Chronic Abdominal Bloating and Pain

Posted by geb @gloriaeb, Aug 17, 2015

I am a relatively healthy person with a problem “bloated belly”. My belly gets bigger as the day goes on; doesn’t matter if I eat, drink only water, my belly still gets more bloated. The bloat continues up the abdomen into the midriff area…I have to loosen bra or put on a bigger one. This happens everyday. Pretty good in the morning.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Digestive Health group.

Hi,
I have this problem somewhat too. Mine will go down I noticed when I don’t eat bread or when my colon actually empties. But it sounds from what you are describing that it’s happening even when they don’t eat. I would recommend keeping a food diary, writing down what you eat or drink, what time of day and how you are feeling that day (symptoms). Keep track of your food intake too. I have something called Gastroparesis. I started a daily food dairy about a year ago by going on to Microsoft Works on my computer and looking for the template for something to keep track of every single thing I eat or drink, including honey, sugar, butter, Mayo….everything. I also tracked the calories, fat, protein, carbs and fiber for each item. There’s columns to use for this. I typed in these values. Then printed many copies to use to keep track daily. It’s a good system to use to be accountable for yourself plus in logging it you can also see how your diet affects you on any given day. Then when you go to your Dr. You can show this record so at a glance the Dr can see it. I see a dietitian too through my Gastroenterologist, in their office. Then I can show her too. Its a start. Hope you get some help soon! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!
Darlia

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@piper34

When I was in college I got extremely sick and almost died but my stomach was huge and everyone thought I was pregnant. Turns out I hadn’t gone to the bathroom in over 3 months. Doctors cleaned me out and stomach went down but never believed me. I have been on every laxative known to man and all work for about 2 days then stop. Even miralax. In fact my stools are always soft never hard and miralax only causes leakage and never gets rid of anything. I don’t have any peristalsis but dr feels like I should stay on laxative. I can’t work bc I have leakage accidents and am always vomiting due to having so much back up. I am at 3 months again and can’t eat. Food is at back of my throat. I’ve thrown up a lot and food just tries to keep coming out that way instead of other way. I’ve gained 40 pounds in my stomach! I am huge!! Everyone keeps congratulating me on pregnancy. My aunt was diagnosed with puesdo-obstruction and dr said her intestines were arranged wrong causes severe obstruction. I believe I have the same but dr won’t do anything bc I don’t have insurance. I’m tired of this.

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Hello @piper34 and welcome to Connect. How frustrating to know how you are feeling and what you may have but to not be able to get others to listen to you. If you don't mind sharing a bit more about yourself, do you know if you have had a bowel obstruction? Forgive my lack of knowledge on this topic, but is a bowel obstruction possible or is that essentially the same thing as constipation? If you are to the point where you are unable to eat, that is serious. Have you thought about seeking a second opinion? I am not a medical professional, but if you are unable to eat you may need to visit an emergency room as this could be a serious situation.

If you don't mind, I'd like to share a link to a recently active discussion on a similar topic that you may find worth your time to read through and participate in if you feel comfortable:

https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chronic-small-bowel-obstruction-from-adhesions/

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When I was in college I got extremely sick and almost died but my stomach was huge and everyone thought I was pregnant. Turns out I hadn’t gone to the bathroom in over 3 months. Doctors cleaned me out and stomach went down but never believed me. I have been on every laxative known to man and all work for about 2 days then stop. Even miralax. In fact my stools are always soft never hard and miralax only causes leakage and never gets rid of anything. I don’t have any peristalsis but dr feels like I should stay on laxative. I can’t work bc I have leakage accidents and am always vomiting due to having so much back up. I am at 3 months again and can’t eat. Food is at back of my throat. I’ve thrown up a lot and food just tries to keep coming out that way instead of other way. I’ve gained 40 pounds in my stomach! I am huge!! Everyone keeps congratulating me on pregnancy. My aunt was diagnosed with puesdo-obstruction and dr said her intestines were arranged wrong causes severe obstruction. I believe I have the same but dr won’t do anything bc I don’t have insurance. I’m tired of this.

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Hi @piper34,

I moved your discussion and combined it with this existing discussion on constipation, and bloated stomach issues. I did this as I thought it would be beneficial for you to be introduced to the many members who have discussed much of what you are experiencing.
If you click on VIEW & REPLY in your email notification, you will see the whole discussion and can join in, meet, and participate with other members talking about their or their loved ones' experiences.

How are you feeling, @piper34? Are you still having difficulty with keeping food down?

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@pticurious

For almost a year, I have this condition, where with swollen stomach I have frequent pains and limited food intake. Went thru’ X-Ray, cat scan, MRI (???) no diagnosis. The local GI experts unable to diagnose nor treat.

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Hello @pticurious, So glad that you found Mayo Connect. Sorry to hear you are having such terrible issues and what makes it worse, no answers why.
I really hope they can get to the bottom of this soon so that you can start feeling better. I know what it’s like to not know what is causing your pain and no answers or treatment.

How long have the GI doctors been working to find out why this is happening? Other than the diagnostics are they treating your condition in any way?

Hope you feel better soon, looking forward to your reply,
Von

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@pticurious

For almost a year, I have this condition, where with swollen stomach I have frequent pains and limited food intake. Went thru’ X-Ray, cat scan, MRI (???) no diagnosis. The local GI experts unable to diagnose nor treat.

