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Stomach pain after eating

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  • YvetteK2015YvetteK2015 Member Posts: 653 Member Member Posts: 653 Member
    So update--My TDEE is about 2100 calories. My BMR is around 1250. I’ve averaged about 1160 per day for the past 2 weeks. I could only get an appt with a gastroenterologist for 3/18—one month out from now, so I'm a bit worried about barely eating at BMR for that long.

    My GP knows I'm losing extra weight from this, and suggested Prilosec until I can get into the gastro doc. I've taken the Prilosec for 3 days but so far it hasn't changed much. Should I continue eating like this for that long (I’m about 10-15 lbs from goal)? Should I really try to force eating more and feeling worse? Or should I push my doctor to try to get me in sooner? I actually have tried the latter, and I’m still waiting to hear back. I called another gastro office on my own and they also said mid-March. I don't think it's necessarily an emergency, I've just never eaten this little for this long.

    Regarding eating a bland food diet--I've done that somewhat. My usual spicy foods don't appeal now, so I'm definitely avoiding spicy. We were on the Yorktown aircraft carrier overnight for the weekend (Boy Scout event), and limited to the food they served. It was bland, but I think protein is bothering me more (seems like a volume/fullness issue?). On the other hand, crackers and pasta have still caused the pain/fullness, so I don't know that it's just protein. I'm planning to try white rice tonight. Oh, and avoiding ibuprofen and *trying* to limit coffee.

    You need to give the Prilosec time to work. A few days wouldn't be enough, if an ulcer or gastritis is what you are dealing with. Also, the OTC dose is not the dose you would get if that turns out to be the case. That could be why it doesn't feel like it's working, but I still wouldn't stop taking it.

    And you should really try to stop the coffee. It's just so acidic. It's not worth the pain.
  • lightenup2016lightenup2016 Member, Premium Posts: 1,013 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,013 Member
    Ok, thank you all. Yesterday I cut back on coffee, and today I will stay away completely (I only drink decaf, so I don’t expect to have caffeine withdrawal issues). I actually did feel a little better yesterday. I had plain pasta and white rice with oil and salt for dinner, and I didn’t have as much pain as just fullness. Maybe the Prilosec is helping, or food changes are helping, or maybe it was just a better day. We’ll see how today goes.

    Regarding the coffee, though, a question just because it doesn’t make sense to me—if stomach acid is pH of 1.5-3.5 (or something like that), how do “acidic” drinks or foods cause harm? I read that coffee is pH of 5, so much more basic than our stomach. Is it just that drinking it on an empty stomach kick starts the stomach acid flowing, and then there’s no food to digest?

    Thanks again!

  • earlnabbyearlnabby Member Posts: 7,972 Member Member Posts: 7,972 Member
    Regarding the coffee, though, a question just because it doesn’t make sense to me—if stomach acid is pH of 1.5-3.5 (or something like that), how do “acidic” drinks or foods cause harm? I read that coffee is pH of 5, so much more basic than our stomach. Is it just that drinking it on an empty stomach kick starts the stomach acid flowing, and then there’s no food to digest?

    Thanks again!

    Actually, the upper stomach has a pH of 4.0–6.5. It is the lower stomach that releases the hydrochloric acid and has the pH of 1.5-3.5. Acidic foods, or the backup of stomach acid from the lower into the upper or the esophagus, can cause irritation to the lining thus pain.

    This is also why it is good to not lay down immediately after eating a larger meal. Gravity actually helps the contents of the stomach stay in the lower part until the acid does its work and moves it into the intestines.


    edited February 18
  • MaxxittMaxxitt Member Posts: 1,204 Member Member Posts: 1,204 Member
    Ok, thank you all. Yesterday I cut back on coffee, and today I will stay away completely (I only drink decaf, so I don’t expect to have caffeine withdrawal issues). I actually did feel a little better yesterday. I had plain pasta and white rice with oil and salt for dinner, and I didn’t have as much pain as just fullness. Maybe the Prilosec is helping, or food changes are helping, or maybe it was just a better day. We’ll see how today goes.

    Regarding the coffee, though, a question just because it doesn’t make sense to me—if stomach acid is pH of 1.5-3.5 (or something like that), how do “acidic” drinks or foods cause harm? I read that coffee is pH of 5, so much more basic than our stomach. Is it just that drinking it on an empty stomach kick starts the stomach acid flowing, and then there’s no food to digest?

    Thanks again!
    The way it was explained to me is that the problem with coffee is not that it is too acid, but that it stimulates acid secretion - regardless of whether or not it's caffeinated.
  • wwwtheselion11wwwtheselion11 Member Posts: 424 Member Member Posts: 424 Member
    Well when i get stomach cramps. Its because I'm backed up. Need to use bathroom. It also could be muscle spasms, in your stomach. It could be a food allergy. However im no doctor. I also suggest talking to your doctor.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 21,791 Member Member Posts: 21,791 Member
    Regarding the coffee, though, a question just because it doesn’t make sense to me—if stomach acid is pH of 1.5-3.5 (or something like that), how do “acidic” drinks or foods cause harm? I read that coffee is pH of 5, so much more basic than our stomach. Is it just that drinking it on an empty stomach kick starts the stomach acid flowing, and then there’s no food to digest?

