What's going on with my digestive system

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Hi all, first time hear and hoping someone out there may shed some light on whats going on with my stomach. I have had bouts of indigestion and heartburn for many years, probably due to always working unsociable, shift work, but they were sporadic and very mild bouts. However, since December last year I have been suffering with allsorts of problems, which seem to be digestive tract linked. Prior to these problems I injured my back at work in September, and have not been able to go back as yet. Before, the symptoms started happening I was put on Naproxen (an NSAID), to help relieve my back pain, so I could do Physiotherapy. I took Naproxen for about a week, until I had to stop due to getting severe stomach cramps. This then led to all the symptoms I am experiencing right now, which I will list in a bit. I saw my GP, who put me on 40mg Omeprazole, 20mg twice a day, which relieved the symptoms for a while. However in recent weeks the symptoms are getting bad again, I have been to and fro from my GP, who has put me on Domperidone as well as the Omeprazole. My GP had my blood tested for a total blood count and Helicobacter Pylori. The blood results were all good, except for a slight raise in platelet levels. I am having more blood tests done, and have been referred for a scan, I have heard Pancreatitis and Gallstones mentioned recently, but thought I'd mention my problems on here, just in case someone has experienced the same as myself, and can help enlighten me.

The main symptoms I get are bloating (and associated random sharp stabbing pains all over abdomen, chest and back), burping, stomach churning, frequent throat clearing, 2 specific frequent dull aches that can get sharp (one on left side of upper abdomen, and one just to right of centre of upper abdomen), raised heart rate, nausea, hot flushes, bouts of dizzyness, pale coloured stools (sometimes loose, but generally firm). It hurts more when I move and I also get this sharp pain, right across the top of my abdomen, where I'm guessing my diaphragm is, when I bend over.

These symptoms aren't daily, I can go 2 - 3 days and feel ok, only experiencing very mild symptoms, but then the symptoms flare up and it leaves me not being able to do anything cause I feel so rough. The pains and discomfort I get do hurt, but I'm not in severe pain, so I'm just having to deal with it whilst my GP investigates. I'm hoping the scan will reveal something, but if anybody can help with any info on the reasons why I'm getting all these symptoms, I would be very grateful to hear it. I've been struggling for a couple of months now, and totally fed up, just to know what is going on would be a help in itself.

Thanks in advance.

BTW. Forgot to mention that I can't eat bread, or high sugar content foods, these flare up my symptoms. I had a Rhubard and Custard boiled sweet the other day, I thought 'surely one will be ok', I wish I hadn't bothered, that hurt. I've never been a heavy drinker, and I do smoke, but again not a lot, on average about 7 - 8 a day.

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  • Posted

    Hello All

    Next update for you all. Since I have come down a dose on the Omeprazole, I have been getting all the old symptoms back, nausea, bloating, burping, dizzyness, pulling tight sensation across the back, sharp random pains all over abdomen, back, chest (especially in centre of chest level with bottom of breast bone), tiredness. Can't believe I have gone downhill so quick, when only a week ago I mentioned how good I was feeling, really thought I was over the worst, how wrong was I.

    There's been a new development that I would like to mention, and would really appreciate some help with. I've now noticed a slight bulge, or swelling in the lower right area of my abdomen, level with my belly button. Its not huge and doesn't hurt to touch, not sure if I can feel a lump or not, I thought I did when I pressed down and moved my hand around in that area. I do get some very mild discomfort on the right side of my abdomen that comes and goes, but its not that noticable, especially with all the other symptoms I'm having. Any ideas what this could be?

    I'm back to GP on monday me thinks, but any input would be a great help. Thanks.

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  • Posted

    New update.

    Back on Omprazole, didn't take long for original symptoms to come back, luckily not as bad as I experienced when all this started, but still enough to affect my daily life and get me really down.

    Saw GP about the swelling / lump just to the right of my belly button, possible cause is likely to be a swollen lymph gland. Apparently, they can swell to 7 times their size, and usually swell due to infection, which would tie in with my white blood cell test result being borderline. More blood tests tomorrow and still awaiting appointment for ultrasound.

    Surely the NHS will guess right as to whats wrong with me soon. I live in hope.


