I came to my doctor because I was having problems with my stomach after eating. If I didn't get gas it was stomach pain,heartburn or an acid feeling. My bowel movements were more frequent & changed in color. Once in a while I would feel a small pain under my left rib cage. My doctor is treating me for acid reflux but is also sending me for a gallbaltter ultrasound. Since seeing the doctor, the medicine helps most of the time but not all day or with certian foods. Now I am getting more pain after eating under both sides of my rib cages. Even drinking water gave me pain. Sometimes soon after eating I feel the need to have a bowel movement but I can't go. When I finally do, sometimes I think I am done but end up back in the bathroom soon after. At one time I was diagnosed with H.E.L.L.P. syndrome and also have high blood pressure. I am hoping I don't have gallstones & won't need any surgery or removal of anything. Do my symptoms sound like gallstones & if so is there any alternative to gallblatter removal?
Hello, and thanks for your medical question on E Health Forum.
From the available history, the symptom of post prandial (Post meals) abdominal burning pain or discomfort points to a diagnosis of Gastro Esophageal Reflux disease or Peptic ulcer disease.
GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux disease) is due to laxity of the lower end of the food pipe with regurgitation of the contents of the stomach. Peptic ulcer disease, where in erosion of the gastric or duodenal mucosa can cause severe and sometimes intolerable pain. Pain is usually caused by the ulcer but it may be aggravated by the stomach acid when it comes into contact with the ulcerated area.
Adequate antacids (Tums, Mylanta, prevacid) and Omeprazole (Acid reducing medication) can help relieve the symptoms provided the required dosage is taken properly. Usually patients take a lower dosage and become desperate due to persisting symptoms. In addition maintaining adequate hydration and adopting a sitting upright posture for 1 hr post meals will help in relieving the symptoms.
In case the ultrasound detects gall stones, surgery is not indicated unless the symptoms are classic and there are multiple large gall stones. In case of mild gallstones, diet control and medications can help to dissolve gallstones over time. The need for surgery for gallstones can be determined with consideration to the pros and cons.
You might consider consulting your general physician or a gastroenterologist who after a physical examination may determine to get some simple blood tests, prescribe you acid reducing medications which may resolve your symptoms. In addition tests to detect H-Pylori infection in the stomach or a Upper GI endoscopy may be helpful to derive a definitive diagnosis to your problem.
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