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Digestive Disorders Message Board

Digestive Disorders Board Index

Not sure if this is bowel or digestive, but I'll start here because I think my bowel symptoms are just that...symptomatic of a digestive problem.

I'm a 42 year old male. I had my gallbladder removed approximately 6 years ago after what seemed like a mild appendicitis attack evolved into full blown gallbladder symptoms. My pain started in the lower right quadrant (mild, burning) and slowly made its way up to the liver/gallbladder area. I've lived with mildly inconsistent bowel symptoms since, with the occasional "twinge" in the LRQ every few months for a few hours at most.

In late July of this year, after an extended period of protein meal replacement shakes (1-2 times daily for 6-8 weeks), I began feeling a bit "off." Started having URQ fullness and dull discomfort (can't really call it pain...just abnormal pressure and discomfort bordering on pain) just below the ribcage well to the right of my sternum. I also noticed my BM's starting to contain more food that hadn't quite been digested. I stopped the protein shakes right away and settled back into eating "normal" with my family. Had one day on vacation in early August where it really set me back, feeling like I was tired and the ache was more noticeable, but it went back to normal other than the undigested food part. I took a subsequent business trip to San Diego and had nearly no symptoms for the entire week.

In late August, it all started changing/progressing. My BM's had a little less undigested food, but have become yellow. Not floating, not hard to flush, just...a pale yellow to light brown. At the same time, the right-side discomfort became more constant, only subsiding after a good meal. I also developed a more burning/stinging sensation just above and a few inches to the right of my navel (nearly directly below the URQ ache). Also an almost colicky sensation in my LRQ similar to what I had right before my gallbladder attacks began 6 years ago. That's low enough it almost feels like pelvic / hip / lower back pain rather than true abdominal...weird.

Nothing is severe enough to wake me at night, though the URQ symptoms seem to be worst just before bed if my stomach is empty.

I visited my GP on Friday and he's put me on Sucralfate with the thought that I may have developed bile reflux gastritis. He also took blood and is checking on my enzymes to see if we might want to look more closely at bile or pancreatic ducts for blockage, etc. Given that the pain isn't really all that severe in the upper abdomen, I wonder if that's a possibility?

My URQ ache does seem to subside 30-45 minutes after taking Sucralfate, then goes away completely for about an hour after eating solid foods (fruit juice doesn't lessen it), but comes back again between meals. This med also seems to stop me up or at least slow me way down as BM's completely stopped until I drank a little prune juice and experienced nature's wrath because I must've drank a bit too much.

Waiting for my doc to call back with blood results after suffering through a weekend - anyone else experienced symptoms like these? Are there things other than ulcers, gastritis, or even IBS that I should be sure to have them check for? I suspect that if the bloodwork does come back in normal ranges that I'm going to get an upper GI scope done - wonder if they should check all the way down to the common bile duct to ensure there's not any blockage (or worse) there.

Thanks for listening; thoughts and experiences appreciated! :)

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