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Digestive Disorders Message Board

Digestive Disorders Board Index

I still continued to experience the pain near the bottom of my sternum that only goes away when lying down. The common points I see from those who posted were:
-same type of growing pain
-same location (bottom of sternum near xyphoid process)
-seems to be related to stress/anxiety (and therefore occurs most often when away from home, or with shallow breathing when stressed)
-accompanied by gas or occasional diarrhea
-does not seem to be a direct symptom of eating any particular food
-only solution is to lay down until the pain completely goes away (will return immediately upon standing if did not lay down long enough)

I'm going to try to sum this up as briefly as I can...
I started learning researching how problems with the gut ("leaky gut") are tied into stress/anxiety. This led me to learn about hypochlorydria or low stomach acid. I also have occasional acid reflux, which I thought meant that I had too much stomach acid, but it turns out there are many of the same symptoms for both high and low stomach acid. Stomach acid helps digest your food. If you don't have enough, your food doesn't digest properly, you eventually develop leaky gut, and then toxins leak into your blood stream causing inflammation and a whole host of problems. Leaky gut also causes symptoms of IBS. How is this tied to the abdominal pain? The body cannot produce stomach acid when in a stressed state. Gas is created. I believe this gas is then creating the abdominal pain.

Solution: heal the gut. How? Balancing stomach acid and gut flora (bacteria). I started by just taking probiotics. This helped me in some areas, but did not help the abdominal pain. I wondered at times if too much of the probiotics created more abdominal pain. Then I learned about betaine HCl (creates stomach acid) with pepsin (digestive aid). I think it's a balancing act between the betaine HCl and the probiotics to manage the abdominal pain. I also make sure to take Lactaid when eating heavy dairy products and Beano when eating veggies.

All these things combined have healed my gut and I experience this strange abdominal pain so rarely now. Stress management also helps--especially concentrating on my breathing when rushed or in a stressful situation.

If you experience this mystery pain, I would look into healing your gut. Google topics like leaky gut or low stomach acid. Chris Kresser has a lot of good info on his website on the topic.

Side note: taking betaine HCl with pepsin also cured me of horrible adult cystic acne and has improved my eczema, depression, concentration problems, anxiety, and issues with fatigue--basically all the health problems I have suffered for years and have gone through numerous tests for with no answers.

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