Non-stop umbilical discomfort for 5 weeks

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Hi everyone,

I've been dealing with ongoing abdominal discomfort and GI stress for the past 5 weeks now. It came on very abruptly - a few hours after dinner one night I felt like I was getting some sort of stomach bug, with slight fever and pain 1 inch above my belly button. It subsided a bit over the next couple days, but I checked in with my doctor just in case and he sent me to the ER because he thought it could be early signs of appendicitis. Blood work, an ultrasound, and a CT scan were run at the hospital and they all came back normal.

Fast forward 5 weeks, and the pain/discomfort is still there. I hesitate to say pain, as it is not really debilitating and hasn't affected my daily life much (apart from not being able to go running). It is a constant discomfort, and when I say constant, I mean it hasn't gone away once since it started. It is worse when I am sitting down and sleeping, and is less noticeable when I am walking around doing stuff. Food doesn't seem to aggravate it or make it better. Sometimes it feels like a burning sensation, other times it feels like there is a rock at the pit of my stomach. It is very localized to a spot roughly 1 inch directly above my belly button.

Related symptoms that I am having are a fair bit of bloating and gas, and my bowel movements aren't quite normal. I wouldn't say I have diarrhea, but they are certainly looser than they used to be and seem to fluctuate daily so there is no consistency. I am also getting bouts of nausea a few times a week.

Since visiting the ER, I have done a stool sample to check for parasites, a stool culture, blood work, and H Pylori breath test. All of these came back normal apart from the blood count, which indicated a slightly lower white blood cell count, but multiple docs have said it's just slightly below the threshold and nothing to worry about. I am waiting on results for more blood work to check my liver and for celiac disease, and another parasite check, as the stool tests are apparently not very accurate. I've been on pantaprazole, which did nothing to help symptoms, so it's unlikely an ulcer. I have a referral to go see a gastroenterologist 2 months from now, but the process here in Canada takes forever and I really just want some relief from these symptoms.

This is the first time I have every dealt with something like this before. I'm a 23 year old male, eat well, exercise all the time, and lead a relatively non-stressful life. For some reason, the onset of this has caused me severe anxiety, and I can't help but think I have cancer or some other terminal disease. I'm trying to convince myself that something abnormal would have shown up on the ultrasound, CT scan, or blood work that has been run if it was a serious issue, but I'm still fearing the worst. I'm just looking to see if someone has dealt with similar symptoms over such a long time period before. 

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  • Posted

    Dear James it could be something like oesophagitis or gastitis(inflammation of stomach linning) i have had both and they do not go away quickly in my experience but the only way to be sure is to have an endoscophy if it persists. I pushed my doctor for one (i have had three in the past). You do get the burning with both and can be quite uncomfortable and like i said can last some time.
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  • Posted

    i think my little daughter has the similarproblem.She is almost four years old .Her problem has started when we went on holiday to Egypt she started suffering from abdominal pain,fever.diarrhea and i rushed her to hospital,then the did urin and stool analysis which showed intestinal amebiasis they gave her meyronidazole and intestinal antisepticas which actuallay gave her small help .Since then she has intermittant abdominal pain .I tried to figure out whats going on with her ,but am yet to find any....!
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  • Posted

    Did they also rule out a hernia? I understand your anxiety. I never had anxiety until my health issue that had been ongoing for 29 months now. Anxiety finally hit me around the 5th month of worrying. I'm a good one to say it, but try not to worry. You have had great test results, and I am sure you are fine. Also, do you have any mid to low back problems? It could simply be a back problem that the pain presents itself in that certain place. I have had quite a bit of training in this area. Google "dermatomes" and you will see a "map" of where pain presents to if certain vertebrae are affected. With all of your exercise, it could easily be a hernia or back problem. James794, don't worry any more, you will get this figured out and you will be fine.
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  • Posted

    Hi all. Thanks for the responses. As far as I can tell, they have ruled out a hernia based on the CT scan results. They seem to base a lot off the CT scan though, and I can't help but wonder if it missed something! My symptoms are still the same as they were on day one, and this is 3 months later now. I had an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy last Tuesday. Preliminary results were normal, but I am still awaiting bioposy results in 2 weeks time.

    They did find something in my stool about a month ago - a test result came back positive for Yersinia Enterocolitis. It's a bacteria that can cause all sorts of intestinal distress. I was treated with 10 days of Ciprofloxacin, but it didn't seem to help at all. My GI doc kind of seemed to write it off and said that Yersinia doesn't usually stick around, and that it likely wasn't still causing my symptoms. 

    I've managed to get my stress levels down a fair bit, but still have the occasional worry that something horrible is happening inside of me. I just wanted to update this thread in case someone happened to come across it, and see if anyone has any more suggestions? Should I push for a HIDA scan and/or pill cam? As far as I can tell, those would be the next diagnostic tests after CT, endoscopy and colonoscopy. 

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