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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest remedy for pain below the sternum and abdominal bloating

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3126 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 2 Nov 2015 in General Health
Question: Friday night, extreme pain below sternum, stomach bloated and hard, has stayed that way, paid much decreased, no fever, no vomiting, pepto bismal and acid controller did not work, could not roll onto sides, paid kept me awake
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Please clarify - has the pain decreased?

Detailed Answer:
I am sorry you are feeling so badly. I read what you wrote a few times and am not clear when you say that the stomach has remained hard, but "pain much decreased". So is it not hurting you further but your abdomen is still hard?

Also, which acid controller did you try and at what dosage and frequency?

The area you describe hurting is where the end of the esophagus is at. So likely this is from acid reflux. As the esophagus is not meant to have acid in it, acid there can cause a lot of pain - and damage.

You can try Zantac 150 mg twice a day (nonprescription bottle instructs using once a day, but you should double it). You should continue on this for several weeks.

Eat small meals (you can eat more frequently but not a big meal at once as that increases the likelihood of reflux). Don't eat for 2-3 hours before lying down. Avoid alcohol, and no tobacco.

But if the extreme pain returns, OR if pain and bloating continue then do go in to be seen as you may need an upper GI endoscopy to have a look at the lining of your esophagus and stomach.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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