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Digestive Disorders Message Board

Digestive Disorders Board Index

Hey folks,

just joined and I'm hoping to gain some insight into what the heck my problem could be.

I've been round the bend for testing. I've had an upper GI series, Endoscopy and Colonoscopy, Ultreasound, x-rays, bloodwork galore, Echocardiograms, ECGs.... everything says I'm a-okay (minus a persistent, slightly elevated white blood cell count) and I'm at my wit's end. So, here's my side of it all. I apologise in advance for the length, so if anyone manages to get through it, thank you!

I suffer from constant gas, belching (all day with or without food), constipation, upper stomach pain just below my sternum, frequent, regurgitation (I have to be careful sometimes, because if I bend over to pick something up, I'll throw up a little. Same thing can happen if I burp!), a sensation of having porridge sitting in my esophagus sometimes, shortness of breath, exhaustion after eating, heart palpitations, and what I can only describe as brief tearing or electrical spasms in my chest and just above my stomach. It also feels like my diaphragm aches at times.... all in all not pleasant. I feel pretty awful some days.

I've had any cardiac related problems ruled out. I do have PVCs daily, many many times a day and they're most aggravated when my stomach is tight and gassy. Those are being managed with Diltiazem, though. I don't drink, I don't smoke and never have. Overall, I'm in good health at the age of 31.

I've had stomach issues for as long as I can remember, even as a teenager, so I'm no stranger to the gross feelings, pain and discomfort. Things started to get worse, however, about 2 years ago when I took a trip to Cuba with my friend and her family. I started to feel exhausted and my stomach was aching terribly. The only thing that could offer some temporary relief while I was there was to pack down food, take shots of something like Brandy or Conjac, or belching. But, like I said, the relief was only temporary. I chalked it up to hormonal shenanigans, which is nothing unusual for me. It seemed to pass after I got back home a week and a bit later, so I left it at that.

A month later the same stomach ache came back. I'd become lethargic, get a headache, get gassy and belchy... all I'd want to do is lie down and sleep. On top of that, If I ate a meal and was out and about, sometimes I'd get a tight knot just above my stomach that would feel like air building up/a hunger type pang that would build and build and build until I'd nearly throw up unless I stopped and rested.

Once again, I dismissed it. I thought maybe I had picked up a bug or something. It passed and I was fine for another month or so. However, it kept coming back, sometimes lasting for a week, sometimes for two. Same symptoms every time. Eventually I'd had enough and went to my GP. He sent me for some bloodwork to make sure I hadn't picked anything up while I was in Cuba, but he results were clear. At the time I was also under a lot of stress from supervising on a project at work, dealing with a lot of BS from my artists and the insane work schedule. Around that time, my PVCs also kicked in with a vengeance. Once again my doc prescribed some Nexium for a bit, as well as Ativan for my panic attacks and Atenolol for the PVCs (after being on a holter monitor for a bit).

I was frustrated, but there wasn't much I felt I could do at this point. My doc was right about the level of stress I was under, so I just went with it and dealt with my waves of symptoms as they came and went..... until last summer of 2012.

The stomach issues as mentioned just reached their peak. Or maybe it was my patience. Either way, back to the doc I went. I mentioned the pain that felt like spasms above my stomach, the gas that wouldn't alleviate, the belching, the reflux, the burning, the whole shebang. He had suspected a hiatal hernia, which was when I had my upper GI series done. That was clear. So, back on the Nexium I went, which did nothing except get rid of the acidity.

I was so frustrated at one point I went to the ER one weekend to complain of the pressure above my stomach, a very awful burning pain in my lower sternum that felt like heart burn that wouldn't resolve, and the belching. They, of course, immediately checked me out for anything heart related and was cleared for that. The doc who saw me referred me to the hospital's GI specialist for further investigation. And after my endo/colonoscopy, he too had nothing for me except taking Dexilant instead of Nexium.

So, no hiatal hernia, no OBVIOUS GERD, but symptoms of it, no ulcers, nothing. I'm clean as a whistle. And yet I'm still fighting with my body and I'm now in pain DAILY. I have no answers or real solution. I'm still stuck on the possibility of having the hiatal hernia, because my symptoms seem to make sense for that. The hernia has also been in my family, though I don't know if such a thing can be considered genetic. Can this type of hernia be missed during all of these tests, especially if it's a sliding hernia?

To date, I'm still taking Dexilant to keep the stomach acid at bay. I'm doing what I can to avoid any foods that could trigger the gas, bloating, pain, discomfort, etc. Nothing seems to work, really. I'm still tired, especially after I eat. Still having regurgitation (I should mention it's worse if I'm reclined). I'm a little confused about the whole thing.

Heck, just prior to writing this as I was moving about my apartment, getting ready for the day, my stomach started to ache at the point around the base of my sternum. I pressed the area gently hoping to massage the muscles or something, and immediately the whole area started to ache, I felt light headed, belchy, headachy and exhausted to the point that I just needed to lie down.

So, again, hernia missed? Am I dying? LOL. I'm so sick of dealing with this stomach garbage, I'm not sure what my next step should even be. Maybe I SHOULD consider the motility study, or push for an MRI perhaps.....

Again, I'm sorry this was so dang long. Also if my train of thought was jumping around here and there. There's just so much to all of this that it's hard to think of where to begin and where to go with the information, hehe.


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