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Christine Jeffries

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ask: What possibly could cause the abdominal pain I've had for 4 months?

By Anonymous
 
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Four months ago I started having pain in my abdomen. I've never had any problems with it before. I have pain and burning in my abdomen, mainly in my upper and middle abdomen. The pain was at first dull, but later became sharper.Other symptoms I have are : swallen stomach, heaviness and fullness, especially after eating, bloating after meals, belching, often stomach growling. The pain vary - sometimes it is about 2-3, other times it is 6-7 on the scale 1 to 10. The pain is stronger early in the morning,sometimes during the night or several hours after meals. I don't have diarrhoea or constipation.

I first started having the pain and the same symptoms in July.I had a Colonoscopy. an Endoscopy, an Ultrasaund and CT Scan done and they didn't find anything out of normal. The Gastro-Enterologist told me I have unexplain abdomenal pain. He prescribed Hyoscinamine, which didn' t help at all. Later I saw my Doctor who did the blood test and the results are normal. She didn't know what I have. She prescribed Reglan for digestions, just to see if that will help and also prescribed antibiotic Ciprofloxacin ( only for 5 days ), because she found that I had an Urinary infection at the time.I don't know if that help, but slowly I got better, the pain haven't disappear, but I felt it only from time to time ( mainly early in the morning ) and it was not strong.
About 2 weks ago it recured again and it is getting stronger every day. I don't know what to do. Please, tell me if you know what possibly could cause my pain and what I could do about it.
Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,
Kathy

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Alison Beaver

Hi Kathy,
I am so sorry you have been diagnosed with "unexplained abdominal pain", with several doctors and specialists not knowing the cause.

I do have some additional questions for you to consider (and, if you have already considered them...can you tell us more about these areas?):
1. Stress-induced symptoms can go "un-detected" on tests, but the stress in our lives can cause real physical conditions. I wanted to make sure you have considered this as a possibility, as there are numerous options and resources for you that can have sustainable impact on lessening your pain. "stress management" can be seen as "fluffy", but everyone experiences life events that are unmanageable at times, and you can experiment with removing some stressors out of your life, use this as time to reflect on any lifestyle-related changes you can make to aid in your recovery (you've heard it before, but they can truly impact your physical symptoms: physical activity, social support, nutrition and food choices, extra-curricular activities, positive outlook).
2. Have you kept a health diary, so you know specifically what is causing your pain? You can look online for "pain log" or "pain diary". The American Chronic Pain Association has a pain log that you can download as a pdf at: http://theacpa.org/painlog/painlog.aspx (it is more "cute" with images, but it might help you keep track of it better). It basically helps you keep track of your mood, stress, social support, nutrition (I would also write down what you ate), physical activity and more. Especially since you are starting a new prescription, it will help you manage your symptoms, and track possible triggers to pain (as well as what helps alleviate the pain). You did mention that the pain is worse at certain times of the day, or before/after meals. You can also focus on what you ate, what you are doing at those times of the day (or immediately before), and see what patterns emerge. You may not find the cause...but finding triggers are a good first step (after all the doctor appointments you've had!).

Have you tried (or researched) pain management techniques, including alternative medicine options such as acupuncture?

October 27, 2011 - 8:19pm
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