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  • Posted

    Hi Paul

    Just been reading all of your blogs and replies as I am suffering with Diverticulitis.Prior to this been diagnosed I suddenly lost the ability to swallow food (fluids were ok). No rhyme or reason as far as I could see. Worried sick as I feared the worse I had a private Endoscopy perfomed - this revealed I had Thrush ( Candidasis) and a hiatus hernia, also inflamed gut. This was due to Acid reflux burning my throat and insides. I was put on Fluconazole for the thrush and Lanzaprazole for the reflux. After the course was finish I still could not swallow, so many different consultations and a speech and language therapist who did finally get me swallowing again - but only soft food. I then had to see a rheumatologist as I am suffering with dry mouth and eyes. Turns out I have an autoimmune disease called Sjorgrens Syndrome. So I'm dealing with that, but during my treatment for the thrush etc, I was rushed into hospital with severe abdominal pains, nausea, and had had diaorreah for a while. I had a CT scan which showed i had diverticultis, they got this under control ( December 2014) but now I have the symptoms back again - again no reason - apart from the fact I am eating again after going 3 months on an Ensure programme (Liquid Food). I too am fed up with my life revolving around Dr's and Hospitals after being a realtively healthy person with a healthy lifestyle and diet. I have never smoked, used to drink very little alcohol and none at all since November. I have however had a lot of stress in the past few years and undergoing counselling. The Dr's do say that this probably was the cause of my problems.

    My recent trip to the Dr's he gave me 2 types of anti-biotics which after a couple of days have made me feel worse than ever, so now I'm on fluids for a day or so. They just don't seem to be able to pin anything down to a specific cause and sort the problem out - perhaps it's my age - I'm 69 this year.

    I hope you are now feeling much better Paul

    Regards Margery

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    • Posted

      Hi Margery

      Nice to hear from you. How are you feeling now? I hope you are ok and I'm so sorry to hear about your problems. I couldn't imagine what it must have been like to be on a liquid diet. It makes me thankful that I am still able to eat solid food, allbeit, plain and boring stuff. I was just wondering if you had any blood tests done during your diagnosis, and if so, what was the outcome of them? I've had 3 lots of blood taken lately, and they were tested for TBC and ESR, among other tests. My first test had raised platelets, second had borderline white blood cell count and the last, taken a week ago, had nothing wrong at all. I only ask as I am so desperate to find out whats going wrong with me, and the doctors haven't been as efficient as I believe they could have been, considering I've been suffering for almost 6 months.

      I have to admit that leading up to the point where all my problems started, I was under a huge amount of physical stress with my job, which in turn led to me feeling very mentally stressed. Because of a traumatic upbringing, I find it hard to control stress levels, I have had CBT and counselling before, and lately, I have used many of the relaxation techniques I learned then, to try and help me deal with the problems I have been suffering with. My employers kept putting more and more work on me, and no matter how many times I told them I couldn't cope and needed help, they did nothing. I'm glad I found an email I sent to my employer saying that I was struggling and needed help, my solicitor said because of this email, I now have a reasonable chance of getting compensation due to their negligence in not giving me a safe working practice, or something like that. Doesn't help me feel any better though, I'm still struggling.

      I had to start another discussion on this site, due to a new symptom, swelling in the lower right abdominal area with sharp stabbing pains. I'm getting totally sick of it all, I've never felt so low and useless, and I still have the worry of finding out whats wrong with me, if they even can that is.

      Thanks for the time in giving me your info, any ideas, views and support from others can be so helpful, and I am grateful for that. We can but hope that they found out what our problems are, and the sooner the better.

      Please take care and I do hope you get better.

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    • Posted

      Hello Paul

      Thanks for your reply and sorry to hear you have had a traumatic upbringing can leave untold scars. Have you tried Mindfulness Therapy, it seems to be the one to use these days - breathing excercises etc. It did help me when I was worried I had Oesophagul Cancer and since then. I have had lots of blood tests done - 10 by the Rheumatologist and they all came back negative. My guts have really been playing up this past week and Dr said to go on fluids, that's not helping either. I might even finish up in A&E if this continues. Take Care

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    • Posted

      I'm so sorry to hear that Margery, it really does sound like you are going through a nightmare time right now, I can't sympathise enough for you and I really do hope you get better, and soon. I wish there was something I could say or do for you to help, I've had some awful times of late, but doesn't sound anywhere near what you are going through, my thoughts are with you.

      Thanks for the blood test info, it just gives me more ideas to throw at my GP, considering that it feels like all they are doing is just guessing at what my problems are right now. A friend of mine has just completed her Mindfullness course and she says it has helped her calm down considerably, I have noticed a definite change in her mood and attitude when I see her. She too had a bad childhood, and would get upset, worried, stressed and angry easily. It might be a course for me to look into, thank you for the suggestion.

      Please take care of yourself, I am hoping that you will get better very soon.

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul,

    Your symptoms are very identical to mine. I however have come off the omperazole and have stayed off it for the past 3 weeks now. All my pains returned even worse, my heartburn and indigestion are back with a vengeance. My stools are loose but are normal coloured. They suspect my problems are pancreas (chronic pancreatitis) related. I have had normal bloods and ultrasound and MRI/MRCP. I am vitamin D deficient and have a slightly raised ALP. Dr originally thought it was my gallbladder but the surgeon thinks different. I've done a stool sample for elastase. The results were due back Friday but weren't a available so ive got to wait until Monday.

