Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

abdominal/digestive problems -- can anyone help?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 8 Replies
  • Posted By: guidobambino
  • October 19, 2008
  • 04:13 PM

hey whatsup everyone :D. I am a 19 year old male with abdominal problems that I first started experiencing about 8 months ago after having done some squat exercises. I suffer from what seems to be a constant loss of appetite, although I do sense hunger and thus am able to eat a good amount, despite my abdominals feeling tight or swollen.

I also seem to have difficulty with bowel movements. They seem to build up and get stuck in my lower abdomen, below the belly button. Often times I get the sensation to have a bowel movement, but I have to strain to get just a bit out, and this can occur frequently throughout the day. The stool isnt hard, but rather it sometimes requires straining to get some out, as it doesnt seem to be in the right spot when I get the urge to have a bowel movement. This infrequency may occur for a couple days, and then in the day to follow I might go more frequently and clear up all the backup. But this isn't really loose or wet like diahrrea, its just more frequent. Usually when this occurs, the stools seems to have like a sticky coating on it, but nevertheless it isnt watery. Also, sometimes the color is like a greenish grayish or a brighter yellowish...I think this has to do with my bile. Now these symptoms aren't always present, but often they are.

One interesting thing I noticed is that when I exercise, particularly running or resistance training, when I stop to rest I can feel and see my pulse prominently in my abdomen. That is to say that I can see and feel my fast heartrate throbbing in my upper abdomen, to the point where I feel that more than my heart. I figure this is the aorta that runs down my midsection, but I've been exercising almost all my life and I know for sure this isn't regular...And sometimes I get pains in my upper right and lower left quadrants of my abdomen when I exercise. I know these aren't cramps from eating before exercising because they dont feel like gas cramps -- they feel like sharp pains...

I've had an endoscopy that showed bile in the stomach and gastritis, so I took reglan to help retrain the stomach muscles to push food down. While this may have achieved that, I still have pretty much the same symptoms despite taking the medicine. I do not vomit or have blood in the stool, I eat pretty healthy and get plenty of exercise. I dont drink or smoke and I think i live a fairly unstressed life. Personally, I think the cause of physiological, not something like IBS, especially because no matter what I eat i get problems, not just "bad" foods.. Does anyone maybe have any suggestions on what this might be? Thanks a lot! :D

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8 Replies:

