Discussions By Condition: Digestive conditions

Gnawing Hunger Pangs!

Posted In: Digestive conditions 49 Replies
  • Posted By: Trooper
  • January 17, 2007
  • 06:04 AM

Three years ago I saw my doctor for stomach discomfort, not a pain, not a burning sensation, but overwhelming hunger pangs that are only subdued by eating. H pylori negative, no blood in the stool, no vomiting, occasional nausea. Protonix gives me 50 -75% relief, the rest of the time I eat like crazy to get rid of the discomfort, so much so that I've gained 20 pounds. The doctor believes it's a duodenal ulcer but I get the feeling the doctors don't take me seriously unless I have blood in my stool or vomit, which I don't. I passed on having the scope exam because of the risk of perforation and signing my rights away with a waiver. They seem to be reluctant to do the safe, oldfashioned upper GI. Anyway, after looking at this site it seems I have seen every symptom of an ulcer represented here EXCEPT the gnawing hunger pangs that I experience. After 3 years, could this be a psychological problem? These gnawing hunger pangs are so powerful that it would make it virtually impossible to go on a diet to shed some of this weight I've gained. Has anyone here experienced this symptom in the absence of any other symptoms that has an ulcer?

DV

Reply Flag this Discussion

49 Replies:

  • I too have some of the same symptoms, only I have had all the of the following tests: Upper GI, Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, Small Bowel Follow Through and all of the blood and bowel movement tests. They have not found the problem as of yet.I have that gnawing feeling and listen to my stomach ache as I lie in bed and throughout the day, it does turns into hunger pains which I do need to eat but that does not seem to satisfy my pains entirely. I have much gas, which I beleive is creating the pain under my ribs on the right side, sort of like side stiches, I too am puzzled and looking for help. I am told that I have mild Gastritics throughout the stomach, but this is caused by an infection of some sort and is not the root to the problem. This showed up on the Endoscopy. I would suggest that you get these tests done, the risk is very small and the benefits very high. I am currently awaiting some results on my biopsies on my Colonoscopy and Small Bowel Follow Through. It seems that 2 Prilosec tablets before each meal does help, as this cuts down on the acid production. I am told by my doctor that Prilosec is very safe and you can take forever? Please check wiht your doctor first. Prilosec is over the counter, you do not need a prescription.I have this pain for about 3 months now, I am not sure how I got it food or person to person contact, but my wife is experiencing the same symptons as I am and has the same problems. We both need to find the underling cause.We are in this together, hopefully someone can shed some light on this for us both...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 2, 2007
    • 10:38 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • To save money I have tried Prilosec OTC instead of Protonix, but it just doesn't seem to work for me.I have to bring up the question again of the possibility of this type of symptom being psychcological, with the lack of any other symptoms (in my case for 3 years).I have tried several meds for depression but cannot stay on them too long because of the side effects. BTW I also have alot of gas (belching).Alcohol and coffee make the symptoms worse. Have you or your wife considered acupuncture? that's probably my next move. Good Luck, I will try to update here with any progress I make in dealing with this problem.DV
    Trooper 3 Replies
    • February 3, 2007
    • 04:07 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hey Trooper!This problem is not in your head! Is is a real problem that needs to be resolved by real medicines. I would highly suggest you visit a Gastroenterologist and proceed with thier recommendations. What you/we have is real and will not be cured without proper treatment.I will keep you posted on my developments, I have another doctor visit scheduled for Feb 28th. I just had a a Small Bowel Follow through last Thursday, they should have these results this week. Also, I should get my Colonoscopy results back next week too.In my opinion, you need a professional doctor, not alternate forms at this juncture. You mention signing your name away before, what if you get an infection from the pins/needles the Acupunturer uses?Be safe!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 5, 2007
    • 03:24 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • OH MY GOSH THE LAST POSTER NEEDS TO GET INFORMED ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE!!!! YOU WILL NOT GET AN INFECTION FROM THE NEEDLES AS WE PRACTITIONERS ONLY USE PRESTERILIZED DISPOSABLE NEEDLES IN THIS COUNTRY!!! GET A CLUE!!!!! Uggh. To Trooper and other posters who are more enlightened...acupuncture is excellent for GI diseases, and would really help in my opinion. In the state I practice we have an exellent scope of practice and for the most part other docs treat us with the respect we deserve! I am a general practitioner and treat all sorts of disorders in my clinic. Your symptoms show signs of what we call Stomach yin deficiency. Do you also have a strong thirst? Do you drink a lot of water and urinate frequently? If yes, then you need to be tested for diabetes, if you haven't already. Why not continue with western testing while getting treated with acupuncture? It doesn't have to be an either/or scenario. To find a practitioner near you log on to www.acufinder.com and type in your zip code. And for Goodness sake, please understand that the risks associated with acupuncture are much less than getting routine physical exams! Hope this helps and best of luck to you.DOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies
