Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Severe Stomach Pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: WinterStorm
  • March 24, 2008
  • 02:05 PM

Hello, I am 17 years old and currently in high school. About a year ago, I experienced the worst moment in my life.

Ever since I started high school, I've been getting hungry before I had lunch. All that would happen is that my stomach would growl and such. It didn't bother me. However, last year, it began getting worse. Now I get hungry around 10:30 and it's a burning feeling, like it's trying to burn it's way out of my stomach. I eat a good breakfast, and I've tried eating different things to see if anything makes it go away. Nothing does.

This is beginning to drive me insane. No one takes me seriously about it. I continuously went the school nurse, who eventually stopped doing anything about it and thought I was just trying to skip class. It then got even worse, because I grew to be so scared of it happening that I would have anxiety attacks on the way to school. I ended up missing 17 days of school because of this last year.

I've went to 5 different doctors, including a gastroenterologist, and none of them know what is wrong. None of them have even tried to see what is wrong. They stand there and ask me to describe it and simply tell me that it's normal hunger. This isn't normal hunger. Do all people get burning pains like this 3 hours after eating breakfast?

Please help me figure out what is wrong so I can finally move on with my life :(.

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3 Replies:

  • Hi Winterstorm,Have your doctors ever done any tests on you such as an endoscopy, barium swallow x-ray, blood tests, etc.? One of the main reasons for a burning stomach is an ulcer. Has your doctor ruled that out? Just because you are 17 does not mean you could not have an ulcer. I know many adults who had ulcers as teenagers. Or is everyone suggesting that it's all in your head? Stress can certainly cause stomach problems. Are you stressed?What are your parents saying about this? Can you go to them and tell them you want to be tested for an ulcer? And you should also have a blood test for H. Pylori (see below). It could also have something to do with your gallbladder. All of these should be excluded.http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori/I would also like to suggest you keep a journal of everything you eat. You could also have a food allergy. A journal will help a doctor pinpoint whether or not food is part of the cause. Please keep us updated.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • I agree with the last post. When I was in high school I had stomache pain that felt similar to hunger, but I knew it wasn't. I was persistant and test finally confirmed and ulcer. It was treated and I haven't had one since. Good luck.
    brandic77 10 Replies Flag this Response
  • It sounds a lot like an ulcer to me. It's common for ulcer pain to be worse when your stomach is empty. Have you tried any meds for it? Maybe Pepto, Tums, Maalox, etc? Do they help at all, even for a short period of time? Do you take a lot of ibuprofen for headaches? Ibuprofen can be pretty ******n your stomach. One of my best friends has had migraines since we were very young and in sixth grade starting having stomach pain (I don't remember all the details of the pain) but her parents kind of blew her off until one night she started vomiting blood. She had an ulcer that was bleeding so badly she had to have a blood transfusion! I'm not trying to scare you or anything, but she was just a kid, and knew something wasn't right and she was correct. People generally have a pretty good idea what is going on with their own body. So don't let them blow you off. They can do a breath test for h.pylori (a bacteria that can cause an ulcer) and if it necessary they can do an endoscopy (tiny camera down the throat and into the stomach) with biopsies to see what is going on with the tissue in your esophagus and stomach. This can show if there is inflammation, eosinophils (special white blood cells that go to the site of allergic reactions) or anything else that might be going on. If they don't find an ulcer I'd ask for a HIDA scan to test your gallbladder function. They'll probably do an ultrasound first to look for stones, but a gallbladder can be without stones, yet barely functioning which can cause a lot of problems. I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago and once I found out that's what it was, I realized I'd been having gallbladder problems for about seven years (starting around age 19). I'd always thought I just had a sensitive stomach. My gallbladder trouble started with horrible "stomach" pain when eating spicy foods or drinking alcohol (though not every time, just sometimes). This pain would hurt in my stomach and chest area and hurt through to the middle of my back between my shoulder blades. It was really bad.Years later, not long after I had my second child, it got much worse, causing me to wake up in the morning with really bad pain in that spot in my back. It progressed to random vomiting episodes, then vomiting almost every time I ate, then feeling nauseated all the time and barely able to eat anything at all. (I know I should have gotten my gallbladder removed sooner but was nursing my son and didn't want to do the nuclear medicine tests, the HIDA scan, while nursing.) Sorry for the long story! But I would not let them write you off. Insist on them finding the cause of the problems. In 17 years you have learned what normal hunger pains feel like, if what you are feeling is not that, I'd insist they find the problem. I know it's hard when you're young and not fully in control of your life (or the finances and ability to pay doctor bills) but do what you can to make them listen. At the age of 17 I'm sure you've got plenty of things to be concerned about other than how much pain you're going to be in that day. Hang in there!
    Laurifish 2 Replies Flag this Response
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