Severe abdominal pain every couple of weeks or so

Posted , 6 users are following.

I am male, 67 years old, and in generally excellent health.  About 6 months ago I started having severe indigestion and stomach pain.  Then about 3 months ago I had a bout of severe abdominal pain (intermittent cramping), mostly in the upper right side of my stomach.  My GP prescribed Pentoprazole (1 in the morning) and Pepcid at night.  He also sent me in for a Gastro. consult.  Had an endoscopy which was normal, no ulcers, no infections, etc.  Then had an abdominal CD scan (with contrast) which showed nothing abnormal...gall bladder, pancreas, etc were all fine.  The GP stopped the meds and told me to use Pepcid at night if I had indigestion.  All was fine for 3 weeks or so than then I had another bout of severe cramping in upper right side, lasted about 4 hours, and then went away just as fast as it started.  The Gastro. specialist has suggested I take a low dose (10mg) of Elavil for what he calls "nervous stomach".  I'm a little leary of taking this drug.  Does anyone here have any ideas?  Thanks much



0 likes, 11 replies

11 Replies

  • Posted

    Do you still have the indigestion? Are your pains lower in the abdomen, too (like intestinal)?  I don't know what would cause such acute pain but not show up on the tests you've had.  Could it be something like a lactose intolerance or other food issue that bothers you?  The intesity seems like gall stones, but you were clear when checked...  My ideas would either be a second opinion or keeping a food diary, and maybe doing an elimination diet.  I hope you find answers soon!
    • Posted

      Thanks for the quick response.  Here are answers to your questions and a few more details:

      The indigestion comes and goes.  It does not seem to be food-related, but I've tried to avoid any irritants such as alcohol, chocolate, tomatoes, and other spicy/acidic foods.  Any indigestion is usually quickly resolved with an antacid such as Pepcid or Mylanta.  Sometimes the indigestion is accompanied by mild nausea.

      The abdominal pains (when they occur) are in the upper part of my abdomen, mostly on the right side of center.  They come in waves, lasting for a minute or two, and then going away for about 3-5 minutes before recurring.  This usually lasts about 3-4 hours, and occurs every 2-3 weeks.  I know this sounds a lot like gall bladder issues, but the CD scan was negative for any gall bladder issues.

      I don't know about food allergies or sensitivities.  I do drink a lot of milk and regularly eat yogurt.  Perhaps this is related.


    • Posted

      I read much more on this stuff than I can even son was diagnosed with Celiac disease and I'm next for testing. My blood work was normal, but I barely eat gluten since my little one was diagnosed. My older son is mildly lactose intolerant and has issues that improved on priobiotics. Now I'm also reading that stomach acid can have a big effect on digestion in the same area that seems to bother you.  That's why I think another doctor may think of something that this one hasn't, even though his care seems to have covered the major bases.
  • Posted

    Hi Mike....Sorry you hare having these problems.  

    Elavil is typically used for depression I think?  I took it for that several years ago and it was a very mild drug with little to no side effects for me.  What is it that makes you leary?

    I suppose it wil treat the nervousness of your tummy the same way it treats nervousness in other areas?

    • Posted

      I did some research and it seemed that Elavil had been found to cause some symptoms similar to early dementia, and there was a study that discussed a relationship between Elavil and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD).  My GP was OK with me taking the low dosage, but not for more than a couple of weeks.  I haven't started it yet.
  • Posted

    Sorry Mike to hear of your issues with this. I agree with Aveline on the gallstones, I've had 2 gallbladder surgeries so I would ask for an ultrasound of the liver/ gallbladder. I suffered terribly with indigestion and tried everything. 2 things that work are Buscopan a anti spasmodic to relax the stomach, quite safe and no wierd  side effects. The other is homeopathy Nat Phos which works slowly to heal. With constant use I've had no issues for over a year.....I wish you well... Don't give up...
  • Posted

    Hi Mike, It is odd, in that your symptoms sound like the ones l experienced, l,d get terrible indagestion and heaertburn really bad, but had a few bad attacks of severe sharp pain in abdomen right to middle, at worst disabling, but eased away after a few hours, could then go weeks without pain, an xray or scan showed choicylitus, gall bladder inflammation, no stones, but having it removed brought an end to the pain attacks, heartburn and indagestion. Difficult to believe that 3 scans wouldnt show up gall bladder probs, but not impossible l guess, do the pain attacks lay you up and unable to function normally, if so and they get worse you could always go to a and e, l know its not adviced if seeing your doc, but many go for lesser problems, wish l,d gone for symtpoms l had  that took many  years  of enduring their  affect, and on  family before l got right scope  diagnosis and treatment for intersticial cysitus, treatment reducing symptoms 90 percent, but lve a friend who,d a coelic and it can also cause her severe abdominal pain, good luck with finding solution
  • Posted

    My advice would be to say of the yogurt for a bit just to rule it.

    I know it helps to reduce acid too but it can cause digestive issues so try that and maybe try a lactose free warm milk if your trying to remove acid.

    Personally I would opt for a home made warm almond milk from freshly sprouted almonds hmmm but good luck if you try.


  • Posted

    Hi Mike,

    What are you nervous about?

    Elavil is one of the older anti-depressants. I havn't seen it used for years and years, so it makes me wonder if they have found a new side effect that is actually helpful.

    There are no long term effects with the use of antidepressants. They have been tried and true for decades, and they only keep getting better.

    It is interesting that you took the meds your GP prescribed, but 

    HOLD IT RIGHT THERE PARTNER! kickd in when you were prescribed a medication for your brain chemistry.eek

    Why do we still not consider our brain as we do any other organ we have? It is not special to have some depression. The very nature of depression hides that fact. The chemical imbalance that happens, enhances our mind to deny we are depressed.

    Add that to society continuing to hold onto last century's beliefs and 

    WHA-LA! People continue to deny it until it worsens and then it is harder to heal.

    I rec. you make an appt-or have a phone chat, with the Gastro Guy.

    Do your homework first and write your questions down before hand, so you ask everything. If he is not able to give you a reasonable explanation for a.) Needing an antidepressant, and B) Why he is resurecting one from the 1950's, Call your GP and express your concerns. 

    And then get another Gastro Guy to follow up-get that second opinion.

    It is important that you do not just feel you don't need the medication and not follow through. This "GG" is prob doing you a huge favor by picking up on a problem you would hav let get worse.

    And if his explanation doesn't make sense,or he doesn't have any people skills- run away.

    Also, do you excercise? You stated you were in excellent health, but as I was told just yesterday by a Doc

    "If you are not actively excercising after 35, your losing ground."

    Wow, that made such sense to me as I have become much weaker in the past few years after I became ill a few times, divorced, unable to find work-You get the picture-and I stopped excercising as I had-4-5 times a week.

    Excercise is a must for treating depression and as I slipped further into mine, I did exactley what I should not have done.I actually weakened so much, I thought I had MS as I could not walk a flight of stairs or lift my arms for any amount of time because they would ache and become weakend.

    Ended up my muscles had lost function!

    I did not go to a doc and get my medication reviewed for effacacy, I did not go to counseling, I isolated myself and I ate my way to 25 extra pounds. Winter is  a great time for depression to surface.

    So here is my lenghthy response. Psychological health is a passionate subject for me because I have worked with the Mentally infirmed all my life. Also at a personal level, being well emotionally is the same as being well, period.

    Also-try raising your head up a bit at night. And notice if you are eating differently when this pops up, or if certain activities trigger your stomach problems.

    I hope this helps


  • Posted

    I might add, I lost function of my muscles temporarily due to not excercising consistently-Could've knocked me over with a feather!

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