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    Abdominal Bloating, Pressure, Pain, Etc.

    Starting about 6 months ago, I developed abdominal discomfort that I haven't been able to figure out. I'm a T3 complete, so I can't technically feel my stomach, but I guess the 'feelings' that I have radiate up into my upper abdomen/lower chest. It's a very uncomfortable feeling that I best describe as bloating and pressure. Not really pain but just a general queasy feeling and pressure feeling like I might burst. It's not constant and comes and goes. Strangely, it's not really related to when or how much I eat. I have a relatively normal appetite, but not quite normal because I feel so 'full' all of the time. I've never experienced this before in being paralyzed for just over a decade. I have a pretty good pot belly and thought that maybe I just needed to lose some weight, but I weigh about 15 pounds less than I did 5 years ago. I had quite a few tests performed with no real indication of any problems. I started with a colonoscopy because I wanted to rule out an obstruction. The results showed no problems. I also had abdominal x rays and ultrasound. Everything came back normal with the exception of my gallbladder, which was expected. I had stones in it 10 years ago and I still have stones in it. It also showed a thickened gallbladder wall. So I was actually kind of hoping that the gallbladder was the problem and figured it might need to come out. So they did the advanced gallbladder test (can't remember the name) to see how it was functioning, and it came back fine. So now I just don't know. I guess I'm glad things look normal, but I'd like to get rid of this abdominal discomfort. I'm wondering if they could do an endoscopy to check things out in the upper GI. I don't really ever had heartburn, maybe a little acid reflux now and again. I generally do a bowel movement every day, at least every other day. And I'm able to empty out really well. But even then I feel bloated and full at times. Anyone else experience similar symptoms?

    #2
    Yes, I have a very similar problem. I have a C5 complete injury. Like you, I had not had this issue for many years... and then about 3 years ago it increasingly started to become something impossible to ignore. I find rib stretches help a bit or if my bowel care works very well, I feel better. I usually less discomfort in the morning. I usually feel fine lying down also.

    I've done a lot of scans like yourself but no problems found.

    I hope someone else out there has had and solved their similar problem?

    Comment


      #3
      That's interesting. Sure sounds like similar symptoms. I'm usually better in the morning, too. And usually better lying down, as well. I wonder if it's just the bowels being more 'constricted' or bunched together when we're sitting in our chairs. Seems to me like my descending colon on my left side gets more pronounced and bulges out more than it used to. But then I wonder if my 'love handles' have just gotten larger. I don't know. It's frustrating to definitely feel off but have the tests come back fine.

      Comment


        #4
        Have you been tested for possible gastroparesis? This is a autonomic nervous system problem with stomach motility and emptying. It can be caused by high level SCI/D, and also occurs in some people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. There are drugs that can be used to help with this, although a drug used for many years (Reglan) is no longer available in the USA.

        https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/syc-20355787

        (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


          #5
          i T6 complete and mine has got worse over time, i end up looking like a drum and sound like one, i blame it on trapped wind as i rarely fart so its all stuck up in there :P i recently seen the doctor about it and sounds like ibs so im taking peppermint oil tablets and see how i go, so far only a day or 2 inm and i think its helping any wind/spasms but i need to see how it goes over a few weeks

          Comment


            #6
            Just to update this...I've still been having issues. Some days are ok but others are terrible. And I've also developed some new symptoms which are very bothersome. Before Thanksgiving, I developed kind of a 'tickle' in my throat. I thought a cold was coming on, but it didn't develop like a normal cold. I did get extremely fatigued for 3 or 4 days where I just wanted to sleep all day. That passed but I never got a very runny nose or cough. No fever or chills. And my throat never got very sore. Just a little sore with the ticklish feeling. And when I breath in my chest hurts a little and it almost feels cool or like a menthol feeling. I wouldn't really describe it as a burning sensation so I don't think it's heartburn. But I still have this bothersome sore throat feeling 3 weeks later. I got tested for Covid and it was negative. Negative for strep as well. I feel like I most likely had a virus because of the extreme fatigue for several days. But shouldn't my throat be back to normal by now?

            Starting to wonder if this is some sort of acid reflux problem. I don't really think I have heartburn, but I do have that abdominal discomfort, nausea at times, sometimes a bitter taste, very bad breath in morning, sometimes feel like something is stuck in throat, and now this throat discomfort. Can a bad gallbladder cause acid reflux problems?

            I do have an endoscope scheduled for end of this month and am very much looking forward to that. My gastroenterologist wants to do that to rule out ulcers/tumors/etc and to get a direct visual of the stomach and esophagus. She also talked about possibly doing the gastric emptying test if needed after the endoscope.

