I have had stomach problems for almost a year now. Had gallbladder out last summer and since a few days after that have had constant stomach ache right below breastbone. Had upper endoscopy that showed chronic active gastritis and gi doc put me on nexium. Have now been taking it for 3 months and don't notice any improvement. If I miss a meal or am late in getting breakfast I have severe burning gnawing pain. Is this gastritis related or something else? Have had all kinds of blood work and stuff done, all negative. Have a constant stomach ache and only eating seems to help in the mornings and then achy the rest of the day. Anyone out there know of anything I can try to ease the pain? Any other tests I can ask my gi doc for? I am tired of living like this and constantly having to have crackers with me when i'm out cause my stomach may start hurting worse. It's gets bad enough some mornings where I am in soooooooo much pain I break out in a sweat and think of going to the er.
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replied March 27th, 2006
Fellow sufferers-

i'm posting this in case 1.) it helps someone else and 2.) any advice or additional knowledge would be appreciated.

Finally, bit the bullet and did the upper gi and colonoscopy per recommendation of primary physician and gi specialist. Colonoscopy was normal and my gi says I have ibs. The upper gi diaganosis was gastritis, which is strange because I don't drink cofee or alcohol, take aspirin or any nasids, and was negative for h-pylori, etc... And don't have half the syptoms such as nausua or vomitting, bloating or feeling of fullness. I do have the belching and pain in the upperleft portion of my rib cage that gets worse when hungry or after meals.

the stomach, as everyone knows from watching tv ads, is j-shaped and collects swallowed food and liquid. It then methodically grinds the food into small pieces and squirts it out in tiny jets of fluid into the duodenum which is the first portion of the small intestine.

There are several types of cells lining the stomach. One produces hydrochloric acid and another, pepsin, a digestive hormone. Along with the grinding motion of the stomach, these chemicals break down the food and prepare it for digestion.

What is gastritis
gastritis means inflamation of the stomach. It means that white blood cells move into the wall of the stomach as a response to some type of injury. Gastritis does not mean that there is an ulcer or cancer. It is simply inflammation–either acute or chronic. What are the causes of gastritis?

Helicobacter pylori
this is the name of a bacteria that has learned to live in the thick mucous lining of the stomach. Although it doesn't actually infect the underlying tissue, it does result in acute and chronic inflammation. It probably occurs early in childhood and remains throughout life unless antibiotics cure it. The infection can lead to ulcers and, in later life, even to stomach cancer in some people. Fortunately, there are now ways to make the diagnosis and treat this disorder.

Autoimmune gastritis - pernicious anemia
the immune system makes antibodies and other proteins that fight off infection and keep the body healthy. In some disorders, the body mistakenly targets one of its own organs as a foreign protein or infection. It makes antibodies against it and can severely damage or even destroy the organ. Diseases such as lupus, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis and the type of diabetes that requires insulin, are examples. The stomach lining also may be attacked by the immune system leading to loss of the stomach cells. This causes acute and chronic inflammation which can result in a condition called pernicious anemia. The anemia occurs because the body no longer can absorb vitamin b12 due to a lack of a key stomach factor, destroyed by the chronic inflammation. Stomach cancer can even occur later in life.

Aspirin & nsaid gastritis
nsaid stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. These are arthritis and pain relievers and include the over-the-counter drugs advil, naprosyn, motrin and ibuprofen as well as many prescription arthritis medicines such as voltaren, feldene, lodine and relafen. Along with aspirin, they reduce a protective substance in the stomach called prostaglandin. These drugs usually cause no problems when taken for the short-term. However, regular use can lead to a gastritis as well as a more serious ulcer condition.

alcohol and certain other chemicals can cause inflammation and injury to the stomach. This is strictly dose related in that a lot of alcohol is usually needed to cause gastritis. Social or occasional alcohol use is not damaging to the stomach although alcohol does stimulate the stomach to make acid.

Hypertrophic gastritis
at times, the folds in the stomach will become enlarged and swollen along with the inflammation. There is not a great deal known about why this occurs. A variation of this type of gastritis is called ménétrier's disease where the gastric folds become gigantic. With this condition, there is often protein loss into the stomach from these weeping folds.

there are other but rarer types of gastritis such as eosinophilic, phlegmonous (a severe bacterial infection) and granulomatous gastritis.

the symptoms of gastritis depend on how acute it is and how long it has been present. In the acute phase, there may be pain or gnawing in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting. In the chronic phase, the pain may be dull and there may be loss of appetite with a feeling of fullness after several bites of food. Very often, there are no symptoms at all. If the pain is severe, there may be an ulcer as well as gastritis.

the physician may suspect gastritis by listening to the medical history. However, the only certain way to make the diagnosis is by endoscopy and biopsy of the stomach lining. Endoscopy is an exam where, under mild sedation, a lighted flexible scope is passed into the stomach. Pictures can be taken but, more importantly, biopsies can be obtained for analysis under the microscope. An upper gi x-ray exam and certain blood studies may be helpful.

the treatment of gastritis will depend on its cause. For most types of gastritis, reduction of stomach acid by medication is often helpful. Beyond that, a specific diagnosis needs to be made. Antibiotics are used for infection. Elimination of aspirin, nsaids or alcohol is indicated when one of these is the problem. For the more unusual types of gastritis, other treatments may be needed. Gastritis by itself is rarely a serious problem.

the cause of most types of gastritis is known and effective treatment and preventive measures are available so that serious complications are unusual. One exception is the h. Pylori infection which, when present for a long time, may lead to stomach cancer in some individuals. This infection can also lead to a malignancy of the lymph system called a lymphoma. One such low-grade lymphoma is called a malt lymphoma. Eliminating the infection from the stomach often cures this type of lymphoma.

the causes of gastritis are varied. The symptoms can be acute and severe or chronic, low-grade or even absent. The diagnosis is usually easily made by endoscopy. In most instances, effective treatment is available and serious complications are unusual. By working with the physician, a good outcome usually occurs.