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Hello @pticurious, Let me add my welcome to Mayo Connect as well.

I would also invite you to look at a previous Mayo Connect conversation on abdominal bloating, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/my-stomach-makes-me-look-pregnant/ and also https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/abdominal-bloating/. As you can see from looking at these posts this is a problem that many of our Members have faced. I hope that you are able to find some help.

In reading your post, I was wondering if the swollen abdominal and limited food intake are a constant problem or does it come and go? If the problem is intermittent rather than continuous have you been able to find any correlation between food intake, exercise, etc?

Teresa

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For almost a year, I have this condition, where with swollen stomach I have frequent pains and limited food intake. Went thru’ X-Ray, cat scan, MRI (???) no diagnosis. The local GI experts unable to diagnose nor treat.

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@jrwilhelm

I am an 85-yr old male whose only known digestive problem is an almost constant, and painful, abdominal distension due to bloating, which is worse immediately following food or drink and in the morning upon awakening. C-scans reveal a small hiatal hernia in the esophageal area but no blockages. I have stopped on dairy and grains for extended periods without relief. Probiotics and supplements of various kinds have been useless. I have taken anti-reflux medications for years; these were originally prescribed to remedy a perceived weakening of the esophagus (throat closed up once 15 years ago). However, I have never consciously suffered from acid reflux. My best theory is that there is some causal relationship between the hernia and the bloating; I am aware of two undocumented cases where repair of hernias seemingly cured this kind of abdominal problem.. Does anyone have some suggestions that might help me? Thank you…

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Hello @jrwillheim. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thank you for posting this topic to the Digestive Health group. Mayo Clinic Connect is a community of people who share past medical experiences. We are not medical physicians or medical professionals so can not give you a diagnosis or medical advice but we can connect you with other members here discussing similar situations.

I’m sorry to hear you are experiencing such issues. Have you spoke with your primary doctor and asked if testing for food allergies would be beneficial? or have you thought about having hernia surgery to repair and hopefully feel better? have you made significant changes to your diet? Have you noticed whether there are certain triggers that bring on your symptoms?

I would like to introduce you to other members on connect that have all discussed GI esophagus complications @lobste @ntp01 @yyyy @lorettanebraska @julier123 @stephieisabella @saucy @ptfitzy. Hopefully they will be willing to share some insight with you.

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@jrwilhelm

I am an 85-yr old male whose only known digestive problem is an almost constant, and painful, abdominal distension due to bloating, which is worse immediately following food or drink and in the morning upon awakening. C-scans reveal a small hiatal hernia in the esophageal area but no blockages. I have stopped on dairy and grains for extended periods without relief. Probiotics and supplements of various kinds have been useless. I have taken anti-reflux medications for years; these were originally prescribed to remedy a perceived weakening of the esophagus (throat closed up once 15 years ago). However, I have never consciously suffered from acid reflux. My best theory is that there is some causal relationship between the hernia and the bloating; I am aware of two undocumented cases where repair of hernias seemingly cured this kind of abdominal problem.. Does anyone have some suggestions that might help me? Thank you…

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Hello @jrwilhelm

I would like to add my welcome to you as Jamie just did. In following up on Jamie’s idea of noting triggers for your symptoms, I would suggest keeping a journal of symptoms and daily activities and food/drink intake. It might offer some clues that you can share with your doctor. Allergy testing, as Jamie suggested, might be worth discussing with your doctor as well.

Teresa

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I am an 85-yr old male whose only known digestive problem is an almost constant, and painful, abdominal distension due to bloating, which is worse immediately following food or drink and in the morning upon awakening. C-scans reveal a small hiatal hernia in the esophageal area but no blockages. I have stopped on dairy and grains for extended periods without relief. Probiotics and supplements of various kinds have been useless. I have taken anti-reflux medications for years; these were originally prescribed to remedy a perceived weakening of the esophagus (throat closed up once 15 years ago). However, I have never consciously suffered from acid reflux. My best theory is that there is some causal relationship between the hernia and the bloating; I am aware of two undocumented cases where repair of hernias seemingly cured this kind of abdominal problem.. Does anyone have some suggestions that might help me? Thank you…

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I wanted to let you know that I moved some messaged and combined it with this active discussion about "Chronic Abdominal Bloating and Pain.” I did this as I thought it would be beneficial for members to reconnect, and easier for new members to meet others with similar conditions.
I also changed the title so that it reflects the discussion topic in detail, and I’m hoping that others can see the discussion at a glance and join in. The new title is "Chronic Abdominal Bloating and Pain."

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@swollengutguy

I've been dealing with chronic abdominal bloating and pain for about 1 year. I sometimes urinate up to 20+ times a day. I've been to three doctors and had three normal endoscopy in the last 18 months and just had another normal CT scan. On Nov. 29, 2018 my gall bladder was removed. During that surgery my doctor cleaned up an old hernia and said I have a new, small one that needs repaired at a later date. I've tired lactose and gluten free diets but it hasn't helped. My symptoms seem to get worse each day and I'm having some dizzy spells. I do not have reflux or diarrhea. My stomach is so bloated or swollen I can't button my pants without terrible pains. My weight is at my desired level, I exercise almost daily and eat healthy. I have been on a low carb diet for about two years but doctors say that shouldn't cause these issues. I can't dress or live normal and its really starting to wear on me. My doctors tell me nothing is wrong but something is very wrong and I need some help.

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