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Old 07-24-2004, 04:00 AM   #1
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Question Hard, swollen upper abdomen

My upper abdomen has been swollen and hard for awhile now (a few weeks to a month, probably). Admittedly I am overweight, but not obese, and my upper stomach sticks out much further than my lower abdomen. It is hard to the touch and extremely uncomfortable, although not painful.

I'm hesitant to see my doctor about this, because I'm sure he'll say it's just weight gain (he's not the most sympathetic doctor, nor is he a particularly good listener), although I haven't gained any weight recently.

I've been taking Tylenol 3 (acetaminophen with codeine) for over two years on a regular basis for unrelated chronic pain, but as I've built up a tolerance, I'm now taking much more than I used to.

Is it possible the Tylenol 3 is having some effect on my stomach? I'm certain this isn't normal weight gain.

 
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Old 07-24-2004, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: Hard, swollen upper abdomen

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueFaith
My upper abdomen has been swollen and hard for awhile now (a few weeks to a month, probably). Admittedly I am overweight, but not obese, and my upper stomach sticks out much further than my lower abdomen. It is hard to the touch and extremely uncomfortable, although not painful.

I'm hesitant to see my doctor about this, because I'm sure he'll say it's just weight gain (he's not the most sympathetic doctor, nor is he a particularly good listener), although I haven't gained any weight recently.

I've been taking Tylenol 3 (acetaminophen with codeine) for over two years on a regular basis for unrelated chronic pain, but as I've built up a tolerance, I'm now taking much more than I used to.

Is it possible the Tylenol 3 is having some effect on my stomach? I'm certain this isn't normal weight gain.
Hi TrueFaith, I am a chronic pain sufferrer as well, i often alternate taking Percocet and Vicodin. I am not sure if you are familiar with the make up of the vicodin or not but it is Hydrocodone and Tylenol. When i take vicodin i too often have to take more than i used to, i think that i have built up a tolerance to it, and i, like you, will have terrible bloating in my upper abdomen. I am a thin person so it is noticeable if i dont wear baggy clothes. Sometimes it will look like i am pregnant. I dont know why it does that to me, but it does. If i dont take it for a while within a couple days the bloat will go away. So anyway, maybe it does have something to do with the Tylenol. So atleast now you know that you are not alone. Good Luck, Wendy

 
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Old 07-26-2004, 05:02 AM   #3
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Re: Hard, swollen upper abdomen

I'm not a physician, so I'm just speculating, but too much Tylenol can be toxic to your liver, and I know that when livers have problems, they are often enlarged. I would definately see your doctor. They can tell if your liver is enlarged just by feeling your abdomen, and a chemistry panel (blood test) can tell how badly a liver is damaged.

Is it possible for you to see a different physician? It's so much better when you have one that will listen and make you think they are not too busy and you are important.

 
Old 07-26-2004, 06:10 AM   #4
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Re: Hard, swollen upper abdomen

You really need to see a doctor it could be something very serious. Highly unlikely the T3's are doing it, they would affect your liver not your stomache region.

If you have true chronic pain you should be seeing a pain management specialist who can monitor your pain and medications as well as any potential side effects. T3 is not very effective for managing long term chronic pain and whomever is prescribing them should be aware of that.

 
Old 07-27-2004, 06:25 PM   #5
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Re: Hard, swollen upper abdomen

Thank you for all your responses. I guess I'll have to make an appointment with my PCP to discuss it, although I'm fairly sure I already know how that will go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kissa
If you have true chronic pain you should be seeing a pain management specialist who can monitor your pain and medications as well as any potential side effects. T3 is not very effective for managing long term chronic pain and whomever is prescribing them should be aware of that.
Kissa, I am seeing a pain management doctor - have been for about 4 years. This is his solution, unfortunately - ongoing physical therapy and pain medications. I think he's okay with keeping me on Tylenol 3 long-term because it's one of the few I've taken that don't cause me serious stomach upset (I have a very sensitive stomach). I'm also on muscle relaxants and antidepressants long-term for pain and sleep issues.

I've discussed this with him, that I'm concerned about the long-term effects, but at this point there's not much else for me. There are surgical options, but as I have so much scar tissue from my previous surgeries, they're keeping that as a last resort. I've tried pretty much every other option there is (TENS units, steriod shots, ultrasound, etc.), so this is it for me at the moment.

Anyway, thank you all for your help. I appreciate it.

As a side note, does anyone know if there is such a thing as a personal ultrasound unit? TENS doesn't work for me, but ultrasound does provide some short-term relief and I was wondering if there was a home-use version.

Last edited by TrueFaith; 07-27-2004 at 06:27 PM.

 
Old 07-27-2004, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: Hard, swollen upper abdomen

I'm pretty surprised he would keep you on T3's long term knowing first of all that over time tolerance becomes a real problem and then where will you end up if the t3's dont work? I was on darvocet for years (many years) because of chronic pain as well, funny thing was I thought my extra pain was normal until they changed my meds recently to something more effective. Short acting meds are honestly not intended for chronic pain at all. If you haven't already stop by the pain management board there's some good advice there about the pros and cons of short acting vs long acting.
I am quite suprised to hear you don't have probs with T3, most folks do. I have medication issues as well and am sensitive to codiene and similar products. There are a few new pain meds out recently if you haven't tried them and a few coming out in the near future so many you can get better relief that way.

Being you've been on T3 for a long time it is possible thats part of your stomache problem, you aren't taking any extra acetominaphen are you? I still think it would affect your kidneys first. Hope you get it checked soon!

I've not found a personal ultrasound unit but I know you can obtain MENS units which work a little deeper than the TENS if you look around the web. There is one real good company in California but unfortunately it's against board rules to post it.

Good luck!

Last edited by Kissa; 07-27-2004 at 07:31 PM.

 
Old 07-28-2004, 01:05 AM   #7
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Sickman HB User
Smile Re: Hard, swollen upper abdomen

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueFaith
My upper abdomen has been swollen and hard for awhile now (a few weeks to a month, probably). Admittedly I am overweight, but not obese, and my upper stomach sticks out much further than my lower abdomen. It is hard to the touch and extremely uncomfortable, although not painful.

I'm hesitant to see my doctor about this, because I'm sure he'll say it's just weight gain (he's not the most sympathetic doctor, nor is he a particularly good listener), although I haven't gained any weight recently.

I've been taking Tylenol 3 (acetaminophen with codeine) for over two years on a regular basis for unrelated chronic pain, but as I've built up a tolerance, I'm now taking much more than I used to.

Is it possible the Tylenol 3 is having some effect on my stomach? I'm certain this isn't normal weight gain.
Dear TrueFaith,
Just a suggetion, but lay down and cross your legs. Then raise up slowly like doing a situp. If your upper abdomen seems to enlarge to a oval peak shape you may have diasitis recti of the abadomen. This is the spreading of the vertical muscles the same as when a woman has a baby only they spread apart and do not close. I have this and it has a lot of bloating, bulging, disconfort, stomach and digestive problems and hardening symptoms. Just a suggestion but you still should verify whatever it is with your Doctor. Good luck

Sincerely,

Sickman

 
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acetaminophen, codeine, hydrocodone, percocet, tylenol, vicodin



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