covered pretty much everything I can think of, however.

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21 Replies:

  • im sorry to hear your having a rough time! took me nearly ten years to be diagnosed i have gastroparesis and maldistribution of food!Zofran is a life saver with sickness!did they put you on anything to help make the digestion faster like domperidone or erythmicin or metroclorpide?have you been checked out for inflamotory bowel diseases?im 17 and from the uk.Have they said anything about manometry studies or ph studys?jadex
    jadeycus 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • Cheers on the reply. I just picked up some Domperidone about three days ago and I'm slowly working it into my schedule, currently at three a day out of the advised four.I've had the IBD diagnosis thrown at me without much confidence from (or in, for that matter) the doctors and there has been no mention of the studies you suggested, I'll check 'em out and mention them to the doctors at my next visit.Thanks for the advice.
    Kinote 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • my husband has been having abdominal pain nausea constipation and some but very little blood in stools. His pain started last summer and then after a colonoscopy in November it seemed to be better. (the colonoscopy was not complete because they said his colon was redundant and twisted.) they ordered a barium enema and husband refused because his pain was better. then the pain came back intense last month. He has been to the er 3 times and has had 2 ct scans.. and now two colonoscopies. This time the colonosocopy did not relieve his pain.. He has been home from work all week. His gastro dr is thinking that he may have a vulvulus (twist in the colon causing a partial obstruction) He also said that my husbands colonoscopy was by far the hardest case he had ever done.. and he has been doing this for a long time. all of the testing have only showed that he is mildly anemic and has swollen mesenteric lymph nodes (in the lower ab area). He is schedule to see a surgeon on Tuesday..We are getting really nervous at this point. We went for a walk last night and he could hardly stand the pain from walking. standing or walking make the pain worse. He also complains that it isdifficult to even pass soft stool. He says the pain is different in different spots. Like a twisting pain in the lower ab.. a pinching pain on either side. and some pain that radiates to his back flank area. one other symptom that may or may not be relavent is that he has noticed a decrease in his urine flow.. no pain or blood though. He feels like there is something blocking or putting pressure in his lower center. I should mention that he is 41 years old and has otherwise been extremely healthy up until now. another thing.. his blood pressure and heart rate are very low.. they always ask if he is a runner.. no he's not..He is not overweight. He did have a history of migraine headaches since his 20's. Interesting he has not had one since the abdominal pain started.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had my gallbladder taken out over a year ago. Not sure that is was really warranted but the surgeon said it would help. Went to ER with severe nausea and vomitting along with diarrhea. After trying to send me home saying lab showed nothing, I had a syncope spell so they admitted me. Next morning the surgeon told me WBC's were triple high so they took my GB. Well most Dr's will tell you that GB failure very seldom causes infection (high WBC's) Now 1 1/2 years later I am still having severe abd. pain, daily nausea usually daily vomitting and diarrhea immediately after I eat anything. I have had tons of lab work xrays scopes and numerous meds including Zelnorm, all of which has been basically useless. Pretty much the Dr's (i mean Dr's to not just a few but many) have said it's IBS or they've leaned towards maybe I just like to complain. (you know all in my head) I did try the dopaperamine which is not covered under most insurances and are very expensive. This med was not only not effective buy caused severe edema (to where I couldnt wear my tennis shoes from soooo much swelling). Another Dr told me that along time ago they used this med to increase the amount of milk produced in the mammary glands for mothers having trouble breast feeding. I've since lost my job because you can't work when you spend 1/2 your day puking or doing other. I too have suffered migraine headaches for the past 15 years which have also increased in not only severity but also frequency. Have all but given up hope on ever being normal again. Dr's can't find why i have this or the headaches, but are first at saying it's all mental or they jump to the your just looking for the painpill fix. If they could find why i have this or even how to get rid of it i'd be happy to not take pain meds, i really don't like the way they make me feel. Besides if i'm not experiencing diarrhea all day the pain meds make me constipated. So then it's one extreme to the other. If you ever find any new treatment I'd love to hear about it. Also after about 6 months of Zofran no longer is effective so I now take phenergan daily which is ******n my body and liver.