I have been suffering from occasional severe umbilical pain and chronic constipation for the past 30 years. Back in the 70's I was diagnosed with "stress" (I was 4 years old). Then in the 90's (at age 18) I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, ulcer, and GERD upon upper endoscopy. As I got older, the severe abdominal pain and chronic constipation led me to ER visits at least once a year. Each time I was discharged, the diagnosis was minimal, including gas, constipation, and gastronenteritis.
I am now in my 30's, and the severe umbilical pain, headaches, and chills is now more prevelant than ever. In the past year I have seen 3 different GI docs, 2 different GYNS, and 2 Wellness docs. I have had CTs, Ultrasounds, upper endoscopies, minimal parasitology workup, and numerous blood tests. Everything comes back normal (no celiac disease either). The only diagnosis they came up with is gluten intolerance, of which, I have kept a 90% gluten free diet now for 2 months, only to have the symptoms of severe umbilical pains and headaches and chills come back more frequently. I have been taking fish oil for a few months and I am no longer constipated, so I now seriously doubt that is a reason for the pains. I also have never had an abdominal surgery, am psychically fit, eat mostly organic healthy food and am a female in my 30's.
I am at a complete loss. The only tests I can think of that I have not had are a colonoscopy and more parasitology workups. But no doc has any idea what this is. As I get older, the symptoms are more frequent, and I feel sick 4 days out of a 7 day week.
I am young professional with a great career and great family, and I just do not know what to do.
You've had chronic constipation for 30 years and now you find that fish-oil helps; you're no longer constipated. That could mean that your diet has room for improvement. I think fish-oil is considered to be a supplement, so if you were eating a good diet you probably wouldn't need it. Perhaps your diet is high in omega-6 foods and you needed the omega-3 from fish-oil to bring balance.
It might help to know if you are thin, medium, or obese (hight and weight). Did you ever have an eating disorder? What do you eat? You said, "mostly organic healthy food". But not everything that's organic is healthy, in my opinion.
And what about stress? Is your job stressful? Do you get 8 hours of good sound sleep every night?
If you have gluten intolerance, you may want to try going 100% gluten free, instead of 90% gluten free. Beware of hidden wheat in things like soy sauce, other gluten containing grains like barley, rye, spelt, etc.., or other grains that may be cross contaminated with wheat (oats being the most common).
I weigh 112 pounds and am 5 foot 4 inches. I work out about 3 days a week, I have never had any eating disroder, have been active all my 30 plus years of life, and am slightly stressed at most. I am happy 90% of my days and consider myself to be a happy go lucky positive person.
I am just so frustrated at this point. I went 90% gluten free, and my bad umbilical dull pains are becoming more frequent and more painful. I have seen so many different doctors, I am still wondering if this really is some new gluten intolerance thing or if there is something else really wrong with me that my docs have innocently missed...
its just so strange at my age now (30s), when I have been suffering with this for so many years, it has come to be that I am gluten intolerant. But the weirdest part is I am the most gluten free I have ever been, and yet am the most sick I have ever been. My dull aching and sometimes stabbing pains in my umbilical region are becoming more painful and more frequent, yet I am the most gluten free I have ever been....
You say umbilical pain.? well that can be the problem and nothing with the digestive. though you stated you had some upper gi problems when younger. who doesn't at some time?
I doubt your problems are celiac disease. How are the consistency of your bowel movements? You need to have a full pathology work up for yeast, giardia, hpylori and parasites. Also you need to be biopsied and scoped for chrons.
First thing, you need to go 100% gluten free for six weeks before you make any call on whether or not that helps. Also, have you tried eliminating dairy or soy? Those are two other big "offenders" and if you cut back on gluten, you might be eating more of those things without realizing it. Cutting foods out 100% is hard, but trust me, if you start to feel better, it is most definitely worth it. Good Luck!
If you're looking for ideas, I do have one but I can't say for sure that it will help you. Having said that, I think it's worth a try. Anyway, it certainly can't hurt because it's good for health in general. Check-out the following book: "The Inflammation-free Diet Plan" by Monica Reinagel. That's one book I happen to know about but there are other books devoted to inflamation that are probably just as good, maybe better.
Inflammation can do strange things in the body, so you never know. For one person it might cause arthritis and for another it might cause artery disease. They even suspect that Alzheimer's is cause by inflammation.
I am sorry to hear about this. I agree to try going 100% gluten free FIRST to rule that out as a problem. Even just small amounts can really cause pain and discomfort. I knew a person who would pass out from gluten. Even just one bite would do it!
I also wanted to mention that it is VERY MUCH SO possible for an intolerance to develop out of nowhere. I used to drink 4 glasses of milk every day and one day I could no longer drink milk. It didn't happen gradually and I got the full-on lactose-intolerant symptoms. This also happened to a few people I know, but with different foods. It's unfortunate, but not too much you can do about it.
Thanks for your reply.
I tested negative for celiac, I do have some parasitology workup (I think I should try to ask for more tests, maybe one not routinely tested for), I tested negative for h.pylori, but have not been tested for giardia or yeast. I will ask my doc about that next. I had a stomache biopsy about 12 years ago- maybe I should have another. Also, interestingly enough, I have NEVER had a colonoscopy....I am also asking for that at my next visit.
Thanks so much for all your help
I'm sorry to hear that you're in pain. Have you seen an allergist to rule out any food allergies? That would help you, I'm sure. Also, do you drink a lot of water? I've struggled with some medical issues myself, and have more recently been drinking a LOT more water than I used to, and my symptoms have improved. Water has lots of minerals and other nutrients that would help you. Also, it would probably help to stay away from caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and pop. Hope this helps, and I hope you find out what you have. I've been there, and am still there!