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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Sharp pain in center, upper abdomen radiates to back

 bethannpoy - Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:52 am

I am 28 years old, and have been experiencing pain in my upper abdomen for 3 years. The pain generally occurs in the middle of the night or very early morning, and starts as a stabbing pain in the upper, center part of my abdomen. The pain always radiates to my back. The pain lasts anywhere from 3 minutes to 2 hours. There is nothing that I have found to alleviate the pain. I have tried different positions, zantac, tums, tylenol, advil, eating food, drinking milk, etc etc. During these attacks I sweat, feel nauseous, and have difficulty breathing. The pain is intense, and probably a 10 on the pain scale. I have vomited on a few occassions.
My doctor removed my gallbladder in 2006, but the pain did not disappear. I had the pain less frequently, and for shorter periods of time, but it still exists. If I drink alcohol, the pain sometimes occurs immediately. Otherwise it is almost always at night, many (8-12) hours after eating.
I recently had a colonoscopy, CAT scan, Endoscope, and EKG but all that was found was slight gastritis and severe acid reflux. I am aware of the pain associated with acid reflux, because I have had it for many years. I do not feel that the stabbing pain is reflux because of the intensity and it occurs so many hours after eating. I have been on prevacid in the past, and saw no improvements. This pain is very severe when it occurs. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 S.WILLIAMS,RN - Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:56 pm

I see you have tried many medications for your problem and yet in your profile you list that right now you do not take any medicines. If your gastroscopy showed "severe acid reflux" usually you would be put on a DAILY medication such as prilosec or nexium, aciphexetc. Someople with these problems need to stay on meidications all the time. Your profile also says you "binge drink" on weekends. Alcohol wreaks havoc on your GI system, it will only make your problem worse. Perhaps you could ask your doctor about a BRAVO capsule procedure. They attach a little capsule at the end of your esophogus and it stays there for a few days. It emits the PH to a moniter that you keep with you and records your experience of reflux. You also keep a little diary of your activities and symptoms. The capsule detaches and you eliminate it without a problem. Just a thought. Also medication in the prescence of severe reflux is important to help prevent future complications that can be found due to reflux such a strictures, and Barretts esophogus (a pre cancerous condition) For some people reflux is just a nusiance, but yours sounds more severe, I believe further follow up is required.
 bethannpoy - Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:07 pm

I don't necessarily feel that reflux is what is causing the sudden, horrible, stabbing pains. That's what I'm trying to find out more about. I can live with the reflux pain, and actually have started prevacid again for it...but the prevacid does nothing for the stabbing pains no matter how long I am on it.

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