HealthBoards (
-   Digestive Disorders (
-   -   Abdominal pain goes away laying down (

elm007 09-20-2009 09:47 PM

Abdominal pain goes away laying down
Last 7 months I've had fairly bad upper abdominal pain. The closest sensation would be like heartburn (but never goes into my esophagus.) It gets worse the more i'm up and about. Feels better the instant I lay down. (It can get bad enough i have to lay down on the SPOT no matter where i am.) Goes away after laying down for a while.

Slight nausea after eating. ('the' pain not worse or better after eating.)

Diarrhea off and on for 3 mo. Steady and green for about a month.

Don't know if it's relevant or not:
22 F
average h/w
but gained 20lb over last yr
Celiac, lactose intolerance, allergic to Solanaceae plants.
Can't digest most fruits very well. (sorry, forgot to mention no luck with prevacid)

Visited an internist and others. Had endoscopy, ultrasound, and blood-work came back normal.
Any feedback would be appreciated. :)

elm007 09-23-2009 09:56 AM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
I've tried a lot of things, but does it sound most like acid reflux?

AuntieLeela 09-23-2009 12:26 PM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
Reflux is usually worst when lying down. Doesn't mean it can't be GERD though, everyone experiences symptoms differently.

Maybe hernia, endometriosis or costochondritis? I'm thinking inflammation in the abdominal wall, that's a pain that changes with posture. The test for this is an easy one - tense your stomach muscles, if the pain remains the same or increases it generally indicates an origin in the abdominal wall.

Here's a list of signs/symptoms:
[I]Pain often constant or fluctuating; less often, episodic
Pain intensity possibly related to posture (e.g., lying, sitting, standing)
Pain not related to meals or bowel function
No findings of an intra-abdominal process
Abdominal tenderness unchanged or increased when abdominal wall is tensed (positive Carnett's sign)
Discrete, tender pain trigger point no more than a few centimeters in diameter
Trigger points often found along lateral margins of the rectus abdominis muscles or at attachments of muscle or fascia
With stimulation of trigger point, referral of pain or spreading of pain over a large area[/I]

elm007 09-26-2009 12:17 PM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
Thanks for replying!

Good ideas. Though it probably couldn't be hernia or endometriosis since it's not in my lower abdomen at all and there's no trigger point. And with Costochondritis, it feels deeper in my gut than it would be if it were being caused by one of my ribs.

I agree though, if it was acid reflux it wouldn't feel better laying down (should be worse if anything.) Is there any possibility that that's what it is, but not going into my esophagus?

akw9807 05-20-2010 07:51 AM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
Hi elm007,

I have the exact same as what you've described! I'm 27, but have had this mystery pain for at least 12 years. It seems to come out of no where. It's this awful, very stong pain in my upper abdomin--right at/under where the ribs come together. I can't associate with a particular kind of food. It does seem to be worse when I'm out and about like you said. Rarely does it happen when I'm at home. It is not always, but often accompanied by green diarrhea and goosebumps. The only thing that helps is to lay down completely flat on my back. I've had all sorts of tests done over the years and my doctor can't come up with anything.

I realize your post is a couple years old, so you may not even be on here any more. If you are, I'd be very grateful for any information you have on this. I hope you have gotten some answers and are feeling better!

bumpdraft 06-11-2010 08:48 AM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
I have the same symptoms, been trying to figure it out for years. Abdominal pain comes out of nowhere, usually lasts 1 day, goes away if I lie down on my back, usually comes back if I stand up. Jumping sometimes helps (on a trampoline for example), antacids sometimes helps a bit. It will get worse and worse if I don't do something like lie down. It NEVER lasts into the second day. I think there is a food trigger the previous day, but I haven't been able to specify it. I also think there is an exercise element to it as a trigger - if I run hard one day, I get the pain the next. But only sometimes. My guess is that acid is getting somewhere it shouldn't, and shifting positions moves it. Very annoying when it pops up at the wrong time. If you figure it out, please let me know!