Most individuals are surprised to learn they are not alone with symptoms of ibs. In fact, irritable bowel syndrome (ibs) affects approximately 10-20% of the general population. It is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in medical treatment of disorders of the stomach and intestines) and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians.

Sometimes irritable bowel syndrome is referred to as spastic colon, mucous colitis, spastic colitis, nervous stomach, or irritable colon.

Irritable bowel syndrome, or ibs, is generally classified as a "functional" disorder. A functional disorder refers to a disorder or disease where the primary abnormality is an altered physiological function (the way the body works), rather than an identifiable structural or biochemical cause. It characterizes a disorder that generally can not be diagnosed in a traditional way; that is, as an inflammatory, infectious, or structural abnormality that can be seen by commonly used examination, x-ray, or blood test.

irritable bowel syndrome is understood as a multi-faceted disorder. In people with ibs, symptoms result from what appears to be a disturbance in the interaction between the gut or intestines, the brain, and the autonomic nervous system that alters regulation of bowel motility (motor function) or sensory function.

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by a group of symptoms in which abdominal pain or discomfort is associated with a change in bowel pattern, such as loose or more frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, and/or constipation.

Treatment options are available to manage ibs—whether symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe.

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original post:
similar symptoms
posted: 03-13-06 1:24pm

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i googled this website and thought i'd throw my symptoms out and see if anyone has any ideas as to what it might be. It seems as though there are some very knowledgable people in the forum that might have been where I am a while ago.

For about nine months now, i've had a gnawing pain under my left ribcage... Mainly lower half, but occassionally moves to upper left ribs. I've had occassional constipation and recently have seen mucus and had a smell in my stool. Early on I had two bowl movements that had long white stringy twisty tissue and again two days ago. I have had stress and some sleepless nights. I'm a 40 year old male.

I've been tested for h-pylori and blood in stool and both came back negative. I tried the prilosec otc for two weeks and something stronger the doctor prescribed and it both made the gnawing pain go away until a few days after I stopped taking it. Then I tried ulcertrol which made it feel better again until I stopped taking it. I'd also used the gdl and then gnc colon cleanse and increased the amount of water I drink, which made me feel better after I went to the bathroom but the gnawing comes back later. Also, I feel better after I eat but the pain comes back an hour or two later. I've cut out spicy foods and citrus/acidic foods and just started increasing fiber in my diet. On good days the gnawing pain goes away when i'm out playing with the kids or when I excercise (i just stared doing the treadmill), but comes back when I stop. My grandmother had diverticulitus, I considered ulcer first then maybe ibs then maybe zollinger ellison syndrome, now i've read a little about splenic flexure syndrome after seeing this site. I haven't heard much about the mucus in the stool or smell on the posts or when reading about the possible causes... Maybe because it's tabu, but i'm curious if that symptom has any significance. I'm going back to the general practitioner and he might suggest an abdominal ct scan or colonoscopy or blood tests for white blood cells as well as my protein level in my urine. I'm thinking it could be colitis - ulcerative, distil or left side. Could even be parasites or colon cancer. Sounds like it will be expensive and time consuming to figure out without little guarantee of diagnosis verus my $2,000 insurance deductible. I'll keep the string posted in case someone else has similar symptoms.
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replied February 5th, 2011
How I alleviated gastritis discomfort
Start eliminating foods from your diet to alleviate the pain. I did this starting with grains, dairy, etc...and eventually ended up with a list of only a few foods that do not irritate my stomach. It's extremely restrictive and ridiculous, I know, but I'd rather that than always be uncomfortable. Now, I only eat:
plain organic chicken breast cooked in olive oil
organic apples (avoid pesticides, they only damage the stomach more)
organic pears
organic spinach, oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing
bison meat
organic prunes
organic mushrooms

Again, this is just my personal list, and it took me a long time to figure out; however, by only eating these things I feel a lot better and can function normally. It's obviously not a great long-term solution, but I'm hoping I will heal in the meantime.

By eliminating foods, I found I no longer need Prilosec, and I also discovered that probiotics weren't really helping. I will probably go try some supplements recommended for gastritis,

good luck!
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replied December 15th, 2011
About 2 months ago I started having pains in my chest when my dog started getting sick. A little while later I started on Prilosec because the doc said I have GERD. A little later I had to stop with Prilosec, it was causing severe constipation. Then the gastritis began, starting with pressure/discomfort. Eventually forming into a burning gnawing pain in my entire left abdominal area, spreading to my left flank and to my chest. I have been on prevacid and Carafate for aweek, I started feeling better and stopped. Big mistake, the symptoms came back. So now I constantly take them everyday. I am concerned I was misdiagnosed and that I should be checked with a endoscopy even though the doc said almost instantly it was gastritis.
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replied September 22nd, 2018
I think you should have endoscopy to confirm diagnosis. It takes less then 10 minutes to confirm. I would go to a GI doctor having left side stomach pain to your plank is not typical symptoms of gastritis. Go see a GI Doctor and describe your symptoms first not a primary Doctor. Good Luck!
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