    I find eating almost any food, even water, gives me pains on my left side under my ribs then I get awful cramping and stabbing on my right side.

    I just want to know what is wrong with me!

    I will be following your thread as I'm intrigued as to what the Drs decide to do for you next! My dr is useless!

    Take care! Gem

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    • Posted

      Hello Gem

      I know exactly where you are coming from, I only managed 2 days off the Omeprazole when my symptoms came back. I knew that they would come back when I came down a dose, I could feel that is was going to kick off again. Does the Omeprazole help your symptoms? It only seems to take the edge off mine, I still bloat and burp quite a bit, and get the sharp pains in abdomen and chest. Its such a burden, I'm so fed up, and desperate to know what is going on. Its especially worrying when the bloating gets so bad that it obviously adds pressure to my chest, I feel like I'm having a heart attack at times, then I eat and/or have a burping session and I feel ok again. I worry when this happens, and feel silly when all I needed was to burp.

      I'm going to check with my GP if an ALP test has been done on me, they have done so many tests that I can't actually remember. I do remember them saying that my protein levels were fine, I'm not sure if this is related?? I know one of my blood tests was for pancreatitis, that came back negative, as did all the other tests done to date, apart from a couple of slightly out of spec results with platelets and white blood cells. Its wierd, but I'm almost praying for one test to come out positive, I'd be a lot happier to know what the problem is. Unfortunately, I don't have a specific GP at our surgery, I have to see whoever has an appointment free on that day, unless pre booked. I have seen 5 different GPs since I became unwell, and at times, one has contradicted the other, and each has had their own diagnosis for me. I think I'd be happier if they told me they don't have a clue whats going on.

      I'll keep this discussion updated, so keep checking it out, I just hope it ends up helping in some way. Next step is an ultrasound scan in a week, but I don't hold out much hope finding anything, it looks like a lot of cases like this seem to produce no positive test results.

      Take it easy Gem and I do hope you recover soon.

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  • Posted

    A quick update on this discussion.

    Just seen a GP, she admitted that its been wrong of the practice I am registered with, not to have assigned me one Doctor to investigate and treat me, so she has decided to take my treatment on. This is a great relief as she seems to be one of the more switched on GPs there, and likes to get things done. Hence the unprovoked rectal exam I had this morning, wasn't expecting that today!! She found no problems there, nor with the really good abdominal poke around she did, listened to what I had to say, and has made a request for a Colonoscopy and Endoscopy to be done. Got my Ultrasound scan on Saturday (seems an odd day to do one), but not looking forward to having to eat nothing for 6 hours prior to the scan. My stomach needs little and often food, if I leave it too long the churning, gurgling and burping get worse. I've heard wind / gas build up can affect the results of an Ultrasound, don't fancy travelling 25 miles for it to be a waste of time, why can't anything be simple??

    One thing the GP seemed quite interested in was an earlier report in my life, of an allergic reaction I get to a specific chemical, nothing you'll find in the shops though. I was exposed to this in my place of work at the time without being told, or realising what it was doing to me. I was exposed so long that my body couldn't take it anymore and reacted by my eyes swelling to the point I couldn't look out of them, sores developing around mouth, nose and on arms that would open and bleed, and struggled with breathing. I only realised after this that the chemical in question was bad. It caused acute toxicity, respiratory sensitization, germ cell mutagenicity and carcinogenicity, among other things. I was exposed for almost 4 years before I started to get the allergic reactions, I don't know what damage this has done to me, but it has certainly got me worried as to whether there is something more serious going on here. Suppose I'll find out soon enough.

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    • Posted

      That's great that you finally have a GP that's going to look after you. A good Dr is hard to find! It's also good news that she's agreed to colon and endoscopy! I'm still fighting to get mine! she sounds like she wants to actually help you, especially with the rectal exam smile

      The chemical exposure does sound a bit worrying, is ur Dr going to do anything about it? Bloods? Etc. can she check anything?

      Good luck for Saturday! I hope it all goes well for you.

      I'm sat waiting nervously for my stool sample results! Dr is gonna ring sometime this week! That's hell for me!

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    • Posted

      Hi Gem

      Cheers for the words of encouragement, and I do hope your results go well for you and you get your scopes sooner rather than later.

      My GP is ex military, so not one to mess around pondering and guessing all the time. I think it's more of a case of first things first with her. I'm complaining of stomach and bowel probs at the mo, so thats what she's focussing on. The exposure issue will be investigated afterwards, unless they find something from the scopes that could be related. Bit worried bout how they'll go, but hoping I get some answers at the same time.

      Good luck and let us know how the results went, I'll update this after my Ultrasound.

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  • Posted

    Hi All

    Latest update for you.

