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Suffer from abdominal discomfort and pain, heartburn. Normal bowel movements and appetite. Cause?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5762 Questions

I am a 27 year old male, it pretty good health I'd say.
I have been experiencing abdominal discomfort. For the last few years I have experienced gassiness almost every evening. That, I have been able to deal with. For the last year or so I have occasionally experienced some somewhat sharp abdominal paint... sort of in the middle and upper areas. It is a bit like many many needles... sometimes it is mild, sometimes a bit more intense. I have also experienced what I believe to be heartburn for several years (not every day, but often. It happens a bit more when I'm tired). Recently (within the last couple weeks or so), it has changed a bit. My stomach barely growls, and when it does... it's a just a little. Otherwise I feel as if I am stuck at that feeling "just before it growls", if you know what I mean. But it doesn't, and so is uncomfortable. I am experiencing much more constant discomfort, whether it be bloating, or the needling pain... which is there frequently. I have tried various things, like different teas, lying down on my back or stomach, and exercise (I exercise fairly often anyway)... and it has not helped. My appetite is still fine, bowel movements seem fine, and I don't have any other symptoms that I can think of. Please help... I am rather concerned! Thanks!
Posted Sun, 7 Apr 2013 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 32 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

Your symptoms are most likely caused by some stomach disease. It can be acid reflux disease or peptic ulcers. If your pain occasionally radiates to the back, gallstones are possible.
Increased gas in the digestive tract can be caused by swallowing the air due to chewing gum, eating too fast, drinking carbonated drinks. Gas can be also produced by bacteria overgrow in the in the digestive tract.
I suggest you to visit gastroenterologist and have some tests performed. You should start with upper GI endoscopy. During this test, peptic ulcers can be diagnosed and Helicobacter Pylori infection can be ruled out.
If endoscopy will be negative, abdominal ultrasound, blood work, liver tests should be performed. And if still nothing, stool tests should be done.
In a meanwhile you should avoid fatty foods, coffee, fruit juices, chocolate.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffer from abdominal discomfort and pain, heartburn. Normal bowel movements and appetite. Cause? 52 minutes later
thank you for your response.

I am currently living in a foreign country for several months, so visiting a gastroenterologist or another doctor can be difficult.

There is no pain radiating to my back... I try not to eat too fast, and rarely chew gum. I generally eat well, rarely eat chocolate and do not drink coffee (but do have juice every morning). Could it be something to do with Gluten or lactose intolerance?

Do you think this condition is urgent, or can I just live with it for a while? ... and, do you suppose the main problem ( the discomfort, not the gas)... will just go away or get better on it's own, especially if I follow your suggestions?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 8 minutes later
Gluten or lactulose intolerance would rather cause diarrhea and bowel movements problem. Upper part of the abdomen usually hurts when stomach problem appears. So I dont think it has anything to do with gluten or lactose.

This condition does not seem to be urgent (you are young person and serious diseases are rare at your age). It can go away if you will avoid products mentioned before. You should add some stomach acid secreting inhibitor (like Omeprasole 20 mg once a day in the morning before any meal).
You may try such treatment and see if it will help (sometimes it takes week or two for the effect to appear). If no improvement in two week, than you should decide to visit a doctor.

Hope this will help.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffer from abdominal discomfort and pain, heartburn. Normal bowel movements and appetite. Cause? 12 minutes later
I'm currently in Germany, and the Omeprazole you mentioned might be difficult to get (many drugs are heard to get here)... but I will see what I can do. Would Pepto Bismol also be effective?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 6 minutes later
Buscogast should be easily available in Germany. Pepto Bismol wont be effective (it is used to treat diarrhea). If Omeprasole is not available, you should try something which do contain Natrii alginas,Natrii hydrogenocarbonas,Calcii carbonas (should be OTC available).

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