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • you have proberly read some of my posts but im 15 from the uk and im having severe trouble with belly problems non stop diarrhea with blood, severe abdominal pain, vomitting nausea u name it i had it! i went to my local hospital in febraurary when it all started and they told me i had appendicitas so the did a laprascopic appendisectomy to take them out results showed that it wasnt my appendics after all and that they wernt inflammed at all so i had all the symptoms again! im not under investigation they keep taking blood tests which show quite a high bit of inflammation and that im anemic my local hospital did a colonoscopy but lost my biopsie results (which that colonoscopy caused a great deal of pain due 2 not being sedated properly) so i never did get a answer for that im now at a special gastro hospital where im have a camera down the throat and a colonoscopy (which i wasnt happy about) i was supposed 2 have it on thursday but it got cancelled due 2 me being so panicy about being in so much pain their deciding 2 put me 2 sleep thank god! if anyone can tell me what this sounds like it would mean a great deal hope everyone feels better very soon millie
    milz123 20 Replies Flag this Response
  • Abdominal pain that mimics gallbladder and appendicitis can be from an acute Porphyria. You should look it up, I have it and so far two of my four children. It is very rare and can be very hard to dx but if you have your Dr do lab tests for it during one of your stomach pain attacks that require hospitalization BEFORE you get any type of IV fluids you can probably get results that are fairly reliable.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • From what you're describing, statistically the most likely thing (without going into too much detail) is a post-viral gastroparesis (slowing of the emptying of the stomach) that you're now aggravating because of the narcotics. I would suggest you get off the narcotics. You can try Domperidone if your GI guy agrees and give it a few days (half-life of some narcotics can be as long as 12-24 hours). See what happens. IBD? Does not sounds like this at all. Cancer? No comment.
    GI guy 45 Replies
    • August 14, 2007
    • 04:19 PM
    • 0
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  • I've been using Domperidone for a about two months now with no changes, I only take the narcotics when I absolutely can't stand the pain and I've only been using them in the past year or so, they wouldn't be the problem. I've now been taken off the Domperidone and put on Metoclopramide to see if this can get some results. Recently I was stuck on a anti-allergin diet consisting of no: yeast, eggs, milk. After being on this diet for two weeks I can honestly say I'm much worse than I was before, the pain being even more intense.When/If I do get another attack, I'll have the hospital do some labs. Thanks.
    Kinote 22 Replies
    • September 2, 2007
    • 08:25 PM
    • 0
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  • It's been a while since my last post in this thread and with my symptoms continuing, I figured I would give it another shot. Not much has changed since my original post. New medications have come and gone, I'm currently on Hydromorph Contin (6mg, 3x Daily), Nexium (40mg 1x Daily), Zofran (4mg, as needed which is once or twice daily), some stool softeners, and a few tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia every few days. The pain continues to be a constant ache a few finger widths above my bellybutton, feeling like a fist is lodged deep in my abdomin, along with constant nausea of varying degree. No weight loss, a little rectal bleeding when I'm highly constipated, or anything else specific, just the pain and nausea.While not much has changed, I've started getting curious about things that existed before the pain. A year or two or so before I this, I noticed that when I went down stairs my calf muscles would... I want to say quake, along with a bout of anemia. I wasn't in the greatest shape at the time but I was walking a collective several miles by the end of the day so a simple flight of stairs shouldn't have been much of an issue. Now it seems than whenever any of my muscles are under stress, the same quaking type action occurs. Pre-dating that, I was sick nearly constantly as a kid with sore throats and cold like symptoms. I was born with a hernia and had it repaired at age four, but that's the only major thing I've ever had aside from this pain.It seems everybody is running out of ideas, and I'm getting pretty sick of hearing about I'm making all this up, that it's all in my head. Can anybody think of something?
