Stomach pain for months, need help!

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Hi all, I've been having stomach pain since February, and in May went to the doctor who diagnosed me with an ulcer. He prescribed Pantoprazole but I had another stomach pain attack about two weeks later. At this point the doctor put me on H Pylori treatment (2 weeks), although he didn't test me to see if I had the infection to begin with. I finished the treatment, and continuted to have ongoing stomach pain (that was at the end of June). The doctor told me to go off of the PPI for a month to do a urea breath test, which came back negative. 

In the meantime my symptoms have gotten worse, to the point where I now have constant abdominal pain in the center just below my ribs. The pain occasionally spreads to my upper-middle back. I also have yellow stool that floats.

I had to go to the ER 3 times this week, and have been back on Pantoprazole since last Sunday. I continue to have constant abdominal pain. I've had blood tests, urine tests, an abdominal ultrasound, CT Scan, and chest X-Ray, all of which came back negative. I'm waiting on results from a stool test, and am in the process of making an appointment for an endoscopy test with a GI specialist.

In the meantime, can anyone help me figure out what's going on? Is it normal for a peptic ulcer to take this long to heal? The first ER doctor I saw said my pain is probably because I went off of the PPI for a month (during the month I still had abdominal pain, although it came and went more often). Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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  • Posted

    Also, prior to my having stomach pains I was regularly drinking energy drinks (1 a day or so) as well as coffee. 
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  • Posted

    Do you have a change in bowel habit and stomach pain that moves around?  Maybe you have IBS p. Fuzzy drinks and coffee are IBS triggers.  If you have an ulcer it will show on the endoscopy.
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    • Posted

      The stomach pain tends to stay in the same spot, in the middle of my abdomen below my rib cage. Sometimes it can spread to my left or right side or my back, but it's constantly in the middle.

      Bowel habits haven't changed much, still have them around the same time each day. The colour and texture of them have changed though. Not sure if that's a result of the medication I'm on or a symptom of what's causing me this pain.

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  • Posted

    Hello,

    Ulcers can take 3/4 months to heal and once you have had one it can come back if you don't watch your diet and lifestyle. Take ppi medicine (the azole pills) until well enough to come off them.

    Cut out energy drinks for ever...they are rubbish. Cut out coffee while healing. It is most likely these two that have caused your ulcer ! Caffeine makes lots of stomach acid.

    Your doc should have tested you for h pylori infection prior to giving you the treatment. But hey ho it sounds like you are not infected and simply

    Need to allow your ulcer to heal.

    Your diet and lifestyle are important factors to healing. Cut out the following until healed :

    - alcohol

    - caffeine

    - fizzy drinks

    - acidic foods and drinks (citrus etc)

    - fatty / fried foods

    - dairy

    - chocolate and pastries and cakes

    You should start to feel better if you do this and take your medicine. If you don't your ulcer won't go. Simple as.

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  • Posted

    Take your medication. Cut out energy drinks and coffee. Cut out booze. Cut out acidic and fatty foods. Watch your dairy. Reduce stress.

    Your ulcer takes a while to heal, and you may be sensitive for a while. It sounds like your infection has gone (if you ever had it in first place !).

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  • Posted

    Hi guys, thank you all for your replies. I am definitely cutting out alcohol, caffeeine, and fatty foods while my body heals. Also trying to eat 4-5 smaller meals a day instead of the usual 3.

    I have an appointment with a specialist tomorrow, so hopefully I will be able to find out when I can get more tests done.

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  • Posted

    So yesterday I was feeling pretty good, and I thought the drugs were working. And then at night around 7pm I tried to have a bowel movement and had a sharp shooting pain in my abdoment (center and to the left) that felt like someone was stabbing me. Ended up having to go to the ER, where the pain slowly subsided over an hour and a half. I've had this pain before (6-7 times), but I assumed the medication would have prevented this from happening. I also felt bloating prior to the incident.

    I'm on a very strict diet (steamed foods, such as rice, chicken, and vegetables) as well.