LkK2507 06-27-2010 11:01 AM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
I have something similar to this going on as well. Its only been happening for 2 months now or so. THing is Ive been having somelower adbominal symtoms and am getting checked out for IBS right now. I am not sure if IBS can cause upper stomach pain

This upper stomach pain comes and goes. Sometimes Ill go a whole week without it. I can have it a couple days in a row but maybe only part of the day...
It seems to go away when i sit still or lay down. Though I have had it stick around when I have been sitting at work (those are the days it hurts worse so it must be strong enough to still hurt while sitting)

Id love to hear some feedback on this. Thanks!

Noizy Tribe 01-13-2011 06:25 PM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
My apologies for bringing this thread back to life, but it's the first time I've come across anyone with similar symptoms. I'm hoping that there's some small chance that someone has received a diagnosis or explanation for this pain. It really is frustrating!

I'm 28 and I've also had this strange abdominal pain for at least 15 years. It comes along whenever it feels like it (morning, day, at work, on vacation) but seems random. I can go for months without this pain, then have it three times in one week. There seems to be no trigger. Like someone said earlier in the thread, it's at the spot where my ribs meet the center of the sternum (near the xiphoid process, I guess). It is not related to any food or exercise, and I have no other associated gastrointestinal symptoms.

The only 'cure' is to lie down (supine) for at least an hour, sometimes more. I've had all sorts of tests; barium swallow study, chest x-rays, CT abdomen, the usual - all completely normal. Going for an EGD soon, but I suspect it will be normal as the pain is clearly not stomach-related.

My doctor has given up, but this pain still impacts my life very badly. You can't always just lie down for a few hours, you know? Any ideas or updates from the previous posters is all I can hope for.

teelee88 08-24-2011 08:50 PM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
I just stumbled on to this thread searching for an answer to my pain. I have very similiar pain to those that have posted here...but I would also like to put mine out there hoping I could get an answer.

I've had the pain for over a month now (with 2 separate occassion - 1 day and 3 days where there was no pain whatsoever for those few days). Then the pain just came back. It has been there everyday.

The pain is just on my right upper abdomen, just under the rib area. I could put two fingers to it to pinpoint it exactly. It would be there when I wake up until I go to bed.

Characteristic of the pain: most of the time it is just in that area, but sometime it would move further right along the curve of the rib cage and sometime it would be right below the sternum. It has caused some nausea while I was on a trip (during this month), but since I came home, not much nausea. The pain is a dull ache that is very apparent when I'm standing up and walking around. Sometimes feels like a cramp when it's under my rib cage.

Food (type and volume) doesn't seem to affect it. Varies in intensity during time of day, but not by very much. Pressing on it does not make it fact, when I walk, I would hold on to the spot to lessen some of the pain.

Sitting in a driver position (while driving) helps. Laying down flat basically alleviates the pain completely. But once I'm up, it's back.

I've had bloodworks, ultrasound, stool, urine tests done and all came back normal. Haven't had scopes or ct scan or other imaging yet tho.

The doctor told me it was just gas...but it does not feel like that.

I'm at wit's end and would appreciate any wisdom from anyone that may have had this and came to some sort of a diagnosis.


Noizy Tribe 08-30-2011 10:56 PM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down

It sounds similar in ways to mine, though I don't have the nausea, and mine seems to hurt down the left edge of the ribs from the sternum, rather than the right. Lying down being the only way of alleviating it sounds like the common key, but no one suffering from this has had any answers so far, it seems.

The only suggestion I have would be a barium swallow study (the only slight abnormality for me were two outpouchings in my stomach - may be a hint, or unrelated) or to have an EGD. The EGD at least could identify if there are any irritated areas in the stomach that might have increased pressure/pain while standing upright, and less so while lying down.

I've almost lost hope though. The EGD is the last thing I will try before I give up on diagnosing it entirely. If I do come up with a useful result, I will certainly post it here.

Good luck to all of us.