    Kinote 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • Janet,I hate to tell you this but I am also having the same syptoms as you. My Gall Bladder was taken out July of last year and everyday is a struggle for me. I have been back to the Dr. and they sent me to have a test done to see if they left anything. They found a stone still inside my tubbing where my gall bladder use to be. Even though they took it out I am still having problems. I have nausea everyday and I have the runs all the time. It feels as if someone is kicking me in the tummy and it takes my breath away. I now have had feelings of faintness and it is really making me worry there is something very wrong. Let me know if you find anything out on your end as I will on mine for you.Jennifer K.I had my gallbladder taken out over a year ago. Not sure that is was really warranted but the surgeon said it would help. Went to ER with severe nausea and vomitting along with diarrhea. After trying to send me home saying lab showed nothing, I had a syncope spell so they admitted me. Next morning the surgeon told me WBC's were triple high so they took my GB. Well most Dr's will tell you that GB failure very seldom causes infection (high WBC's) Now 1 1/2 years later I am still having severe abd. pain, daily nausea usually daily vomitting and diarrhea immediately after I eat anything. I have had tons of lab work xrays scopes and numerous meds including Zelnorm, all of which has been basically useless. Pretty much the Dr's (i mean Dr's to not just a few but many) have said it's IBS or they've leaned towards maybe I just like to complain. (you know all in my head) I did try the dopaperamine which is not covered under most insurances and are very expensive. This med was not only not effective buy caused severe edema (to where I couldnt wear my tennis shoes from soooo much swelling). Another Dr told me that along time ago they used this med to increase the amount of milk produced in the mammary glands for mothers having trouble breast feeding. I've since lost my job because you can't work when you spend 1/2 your day puking or doing other. I too have suffered migraine headaches for the past 15 years which have also increased in not only severity but also frequency. Have all but given up hope on ever being normal again. Dr's can't find why i have this or the headaches, but are first at saying it's all mental or they jump to the your just looking for the painpill fix. If they could find why i have this or even how to get rid of it i'd be happy to not take pain meds, i really don't like the way they make me feel. Besides if i'm not experiencing diarrhea all day the pain meds make me constipated. So then it's one extreme to the other. If you ever find any new treatment I'd love to hear about it. Also after about 6 months of Zofran no longer is effective so I now take phenergan daily which is ******n my body and liver.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Has anyone ever mentioned the idea of abdominal migraines? There is a little girl at our church who had major GI issues, constant vomiting, nausea, pain, etc., and the eventual diagnosis was abdominal migraines, treated with migraine medications. She's doing well now. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 18, 2008
    • 02:36 PM
    • 0
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  • Abdominal migraines sound quite interesting, although it seems like these are episodic attacks as opposed to my continuous pain. Do you know if she had the issues every minute of the day, or the not so literal "constantly"?
    Kinote 22 Replies
    • September 19, 2008
    • 03:39 AM
    • 0
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  • Aloha ! Well you may want to take a n MRI or X-RAY to check on your spine ... This may be be cause of your nausea and abdominal problems ... You may have what is called "Thoracic Disc Herniation" I will check it out just in case ...
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 9, 2008
    • 02:58 AM
    • 0
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  • My son has also been diagnosed with abdominal migraines. He has been sick with abdominal pain and constant nausea for 3 weeks straight. He usually is sick 50% of the month. He misses school for weeks at a time. He has tried the usual migraine medicine, but either has terrible side effects or has no relief at all. Zofran has done nothing for him. He is 13 and was very athletic. He can no longer play soccer because the over exertion triggers the episodes. His neurologist seems to be giving up and passing him over to Behavioral Medicine. He does get some relief when they send him to the E.R. for an I.V. of toredol,reglan and benedryl. His school has covered him under a 504 plan(from the 1973 Americans with Disabilities Act). He was first seen by a gastroentrologist who gave him several tests. Once headaches started occassionally occurring with the abdominal pain he passed him over to the neurologist. I'm still not sure if he has the correct diagnosis or if we'll ever find the medicine that works for him.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 23, 2008
    • 01:26 AM
    • 0
