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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Severe Abdominal Pain

 nisp0530 - Sun Oct 19, 2003 4:12 pm

I am a 25 year old male and for the last two years have had severe abdominal pain that comes and goes every couple of months. Symptoms are a feeling of bloating, abdominal distention, gas, cramping, and can be so severe in some cases that i black out. I have been hospitalized for this four different times but they tell me there is nothing wrong. Any ideas what it might be?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Nov 15, 2003 6:17 am

User avatar Nisp,
Where is this pain situated? Please describe how many times you blacked out and how it actually happened. You say you have been hospitalized 4 times. Please list out the investigations they performed and their results.
 nisp0530 - Sat Nov 15, 2003 4:27 pm

The pain is located in my lower abdomin, below my stomach, it is for the most part centralized, not on the left or the right.

I have actually only blacked out completely one time, the first time i went to the hospital. My wife and i were at a friends house and my lower abdomin started hurting really bad so i went and vomited (this is the only time during these occurances that i have vomited or even felt nausus), that didn't help so i went to the bathroom. We finally decide to leave and by the time i got to my car i was in so much pain i was kneeling on the ground with my head between my knees, after a few minutes i decided to try and stand up and when i did i blacked out and fell back and hit my head, so we went to the hospital, while there they were taking my pulse and when i went to stand up for them to take it i started to pass out again, so they laid me down and my heart rate dropped into the low 50's. So they gave me an EKG and ran a catscan on my head and couldn't find anything wrong with me, exept my pottasuim was low. I have been back three times since and haven't blacked out completely since but have come so close i have to get down on the floor and put my head between my knees to keep from blacking out.

As far as tests and investigations they have ran, they include 3 catscans (one of my head, and two of my abdomin) found nothing wrong. An EKG, found nothing wrong. They have done multiple blood and urine tests and found nothing. Checked for hernias, bladder infections, diabetes, anemia, all were negative. The only reoccuring problem they have found is a low potassium three out of the four times. Since i have been taking pottassium vitamins and seems to be helping but these episodes are so infrequent and can be anwhere from 2 or 3 months to 8 or 9 months apart that i don't know if it is really helping or not.

One other thing i can think of is, It seems like if i drink a lot of soda or caffine that can sometimes bring on the symptoms although much milder symptoms than the other four occasions

 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:44 pm

User avatar How low were the potassium levels? Regardless of whether the abdominal pains are related to the hypokalemia or not, hypokalemia is something that should be investigated. If significant it can have serious implications.

 Dr. Russell M - Thu Nov 27, 2003 8:16 pm

User avatar Hi!

I was just wondering if the abdominal CT scans were contrast-enhanced, and if an angiography/duplex scanning perhaps to rule out mesentric ischemia was considered.

Sorry for the interruption!

- Bill
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Thu Nov 27, 2003 8:20 pm

User avatar I agree mesenteric ischemia is definitely a point worth considering.

Good point Bill!
 nisp0530 - Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:35 pm

I do not believe that an angiography/duplex scanning was performed. I am not sure what duplex scanning exactly is but i know they did not injected any die into my veins. They did however give me some, what looked like red coolaid and tasted horrible to drink before they performed the CT's. I looked up mesenteric ischemia and its sound a little similiar but the abdominal pains do not occur after eating, infact if i can, eating sometimes helps, also their is never any vomiting involved or even nasuea.

As a side note (question) i have been putting off getting any further tests done because i do not have insurance. However i have been in the process, and will shorty have insurance. So my question is when i go to my doctor to get more tests done what kinds of tests should i have done and what should i tell him (my doctor) to test for (types of conditions or diseases)?
 Dr. Russell M - Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:05 pm

User avatar Hi!

I would rather you and your doctor have an interactive discussion and list out probable solutions for the problems at hand, and then come to an understanding as to what course of action would be best to pursue. You need not tell your doctor what to test for, but you can discuss with him your hopes and fears, and I am sure your doctor would help you out.

Warm regards,


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