Looking for advice on stomach pain
I posted this on another site, but also wanted to try here. I've had stomach problems that have been escalating over the last couple of years. I'm convinced stress has something to do with it, as the 'attacks' always seem to come at times when I am very stressed about something, or working very long hours.
The symptoms are usually a combination of diarrhea and a burning pain that's in the middle of my stomach, just below the ribs in that triangle pit of your chest. I don't always have both of the symptoms... sometimes just one or the other. This latest attack scared me because it was very painful and lasted most of the day. I considered going to the emergency room, which is serious for me. I can usually take a good amount of pain. I also don't have insurance.
The last time I had this was about two months ago. I haven't even had a tinge of pain between, except for the normal gas thing a couple times. My eating habits have actually improved, as I cut out most of the real fatty stuff. Since I was in my 20's I haven't been drinking alcohol, coffee, or even soda. I also haven't eaten red meat. I don't smoke. I'm 41 years old now. One thing that may have affected something though, is the fact that I was eating a 2-3 bowls are cereal a day, both during this attack, and I think around the time I had the last attack. So the milk could be an issue.
This last attack came in mid day right after I ate a very mild lunch. Other times it happened in the morning when the stomach was empty. Anti acid pills and tablets don't seem to do anything.
What scares me is that I've read about Pancreatitis problems and some of the symptoms seem similar. But as I said, I don't drink. It also scares me that these last couple times I had the pain, it almost seemed to have a debilitating mental effect on me... I felt great dread and depression. Even breathing seemed to hurt. I did force myself to vomit to see if that would help, but I really didn't feel the need otherwise.
Three days later now and I feel pretty much fine. It's just a little sore where the pain was, like the kind of soreness you have after lifting stuff too much or something.
I probably will pay to see a doc, but I'm just trying to get advice. I don't want to enter into the never ending tests nightmare that I know often happens with stuff like this. I'm hoping that it's an ulcer, as I would like to at least try more natural cures first before any major medications. But I was under the impression that an ulcer would be more persistent and happen often... Not be such a severe temporary pain.
Any help is appreciated.