Ulcer? Or something else?

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Ulcer? Or something else?

Post  jennyds33 on Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:32 pm

So I've been having this stomach pain above my belly button for months, usually after I eat. Also my stomach gets distended at night, so it looks like I'm pregnant and other general stomach problems, plus nausea. I talked with my neurologist a while ago and he just said that IBS was common with migraineurs and gave me some crappy prescription that just made me feel worse. I had pretty much accepted that my life is ruined from here on out, but now I'm starting to think that it may be an ulcer. I have been taking NSAID's like they were candy for years now. I've just been prescribed a prescription strength NSAID (Indomethicin) and started noticing that my stomach pain flared up a lot after taking it. I thought that someone here might have some insight, since I know that it's tempting to take a lot of NSAID's during a migraine or maybe IBS is really prevalent with migraines and someone could give me a perspective on that. I'm just sick of being in pain in general.
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Re: Ulcer? Or something else?

Post  pen on Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:51 pm

Hi Jenny, I had IBS long before I ever had a migraine. One of my daughters has it too, but no migraines.
Your symptoms do sound like IBS. A blood test would rule out most ulcers.
I got checked out a while ago because I take a lot of aspirin and I get stomach pains. No ulcer.
Just more IBS.

I dont bloat, but my daughter does, badly. The bloating is worse with hormones.
She doesnt have an ulcer either. It is just as likely that NSAIDS are causing IBS episodes as that you have an ulcer.
I would ask for a blood test for helicobacter pylori. If you have it, they can treat with antibiotics.
If not, it is likely you are having IBS problems.

Dont know what the dr gave you for it. It isnt easy to treat,but there are lots of things to try.
The only thing I would add is that usually IBS comes with some bowel problems too.
And second it is possible to have stomach inflammation without an ulcer.

I hope some of that helps a bit.

pen

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Re: Ulcer? Or something else?

Post  dcook60 on Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:07 pm

i keep getting bumped off here after i've just written a lengthy response. grrrrrr

jenny, imho you should certainly be checked by a gastroenterologist for those symptoms, to rule out ulcers and inflammation.

indocin (indomethacin) is a very strong NSAID. there are lots of other choices for migraine, as i'm sure you know. dianne
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Re: Ulcer? Or something else?

Post  annabella on Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:12 pm

Hi there - ulcer pain is usually felt at the end of the sternum and through to your back, it can feel like you are having a heart attack. If it calms down after taking an antacid of some sort you may have the beginning of ulcers. Ulcers are extremely painful so you would know it if you had one. You would be rolling on the floor in pain, my mother had them.

Pure peppermint oil and a prescription for Colefac should get rid of the discomfort from taking NASAIDS, and settle the IBS. Taking heaps of aspirin and other anti-inflammatories can also muck up your absorption of iron so you should have an iron study done next time you are at your doctors. Low iron levels can cause all sorts of problems - just Google and have a look. It can end up causing anemia, which can be a real problem with tiredness and exhaustion.

flower
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Re: Ulcer? Or something else?

Post  Migrainegirl on Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:10 pm

It also sounds like acid reflux or a hiatal hernia. You should definitely have it check out by your regular physician or a gastroenterologist. Not the nuero's area.
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Sounds like IBS

Post  charmed quark on Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:10 am

An IBS diagnosis is generally made after other stuff is ruled out. I hope your doctor did all that before saying it was IBS.

But as others said, IBS seems to be more common in people with migraine, plus it is pretty common in the general population. Mine seemed to have been set off by some of the preventative migraine medication I took a number of years ago.

My gastro had me try several medications for the bloating - they were all in the belladona family, scopolamine and hyoscine - and I could not handle the side effects, although they did work to some degree.

Since then I've had very good success with enteric-coated pepperiment capsules and souluble fiber. If you do try soluble fiber avoid the types that cause gas.
I have been using the capsules and fiber from "Heathers". You might want to visit the site for ideas about managing symptoms: http://www.helpforibs.com

The peppermint capsules generally need to be taken on an empty stomach with just a sip of water 1 hour to 20 minutes before meals. Otherwise they can cause reflux.


Last edited by charmed quark on Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:29 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Ulcer? Or something else?

Post  tinalouise on Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:57 am

I don't think it is purely accidental or coincidental that those of us who have have IBS or other stomach issues also have migraines. I read somewhere that if someone has gerd/ulcers, ibs or other similar issues your body is using up a lot of magnesium and other vital nutrients that may lead to a migraine. I started taking Calcium,magnesium,zinc with D along with a zegerid daily for my GERD/gastritis and so far so good, no migraines. Possibly if you take care of one the other may also be affected in a positive way, meaning no more migraines?!!

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Re: Ulcer? Or something else?

Post  alli on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:30 pm

I get ulcers every once in a while. It doesn't burn really, instead it feels like a horrible, horrible cramping, aching pain that extends from the upper abdomen, around the sides and to the back. Takes your breath away. It took me forever to get it dx'd cause I wasn't seeing my regular GP. I always thought ulcers burned, but no.... they just ache like hell.

I concur with the others, see a gastro.

I also have IBS with bloating, cramping, etc... Both migraines and IBS are reactive to low Serotonin levels so I tend to get attacks of both at the same time when my serotonin level drops too low.

I cut out all wheat and most dairy and that helped immensely with the bloating and cramping. Now if I have even a slice of bread, I bloat up like crazy and the cramps start.... yuk.

I also started high doses of Vit D and I'd say my body pain has dropped by at least half. I'm off all the nerve pain meds and am hoping to stay off. Migraines suck right now, but it is also Fall which is one of my worst times of year.

Alli
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Re: Ulcer? Or something else?

Post  jennyds33 on Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:26 pm

I went to the doctor yesterday. She's basically running tests for everything to see what can be ruled out. She's testing for the Ulcer bacteria (someone else mentioned it specifically), testing my blood to see if I'm gluten-intolerant, prescribed me something like Prilsosec to go ahead and treat a possible ulcer, and we did an ultrasound because she thought that it sounded like a gallbladder problem. I suppose I'll know next week.

I don't have much hope anymore for someone giving me a definitive answer. I have symptoms all over my body that I just feel add up to one specific problem and no one cares or even gives me the time to list them all off to them to evaluate. So, here goes another useless medical bill to add to the pile.
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Re: Ulcer? Or something else?

Post  Ivy on Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:20 am

My stomach is probably the strongest part of my body. It can resist almost everything BUT indometacine....
Indometacine is very very hard and can cause ulcers in certain cases.
I stopped taking it also for this particular side effect that no other drug gives me.
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That's the ticket

Post  charmed quark on Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:13 am

jennyds33 wrote:I went to the doctor yesterday. She's basically running tests for everything to see what can be ruled out. She's testing for the Ulcer bacteria (someone else mentioned it specifically), testing my blood to see if I'm gluten-intolerant, prescribed me something like Prilsosec to go ahead and treat a possible ulcer, and we did an ultrasound because she thought that it sounded like a gallbladder problem. I suppose I'll know next week.

I don't have much hope anymore for someone giving me a definitive answer. I have symptoms all over my body that I just feel add up to one specific problem and no one cares or even gives me the time to list them all off to them to evaluate. So, here goes another useless medical bill to add to the pile.

The good news is that if she doesn't find anything, it probably really is IBS. IBS doesn't kill you or even damage anything. The bad news is there is no cure. However, I do think it can be managed by diet, fiber and some meds. I had very good luck with a probiotic my doctor recommended but it stopped working after a few months. But the dietary suppliments I'm on now seem to be working.

BTW - when my IBS is flared up it causes reflux heartburn in me. That is apparently common.

Good luck!

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