    Does this mean the medication is not working or is something else wrong with me?

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    • Posted

      It could mean either of those two things.  Ask your doctor for a different medication to see if that helps.  In my case, I was put on Mebeverine when doctors were trying to diagnose me.  It made me much worse and I thought something was seriously wrong.  I came off them immediately and  my new symptoms went away overnight.  After my IBS diagnosis, I tried Buscopan and it worked.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your help philippa. The GI I saw today seems to think it was form trapped gas and IBS problems. Unfortuantely I won't be getting my scope until October, so until then she put me on a probiotic (Align). Hopefully that helps to sort things out. I'll continue the Pantaprazole for now as well as I think it may be helping my ulcer (only been on it for a week and a day).

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    • Posted

      Yea I know, that's Canada for you. I think it's because all of my other test results came back negative that they don't see it as being urgent.

      All I can do now is take my meds, go on the FODMAP diet/probiotics, and hope for the best. Might see my family doctor as well for his advice in the meantime.

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    • Posted

      You could always ask your doctor to have the scope brought forward if you are worried.  When I had my ultrasound last year, the NHS wait would a have been a month which is really not that bad.  But when you are panicking 24/7 it can seem like an eternity.  My anxiety was getting worse by the day, so I got it put forward in a private hospital.  The results turned out negative.

      I always assumed that the hospital waiting times were shorter in Canada and that Britain had longer ones.

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  • Posted

    Jon,

    Is it an endoscopy you are having?

    From your symptoms I would say your ulcer is still present. Gastritis and stomach ulcers can completely throw out your digestion and give you IBS Like symptoms.

    When I suffered bad gastritis I had bloating, cramps, bad wind, constipation, diarreah and other gut problems. Colonoscopy came back clear and it was my gastritis that was causing the problems.

    My gastritis is now pretty much healed (after months of healthy eating and supplements and meds) and my bowels have settled and pretty Much back to normal.

    Focus on healing the ulcer. There's nothing else that can be done. And be careful of eating too many starchy foods, fibre and veg - they are hard to break down and cause lots of gas. Especially when on ppi as they reduce acid substantially.

    Eat easy to digest foods and consider juicing veggies until better.

    Leave off probiotics for now - you may over load your system with bacteria as there's no acid to regulate their growth in stomach and small intestine.

    Try them once you come off ppi and ulcer healed.

    Ppi and healthy eating will cure you - but it will take weeks not days.

    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      It's up to you, but the danger of taking probiotics when on ppi is that you can get SIBO.

      PPI's drastically reduce acid production (like 80%) so your stomach and gut flora may grow to levels that are abnormally high. This will cause more gas and IBS symptoms as the bacteria produce gas as a by product of eating glucose.

      Probiotics are good for digestion, but I would wait until your ulcer has healed and you are off ppi.

      You don't need them to heal your ulcer. Ppi, diet and time will do that

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    • Posted

      Hmm...ok. I'll check with my doctor as well to see what he says. Thanks again, it's good to know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel if I continue treatment.

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    • Posted

      Also, how long did it take for you to notice a reduction in your gastritis/ulcer symptoms when you were on the PPI?

      I've been on Pantaprazole for 9 days now and still get a dull ache in my upper abdomen, and had a sharp pain two days ago in my middle/left abdomen that put me in the hospital.

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    • Posted

      You will heal. Just be patient and don't let the odd bad day get you down...it happens. As long as you are having more bad days than good it's ok.

      Standard course of treatment for ulcers is 8 weeks on ppi...so you've got some way to go yet. It's a slow process I'm afraid.

      I took ppi for 4 months before I came off it. And even now I eat healthy and be careful with alcohol and chocolate etc. Your stomach will most likely be sensitive for years to come.

      But I'm pain free now and can live a pretty normal life...just healthy! smile

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    • Posted

      lol thanks, that's reassuring.

      Yea it's so weird where I have days when I feel like I'm almost normal, and then have another day after where the pain returns.

      Btw, did you ever experience constipation while on the PPI?

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