    Just had my abdominal Ultrasound and nothing was found, the nurse doing the scan actually said that 'everything looks rather good'?? I've got a Sigmoidoscope exam on Friday so have to wait and see if that picks anything up, if not then your guess is as good as mine.

    There has been one very interesting development has happened lately though. All week I've been feeling a lot of nausea, until last night when it got so bad that I was trying to find a position I could relax in that eased the nausea. I ended up kneeling down in front of the sofa, and bending over so my front was resting on the seat of it. After about 10 minutes my nausea began to ease, and after an hour of doing this, it had totally gone, and felt fine for the rest of the evening. I woke today, expecting to feel the sickness that I have been all week, but nothing. No nausea, only very faint pains now and again (not even pains really, just feelings) and only minor bloating and burping, right now I feel great. The only thing I did differently yesterday, was hardly eat any fruit or veg, because I was feeling so sick. My diet doesn't change at all from week to week because of the reaction some foods seemed to give me, so I've been left puzzled as to why I've just suddenly got better today, was it the position I found to ease the nausea last night that did it? No idea! I have had odd good days here and there so am taking this development with a pinch of salt. Thought I'd share that with you, it's all just very strange and confusing.

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul,

      I'm glad the ultrasound went well. I hope Friday goes well for you too.

      I've had my stool results all normal and this afternoon I had my lower abdomen and pelvis MRI. Results will take 2 weeks. This week I should have my h.plyori test results and I had some more bloods taken today for bone profile, FBC and tyroid. I'll get those results tomorrow.

      As for your pains/nusea you've had recently. I Suffer with it after I've eaten sometimes and it only last an hour or so, could your position be coincidence or was it definitely the position that made it disappear?

      I think it does sound a bit gallbladder related by what I've read and my symptoms are really really similar to yours!

      Keep us up to date!

      All the best!


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    • Posted

      Hi Gem

      Good luck with the MRI results, I hope they come back clear for you, or if you're like me I hope they find the cause of your symptoms because you're fed up with not knowing whats going on. Its nice to find someone who's symptoms are so alike to mine. Maybe together we can crack this. Why are you having your thyroid checked? Only ask as it is something that hasn't crossed my mind as yet.

      I've been convinced that my problem was gallbladder, but the radiologist performing the ultrasound said it looked fine, as did everything else inside. Apparently they can tell a lot from the ultrasound, and there is no evidence mine is causing my symptoms.

      The nausea I experienced recently was constant, it just fluctuated in severity. That was until I took up the position I mentioned, and it then went away within an hour. I haven't had any nausea since, it just seems odd that getting into that position seemed to take the nausea away. I don't know if it was that that took the nausea away, and I don't fancy the nausea again so I can test out the theory.

      I've now got some concerns about the Sigmoidoscopy on Friday, that I'm going to see my GP about tomorrow. It concerns the medication Dulcolax that was given to me for bowel cleansing before the scope. I've found a number of reasons why I shouldn't take it. In the instructions it states do not take Dulcolax if you experience rectal bleeding, which I do occasionally, get abdominal pain with nausea, inflammation of the bowel (my right lower abdomen is swollen, to me this suggest inflammation) and have a serious abdominal condition eg: appendicitis (this hasn't been ruled out yet). A Sigmoidoscope, from what I've read, only checks the left hand section, first part of the large intestine, however the main pains, discomfort and the swelling are on the right side. I'd rather not risk any implications from taking the Dulcolax for an examination that isn't actually checking the area I'm having problems with, sounds pointless to me. If I'm going to risk any implications then I would rather do so for an examination that is more thorough, like a colonoscopy, MRI or CT scan. I wouldn't be too worried taking Dulcolax if it hadn't been for the Naproxen I was prescribed back in November, that after a week and a bit of taking left me in so much agony that I almost called an ambulance on a few occasions. The only treatment the doctors have got right till now is putting me on Omeprazole, other than that, the rest of my treatment has been poor, and my confidence in doctors isn't as strong as it once was.

      I'll let you know what happens

      Take it easy Gem and good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul,

      Had all my bloods back and all normal! Yay! That's a first in nearly a year smile my alp (run in liver and bone tests) has been slightly elevated since October so I really happy it home back to normal. I had my thyroid checked as I am suffering bone pain and althou my dr thinks it's related to me being vitamin d deficient I just wanted to make sure it wasn't anything else. Still waiting for h.plyori test results thou.

      If you have inflammation of your gut on the right side have they not tested you for IBD? (Sorry if you've said b4) I don't blame you not taking the ducolax, it can really mess with your system aswell. So good luck at the Drs tomorrow smile I don't know what else they can give you thou and you need to be cleared out for the procedure. I guess the sigmoidoscopy will check and rule anything else out. Which can only be a good thing, especially if you want answers.

      Keep us updated smile

      Take care

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