    • February 5, 2007
    • 03:38 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • As someone else stated... have your doctor check for diabetes. This is the main symptom that I experience even on medication. The only time the hunger subsides is when I add lots of oatmeal or brown rice to my diet.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 15, 2007
    • 01:37 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Thanks for your help guys, I will talk to my doc about the possibility of diabetes.A couple questions, does a proton pump inhibitor like Protonix help relieve this symptom in diabetes?, just curious since this med does help me.And is it possible after several years to have only the gnawing hunger pangs as a symptom of diabetes?. This last question is important since after seeing my doc a number of times for my problem he never brought up the possibility of diabetes. Does he dismiss diabetes because I only have this one symptom.
    Trooper 3 Replies
    • February 16, 2007
    • 05:14 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Thanks for your help guys, I will talk to my doc about the possibility of diabetes.A couple questions, does a proton pump inhibitor like Protonix help relieve this symptom in diabetes?, just curious since this med does help me.And is it possible after several years to have only the gnawing hunger pangs as a symptom of diabetes?. This last question is important since after seeing my doc a number of times for my problem he never brought up the possibility of diabetes. Does he dismiss diabetes because I only have this one symptom.Gnawing hunger pains is too vague a symptom. To say it is an indicator of diabetes, in the absence of any other symptoms (e.g., elevated fasting glucose, frequent thirst and urination), is jumping the gun to say the least.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 16, 2007
    • 02:49 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hey there..I can't believe I've found this - usually I find these threads and they're 4 years old..I, too, am experiencing these insane 'hunger pangs'. Sometimes it's really bad, sometimes they're tolerable - haven't missed work because of them yet, though, so I'm not sure what my threshold is, but I'm going to hit the clinic tonight after work to get a professional opinion. I'm not throwing up, feeling queasy, urinating frequently or anything - just these pangs.I've had them since Monday night.sometimes, I'm half-expecting an alien to jump out of me and sing "hello, my baby" while doing the can-can across the counter...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 23, 2007
    • 03:49 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • hey guys I started throwing up 12 times a day and had to force feed myself back to feeling good for the day.I woke up everymorning way past nausea only to vomit most the day. I was 23 when this started went to the doc and it was an ulcer hey went to a new gastro doc they put me on stomach medicine. I quit throwing up daily but still had bad stomach pains. Seen a new doc on stomach pains said it was mainly nerves and poor food so he sent me to another specialist. The specalists doubles purple pills adds sleeping pills to counteract nerve pills and a muscle relaxer to slow my stomach down. Fixed right you would think but stomach still has burning lava an insastionable appetite, loss of vision ;hard to catch my breath sometimes and cramping hands with energy levels up and down. Im still a wreck after 5 years of medicine. Until someone took a closer look at my cholestral and triglicyeride levels which will affect stomach pains and cause all the problems diabetes can do by attacking your pancrease.they were through the roof at 1376 tri ,im a walking stroke new meds plus new diet ill tell you if it works six weeks from now.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • :confused: I went to the hospital today thinking I was having a heart attack. I was awaken by a terrible pain as if I was very hungry. when it got worst I thought I was going to die. After a lot of testing for the heart everything came out negative. But they did not evern gave me anything to go by. Do not know if it is an ulcer or hyper-acidity. The pain reflects to the back or spine and it feels as an empty stomach. Eating does not take it away and water seem to aggraviate it. Have taken Nexium, Prilosec, and at the hopital today they gave me Vicodin. I thind they did a bad diagnosis job. I need suggestions !! Help !
    Hungry 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • :confused: I went to the hospital today thinking I was having a heart attack. I was awaken by a terrible pain as if I was very hungry. when it got worst I thought I was going to die. After a lot of testing for the heart everything came out negative. But they did not evern gave me anything to go by. Do not know if it is an ulcer or hyper-acidity. The pain reflects to the back or spine and it feels as an empty stomach. Eating does not take it away and water seem to aggraviate it. Have taken Nexium, Prilosec, and at the hopital today they gave me Vicodin. I think they did a bad diagnosis job. I need suggestions !! Help !
    Hungry 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Complications of Crohn’s Disease

