Stomach Gas
May 9, 2011 8:01 AM   Subscribe

YANMD. My mother and I share a strange gastro-intenstinal issue for which I need to find an answer. If we don't eat regularly, I get what can best be described as gas. It doesn't feel like heartburn but more of a general pain in the tummy with the need to burp. It is very uncomfortable to the point that I can't do much of anything but sit and ride it out. I have always been told by my West Indian mother that there is nothing that can be done except eat small meals regularly or drink tea. I find it hard to believe that this is the means by which I have to treat this problem.

What is worse, whenever I get sick and don't feel like eating, my system goes way out of wack, and I seem to get a build up of something in my stomach that causes nausea and sometimes vomiting. This spirals into multiple days of discomfort and pain.

In January I has the pleasure of catching dengue fever and was put on a myriad of medicines. As dengue attacks your whole system, I was not eating properly and therefore getting a build of stomach acid as mentioned above. The doctor put me on Maxolon and it seemed to work well. I was a complete mess for a week.

Fast forward to last week, I got a mild cold and although had not altered my eating, still got the build up of junk in my stomach, so I have now had extreme nausea and weakness since last Tuesday. I went to the doctor and she put me on Losec but that gave me headaches so I asked for Maxolon again, however this time I am not getting any relief. I feel like someone has my stomach in their hand and is squeezing it as hard as possible, not to mention nausea and weakness. I have taken a pregnancy test and it is negative.

I am scheduled to see a gastoenterologist but she is on vacation for a few days and so I am looking to Mefi for any advice. Ulcer? gallstones? What could this possibly be?

Has anyone else had these or similar symptoms? Anything I can do for relief in the meantime?
posted by trinigirl to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sometimes nausea is a symptom of reflux and not eating definitely exacerbates my reflux. I take omeprazole daily and it helps a lot. My partner is on something else, only available by prescription.

However, I honestly wouldn't take them without having more information from a doctor about your condition because it sounds severe and there could be something else wrong.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:08 AM on May 9, 2011

posted by yeoz at 8:32 AM on May 9, 2011

I get this whenever I have a stuffy nose/allergies. I think it has something to do with breathing through my mouth. Sometimes I'm stuffed and I don't even realize it. Claritin-D makes it stop. Is it possible that you breath through your mouth or have persistent post nasal drip?
posted by dpx.mfx at 8:38 AM on May 9, 2011

I knew someone who was diagnosed with porphyria based on these symptoms - she didn't have all the symptoms described in the wikipedia article, just exactly what you put up above. Maybe ask your doctor about it?
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 8:58 AM on May 9, 2011

I'm chiming in about the first symptom -- feeling like you get gas when you haven't eaten. I get that too now and then; the only thing I can think to fix it is to do what your mother says, and just make sure you eat often enough (even if it's just a piece of fruit between meals or something) so you don't get that happening. It's easy enough to do - sometimes just a handful of nuts or something is all I need.

The rest, though, definitely sounds like it's worth a trip to a gastroenteroligist. Good luck.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:32 AM on May 9, 2011

This is just an idea, but if you alternate between spicy and bland meals a lot, your stomach is switching between a more and less acid environment which it might not deal with. Maybe chilli peppers could cure it with a bland meal, or stick to one thing for a while and see what happens.
posted by Not Supplied at 10:02 AM on May 9, 2011

Just a guess, but could it be related to gut flora? You could experiment with eating more fermented foods like yogurt and (real) sauerkraut, as well as cutting back on foods like sugars that tend to promote a less-good gut flora profile. You might also experiment with eating fewer FODMAPs, like those from onions and wheat.
posted by Sexy Question Bot at 12:37 PM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have this but for different reasons. I believe your stomach flora is gone and by aggressively working to replace it by eating unsweetened yogurt with acidophulus and bifidus cultures you will find relief as I have. I recently underwent surgery and was on a host of crappy antibiotics post-op and my symptoms returned in full force, but I'm slowly rebuilding my poor tummy and I'm feeling better already.
posted by patronuscharms at 2:15 PM on May 9, 2011

These symptoms are very similar to symptoms I had as I was developing a stomach ulcer. Be aware that PPI's like Losec don't work straight away, you need to wait for the build up. If you think you might be allergic to Proton Pump Inihibitors like Losec, Zoton etc (I am), you can take H2 blockers instead. These include medicines like Xantac, Tagamet, etc. In some countries Xantac is an over-the-counter drug. In the meantime, if you like it might be patchy hemorrhaging from a nascent ulcer, take some antacids, avoid oily or very sugary food, try lying on your left hand side. Good luck.
posted by smoke at 4:27 PM on May 9, 2011

It's probably not gas, it's probably your esophagus (where it attaches to your stomach) spasming in response to the acid produced by your hunger. obviously, eating small regular meals is an easy fix, but try taking an omeprazole every morning and see if it helps. that's probably the first thing the GI tell you to do anyway. it's available over the counter and unless you have some exotic health condition, won't hurt you to try.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:46 PM on May 9, 2011

Sugarless chewing gum gives me some relief from similar symptoms.
posted by Corvid at 5:41 PM on May 9, 2011

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