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Sharp pain in the abdomen. Gastric trouble with bloating. What is causing this?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I have a sharp pain in my upper abdominal area just below my sternum. It feels swollen and I have been passing gas and have had several bowel movements with gas. I am not running a fever and no lost in appetite. It does hurt and the pain is stationary. This has been occurring for the past two weeks. I also eat slot of fiber fresh fruit and vegetables no red meat. Also I began a walking routine on the treadmill for 60 min. What do you think is causing this pain . XXXXXXX
Posted Sat, 23 Jun 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The most likely cause of your pain seems to be gastric acidity associated with indigestion.
It is aggravated by spicy food, oily food, smoking, tobacco of any kind, alcohol, coffee, sliding hernia which is a condition where the upper part of stomach is pulled up in the chest.

You need to avoid the above mentioned factors at all costs. Also eat small portion meals at frequent intervals rather than large heavy meals.
The best way to control these symptoms would be lifestyle changes with the following tips:
1. Change and develop good dietary habits including eating several small meals daily.
2. Diet should include fresh fruits, fiber XXXXXXX foods. Avoid spicy foods, fats and fried foods. Also avoid coffee, tea, alcohol, colas, and smoking. Avoid processed foods (Junk foods from refined carbohydrates). Eat freshly cooked food from whole grains.
3. Adopt proper posture.
4. Don't eat for at least three hours before you go to bed. If you have symptoms at night, try raising the head of your bed six to ten inches.
5. Maintain adequate hydration.
6. Adopting a sitting upright posture for 1 hr post meals will help in relieving the symptoms.
7. Avoid foods to which you are intolerant.
8. Start walking and reduce stress. You can also practice meditation techniques.

In addition to dietary and lifestyle changes, you can try the following medications to reduce your symptoms as follows.
1. Antacids (Tums, mylanta) can be taken to relieve the acidity.
2. Proton pump inhibitors such as pantop can be continued for few weeks.
3. Activated charcoal will reduce the bloating sensation.
4. Probiotics and digestive enzyme supplements will help to improve indigestion.
5. Pepto bismol to relieve any abdominal discomfort.

As some of these drugs can be obtained by prescription, I encourage you to consider visiting your physician and use the following medications after discussing with him.

Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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