    Thanks again!

    My understanding is that once the lining of the stomach is inflamed/injured by ulcers or regular use of NSAIDs, etc, then normal stomach acid can irritate those spots.

    https://www.healthline.com/health/gastritis-acute#causes
  • eryn0xeryn0x Member Posts: 126 Member Member Posts: 126 Member
    have you lost much weight b4 this started. is it a bit higher up in your bellyÉ. if so it could be your gallbladder as weight loss can cause attacks. i still think you should see a dr though.

    I had lost about 20 lbs— started at 163, and was down to 143 when this started. Down to 140 today. It does feel higher than a typical stomachache, but it’s not very localized. I made an appt for tomorrow, hoping to give it one more day. Thanks!

    I didn't think my gallbladder pain was localized... it felt like it was all in the upper part of my stomach and back... until a doctor pushed on my gallbladder and I realized.. THAT is the spot. Instant tears. Long story short, I had it removed and life resumed, so if anyone has to get theirs out, don't believe all the myths that life changes afterwards. The change for me is for the better.. I don't get the same feeling of painfully full anymore (which I always thought was normal)

    Anyways.. it could be so many things, could be protein powder, gas, constipation, could be something more serious like an ulcer or appendix... get it checked.
    edited February 18
  • angelexperimentangelexperiment Member Posts: 1,761 Member Member Posts: 1,761 Member
    Did you recently take a new med, or take Tylenol or ibuprofen before laying down? I had a similar issue with a new med I had to stop tore up my stomach. For like two weeks. This has happened too from taking meds then laying down too soon after. When it happens I have to take it like a liquid diet to let my stomach rest like soup and broth and very plain foods no seasoning. Then slowly add back foods til normal.
  • ladyreva78ladyreva78 Member Posts: 4,069 Member Member Posts: 4,069 Member
    Thank you for the update. :smile: I'm glad to hear you're feeling a bit better.

    I would do as @earlnabby suggested. It's better to rule out an underlying issue and keeping track of when you started feeling better, what you can tolerate food wise and what not and if that chances until the appointment will give the doctor a starting point.
  • Lanabanana42Lanabanana42 Member Posts: 13 Member Member Posts: 13 Member
    I would really keep that appointment. Most ppi's like Prilosec take a while to kick in as they need to build up in your system. So it's no surprise you feel better now. You still need to find the underlying cause. If it is gastritis, for example, you need to be put on a prescription strength ppi for a two month period to resolve the issue or it will just come back. Only this time it will be much worse if it is still there and you experience rebound symptoms from suddenly stopping your ppi. If it's your gall bladder, it comes and goes and you need to be properly tested. If it's an ulcer, the ppi is just masking the symptoms. You will probably be given an endoscopy which will be able to see a lot of what is going on in your GI track. An ultrasound will rule gallbladder disease in or out.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 21,791 Member Member Posts: 21,791 Member
    Thanks to everyone for thoughts and suggestions. I thought I’d update again—I’ve felt a little better the past couple of days, and have had up to 1450-1700 calories, so I’m not as worried about weight now. I still feel it, though. I do think I’m doing better with things like pasta, rice, and mashed potatoes. I’m going to keep up the Prilosec and keep my March GI appt unless this goes away completely.

    My symptoms haven't been as bad as yours and my doctor is not recommending further tests. However, when we met yesterday she described a patient who sounded remarkably like you, for whom she is recommending further tests.
  • lightenup2016lightenup2016 Member, Premium Posts: 1,013 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,013 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Thanks to everyone for thoughts and suggestions. I thought I’d update again—I’ve felt a little better the past couple of days, and have had up to 1450-1700 calories, so I’m not as worried about weight now. I still feel it, though. I do think I’m doing better with things like pasta, rice, and mashed potatoes. I’m going to keep up the Prilosec and keep my March GI appt unless this goes away completely.

    My symptoms haven't been as bad as yours and my doctor is not recommending further tests. However, when we met yesterday she described a patient who sounded remarkably like you, for whom she is recommending further tests.

    Ok, thanks for that info. Hmmm, can you find out what that patient ended up having, before 3/18? 😆 JK, and I hope your stomach pain is resolved soon. Did the doctor say what yours could be?

    I went back and re-read your earlier post about DGL. That’s something I can’t take due to a heart condition I have (Long QT), since licorice is known to exacerbate the heart problem.

    I guess I didn’t even really consider the potential side effects of Prilosec, beyond checking with my heart doctor that it’s safe for me to take. I guess I’ll hope for the best! Thanks again!

    ETA: It’s possible that the DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) form is something I could take, since it’s the compound (glycyrrizin) that’s removed that causes the problem for me. I could ask my doctor. Has it been helping for you?
    edited February 22
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 21,791 Member Member Posts: 21,791 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Thanks to everyone for thoughts and suggestions. I thought I’d update again—I’ve felt a little better the past couple of days, and have had up to 1450-1700 calories, so I’m not as worried about weight now. I still feel it, though. I do think I’m doing better with things like pasta, rice, and mashed potatoes. I’m going to keep up the Prilosec and keep my March GI appt unless this goes away completely.

