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  • Stomach pain. What do my symptoms indicate?

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    Old 02-23-2005, 01:44 PM   #1
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    Abdominal pain. What do my symptoms indicate?

    Iím a 38 year-old male (non-smoker, not overweight) with intermittent abdominal pain that varies in location. Sometimes itís on the right side of my abdomen, sometimes in the upper-right around my gall-bladder and sometimes in the area above my belly button. Iíve had gas and bloating for most of my adult life, but 6 months ago I started having abdominal pain along with rumbling stomach noises.

    Hereís what I DONíT have:

    Nocturnal symptoms
    Visible blood in the stool
    Weight loss
    Family history of serious intestinal disorders

    I have actually gained some weight in the last six months (about eight pounds) even though I run and lift weights on a regular basis. My stools are slightly more watery than they were before the pain began, but still well-formed. The color varies from dark to light brown depending on what Iíve eaten the day before. I notice some food is partially undigested, i.e., nuts, corn, tomatoes, and salad.

    The pain usually comes on later in the day and seems to be worse at the slightest hint of stress. I do suffer from anxiety as well. I saw my primary care physician one month after the pain began. He examined my abdomen, asked about my symptoms, and prescribed me a prescription of Nexium. I suppose he thought my symptoms were stomach acid-related. I also had a blood test and abdominal ultrasound. Results were normal. I took Nexium for 6 weeks and that didnít help. At my initial appointment, my doctor also prescribed me Lexapro (an anti-anxiety medication).

    After 6 weeks of taking Lexapro, my abdominal pain began to decrease. But after 3 months of taking Lexapro, I started getting the pain again. I should say my pain is mild to moderate in nature (sometimes itís a crampy feeling). Only rarely have I had sharp, stabbing pain that lasted a split second. About every 3 weeks Iíll have a sharp rectal pain that lasts for 2-3 seconds, and then itís gone. I read somewhere that thereís a medical name for this condition and that itís usually associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

    My doctor seemed to think my pain pointed to IBS, but now Iím wondering if itís something else. Could the symptoms of lactose intolerance worsen as you age? Iím getting tired of worrying about this all the time. My symptoms have not worsened since they began, but I hate not knowing what exactly is causing this. Does anyone have any advice or input out there?


    Last edited by cmw; 02-23-2005 at 02:50 PM.

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    Old 02-23-2005, 02:30 PM   #2
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    Re: Stomach pain. What do my symptoms indicate?

    My mom has IBS and the symptoms you're having are alot like hers. The undigested food the Dr. told her was very common in IBS. She gets diarrhea alot and has really bad cramps with it. Her cramping is in the lower abdomen and I think that is what is common with IBS. The pains you are having in the URQ close to the gall bladder are not common in IBS. More common problems that cause pain in this area are GERD, gall bladder problems, liver, and pancreatic problems. You could have more than one thing going on.

    Old 02-26-2005, 09:37 AM   #3
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    Re: Abdominal pain. What do my symptoms indicate?


    My vote is for early-stage IBS. Also, you're about the right age for the beginnings of bowel problems that are affected by what we eat. The foods you mentioned can irritate the bowels, anyway...corn, nuts, salads, especially if they are comprised of onions, green pepper, cucumber and any number of gas-inducing foods. The fact that you suffer from anxiety exacerbates the problem. What I would try, if I were you, is to stay away from these foods for a while and see if your symptoms are alleviated. I'm middle-aged and have suffered IBS since my 20s, and while my symptoms have been/are more severe, they are quite similar to yours. The fact that the abdominal pain varies in location is also indicative of IBS. If you know anatomy, the ascending, transverse, and descending colon follow the pattern you have described, so, yes, you can feel pain in any of these areas. I'm not sure if you have a lactose intolerance problem, but something else to try would be to eliminate ALL dairy products for a while and see if this helps. However, in order to better pinpoint the problem, don't eliminate dairy and gas/irritation-inducing foods at the same time, or you won't know which specific thing(s) are the offender(s).

    If these things don't help, I'd ask the Doc to prescribe a more specific anti-anxiety drug, such as Xanax, Ativan or any number of others on the market. Lexapro is also mostly for depression, and just may not be strong enough an anti-anxiety med for you. If that fails, then there are meds for IBS, specifically. Now, here's the thing - I take both Lexapro and Ativan which have been prescribed for depression and GAD, and my IBS symptoms have incidentally been greatly improved, so as to be 80% non-existant! (YAY! LOL)

    Good luck to you!


    Last edited by moderator4; 02-26-2005 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Quote does not need to be repeated---

    Old 02-26-2005, 10:16 AM   #4
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    Re: Stomach pain. What do my symptoms indicate?

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Incidentally, I have cut out milk completely from my diet over the last few days and I've had no pain at all. I still manage to eat a cup of Yoplait yogurt every day along with calcium fortified orange juice just so I can get enough calcium. I'll post again at a later date to let you know how things are going. It's hard though because I love the taste of milk!

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