Stomach pain that won't go away.
March 14, 2007 12:23 AM   Subscribe

For the past three days i've been suffering from some crazy stomach aches.

These awful pains wake me up at night. They are accompanied by hot flashes and no passing of gas or diarrhea. This has happened once before about two years ago, but I thought it was a bad case of scallops.
I have been eating out often this week....
I guess my question is what is wrong with my stomach? Is my stomach just sensitive?
posted by octomato to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
Eep, get thee to a doctor, preferably a gastroenterologist. Sounds like the fun time when I gave myself an ulcer by taking ibuprofen all the damned time.
posted by houseofdanie at 12:55 AM on March 14, 2007

My roommate would get this occasionally when she ate too much 'rich' food (aka the munchies). Maybe try recalling what you've eaten that could've set your stomach off? In her case, greasy pizza + 40s would make it much worse.

If it doesn't clear up, doctors are good at this sort of thing.
posted by sperose at 1:42 AM on March 14, 2007

Sounds like the what happened when I passed gallstones. A gastroenterologist is definitely your friend. I didn't figure out what my problem was for 3 years - that is way to long to go through that type of pain.
posted by blackkar at 2:59 AM on March 14, 2007

Pain that awakens you from sleep is generally a bad sign. I would recommend seeing a medical provider very soon, especially if you have other symptoms like bowel changes (diarrhea, constipation, blood in stools, etc).
posted by tuff at 4:02 AM on March 14, 2007

I am jumping in-line with the others who say see a doctor!

I ended up in hospital with a blocked bowel (emergency) because I ignored stomach pains that were accompanied by hot flashes and the other symptoms you described.
posted by dwbrant at 4:42 AM on March 14, 2007

The type of pain you're describing also sounds like a gallstone attack. The first time I experienced the pain, I went to the emergency room. The duration of the pain was about 1.5 hours. Fast-forward 15 years, and while I only get attacks twice a year (or so), the duration of the attack is up to about 5 hours. Avoiding fatty foods and eating too soon before bed generally keeps it at bay. It's been recommended that I get my gall bladder removed, but I'm reluctant to undergo the surgery. Yes, I know that's a bad plan and I hope you decide differently.

BTW, seconding blackkar's comment: they didn't find the gallstones until I underwent an ultrasound. I first saw an internal specialist back in the early 90s who had chalked it up to "stress".
posted by parilous at 6:31 AM on March 14, 2007

Doctor doctor doctor doctor.

Do you even have to ask?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:34 AM on March 14, 2007

Sounds like gallstones.

DOCTOR! As in, go to one.

(and until you get a diagnosis don't eat ice cream before going to bed unless you wanna wake up in pain.)
posted by konolia at 7:21 AM on March 14, 2007

Parilous, laparascopic gall bladder surgery is pretty much a piece of cake as far as these things go (I've had it.) OTOH my mom wound up having the full monte slice-you-open surgery because hers was starting to go gangrenous. Her recovery time was over six times as long as mine.

So go get yours ripped out while it would be an easy job.
posted by konolia at 7:23 AM on March 14, 2007

Depending on size, gallstones can be addressed with acupuncture and herbs. I believe the cut off point is 3mm. Oh, yeah, and diet. It is possible to avoid surgery if you are willing to change your lifestyle.
posted by pointilist at 9:08 AM on March 14, 2007

IANAD, but another voice saying it sounds like gallstones -- my wife had similar symptoms, and followed her doctor's advice and went on a no-fat diet. Despite the healthy lifestyle changes (she dropped 25 lbs, going from 150 to around 125) she still ended up needing her gallbladder removed. Seems some folks have a genetic predisposition to these sorts of problems. More detail: The gallbladder removal was done laparoscopically and healed within a week or so. However, she developed pancreatitis as a result of a stray stone in the duct that lead to her pancreas, and she said that hurt much worse than the gallstones/gallbladder removal. But she's resilient and has long since recovered.

Bottom line: see a gastroenterologist, as has been suggested throughout this thread. They handle these sorts of plumbing problems for a living. Failure to deal with this in a timely manner will likely lead to a more painful situation down the road.
posted by mosk at 9:21 AM on March 14, 2007

Another possibility: gastritis. I've been dealing with this off and on for the past year. Eventually I ended up having an endoscopy (where they put a camera down your throat) so they could determine that my variety is actually "duodenitis." Basically the bit where my stomach joins the intestines is damaged a bit (presumably from ibuprofen). Prescription antacid like Nexxium helps with the pain and allows it to heal. I did try acupuncture too and I definitely felt better, but it may have been a placebo effect.
posted by web-goddess at 1:45 PM on March 14, 2007

The obvious answer is see a doctor but you don't want a doctor because you asked us! Slippery Elm powder is good for tummys if you can get one with a little peppermint oil mixed in that would be even better. Peppermint tea is good too. (Ginger is an angel but not now try that another time). If your tummy's biting at night when it's empty? then Slippery Elm may be your friend, it coats a layer between you and the acid. Perhaps you need to stop eatting nasty food and just let your tummy calm down or perhaps, ok altogether now... :-)
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 3:08 PM on March 14, 2007

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