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  • I can only explain what i've been going through. From the beginning until I took it upon myself to do research because I found so many archives with exact same symptoms and some have had these problems for over 10 years. So I hope what I found will help anyone and everyone it reaches. Even if you have to copy and paste it on other forums I haven't found please do so because I know exactly how they feel when their in pain and when their doctors call them crazy and say nothing is there to hurt even after all the tests come back negative. I unfortunatley have been experiencing similar problems but only for about one week now. First, I have had a hysterectomy at 23 for cervical cancer. And no other known health problems. For me it's been slightly different though. When it began I felt extremely full and couldn't eat anything for a few days . I had nausea, I've fought with constipation for a while now. after I started feeling full, to where i would eat or drink it seemed to not want to go any further than my throat, so I lost alot of weight i didn't want to loose now I look awful. In which all at once it started in my upper right side under my under around and behind my rib cage .Rib cage pain The Chronic pain has continued to 'grow' if you will, jumping around to all different areas, which I did not see mentioned above. At times it's under my right Rib Cage but other times it's below my on the left, beside my navel on the right and in my on both sides. At times it hurts to take deep breaths . My skin is drying out really bad and flaking and it's really bad on my face. I sometimes have tingling sensations through my hand and feet. I have a sunburn feeling with chills going down the right side of my body where it hurts. Sometimes it is a tearing pain to where I don't won't to do anything but ball up and cry. Sometimes it is consistent for 6-8 hours at a time. It wraps around from back to front and front to back, mostly on the right side. I can feel a little pain on the left side every once in a while. I guess the pain on the right side takes over. It feels like something kicking or pushing (feeling) on the inside and there feels like ALOT of pressure on my ribcage. The (trigger pain) as some will call is under my ribs mostly and it goes down , around, up my back, on my shoulder blade. Sometimes it feels like spasms and a knotted up feeling. First, on Dec. 18, 2008 I went to the E.R. they said I had a kidney infection, bladder infection, and a urinary tract infection the next day Dec. 19, 2008 I went to see my doctor and he just agreed with what the E.R. had said and brushed all my other symptoms off. He didn't take any samples or anything. I thought is this how he treats everyone. ( what a doc.) Well, on Dec. 20, 2008 my pain was so unbearable I went to what is suppose to be the best hospital in this state I was admitted into the hospital. I explained to them everything I felt the whole time I was there. I was on IV pain meds every 45 min. the pain was *horrific*. They tested my urine (negative) took my blood every 4 hours (ran every test with it - ALL negative) except he said for the first time in 20 years he had never saw someone with calcium deposits as high as mine are. I had a EGD or Panendoscopy ( to inspect the inside of my throat, stomache, and the first part of my small intestine - once again negative) , IVP ( Exam of the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder , where they put contrast in your IV and it's goes to your urinary system & recorded on x-ray images - negative not even the kidney, bladder, or UTI as I was already diagnosed with twice) HIDA SCAN ( A specialized camera to take pics of your abdomen, liver & gallbladder area - negative) Had a pap smear (from a spaecialist - negative) . After all the tests and I express every test that can be ran on a human, ALL of them were negative. They couldn't find anything so they said it was IBS, and a hidal hernia. So finally Dec. 27, 2008 came around and I was already aggravated from getting the run around I wanted to leave and they discharged me. Well Sun. Dec. 28, 2008 my symptoms got worse. And I looked online for 2 days in search of my symptoms (the ones the drs. ran all the tests for and found nothing). Yesterday 29th I got the answer I was determined to find. I came across a forum and someone had geroursly posted a web site (www.curezone.com) explaning of all the symptoms myself and others were having. I went to it and browsed for awhile and came across testimonials on how to prevent gallbladder surgery , cleansing gallstones. I didn't think it was my gallbladder after all the tests and drs. saying negative alot on it. Well there was the forums i needed. All my symptoms hitting me in the face hard ( so to speak). I read each and every one of them and (hypethetically speaking) it looked like I posted all of them. (http://www.curezone.com/gallstones/digest1.asp) the forum i read. I tried the cleansing ( of the liver, gallbladder and bile duct) rolled into one recipe with 3 things under $10. What a relief on my pocketbook. If I had been misdiagnosed I wanted to know. and since the symptoms were the exact as my I thought hey why not try it, at that point anything was worth a try. It really worked I got 2 gallstones each one the size of 6 marbles rolled into one. They were a dark green emerald color. And that's exactly what they had said on the forums it would be if you really had gallstones. Now I know that couldn't have been the best hospital if they ran the gallbladder test and found nothing and that was my symptoms and it took me and alot of staying up (since i couldn't sleep due to all the sever abdominal pain) I searched till I really thought about giving up and letting myself suffer because I thought the dr's were right. And all I could do is take milk of magnesia and gaviscon for my heartburn . Now my pain is more dull and not intense just can't wait to do another cleansing to feel better. I do still have the burning sensation in my sternum from heartburn. I just wanted to share my story along with others so they could hopefully find relief also. Thanks for taking the time to read it. And i did find out that gallstones don't always show up on xrays because they sometimes hide behind the liver .
