Abdominal Distension

Posted by marthalucinda @marthalucinda, Oct 16, 2021

I have been to a gastroenterologist, urologist (I have kidney stone issues) and a gynecologist. Over a month ago my stomach started to swell after I ate a lot of fresh vegetables from a farmer’s market. I am a very clean person. The urologist eliminated kidney issues and the GYN dr. eliminated the possibility of fibroids, as causes for the stomach enlargement. I get tired more than usual, have backaches by the afternoon, but regular digestive and elimination processes. The only thing I can now think my problem is either diverticulitis or a parasite/worm in my stomach from the veggies. I had terrible stomach pains before my stomach swelled. I went on a diet the gastroenterologist suggested with no success. Thank you for any help.

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Hello @marthalucinda and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It certainly sounds like you have been seeking answers by going to specialists to review your symptoms. There really are a lot of reasons for bloating and distension. I found this article that I wanted to share as it may present you with cues of other reasons you are experiencing these symptoms.

– Understanding and Managing Chronic Abdominal Bloating and Distension:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/digestive-diseases/news/understanding-and-managing-chronic-abdominal-bloating-and-distension/mac-20511032
Is there anything in the article that you have not explored/considered?

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Thank you, Moderator. I have already viewed this article. I’m looking for other people’s comments who have experienced this situation. I’m frustrated after going to 2 doctors.

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@marthalucinda, I want to add my welcome to Connect. I have to begin by saying that the only experience that I have with any kind of abdominal swelling is from ascites (fluid) when my liver was failing. However, I had a quick thought when I read your post. You have already seen a gastroenterologist, a urologist for kidney stone issues, and a gynecologist who have ruled out kidney stone and gynecological issues. I am wondering, because you you think there is a possible parasitic cause, whether you have discussed this with the gastroenterologist? Also, how long did you follow the diet that he/she gave to you? Did he/she indicate how long this might be needed before you feel any positive results?
I can imagine your frustration. When is your next appointment?

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Thank you, Rosemary, for your helpful comments. I was following the diet when my stomach became enlarged, so I didn’t pursue it any longer. Also I do not eat a lot of the foods the dr. told me to avoid. I can not imagine my liver failing. My next appt. with the gastroenterologist is in about 2 weeks. It is hard to get an appt. here in my small town. I shall discuss fluid, diverticulitis and parasites. And I’m going to ask him to make whatever tests that will show what is going on in my stomach area. The urologist said that my digestive system looks intact, so no distortion there. I’m going to be firm with the doctor because I do not want to go to the hospital for a stay. I am a caregiver.

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The only thing I can add is do you drink a lot of carbonated drinks? Carbonation will distend the belly.

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@rosemarya

@marthalucinda, I want to add my welcome to Connect. I have to begin by saying that the only experience that I have with any kind of abdominal swelling is from ascites (fluid) when my liver was failing. However, I had a quick thought when I read your post. You have already seen a gastroenterologist, a urologist for kidney stone issues, and a gynecologist who have ruled out kidney stone and gynecological issues. I am wondering, because you you think there is a possible parasitic cause, whether you have discussed this with the gastroenterologist? Also, how long did you follow the diet that he/she gave to you? Did he/she indicate how long this might be needed before you feel any positive results?
I can imagine your frustration. When is your next appointment?

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Rosemary, If it does not invade your privacy, can you tell me why your liver was failing? Most websites about ascites mention ingestion of alcoholic beverages, but I have never been a drinker other than a glass of wine once in a blue moon. I do think I have a liver infection. My town has no hematologists, so I plan to see my PCP dr. Thank you, Martha Lucinda

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@marthalucinda How uncomfortable both physically and mentally, to not know what the underlying cause may be! I hate to pepper you with questions, and completely relate to your dilemma of not having specialists close by!

Your original post mentioned it has been about a month or so on the diet your dr advised. Have you been keeping any kind of a journal? I know it can be some work, but writing down what you eat/drink, when, when the symptoms appear/recede can really help you and your team see any pattern. Perhaps it is an interaction between certain foods? To change up your diet and include foods from a farmers market, may take a bit of getting used to, as you "clean up" your diet.

I will very interested to hear what happens in two weeks, and hope you will consider a journal to track things. It has been invaluable for my in my health journey!
Ginger

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Thank you for your comments, Ginger. I don’t know if you can see my comments to the other volunteer mentor. My problem is not a diet or stomach issue. I believe because I go to the bathroom about 8 times day and night, that it is a liver issue. I have never been a drinker, so I’m going to my PCP. I was eating veggies from the farmers’ mkt. when all this happened.

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@marthalucinda

Thank you for your comments, Ginger. I don’t know if you can see my comments to the other volunteer mentor. My problem is not a diet or stomach issue. I believe because I go to the bathroom about 8 times day and night, that it is a liver issue. I have never been a drinker, so I’m going to my PCP. I was eating veggies from the farmers’ mkt. when all this happened.

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@marthalucinda, I would like to begin by first answering your question about the cause of my liver failure. I feel certain that it does not apply here, but since you asked: I was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC). It is a rare condition and it can lead to liver failure. I did not develop ascites until my disease progressed to cirrhosis and I was on the transplant list, along with many other yucky symptoms. I am glad that you brought up alcohol because it is not the only cause of liver disease.
I hope that you are using reliable resources for your search. Places like Mayo Clinic, and other major medical centers are full of reliable information. Avoid the .coms who are usually sponsored by someone for a product promotion. Here is the link to Mayo Clinic's Health Information about Liver disease. You will see that liver problems can also be caused by a variety of factors.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/liver-problems/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20374507
I wholeheartedly agree with @gingerw's suggestion to keep a journal/list of everything that you put into your body. Include any and all supplements, vitamins, and over the counter medications.

