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Overweight. Having pain towards back from left side. Using Mylanta and heating pad. Taking Aleve. What can be done further?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1038 Questions
Hi. I am an overweight woman almost 60 years old. Just last week I started having intense pain in my left side, that is more towards the back and somehow doesn't feel deep. It is worse after eating, but only sometimes, and other times I have little or no pain. It is preying on my mind, though. Use of Mylanta (I usually don't take anything except aspirin) and a heating pad usually make the pain almost go away.
A few months ago my doctor told me to start Aleve or Advil for some joint pain, and I haven't felt the same since (I only took them a couple of days.) Even the worst pain isn't as bad as it was last week (excruciating), but I'm not used to having any stomach issues. HELP !! XXXXXXX
Posted Mon, 3 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 2 hours later
Thanks for the query.

It is likely that you are suffering from a peptic ulcer disease which presents with epigastric pain, subcostal pain, frequent burping and is aggravated or provoke by stress, spicy and certain food types, alcohol, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen etc. Advil contains ibuprofen which is known to cause peptic ulcer disease.

Peptic ulcer disease is also commonly cause by a bacterial infection known as Helicobacter pylori. Simple serological test can detect the presence or not of this bacterial. If tested positive for this bacterial, an erradication regimen made up of antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor e,g Omeprazole is given. You should get tested for this bacteria to see if you do not have it that could be aggravating your aspirin induced peptic ulcer.

Treatment for peptic ulcer includes life style modification as well as drug therapy. Life style modification include;
-avoiding consumption of spicy and pepper food,
-avoiding alcohol
-eating regularly and optimally not exaggeratedly full
-avoiding anti-inflammatory or taking with food if you must take
Drug therapy include omeprazole, lansoprazole, cimetidine, ranitidine, antacids such as magnesium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide etc. Mylanta is an antacid containing aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide and simethicone.

Another possible diagnosis is an acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis presents with epigastric pain that radiates to the back and is most common in overweight and obese people. Diagnosis is made by testing for pancreatic amylase which will be necessary to do.

Hope this answers your query. If you have further query, i will be glad to help.
Best regards
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