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    Weird Gas Problem

    I've explained my situation to numerous doctors and searched the Internet, but am not finding anything to match my symptoms. I'm wondering if they could be spinal cord injury related.

    I feel like gas continually expands inside of me and I can't find a way to stop it. The gas isn't like digestive gas that causes farting or belching. It doesn't smell. Sometimes the symptoms are extreme and really affect the quality of my life; at other times, they are just annoying.

    1. When breathing deeply, I cannot exhale through my mouth without a blockage of air. I need to let it out with a series of burbs/belches. I used to practice meditation and deep breathing yoga exercises to build up my diaphragm muscles but can no longer exhale from my mouth, only shallow breathing from my nose.

    2. As soon after I empty my bowels or bladder, I am filled with gas that needs to belched out. Often I need to lay on my belly to get it out.

    3. I have a an augmented bladder pouch. The way I now know it is full is when I start to belch.

    It's as if air is pushed up and out of me when my bladder is full. And, when my colon is empty, that gas expands and fills up the empty space where I need to get it out before I can sit up because my belly is so swollen. It hurts and is uncomfortable. Often my belly is so big, I look 9 months pregnant.

    For a while, the gas/air was so much constant pressure that my sphincters never closed so a constant gurgling sound in my throat was ever-present and embarrassing.

    I felt like I had a bubble machine inside of me. My saliva would be frothy and bubble out of the corners of my mouth. When I did my bowel program, copious amounts of frothy saliva would need to come out. The air pressure inside of me is strong enough that it pushes air through my nose and my eyes. I was so embarrassed of the sounds emanating from my throat and the frothy mucous coming out of my mouth nose and eyes that I quit my job to get out of public view.

    Doctors have diagnosed me as swallowing too much air. But I don't. I don't chew gum, drink from a straw, drink carbonated drinks, or sleep with my mouth open.

    They've prescribed simethicone (Gas-X) but it doesn't help. They've experimented with lots of gastrointestinal meds for GERD and acid reflux, even though I have none of the other associated acid related symptoms. They didn't make a difference either.

    Anybody ever experience or hear of anything like this?
    Last edited by Broken Doll; 20 May 2012, 10:34 PM. Reason: addition and correct errors

    #2
    Somehow you are getting an excess of air into your GI tract. Since you say that you don't chew gum, drink from a straw, etc ... I am not sure what to tell you. One question - do you snore? It will be interesting to see if others answer.
    CKF
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you CFK. No I don't snore.

      I was wondering if the bladder augmentation surgery could have created any structural changes that could trap gas?

      Comment


        #4
        Can you list all the meds, supplements, etc. that you are taking? There may be some suspects there.
        You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
        http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

        See my personal webpage @
        http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

        Comment


          #5
          I pray someone has the answer to your question, i too suffer the exact same symptoms and have been to many many many doctors over the last 3 years, the doctors have no idea what is causing these symptoms, i have been to several V.A.'s , i have had every test imaginable and no one can figure it out,

          Comment


            #6
            The gas could also be from the change in transit time and possible change in dietary patterns combined. I agree with the above - can you list your meds and generally what you eat and when.
            CKF
            The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

            Comment


              #7
              Someone else with werid gas problem

              Originally posted by d.lam88 View Post
              I pray someone has the answer to your question, i too suffer the exact same symptoms and have been to many many many doctors over the last 3 years, the doctors have no idea what is causing these symptoms, i have been to several V.A.'s , i have had every test imaginable and no one can figure it out,
              I'm sorry that you are going through this because it is so frustrating. I, too, have been through lots of tests and trials, but no solution has been found. But, at least I'm not alone. I was starting to think I'm the only one since none of the doctors recognize the conditions.

              Comment


                #8
                Med, supplements, etc.

                Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                The gas could also be from the change in transit time and possible change in dietary patterns combined. I agree with the above - can you list your meds and generally what you eat and when.
                CKF
                I didnt mention that during my breathing/ gurgling problems, I also suffered with lots of belly pain. Also, my abdomen would swell up like I was very pregnant.

