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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Do I have an Ulcer...? (emphasis on past appointments)


 celestialdestiny - Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:47 pm

Don't know how to start so I guess I will just get right to it. I'm 18, Female, was diagnosed with Acid Reflux about 4 or 5 years back and have been taking Nexium for it off/on since. The reason for it being off/on is that, obviously being so young, many doctors are hesitant to give me anything more than a 90 day script. I am currently on Nexium

Family history-wise, my family is extremely prone to Gastro problems. My mom, aunt, sister and I all suffer from acid reflux. My mom, aunt, and grandmother are prone to ulcers when put under a lot of stress. As a matter of fact, my aunt experienced her first ulcer when she was 19 (she was studying to be a nurse), and my mom in early twenties (she was in the army and stationed in Germany). They do not have as many problems with it now

About 2-3 months ago I started experiencing symptoms of nausea, tight throat feeling (like there's a lump in it, but it's not actually there), easy fatigue, etc. I went in to the local children's clinic to figure out what was going on, but the moment the doctor found out I hadn't had a proper bowel movement in two weeks she freaked out and quickly assumed it was constipation.

Now, I have had constipation problems in the past. Almost to the the point where I was on laxatives for weeks simply because I couldn't go. I know I was not experiencing constipation because I wasn't eating anything at the time I was seeing her (because of the nausea and my being a bit of a emetophobic), and I know well enough that when you don't eat you eventually stop having bowel urges.

I went back in after trying the laxatives she gave me (and surprise surprise they did not work) and when one day I had cleaned myself and discovered blood on the toilet paper. The doctor I had then thought I was having other problems and made me take a few blood and stool tests to confirm his suspicious. The tests, in my opinion, were not true simply because, again, the stools were hard to produce and therefore not a real indicator of my situation. The tests came back fine.

For a few weeks after that I felt fine, and figured the problem had solved itself. Now, however, I am experiencing the same problems.

-Lump in throat
-Nexium is starting to fail to work for acid
-Stomach ache or pain when not eating
-Gnawing sensation 30 minutes after eating a meal, like as if I haven't ate all day
-And most importantly, hard, black stool.

Now my mom says it's an ulcer, but I'm not sure. Question is, does it sound like an ulcer? If it is, should I go back in immediately? And how do I convince my doctor it is one? The clinic I go to is a children's one and they are very hesitant about diagnosing even someone my age with acid reflux or ulcers (the last doctor I saw told me it was highly unlikely despite my telling him my family history and own personal problems with gastro).

Sorry if this was a bit long, but I looked back and all of it seemed necessary. Thank you for your time. I truly appreciate it!
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:08 pm

User avatar Hi Celestialdestiny,

Your symptoms do sound like they may be due to severe gastroesophageal reflux or possibly gastritis with or without ulcers. I would recommend you be tested for a bacteria called H. pylori that can cause gastritis and ulcers. I would also recommend you see a GI specialist.

While your symptoms aren't classic for it, inflammatory bowel diseases do present most commonly in women your age. The GI specialist can help assess for this.

Best wishes.

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