LittleLottie 11-23-2011 06:21 PM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
I happened upon this thread by chance, and I teared up reading it, no joke. The last three years of my life, I have been suffering from many of the same symptoms everyone here is experiencing. It was so relieving to find that I was not alone in this pain, and also a little heartbreaking that no one had found a clear-cut diagnosis yet. My symptoms include (just for comparison's sake):

-Gradual buildup of pain that starts in my upper abdomen, but spreads to my lower chest area (feels like it's under and in between my rib cage).
-Very sharp pain, not like bruising or by no means moderate.
-Immediately goes away when I lie on my back (a few times this has not worked and I had to lie on my side instead).
-Gets worse the longer I sit or stand up with it.
-Comes and goes, typically lasts from half a day to two days.
-Sometimes will start when I'm hungry (like my stomach-is-growling hungry, not just peckish), but doesn't go away after eating.
-Makes me want to stop eating and curl up (but no nausea).
-Mostly is spontaneous, though.
-No nausea, but occasional irregular stools.
-Initially feels better when I press on it, but that stops working after a while.
-Exhaling and holding my breath or inhaling and holding my breath for too long of a time. Exhaling and holding always hurts, inhaling and holding provides relief briefly.
-Happens often when I'm out and about, especially on vacations.

It's especially devastating for me when it happens at school, especially when it's early in the day because I have to suffer through it for 7/8 hours. I pray that we all receive a diagnosis one day!

Noizy Tribe 11-25-2011 08:30 AM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
It's not much, but I might have found something to alleviate this pain (aside from lying down). I had the pain a few weeks ago, and took a Maxalt RPD (for migraines) and the pain actually went away very quickly. I was able to get on with my day and continue standing and walking.

I want to test the Maxalt again before saying it actually worked, but it might help our doctors identify the etiology of the pain.

LittleLottie 11-25-2011 12:23 PM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
[QUOTE=Noizy Tribe;4884929]It's not much, but I might have found something to alleviate this pain (aside from lying down). I had the pain a few weeks ago, and took a Maxalt RPD (for migraines) and the pain actually went away very quickly. I was able to get on with my day and continue standing and walking.

I want to test the Maxalt again before saying it actually worked, but it might help our doctors identify the etiology of the pain.[/QUOTE]

Hey, that's something I've tried too (only I took Excedrin [Acetominophen, Aspirin, Caffine]), thinking it was an abdominal migraine; the pain went away after taking one, but I wasn't sure if it went away because of the medicine or because I had been lying down for long enough. I'll help test that theory next time I get an attack.

Sambo33 12-06-2011 08:31 AM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
I may have some new information for all you guys! I too struggle with this mysterious pain that goes away when I lay down. I mentioned it to my friend and he went on to tell me that his ex girlfriend had the same thing! Apparently her doctor told her it was because one of her organs was too small for gases in her stomach to pass through, and this is what causes the pain. And I have to say it makes sense (once the school nurse told me it was most likely gases in my stomach. Also, last week I had this mystery pain, it was really bad and my friends were bummed because they wanted to go to a bible study but felt obligated to take me home first, but then I burped and I stood up and the pain went away after that! So my theory is that the source of our pain is gases in our stomach trying to escape and the pressure is greater when standing up but when you lay down there isn't as much pressure, thus less pain. I think the name of the organ that opens and closes is called the sphincter, but not positive. Anyways, go ask your doctors and fill me in on any new news!


lou2011 12-19-2011 04:36 AM

Re: Abdominal pain goes away laying down
I'm another person with this issue. Quite relieved that I found your postings - now I know I'm not the only one.

I'm 38 and have had these pains for probably 15 years. Sometimes I won't have the pain for months - but I have had it regularly enough to be annoying. Same symptoms as others - the pain is just under the ribs - in the center. I always describe the pain as "scattery" - sort of like a few small knives sticking in. The only thing that relieves it is lying down. If I'm out and about, I sometimes press my fingers into the pain which helps it a bit (as another person posted similar).

I seem to get the pain in the afternoons or evenings - often if I'm sitting at work (I sit at my desk most of the day), or if I'm out at dinner. Sometimes I think it could be that I'm nervous or anxious - eg. if I've got a lot on my mind, or going into a big work meeting that day, or thinking about going out to dinner... Not sure - but I never seem to get it out of the blue while at home.

I've also had the thought that it could be some sort of referred pain from my back. Not that I have back pain - but the fact that lying down eases the pain makes me think it's not stomach/gastric related. Who knows!

Otherwise, I'm very healthy - no other issues.

If anyone ever finds out what this is, please post! I'll check back here over the next few months.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:46 PM.