    Recognize the risks associated with Crohn’s disease.

    8 Surprising Facts About Cholesterol

    Did you know that one in six US adults has high cholesterol?

  • I had the "exact" same symptoms. I had an upper GI, which discovered I have gastric reflux. I also had a colonoscopy and endoscopy and discovered I have a Hiatal herna. I've been perscribed Prevacid. It has helped tremendously!!! I'd suggest having the light put down your throat to see if that is what you have
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Some very interesting information. I would recommend if anyone has symptoms like I have (gnawing hunger pangs) to try each one of the diff PPI's until you find one that works since it seems that each person responds differently to each one of these meds. My Doc says it has to do with diff receptors from one individual to another, kinda like the diff SSRI antidepressants.In my case Prilosec has had no effect, but I do get quite a bit of relief with Protonix, and perhaps Prevecid would work even better for me. I have found that I am sensitive to a few certain drinks or food that even when taking Protonix daily will cause my symptoms to return, coffee,pop,wine and salad dressings. The strange thing is that the adverse effect these items cause never are immediate but always set in about 12 hours afterwards, coffee in the morning and then in the evening I'll get gnawing hunger and nausea.Maybe it is just wishful thinking that I may be able to return to enjoying the above items again but at this point it looks like even with the daily Protonix I'll need to permanantly give up these food items that cause trouble. I don't think there is a 100% fix for this condition that I have had for a number of years now, and even if I had a scope exam of my stomach chances are the doc would just keep me on the protonix since meds like PPIs or Carafate are all that is usually prescibed for ulcers or reflux, along with maybe a change in diet. Of course if the symptoms ever got worse than it is time for a more rigorous exam.
    Trooper 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • This is primarily in reference to Trooper's initial post, not necessarily to some of those that followed with symptoms of throwing up, etc.As someone mentioned, this is a symptom of diabetes so you should consider having that checked. However, depending on what other possible symptoms you have, because it is so very common, I'd recommend you first look into Hypochlorhydria (the underproduction of hydrochloric acid by the stomach) or possibly even achlorhydria (the complete absence of stomach acid).Hypochlorhydria is frequently misdiagnosed because the symptoms are identical to excess stomach acid. Studies actually show that 90% of those that think they have excessive stomach acid actually have insufficient amounts. It would make perfect sense that Prilosec didn't work as Prilosec decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach. If anything it could have made the symptoms worse.These articles offer a good overview:http://www.medical-library.net/sites/framer.html?/sites/_hypochlorhydria.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AchlorhydriaYou'll find a Hypochlorhydria Screening Quiz at:http://altmedicine.about.com/library/weekly/bl_quiz_hypochlorhydria.htmAs usual, do a Google search to find plenty of info on this subject.It's easy and inexpensive to confirm whether this is your problem by conducting a test trial using supplementation of Betaine HCL tablets (or capsules). Even less expensive is a simple home remedy to supplement HCL. Mix one teaspoon of vinegar with water and drink this with each meal. Gradually increase the vinegar up to 10 or more teaspoons in water. If you don't experience any burning, upset stomach, etc, it's likely Hypochlorhydria's your problem. If and when you do (experience burning) you can immediately neutralize it with a teaspoon of baking soda in water.If you confirm this is the problem you may aslo consider Supplementation of Digestive enzymes (Pepsin, Papain, Trypsin, etc)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am awake early on a Saturday morning for the same thing, gnawing stomach discomfort.The most obvious thing that helps to me when it is bad is filtered water through a good filter. I am using one of PURs faucet filters right now. This