I've been having the following symptoms since last September. Each episode usually lasts about 24 hours or so. I had one in September, which I believed was a simple stomach flu. It returned in November, then again in December. In December I started having episodes once a week, sometimes skipping a week, up until March. Now, I am having it every single day, for the past 2 weeks. I cannot live like this, and need help. I will outline the symptoms and what my doctors have told me below.
It usually begins with a bloated feeling in my stomach, between the bottom of my sternum and my belly-button. It is a very uncomfortable feeling, and makes my abdomen very sensitive to the slightest touch. The bloated feeling is accompanied by a dull pain throughout the entire area. The pain isn't terrible, maybe 3/10, but the discomfort is very noticeable. This bloated feeling seems to come at anytime, regardless of what I've eaten, or even if I've eaten at all.
The real problem begins once I lay down. If I am experiencing the above bloating, lying down triggers an onset of other symptoms. Within a few minutes of lying down, whether flat or on my side, the bloating feeling turns into a severe burning pain (8/10) all throughout my middle abdomen. Also, I will have to use the restroom about once every 30 minutes, as long as I continue to lay down. Restroom use consists of normal urination and normal bowel movements. It is not diarrhea, as it is in no way watery. The feces will usually be completely normal the first time, but in subsequent bowel movements it will become smaller and skinnier, about the size and width of a finger. This bathroom use will continue every 30 or so minutes as long as I continue to lay down, the urge to go is impossible to ignore.
Along with the burning pain and the urge to go to the bathroom, I will usually start having chills within a few minutes of laying down. I do not have a fever. The chills cause me to feel like I'm freezing, and I begin shaking uncontrollably with my teeth chattering. No matter how many clothes I layer on, as long as I continue to lay down, the chills will not stop.
If I decide to give up on trying to sleep and sit or stand up, the chills and bathroom urges will go away and the burning pain will get slightly better. The burning pain is the only thing that does not fully go away once I get up, as it seems to be impossible to get rid of once it comes, though it will get noticeably better if I get up. The bloating, discomfort feeling remains no matter what I do.
None. I have been to the E.R. twice over this, both times leaving without a diagnosis. I have been seeing a gastroenterologist since my 1st E.R. visit, and he has performed the following tests: endoscopy, colonoscopy, CT w/ contrast of the abdomen/pelvis, small bowel series x-rays, stool test for C. Diff. and WBC, and tons of different blood tests. The endoscopy revealed chronic esophagitis, though this is unrelated to my symptoms. It also revealed H. Pylori, which we treated and killed succesfully, though this did not help my symptoms either. Colonoscopy showed diverticulosis, which I was told was not a big deal and is also unrelated. CT showed a small cyst on one of my kidneys, also unrelated. Every other test has come out clean.
My GI has given up. He has no idea what is causing it, though he suspects that IBS is responsible for my bowel movements, but says it does not explain the chills and burning pain. He is referring me to an internist, but the appointment is still far away. I am currently taking omeprazole for my esophagitis, one 20mg tablet every other day, and the probiotic Align to see if this will help. It has been 3 weeks with Align and things have only gotten worse.
I can no longer sleep because of this. I can't lay down, and I have trouble falling asleep sitting up, so I am often awake for days at a time. For the past few weeks, I now have the bloating/discomfort 24 hours a day, every day. It is unbearable. I have tried every OTC medication I can think of...anti gas medication, stomach upset, bloating, you name it. Nothing has worked.
Please, if anyone can help in any way, I cannot spend another month without sleep while I wait to see an internist, every day has been an absolute ***l for my wife and I. If there is any other information I can provide that could be of assistance, please let me know. I would be extremely grateful for any help I could receive with this matter.