  • Hi Guid, Sorry to hear you are having such a bad time of it. I'm not a Dr. but here are a few suggestions. Are you drinking enough fluid? And I'm talking water, not sodas or tea, etc. Also, if you are drinking soda or anything with artificial sweetners, please stop now. Especially anything with aspertame in it. Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? That is very important. I take two TBS everyday of the chia seed. That keeps me regular and I drink enough water to keep everything moving. What is your blood type? Maybe you are eating the wrong foods. Check out the Eat Right For Your Blood Type program. Are you taking a real good multi vitamin and mineral supplement that has natural ingredients in it? Also, we don't produce Vit. C so be sure to take that as well. I take C in a natural form. It is a powder and you mix it in water. It is called Truly Natural VitaminC. You can find all the info I've mentioned on the internet. Hope some of these suggestions will give you a head start.
    frogholler 1 Replies
    • October 19, 2008
    • 04:35 PM
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  • hey frogholler thanks for the response :D...hmm..i would think that i am getting enough water and fiber and such....its funny, the first GI doctor i went to thought i had ibs and told me to take a fiber powder supplement and so i took that for a while..but in fact i think i felt worse with that then when i stopped taking it haha...idk im guessing my stomach empties ok, but i dont think the food travels through my intestines or digests properly, and, as a result, sort of sits in my lower abdomen and doesnt come out in stool properly..? ill definitely take your suggestions though, as those things certainly are beneficial to the body regardless right? :p
    guidobambino 4 Replies
    • October 20, 2008
    • 06:34 PM
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  • Okay, symptoms such as those you've described are quite consistent with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Pain in the lower left quadrant that is brought on or exacerbated by exertion is common. In particular, the fact that increased fiber tends to make the problem worse is also a characteristic sign of IBS, as well as the fact that regardless of what foods you eat, you can tend to experience problems. IBS is a dysregulation of water re-uptake at the level of the colon, most recently determined to be caused by altered levels of certain serotonin neurotransmitters within the pneumogastric nerve junction of the GI tract. Also realize that IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that if other underlying causes are ruled out, then IBS is the most likely cause. Since you've undergone endoscopy and general evaluation, the presence of any of the more characteristic causes for your symptoms is fairly remote. If not already evaluated, then an ultrasound of your gall bladder would be considered part of the workup at this point. Stools that are green or yellow in color do not indicate pathology. Grey stools that appear to be greasy or coated, however, would suggest cholethiasis or a problem with your gall bladder, possibly a root stone in the bile duct that can be difficult to observe on imaging. The detection of an abdominal pulse is quite common and does not suggest a problem in of itself. It can become more pronounced in cases where a patient may be experiencing considerable amounts of trapped air or gas in the intestines or stomach, which produces a more firm tympanic surface to the extent that the abdominal pulse is accentuated. So if the gall bladder has been evaluated and ruled out, then this is likely IBS. Treatment is available and typically involves the use of antispasmodics to relax the smooth muscle of the GI tract. The results are mixed, however, and some persons respond better than others. While there are also newer drugs available that act upon the serotonin at the GI tract level, these drugs have come under great scrutiny and in several cases, now have black box warnings due to severe reactions in some persons. Several things you can do to diminish the symptoms are to avoid drinking a lot of liquids or beverages during your meals, saving them until afterwards and then limiting the amount of intake. Eat smaller meals with light snacks in between. The type of food doesn't matter nearly as much as the quantity. Speak to your primary care physician about a short-term trial of an antispasmodic like Donnatal extend-tab to reduce symptoms but it should not be used for more than several weeks. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • October 20, 2008
    • 10:19 PM
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  • I have had strange abdominal pains for years and over the past year have had problems passing stool. I recommend taking calcium, mag, and zinc which helps strengthen the muscles too pass stool. I also found I have an IgG allergic reaction to eggs and soy. I have had less problems since I cut out those foods from my diet and started taking the calc, mag, zinc supplement 3 times daily.
    lhamo84 2 Replies
    • October 20, 2008
    • 10:26 PM
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  • Either it's IBS or bile problems, probiotics could relieve your symptoms a little. Good luck Bambino!
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • October 21, 2008
    • 06:48 PM
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  • Thanks for the responses everyone :D...yeah I am going to try and get my gallbladder checked out for some type of obstructions. It could be IBS, but I recall taking probiotic pills and managing the diet and all that, but not really feeling any better. But maybe I was not that responsive to those types of treatments? :confused:...I think it is possible that the gallbladder can have something to do with it...whats weird is that lately I'd feel constipated for a couple of days, but then once I am able to get a little bit of the stool out, shortly thereafter I can go 2 or 3 times with sort of looser, light brownish/tannish stool. I also get a little lower back discomfort, probably from constipation, as well as sharp pains as the food enters the intestines and starts digesting? I'll try drinking more water and taking the recommended vitamins, though. Blaze: I'm surprised someone has the same symptoms as me...I haven't found any one piece of literature that directly resembles my condition :p...I wonder, have you made any valid conclusions about your condition, or are you still unsure like me?..And by the way I do use a cellphone pretty often..I'm not quite sure I understand what that implies, but I'm a fan of text messaging ;)Thanks again all!
    guidobambino 4 Replies
    • October 22, 2008
    • 02:27 AM
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  • wow it took a long time for them to approve my last comment..?
    guidobambino 4 Replies
    • October 24, 2008
    • 02:21 PM
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  • Hey everyone! I just wanted to let everyone know I may have found out what the problem is. I got the results of my gastric emptying test and turns out I have gastroparesis (fuuuuuuuuuc* right? lol). What my GI doctor prescribed was Reglan (again). He said initially he gave me a small dosage because the drug can have adverse side effects. Now I am going to take it again, for longer, and possibly in larger dosages, to try and retrain the stomach to push down food. He also said that there are other drugs outside of the U.S. that are used in cases like this, as well as experimental options such as a gastric pacemaker. He also is doing lots and lots of bloodwork to check the levels of like electrolytes and other things, as well as giving me a CAT scan to see what else is going on in my body outside my stomach. Additionally, I think I am getting my thyroid checked out as well. Does anyone have any experience with something like this that maybe they could give me info on? Thanks! :D
    guidobambino 4 Replies
    • October 29, 2008
    • 01:19 AM
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