                For the past two years, I've tried several approaches for relief. I did make a diary of every med, supplement, food and beverage intake along with my symptoms. Mostly, my diet is as follows:
                -----------------------------------------------------------
                MEDS & DIET
                My daily routine is:
                1 5mg Dexedrine before rising to elevate blood pressure
                Vitamins: multivitamin, D, calcium, Omega, immunity C-complex
                1-3 325 Hydrocodone as needed to stop autonomic dysreflexia sweating or pain during bowel program digital stim/ suppository
                1-2 packets Picot (bicarbonate soda with citic acid) to relieve gas

                My diet:
                Breakfast: watermelon and green tea
                Lunch: oatmeal & apple w/ peanut butter; avocado; sometimes a tuna sandwich
                Snacks: sometimes corn chips, pumpkin seeds, edamame beans, banana, bit of chocolate
                Dinner: brown rice, noodles,or sweet potatoe; veggies of all kinds, sauces and flavorings are simple - lots of garlic, ginger, onion, olive oil, salsa (meat, seafood or chicken a couple times a week)
                Before bed: carton of Activia yogurt and a Costco 'Aussie Bite', an omega rich cookie made With oats, flax seed, honey

                I drink green tea, lemon water and Gatorade throughout the day. I may average 3 glasses of wine or beer per week.

                ----------------------------------------------------
                I've tried numerous gastrointestinal treatments. I was treated for IBS, but no change. All of the reflux meds and gas-x were prescribed as it appeared there was something wrong with the esophagus, maybe GERD. Nothing made a difference. I saw a specialist at Cedar Sinai to see if bacteria was growing in my gut that could be treated with an antibiotic, but there was none.

                Certain food combinations would throw me into a painful attack - ie, my favorite, pizza and beer. So, I lived gluten and dairy free for over a year. The diet made me feel better but didn't change the symptoms. (But, I think everybody will feel better eliminating wheat and dairy as our bodies don't digest them very well anymore. I read that the protein in wheat has changed over the years for better crop yield.)

                I tried eliminating foods. I had food allergy and sensitivity tests. No celiac, no allergies. I experimented with various herbal supplements and alternative remedies. I found that a digestive enzyme pill helped when I indulged in wheat and dairy products.

                I also discovered that regulating my ph helped with the digestive problems and bloating. I do this by eating alkaline foods - watermelon, lemon water, organic cider vinegar. The Picot sachet packages change the ph too. They are just baking soda with citric acid.

                Two years ago the first symptom I had was a feeling like I had a furr ball in my throat every once in awhile. Since I was grooming my poodle, I thought nothing of it. However, the feeling continued and more often.

                Then I felt a " catch" in my throat whenever I would swallow. It was annoying, but nothing I worried about. I could hide the sound so nobody noticed. But later, my sphincters opened up and a continuos flow of air and saliva was gurgling noisily and I couldn't control the saliva and mucous that would force its way out of my mouth, nose and eyes. It was embarrassing and I quit work because of it.

                It felt like I had a bubble machine inside of me that never stopped making bubbles. My saliva was frothy. My burbs/ belches constant with every breath. Sometimes I would choke when I would swallow the air that was coming up.

                Most of those symptoms have passed. However, they can return and I don't know what triggers them. Stress, of course, seems to trigger everything.

                Currently, I'm not bothered with the open esophogus sphincter, excessive gas and foamy saliva. I'm still irritated by not being able to breathe deep and exhale. I used to practice a lot of yoga breathing exercises to build up my diaphragm muscles and use deep breathing to relax for meditation. But not when I try to exhale, I have to force air up and out and it breaks up the rhythm.

                I'd like to live without the constant bursts of air being forcing out.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Are you taking Dexadrine under the direction of a cardiologist for neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH). I am taking Midodrine and have taken Midodrine and Fludrocourt togehter for my NOH. I don't tolerate Fludrocourt well, it causes severe edema. When there was a threat of a shortage and the discontinuance to Midodrine, my cardiologist was close to a loss as to what I could take for NOH. He never mentioned Dexadrine.