    Baby77 7 Replies
    • December 30, 2008
    • 03:24 PM
    • 0
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  • Aloha ! Well you may want to take a n MRI or X-RAY to check on your spine ... This may be be cause of your nausea and abdominal problems ... You may have what is called "Thoracic Disc Herniation" I will check it out just in case ...I recently had a MRI of my mid-back, which has been reported fine. The only things that have changed in the past few months are various new medications such as Gabapentin. I must admit, it's rather depressing that after two years looking around here and five years of pain hasn't lead anywhere.
    Kinote 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • After reading your post and the responses you got, here are the few things I would suggest you get check for. IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Now the only way they can diagnose this is to truly rule out all other options. Pancreatitis (Acute or Chronic): Talk to them ASAP the sooner you get checked the better,Gallstones: The Gallbladder can easily removed :)A Yeast Infection: Dont shake your head at this one.. alot of yeast infections can last for years and have no signs of a regular yeast infection. It can be so deep in your body that even the doctors wont be able to find it. My suggestion to you regarding this is to go to a natureopath or your local health food store (make sure they know what they are talking about though). They should be able to suggest many things to help which will get rid of it if that's what is causing you this problem. Also seek their advice regarding intolernaces or sensitivities. It could be something so simple.Also have your doc check you for parasites.. this is something that can you can pickup at anytime and they can live inside you for years and years making you ill but not be found unless they are specifically looking for them.I hear ya on not feelin well as I deal alot with the symptoms you have plus many more. The stomach pain, nausea, etc. I have had my gallbladder removed, have had ulcers, had acid reflux, I have IBS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue among many other things so I understand. Still waiting on certain answers from my doctors as well so I know how frustrating it is to not know what your dealing with or have doctors take you serious enough to keep searching. Hearing "It's all in you head" or "Everything is fine" etc etc is the most upsetting response. You know your body.. don't give up until you get through to them. Push until they agree to find out whats going on with you and if your not happy with that doctor seek another opinion. Good luck to you! :)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 11, 2009
    • 07:08 PM
    • 0
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  • Your symptoms sound like Crohns disease.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 4, 2009
    • 02:54 PM
    • 0
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  • Not sure if this will help but I was diagnosed recently with primary biliary cirrohsis. my pain was in the GI tract from tip of sternum to mid stomach only thing that would help was pain meds before diagnosis bad thing pain meds were hurtin liver at the same time. DR's couldn'texplain my pain said was all in my head if youare itching but thinking its just the pain meds could be more than that have docs look at your liver enzymes and also ultrasound liver or biopsy this disease affects mainly 95% of woman and in the ages of 35-50 don;t know if thisis it but hope it might help
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 22, 2010
    • 10:03 AM
    • 0
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  • I had the same problems as were first described here back in 2007. I would get abdominal pain and some nausea with walking. I found this site and thought if I ever figured out what was causing my pain I would come back here and post. I was just diagnosed with a celiac artery aneurysm and dissection. Apparently this is an often missed cause of non-specific abdominal pain. I had a celiac and superior mesenteric artery ultrasound that found it. I would recommend asking your doctor about that test. A vascular surgeon friend said problems with the celiac artery are common and often mimick gall bladder attacks, cause early satiety, nausea, and cause nonspecific pain. My internist never heard of it.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 26, 2010
    • 04:59 PM
    • 0
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