is not required when it doesn't bother me, but still nice.For the PPI medications, I have read it decreases stomach acid (of course) and allows infections of the GI tract along, with increased chance (about 4x from what I have read) for pneumonia. Stomach acid kills germs that would try to enter that way and is a good thing. Also, vitamin B12 needs strong stomach acid to be absorbed properly. Deficiencies here relate to anemia and nerve damage. I hesitate to look at a PPI as a long term solution.On the other hand, twice in the last 3 years it has been bad enough to keep me home from work and Prilosec for a week has fixed it. I have also had decent luck, if not better with 'DGL Plus', although neither of them make it go away. It always seems to be 'there' at some level, more or less, sometimes 'not at all', but if I stop and pay attention, it is there.I found a betaine HCl supplement that increases stomach acidity, and although I felt I digested my food better and I got more energy from it, it wasn't long before this tore my stomach up.Also, foods that are 'good' for you can do the most to aggravate it, possibly because many are rough like sand paper rather than soft and smooth. If I eat as healthy as I know how but mild, it seems to stay in control.If I sleep less, it gets worse quickly. I need to feel like I got enough sleep to keep it in control.In any case, I find myself looking for the same thing here. The only test I've had is for H Pylori antibodies and that was negative. Sounds like more tests could be helpful in some ways, but others that have had them here just know more about the condition but not enough to help quite yet.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi.I had the same symptoms too - a constant gnawing hunger accompanied by constant painful bloating. I gained a lot of weight because it was difficult not to eat to get rid of the hunger pangs. It was pretty scary to experience gnawing hunger almost all day! It got to the point where it really affected me and I became miserable and very irritable if I didn't eat for more than 2-3 hours due to the gnawing pain in my stomach!I started trying some things which seem to be pretty effective.For the bloating - I started biting smaller pieces and chewing my food slowly before swallowing. This helped quite a bit and reduced bloating by about 40%Then I started taking yoghurt which really helped sooth the hunger pangs and really reduced any bloating symptoms by about 50% for both. The healthy live bacteria culture in yoghurt led me to think that perhaps it was a compromised gut flora that was the culprit since I have read about how healthy bacterial flora in our gut is compromised by anti-biotics which kills good bacteria and allow fungus to flourish in our gut. I remember taking quite a lot of anti-biotics in the past for flu. I also watched some programs about how important a healthy gut is in maintaining good health. So I started taking two teaspoons of organic unbleached coconut oil a day which is said to be anti-fungal and anti-bacterial to kill any unwanted bacteria and fungus. I am also taking organic wheat and barley grass shots and flaxseed and psyllium husk to detox my system and wash out the colon and gut. But what really helped was the gut flora supplements I have been taking which contain friendly gut bacteria like acidophillus and bifido-bacteria. This immediately reduced hunger pangs and bloating by about 90%!!Hope this helps.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I used to suffer from severe hunger pangs, and the worst triggers were apples, tomatoes and breakfast cereals (bran in particular). I was eating these things because I thought they were good for me, but they ended up making me feeling terrible. If I ate an apple, I would be hungry for days and I would wake up through the night to eat. I put on a bit of weight too, which was distressing. I was taking 4 zantac a day, as well as other antacids, which provided minimal relief. This went on for about 2 years. I went to a gastroenterologist, who wasn't terribly concerned, though I found it very upsetting.My GP suggested to me that I should cut out on gluten and milk products to see if that would help. And it REALLY helped. He suggested that I might have been finding it difficult to process the wheat and milk protein and that I was producing