Here are some additional preparation tips that i found in the Mayo Liver Disease information link. These are applicable to any and all doctor appointments.
-Write down any symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason why you scheduled the appointment.
-Make a list of all your medications, vitamins and supplements.
-Write down your key medical information, including other conditions.
-Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life.
-Ask a relative or friend to accompany you, to help you remember what the doctor says.
-Write down questions to ask your doctor.
——
And here are a few questions that I thought of for you to ask your doctor.
-What's the most likely cause of my symptom?
-Are my problems likely temporary or long lasting?
-What treatments are available?

Martha Lucinda, For now, I suggest that you assume that this could something besides liver related. You are going to the doctor in 2 weeks to hopefully get some answers to your questions. What are some question that you can think of?

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Thank you, Rosemary, for the information. I am caregiver to my 90-year old father and manager of our home /cook/secretary etc. and do not have time for any journal. I always take an index card with me to the doctor’s. I think my problem is liver related because of my going to the bathroom at least 8 times in a 24-hour period which is unusual for me. I have no idea why my problem may be liver related, but I think I’ve eliminated everything else which could match my symptoms. I have read Mayo Clinic’s articles on liver issues. Take care.

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@marthalucinda

Please do not take offense… All of this is written because I care and wish to understand so I might can offer you help.

I assume your trips to the bathroom is bowel movements.. correct? No matter… you have at least 8 opportunities to write in a journal or notes. You can make time no matter how busy your day is…. I know. .. been there done that. I had to make time to take care of me so I could take care of my mama… hard lesson to learn.

I was a caretaker of my 92 year old mother… along with my regular household duties, being a helpmate to my husband, and taking care of mama's dog. It all does take a lot of time. It is also very stressful. Even though it took a toll on my body to take care of my mama I don't regret it for a bit.

More than likely you have a digestive track disorder… maybe from, parasite, infection or bacteria, maybe stress, maybe from lack of not eating properly even though you are following a diet. I cannot eat much at a time and sometimes I forgot to eat enough often when taking care of my mama. As I lost weight I realized I had to take care of me better.

I had a note pad and jotted down… just a few sentences while in the bathroom, those very few minutes I had to myself in the morning, and before bed. You can make time for notes. Then take time to summarize your notes on the computer… I have an ipad and used the Note app. I print off two copies… one for me and one for my doctor… he kept taking my notes from my hands.. so this worked best for me. He wrote notes on his paper and I on mine. More than likely I would not be able to read his notes.

Sometimes when we eat .. especially as caretakers… we don't think about how we eat. You may be following the diet but are you eating properly? Are you taking small bites or big bites… are you chewing well before swallowing… are you using a straw which can cause you to swallow air are you drinking a lot of coffee or carbonated beverages… are you eating a lot of fibrous foods? There is a difference in high fiber and fibrous. Fibrous is stringy foods like celery, broccoli, greens and citrus fruits. These along with Raw fruits and vegetables can cause distention of the belly.

Other than reading articles about liver issues why do you think you have a liver problem? What other symptoms do you have? Have you had an endoscopy and colonoscopy? CT or MRI scan? Any other tests ??
.
ZeeGe

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@fourof5zs

@marthalucinda

Please do not take offense… All of this is written because I care and wish to understand so I might can offer you help.

I assume your trips to the bathroom is bowel movements.. correct? No matter… you have at least 8 opportunities to write in a journal or notes. You can make time no matter how busy your day is…. I know. .. been there done that. I had to make time to take care of me so I could take care of my mama… hard lesson to learn.

I was a caretaker of my 92 year old mother… along with my regular household duties, being a helpmate to my husband, and taking care of mama's dog. It all does take a lot of time. It is also very stressful. Even though it took a toll on my body to take care of my mama I don't regret it for a bit.

More than likely you have a digestive track disorder… maybe from, parasite, infection or bacteria, maybe stress, maybe from lack of not eating properly even though you are following a diet. I cannot eat much at a time and sometimes I forgot to eat enough often when taking care of my mama. As I lost weight I realized I had to take care of me better.

I had a note pad and jotted down… just a few sentences while in the bathroom, those very few minutes I had to myself in the morning, and before bed. You can make time for notes. Then take time to summarize your notes on the computer… I have an ipad and used the Note app. I print off two copies… one for me and one for my doctor… he kept taking my notes from my hands.. so this worked best for me. He wrote notes on his paper and I on mine. More than likely I would not be able to read his notes.

Sometimes when we eat .. especially as caretakers… we don't think about how we eat. You may be following the diet but are you eating properly? Are you taking small bites or big bites… are you chewing well before swallowing… are you using a straw which can cause you to swallow air are you drinking a lot of coffee or carbonated beverages… are you eating a lot of fibrous foods? There is a difference in high fiber and fibrous. Fibrous is stringy foods like celery, broccoli, greens and citrus fruits. These along with Raw fruits and vegetables can cause distention of the belly.

Other than reading articles about liver issues why do you think you have a liver problem? What other symptoms do you have? Have you had an endoscopy and colonoscopy? CT or MRI scan? Any other tests ??
.
ZeeGe

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I know you mean no offense. I thought this Mayo Clinic Connect was an outlet where people who have had similar symptoms share their results. I think I mentioned that I now know my problem is not digestive. And I go to the bathroom many times to urinate. Not to offend you, but I believe no one can suggest I have time to do what anyone else does and make a journal. That is something I will not do. I’m getting a lot of unsolicited advice from people on this blog. They do not know me or my body. Thank you for taking the time to help.

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