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Stomach/Back Pain After Consuming Alcohol

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Old 01-25-2010, 05:32 PM   #1
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Stomach/Back Pain After Consuming Alcohol

There have been about 5 times within the last 6 or 7 months in which I've consumed an alcoholic beverage. It is always a daiquiri or margarita that I drink. About 10-15 minutes after I finish my drink the upper central portion of my abdomen starts to ache and it radiates to my back. The pain was so intense one time that I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital. It only lasts about 15-20 minutes and then subsides. It happened to me Saturday night after drinking a strawberry mango daiquiri. Since then I still haven't been feeling too great. I've been experiencing stomach problems since August of last year and had my gallbladder removed in December because of a gallstone. My upper abdomen continues to be tender to the touch anywhere from just under my breastbone to about an inch above my belly button. It has been that way for quite awhile but drinking Saturday night seemed to make it worse. Also, I'm burping all the time. I'm 26 years old and don't drink very often and am frustrated by the fact that I can't even go out to have a drink with friends without suffering consequences. Does anyone have any clue what could be going on? I called today and got a doctors appointment for Thursday. I certainly hope he can figure out what's going on because I'm tired of having to deal with this. I want my life back.

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Old 01-26-2010, 07:56 PM   #2
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Re: Stomach/Back Pain After Consuming Alcohol

Hopefully your doctor can find out what's wrong with you and fix it quick smart!

It could be a number of things, possibly gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining? Or an ulcer? Sounds like it could be something of the sort (unless it's related to the stomach problems you were having from August onwards).

Gastritis can cause nausea, severe stomach pain, burping, etc. I experienced this myself (getting drunk on an empty stomach caused it) and I had very similar pain and problems to what you've written. I found that if I ate or drank alcohol, the pain got worse about 15 minutes afterwards as well. I'd suggest not eating any spicy or acidic foods or drinking alcohol until your doc can give you a diagnosis.

Feel better soon!

Old 01-26-2010, 08:15 PM   #3
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Re: Stomach/Back Pain After Consuming Alcohol

Gosh with that kind of pain after a surgery(even months ago) you should get back to the doctor that did the surgery to see if there is some sort of adhesions or something else happening because of it or an entirely new problem. At the very least go to a Gastroentrologist and see if there is something new going on. Perhaps an infection from surgical procedure that can easily be diagnosed with blood work. Lots of things to consider. Good luck.

Old 01-27-2010, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: Stomach/Back Pain After Consuming Alcohol

Thank you both for taking time to respond. I have an appointment scheduled for tomorrow with the surgeon that removed my gallbladder. I really hope he is able to figure out what is going on. I keep wondering if maybe my gallbladder wasn't causing my symptoms since I'm still feeling many of the same problems I had beforehand, as well as the problem with drinking alcohol which makes me think it's my stomach. From the middle of Oct to mid Nov. I had 3, what were said to be, gallbladder attacks. All of them were pretty severe in my opinion, one especially in which I had the phone in my hand ready to call for help. The pain was in the upper central portion of my abdomen and radiated to my back with some tenderness on my right side. It was by far the worst pain I'd ever experienced in my life. An ultrasound revealed that I had a gallstone or sludge ball. However, when I had my gallbladder removed in Dec. there was no gallstone and the surgeon said it must have been sludge. Could an ulcer cause the pain I described? Would you all think that maybe I had 2 seperate issues going on at the time like gastritis or an ulcer on top of the gallbladder problem? Or maybe this is somehow all tied together? I'm probably not helping matters by worrying about it.

Old 01-28-2010, 06:36 PM   #5
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Re: Stomach/Back Pain After Consuming Alcohol

Just an update in case anyone else out there is experiencing the same issue and wants to know the diagnosis. Went to the doctor today and he is convinced that I have a hiatal hernia based on my symptoms. This really has me wondering if my gallbladder was even a problem at all. Yes, I did have a gallstone but maybe it wasn't causing problems. Anyway, no need in questioning since it's already been removed. He gave me a prescription for Carafate and told me to take that, along with Prilosec, for the next 30 days. Hopefully this will be the answer to all my problems. I just want to feel good again.

Old 03-29-2010, 01:51 PM   #6
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Re: Stomach/Back Pain After Consuming Alcohol

Took PPIs for 6 weeks before stopping them mid March. My symptoms seemed better within a couple days of stopping Nexium. I'm still having abdominal tenderness, burping, and hiccups more frequently than normal. I went to a gastroenterologist a couple weeks but wasn't feeling too bad at the time of my appointment so I decided to hold off on having any tests done. So dumb me decided to go have a drink again Friday night. Now, I'm still feeling the effects of that decision. Only had one mixed drink while I was waiting on dinner to be served. My back starting aching slightly midway through the drink. The pain didn't hit until I had finished eating my dinner. Felt like a really bad cramp in the upper center of my back, at the bra line. Last for about 20 minutes then eased up. Back still ached a little the rest of the evening and I felt a little nauseous. Same thing the next day though my back really started to ache after eating dinner the next evening. It's not just my back though my abdomen which is usually tender to the touch anway, has been even moreso the last few days. I've had heartburn the last couple days and some chest discomfort and aching around the sternum area. Starting to think something is seriously wrong. I do have another appointment with the gastroenterologist but it's 2 weeks away. What in the world could be going on?

Old 03-29-2010, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: Stomach/Back Pain After Consuming Alcohol

jns1022, there are many possibilities for your diagnosis. Sounds like you need to keep your appt, no matter what. Keep notes of how you feel, what preceeded the episode, the after affects. I am big about the note thing, it has been a life saver in more than one doc consult. Unfortunately, some folks systems and alcohol do not mix. I am off alcohol - was a party drinker, in my early 20's, then nothing for decades. Maybe a margarita - on anniversaries - but those special cocktails I could count on one hand, with fingers left over. We'll be married 24 years in June. So, as I said, not a big drinker.
However, with a recent bout of acute pancreatitis - caused by a gall stone incidentally - I will not ever be tempted to indulge myself again. Two principal causes of pancreatitis are alcohol and gall stones. Even with alcohol not being the cause, I do not want to take the chance of the pancreatitis becoming chronic. It was so painful - I'm at 3 months now, past the episode that kept me in hospital 15 days.
Keep us posted and you will most likely hear from others, with more varied gastro experiences.

Old 04-25-2010, 09:44 PM   #8
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Re: Stomach/Back Pain After Consuming Alcohol

I'm glad to find out I'm not the only one. I figured out I could not drink wine coolers, daquiris or any super sweet alcohol drinks very quickly in my early 20s. I would get severe stomach pain just below my belly button that wouldn't subside for 15-20 mins. In addition, I would sweat and get extremely bloated during the "attack". I would need to unbutton my jeans and lie down on my side until the pain subsided. I would describe the pain like a knife being pierced and twisted in my lower stomach. No one would have a clue what I was talking about, but it would freak them out a bit when I was in the middle of an "attack". I used to experiment with eating first thinking it had something to do with an empty stomach. From what I have found searching the web, it appears we are people that have some sort of allergic reaction to a chemical or additive in those drinks. I pretty much concluded that one on my own years ago. One website I ran across mentioned an allergic reaction to potassium sorbate. I'm not sure what it is in those drinks, but I usually avoid them all together. However, before I gave up on those type of drinks, I did find that if I drank a wine cooler or fruity drink (only one) very slowly - taking about an hour to drink - while eating I didn't have the severe reaction. Over the years, I have become a beer and red wine drinker when I do have alcohol.

I am curious what (if anything) your doctor was able to tell you???

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