                  Dexadrine, an amphetamine is habit forming and has some serious side effects. I can't say that the problem for which you are seeking information is caused by Dexadrine, but I think there are safer drugs to treat your NOH.

                  As for using Hydrocodone for the treatment of autonomia dysreflexia during bowel programs, I think there are some fast acting and fast eliminated drugs like nitro paste that may be safer to use on rescue medication basis.

                  I suggest a review with your cardiologist and gastroenterologist of these two drugs and possible alternatives.

                  All the best,
                  GJ

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by gjnl View Post
                    Are you taking Dexadrine under the direction of a cardiologist for neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH). I am taking Midodrine and have taken Midodrine and Fludrocourt togehter for my NOH. I don't tolerate Fludrocourt well, it causes severe edema. When there was a threat of a shortage and the discontinuance to Midodrine, my cardiologist was close to a loss as to what I could take for NOH. He never mentioned Dexadrine.

                    Dexadrine, an amphetamine is habit forming and has some serious side effects. I can't say that the problem for which you are seeking information is caused by Dexadrine, but I think there are safer drugs to treat your NOH.

                    As for using Hydrocodone for the treatment of autonomia dysreflexia during bowel programs, I think there are some fast acting and fast eliminated drugs like nitro paste that may be safer to use on rescue medication basis.

                    I suggest a review with your cardiologist and gastroenterologist of these two drugs and possible alternatives.

                    All the best,
                    GJ
                    Thanks for your comment regarding drugs. My blood pressure is usually below 60/40 when I first get up. I have tried a variety of drugs, including those you mentioned. Dexedrine should be administered carefully because of its addictive quality. I have taken one 5mg extended release capsule per day for about 20 years without the need or craving to increase the dosage. I have also researched the long term effects of a lengthy usage and the reports state the effect is less than caffeinated coffee.

                    I would like to eliminate hydrocodone from my system, especially because of all the toxic Tylenol. So far, nothing but opiates stop the sweating and pain. I will ask about the nitro paste.

                    Thanks again.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Broken Doll View Post
                      Thanks for your comment regarding drugs. My blood pressure is usually below 60/40 when I first get up. I have tried a variety of drugs, including those you mentioned. Dexedrine should be administered carefully because of its addictive quality. I have taken one 5mg extended release capsule per day for about 20 years without the need or craving to increase the dosage. I have also researched the long term effects of a lengthy usage and the reports state the effect is less than caffeinated coffee.

                      I would like to eliminate hydrocodone from my system, especially because of all the toxic Tylenol. So far, nothing but opiates stop the sweating and pain. I will ask about the nitro paste.

                      Thanks again.
                      Have you tried lidocaine inserted in the rectal vault several minutes before inserting a suppository or doing digital stimulation. Enemeez Plus is formulated with lidocaine to help curtain autonomic symptoms that occur while doing bowel programs.

                      Here are some other medications for autonomic dysreflexia, acute and chronic:
                      * Immediate/emergent
                      o Procardia - 10 mg. p.o./sublingual
                      o Nitroglycerine - 1/150 sublingual or 1/2 inch Nitropaste topically
                      o Clonidine - 0.1 to 0.2 mg. p.o.
                      o Hydralazine - 10 to 20 mg. IM/IV
                      * Chronic (recurrent episode prevention)
                      o Prazosin ("Minipress") - 0.5 to 1.0 mg. daily
                      o Clonidine ("Catapres") - 0.2 mg. p.o. b.i.d.

                      All the best,
                      GJ

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by gjnl View Post
                        Have you tried lidocaine inserted in the rectal vault several minutes before inserting a suppository or doing digital stimulation. Enemeez Plus is formulated with lidocaine to help curtain autonomic symptoms that occur while doing bowel programs.

                        Here are some other medications for autonomic dysreflexia, acute and chronic:
                        * Immediate/emergent
                        o Procardia - 10 mg. p.o./sublingual
                        o Nitroglycerine - 1/150 sublingual or 1/2 inch Nitropaste topically
                        o Clonidine - 0.1 to 0.2 mg. p.o.
                        o Hydralazine - 10 to 20 mg. IM/IV
                        * Chronic (recurrent episode prevention)
                        o Prazosin ("Minipress") - 0.5 to 1.0 mg. daily
                        o Clonidine ("Catapres") - 0.2 mg. p.o. b.i.d.