            Comment


              #7
              It could have been a virus, but I think you are smart to get it further worked up. Gallbladder issues can cause digestion problems, but that tends to occur when you eat foods that trigger a flare.
              Let us know what you find out,
              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


                #8
                Well I had my upper scope done. Pretty normal results. Very mild gastritis but no ulcers. Esophagus and duodenum look normal. But I continue to have the same issues. Past couple nights I've woken up at 3 am with very upset stomach. Pepto helps enough to eventually get back to sleep. But I am not sleeping well and that's only making things worse. They are ok with me doing an elective surgery to remove the gallbladder and I'm about ready to do it. First, I'm doing 3 weeks with omezaprome to see if it does anything. I'm also going to ask if they can do a comprehensive stool sample. Just in case that might indicate something. I had blood work done last week and everything was in the normal range. I'd like to eliminate all other possibilities before taking the gallbladder.

                Comment


                  #9
                  im t6 and lately ive been getting kind of pain but cant really feel a little bit like yourself and i tried the peppermint tablets which didnt help, so i went back to the doctor and she examined me and we talked and said it sounded like my stomach lineing could be causing it or something along those lines so she prescribed me lanzoprazole tablets which i believe have worked, i used to take these when i was taking loads of tablets but i no long take tablets only bladder meds so i stopped those too, over time i do still feel like im bloated a bit but not as much as before the pain is gone and the popping and banging is at a minimum, might be worth a shot

                  Comment


                    #10
                    tarantella, it could be a hiatal hernia. The gas, sore throat and tickle go along with that. Surgery is quite tricky and can cause worse problems than the ones it's intended to address, so it's not usually performed unless the hernia is huge and pressing on vital organs. But you've had quite a thorough workup, and I think your docs would have spotted something like that.

                    For the sore throat and tickle, you might try slippery elm lozenges. Peppermint can cause acid reflux and make things worse. I take Planetary Herbals Slippery Elm Lozenges, 150mg/lozenge, for sore throat - I take them when my hiatal hernia is acting up, and they're also good for throat discomfort due to upper respiratory infections and allergies.
                    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

                    Comment


                      #11
                      This sounds like reflux to me too. How do you sleep? Are you lying flat? Try propping up on an extra pillow or sleeping on a pillow wedge or raising the head of your bedframe on a couple of blocks.

                      My father has intermittent feelings of "fullness" (early satiety)/burping/chronic cough/occasional hoarsness/bad taste in the mouth in the morning/chest pain etc.. that are due to chronic reflux. He also has a hiatal hernia.

                      I agree with the nurse that you should ask about gastroporesis as well.

                      I would not take out the gall bladder until you have seen a GI doctor who focuses on treating reflux/stomach issues like gastroparesis, and done extensive medication trials (omeprazole, maybe need a higher dose)/sleep changes/diet changes to see if reflux is the real issue here.

                      My Dad takes omeprazole 3 times a day actually (his case is unusual) as well as an H2 blocker because his reflux is so bad, and has to sleep practically sitting up to reduce his symptoms.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Definitely see GI doctor. Initial symptoms could have been gall bladder. Could be GERD, which can present with cough/sore throat. Test for h.pylori. Gastric parapsresis would be diagnosed with Transit time study but you seem to empty bowels well. CWO
                        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


                          #13
                          Thanks for the feedback and advice. I really appreciate it. When they did the endoscopy, they tested for h pylori and that came back negative.

                          To my surprise, I do think that the omeprazole has been helping to relieve some of my stomach pain. I haven't really had nighttime stomach pain since I started taking the medication. So getting sleep has certainly been very helpful. It's also been better during the day, but certainly not perfect. But much less sour stomach and nausea.

                          To answer the question about how I sleep, I have typically always slept on my stomach. When I sleep on my back my arms tend to 'fall asleep' and have tingling and numbness. That's nothing new. I'm certain it's related to my injury as it started just after I was injured about 12 years ago. I'm not a very sound sleeper and throughout the night I tend to alternate from my stomach to my side. I do agree that I think part of the problem is reflux so I am mindful to try and keep my head elevated on a big pillow.

                          I would expect that the endoscopy would have shown a hiatal hernia if it were present.

                          I am also starting to wonder if I am dealing with sinus issues that could be causing my sore/scratchy throat. I've read that postnasal drip from sinus issues can contribute to a sore throat. And just in the past few weeks I've been dealing with a lot of sinus pressure in my forehead above my eyes. I feel best in the morning and feel worse throughout the day. By mid afternoon most days I'm dealing with a slight headache in my forehead above the eyes. Along with that I have nasal congestion every single morning, I've had that for years and years. I've also had a decreased sense of smell for many years.

                          I see my primary doctor later this week. I'm going to tell him that I've been happily surprised with the omeprazole and see if I should continue it. I'm not sure if it's intended to be for long term use. And I'm going to ask for a referral to an ENT so they can see what's going on with my sinuses and throat.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Glad to hear that th omeprazole is helping. I know that it has helped many people. It sounds as if you have a solid plan. Sinuses could also becontribuint to your GI discomfort. Hopefully a trip to the ENT will help that. Let us know how you are doing.
                            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.

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