too much acid as a result. Apparently apples are quite acidic too, so they didn't help. I'm not a coeliac or lactose intolerant according to tests but cutting them out has really made a huge difference. Apparently a lot of people are intolerant to proteins such as gluten and milk casein but not to the extent that they are deemed to have a disorder. But the intolerance can still cause a certain degree of discomfort and pain nonethless.I've been on high protein diet ever since, which means eating an omlette or egg for breakfast, meat and salad for dinner and a meat dish for dinner too, especially salmon. And since I started (about 6 months ago), I've had maybe 1 or 2 attacks, which last for half an hour instead of days at a time.It mightn't be the gluten or milk at all, but rather the carbohydrates, whether simple or complex, that are the trouble. Whichever way, it has made me feel a lot better.Has anyone else tried this? It may be worth a go :)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I used to suffer from severe hunger pangs, and the worst ... My GP suggested to me that I should cut out on gluten and milk products to see if that would help. And it REALLY helped. He suggested that I might have been finding it difficult to process the wheat and milk protein and that I was producing too much acid as a result. Apparently apples are quite acidic too, so they didn't help. I'm not a coeliac or lactose intolerant according to tests but cutting them out has really made a huge difference. ... I went through many or all of the things that seem to be described on this thread. Also very bad breath and gastric reflux during attacks. The lactose intolerance was particularly noticeable. I'm 59 years old, have no medical insurance and little treatment. After about four months (about two months ago now) it seems to has cleared itself up.The conclusion I have come to from all my reading is that I probably had parasites, probably Giardia or Cryptosporidium. Parasite infections can sometimes go on a long time unfortunately. If the symptoms recur I will insist on being tested for those two. I would suggest such tests to anyone with ongoing symptoms. I've always been meticulous about hand-washing - highly recommended. Also shower at least daily and no bathing while infected. Minimal lactose and gluten too.Holly
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 23, 2007
    • 03:27 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • The advice for probiotic supplementation is very good, I think. Also consider digestive enzymes if you often have gas/bloating/heartburn symptoms. Consider a form of treatment called NAET - a qualified NAET practitioner can often pinpoint exactly what is causing your symptoms. Whether it is due to a food intolerance like gluten, or due to parasites or candida overload. I have cleared a dairy intolerance with this treatment and can now eat dairy products without incident. It is amazing, in my opinion. If your symptoms are diet related (worse with dairy or gluten for example) I think you would really benefit from NAET. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies
    • September 24, 2007
    • 02:54 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hello all. I've had the extremem hunger pains and started experiencing them more than 4years ago. I always thought it was stomach ulcers but I went for a checkup back then and the doc gave me prilosec; didn't even do anything else. I didnt follow up on the meds coz they didn't help and I haven't seen a doc yet. However, I'm anaemic so, I'm not sure if that's what causes it. Also, if I drink milk during these excruciating hunger pains, it seems to help. Been reading up on it but I can't afford to go get checked coz I don't have insurance.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 24, 2007
    • 04:40 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.
Advertisement

Safe Sex With Hepatitis C

Prevent the spread of the hepatitis C virus.

Preventing Lung Infections

With COPD, it’s important to protect your lungs.

8 Health Dangers of Depression

Unmanaged depression can take a toll on your physical health.

Food Choices for Diabetes

What, when and how much you eat affects your blood sugar.

6 Exercises for Multiple Sclerosis

Ease your way into these stretching and strengthening moves,

Advertisement