                        All the best,
                        GJ
                        The lidocaune doesn't make any difference. Here was an interesting thread about it on CC. /forum/showthread.php?t=22905
                        " Cosman, et al. (2002). Topical lidocaine does not limit autonomic dysreflexia during anorectal procedures in spinal cord injury: a prospective, double-blind study."

                        I'll take this list of drugs for my doctor to review for me.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Broken Doll View Post
                          The lidocaune doesn't make any difference. Here was an interesting thread about it on CC. /forum/showthread.php?t=22905
                          " Cosman, et al. (2002). Topical lidocaine does not limit autonomic dysreflexia during anorectal procedures in spinal cord injury: a prospective, double-blind study."

                          I'll take this list of drugs for my doctor to review for me.

                          Occasionally I get AD during bowel care and if I use lidocaine it stops immediately. What I started doing is using the lidocaine when my nurse inserts the suppository. That seems to take care of it from the get go. Good luck!
                          Last edited by HACKNSACK44; 25 May 2012, 6:11 PM. Reason: na

                          Comment


                            #14
                            About six weeks have passed since I first posted the weird gas problem. Hopefully, I may be getting closer to the cause. I visited a doctor that specializes in spinal cord injury. His initial diagnosis that is now being confirmed with x-rays is that I may have a hiatal hernia that is making my esophagus sphincter dysfunctional and allowing the gas to be forced out my upper GI.

                            In regards to the stomach distention and feeling full of gas, he suggested that I may have a megacolon, a large dilated colon that is common in longer-term spinal cord injuries. I've been injured 30 years.

                            I'm still waiting for him to review the x-rays; however, since I am in a great deal of discomfort with the difficulty in exhaling and swallowing and with my eight month distended ' pregnant looking' hard belly, I am very anxious to know what is going on with me.

                            I researched megacolon and discovered that it has to do with constipation. I do not suffer with constipation though. In an unrelated urodynamic x-ray last week, the technician showed me how large my colon was. Instead of stool, it was still with gas.

                            In my research for hiatal hernia, I didn't recognize having any of those symptoms either. I have no reflux or acid problems. Only difficulty exhaling and swallowing and a constant belching. Often, I choke on the air that is being forced up my G.I. when I'm trying to swallow.

                            I feel like I have a very tight band around my stomach that must be gas. The pain is focused on the lower right quadrant of my abdomen. The gas in my belly seems to enervate spasms in my legs. They are so strong, I lose my balance in my wheelchair.

                            I do not have any pain during my bowel program. The pain starts when the evacuation completes. At that time, blood and mucus follow the stool. I feel my belly swell up with air and am in great discomfort.

                            When I empty my bladder or my bowel, I feel gas expanding in my abdomen area and great amounts of gas are forced out to my upper G.I. resulting in never-ending belching. My urologist witnessed this gas after my urodynamic test. His explanation was that the bowel has a reflex similar to autonomic dysreflexia causing this upper G.I. activity.


                            I am in so much pain today, have a very bloated stomach, and feel very tired from not being able to sleep at night because of the pain. I hesitate to take opiates, vicodan, because I don't want to make my bowels sluggish. But I know of nothing else that will stop the dysreflexia sweating and pain. But I have used opiates for maybe 20 years with very few bouts of constipation.

                            Can mega colon be caused by gas?

                            What can be done to relieve the problem?
                            Last edited by Broken Doll; 1 Jul 2012, 4:24 PM. Reason: misspelling

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Obstructive megacolon in SCI is not just caused by constipation. It is also associated with long term use of laxatives and stimulants for bowel management. It is caused by the colon trying to move stool out against a closed (spastic) anal sphincter when it is full. This fullness could be stool, or gas, but the ultimate results is a flabby, low muscle tone colon with it becoming more and more difficult to move stool through the gut.

                              (KLD)
                              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                              Comment

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