Abdominal Pain That Goes Away When Lying Down UPDATE
I still continued to experience the pain near the bottom of my sternum that only goes away when lying down. The common points I see from those who posted were:
-same type of growing pain
-same location (bottom of sternum near xyphoid process)
-seems to be related to stress/anxiety (and therefore occurs most often when away from home, or with shallow breathing when stressed)
-accompanied by gas or occasional diarrhea
-does not seem to be a direct symptom of eating any particular food
-only solution is to lay down until the pain completely goes away (will return immediately upon standing if did not lay down long enough)
I'm going to try to sum this up as briefly as I can...
I started learning researching how problems with the gut ("leaky gut") are tied into stress/anxiety. This led me to learn about hypochlorydria or low stomach acid. I also have occasional acid reflux, which I thought meant that I had too much stomach acid, but it turns out there are many of the same symptoms for both high and low stomach acid. Stomach acid helps digest your food. If you don't have enough, your food doesn't digest properly, you eventually develop leaky gut, and then toxins leak into your blood stream causing inflammation and a whole host of problems. Leaky gut also causes symptoms of IBS. How is this tied to the abdominal pain? The body cannot produce stomach acid when in a stressed state. Gas is created. I believe this gas is then creating the abdominal pain.
Solution: heal the gut. How? Balancing stomach acid and gut flora (bacteria). I started by just taking probiotics. This helped me in some areas, but did not help the abdominal pain. I wondered at times if too much of the probiotics created more abdominal pain. Then I learned about betaine HCl (creates stomach acid) with pepsin (digestive aid). I think it's a balancing act between the betaine HCl and the probiotics to manage the abdominal pain. I also make sure to take Lactaid when eating heavy dairy products and Beano when eating veggies.
All these things combined have healed my gut and I experience this strange abdominal pain so rarely now. Stress management also helps--especially concentrating on my breathing when rushed or in a stressful situation.
If you experience this mystery pain, I would look into healing your gut. Google topics like leaky gut or low stomach acid. Chris Kresser has a lot of good info on his website on the topic.
Side note: taking betaine HCl with pepsin also cured me of horrible adult cystic acne and has improved my eczema, depression, concentration problems, anxiety, and issues with fatigue--basically all the health problems I have suffered for years and have gone through numerous tests for with no answers.
Last edited by Administrator; 03-01-2013 at 11:57 PM.
Re: Abdominal Pain That Goes Away When Lying Down UPDATE
Thank you for posting again!
Anyway, my update. My condition hasn't really changed, but I now know a little more about it. I mentioned that I had another Barium swallow. Nothing out of the ordinary was revealed (no surprise!). I had some red flags on my urea levels and something else. It turns out, though, that these levels are frequently found in athletes. I was training quite hard and this is likely why I got these results. So nothing to worry about? However, the pain in my guts continued so I went back to the specialist. I tried Nexium again and it didn't help at all. So I went in for an MRI(or CT?) of my guts. This was expensive and the doc found nothing abnormal save for a slightly enlarged bladder...? Probably not related, apparently. Just another problem to worry about! Anyway, I was explaining to the doctor how my pain really felt like something was 'stuck' at the bottom of my throat and the sphincter muscles were 'wringing' it or something like that. This is how I imagine the gnawing sensation I usually feel. From the very beginning I suspected that I had a hiatal hernia. I didn't even know that such a thing existed, but I could picture the stomach being 'wrung' by the muscles in that area and could picture the rawness that would result.
Now the doctor has repeatedly told me that I didn't have a hiatal hernia (or that they couldn't detect one or something like that...) So imagine my total surprise when he casually says, "Oh, well you know that you have a mild hernia, right?" I was part-way through my next sentence when I realized what he had said. I think my jaw dropped open. I asked him to clarify and he pulled up the pictures from my endoscopy. Sure enough, there it was! He's all casual and says, yep, that's it. Very mild, mind you, but you can see the ring where the stomach joins to the esophagus - which you shouldn't be able to see from within the esophagus. I was floored! All these tests and hospitalization to find out the problem and it turns out they had the answer all along!? I was like, well how do I fix it? Well, he tells me there's not much he can do. He said it wasn't serious enough to explain the pain I was in and therefore surgery wasn't a recommended option. Well, I say, what else could it be?! Again, he suggests that it might be psychological. Huh?! I can see the picture with my own eyes and it is exactly what I had imagined in my mind. It's not red and raw, mind you, but what I feel matches the evidence pretty well. He recommends that we just wait and see. Well, that's no good at all as I've been waiting and seeing for nearly two years and pretty much want to rip my guts out.
So that's it. I have a mild hiatal hernia that apparently shouldn't be causing me any troubles but IS!!!!!! Meds don't help. I'm trying some massage techniques as well as some posture and breathing exercises. So far it doesn't seem to have made a difference, but I am still hopeful. If not, I guess I will have to convince some doctor that I actually need surgery. I'm not totally sure this is the total diagnosis (or why laying down helps), but it seems the most probable.
I was tested for Celiac's disease and was found not to be afflicted with that. My aunt has it, though, so I may try a gluten-free diet for a while to be sure. Can't hurt, right?!
Hope this helps. Hope even more that someone has more info that might help.
Last edited by Administrator; 03-02-2013 at 12:09 AM.