    My symptoms haven't been as bad as yours and my doctor is not recommending further tests. However, when we met yesterday she described a patient who sounded remarkably like you, for whom she is recommending further tests.

    Ok, thanks for that info. Hmmm, can you find out what that patient ended up having, before 3/18? 😆 JK, and I hope your stomach pain is resolved soon. Did the doctor say what yours could be?

    I went back and re-read your earlier post about DGL. That’s something I can’t take due to a heart condition I have (Long QT), since licorice is known to exacerbate the heart problem.

    I guess I didn’t even really consider the potential side effects of Prilosec, beyond checking with my heart doctor that it’s safe for me to take. I guess I’ll hope for the best! Thanks again!

    ETA: It’s possible that the DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) form is something I could take, since it’s the compound (glycyrrizin) that’s removed that causes the problem for me. I could ask my doctor. Has it been helping for you?

    The DGL helps some, but not enough - my GP thinks that my large fibroids are pushing stomach acid out of place. My fibroids blow up when I ovulate and get my period, so I am now taking Prilosec those days as well.

    I'm also going to have to change the way I eat - I had takeout Chinese food the other night and between the spicy mustard and too large a meal, I was in pain for hours.
  • suzyjmcd2suzyjmcd2 Member Posts: 264 Member Member Posts: 264 Member
    @lightenup2016, your original post sounded like EXACTLY what I'm going through right now. And several after that.

    I've been slightly suffering from stomach pain since mid-January. At first, I wasn't much concerned. Thought it was a stomach virus - I teach little guys, so I figured I'd gotten a stomach bug. But after a few days, I realized I wasn't nauseous, and didn't have any other symptoms other than the pain. And, when I started taking note, I realized it was always starting up again after I ate.

    It remained this way through February, maybe getting a bit worse, but not terrible. I, stupidly, told myself that it would just go away, I'll be fine.

    But this month, it's been getting worse. It's always in the center of my stomach, above the bellybutton. Sometimes it radiates out to the sides a bit, but mostly in the center. Hurting at all kinds of random times, sometimes for hours at a time, and definitely worsening after I eat. Doesn't matter what I eat.... it hurts. And now, for the last 6 days, it's been pretty much unbearable. Hurting most of the time, cramping, wavelike pains, almost like contractions in my upper stomach after eating, and lasting for hours.

    Of course, now, with Corona Virus around, I am NOT stepping foot in an ER unless I absolutely can't stand it for a minute longer. I did a virtual teledoc visit on Saturday through my healthcare insurance. He said I'd need tests.

    So I got an emergency appt with a GI doctor yesterday. He, too, couldn't say right off what it might be. Not appendix. Not likely to be an ulcer or gall bladder. He was a bit baffled because I have no other symptoms. No nausea, no diarrhea, no gas. Took blood (results came back this morning with no abnormalities). Sent me for an ultrasound this morning. The tech said she wasn't really allowed to say anything, but only said that she didn't see any gall stones or kidney stones. Said my doctor would receive the results and I'd hear back in a few days. I started crying and begged her to try to push it through faster because I can't keep going like this. Last night was the most miserable night I've ever experienced, and I've had 2 kids through natural childbirth, and kidney stones in the past.

    I was so hungry that I just decided to eat dinner and not worry about the after-effects. Big mistake. I was up until almost 2 am with those contraction-like waves of pain gripping me every few minutes.

    I realize that if this were ANY other period of time, I'd probably have gone to the ER last night. But I will not step foot in there, not only for the danger of the Corona Virus, but because I don't want ER doctors doting on me when they're needed elsewhere.

    Have any of you found ways to alleviate the pain, or at least lessen it, in the meantime, while I wait for the next step? I've only had a protein drink today, which doesn't bring on quite as much pain as food, but it still does start the cramping again.... and I don't want to live on those for a few more days, nor on rice and pasta, which I've been avoiding for the last 2 years as I've lost weight and kept it off! I'm a very healthy veggie and lean protein eater, and don't necessarily want to turn to all starchy carbs.

    Thank you for this thread!!!!!! Good to know I'm not the only one out there with this issue!
  • lightenup2016lightenup2016 Member, Premium Posts: 1,013 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,013 Member
    I'm sorry you're feeling so miserable! I took Prilosec on the advice of my general doc, while I waited for my GI appt. The Prilosec is a 14-day treatment, and I did feel better after a few days, for about 5 days or so. Then the pain came back for a few days, and then after that I felt better overall. Now, I'm pretty much back to normal. I did go to my GI appt finally, and the US was all normal (hemangioma cyst in my liver, said to be benign). Since the US was normal, I was supposed to have an endoscopy done, but now with COVID-19, that's not going to happen anytime soon. I would ask your doctor if Prilosec or something similar is something they would recommend. Good luck, and I hope you feel better soon!
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