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Abdominal pain, cramps, lower back pain, pressure below sternum. Drinking soda, not feeling better. GERD or indigestion ?

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I have noticed over the last year or so that I get abdominal, PMS-like cramps and pain in between my periods, including lower back pain...about every 2 weeks. I was also wondering what is considered a normal bowel movement. I know I don't always have one everyday, although I can be gassy every now and then. In addition, I will also admit that I don't follow the best diet.

Additionally, the last couple years I have had some form of GERD I suppose (I used to take Protonix, and it kind of helped). I notice that I feel a pressure just below my sternum, and it begins to hurt if I don't burp. I've taken to drinking sodas more than I used to just to force constant burps. Sometimes, it feels like something is stuck and I have to cough (or burp) to feel better. I would appreciate any insight on this matter, and what specialty of doctor I should maybe make an appointment with. Thanks.
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 5 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

The abdominal cramps / lower back pain every fortnight and pressure below sternum might be related to digestion related problems (indigestion). Drinking sodas and carbonated drinks will only add to abdominal gas and distension.

I suggest you to consult a gastroenterologist for proper evaluation and treatment.

Having two bowel movements per week are also considered normal if the consistency of stool is normal.

In the mean time, you may try the following.

1. Antacids that are available over the counter like Di-Gel, Maalox Anti-Gas, and Mylanta Gas allow gas to be belched away more easily. One teaspoon taken half an hour before food thrice a day for a week will be helpful
2. Food enzymes, such as Beano, which help break down the sugars found in vegetables and grains, can be added to foods that cause you to have gas. You may use it one teaspoon a day in the morning.

I hope the suggestions given are helpful. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.

Wishing you good health.


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