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Ask Anthony Bray, MD Your Own Question

Anthony Bray, MD
Anthony Bray, MD, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 6694
Experience:  14 years as clinician in the field of Family Practice
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Yesterday mid afternoon out of nowhere, I started to get severe

Customer Question

Yesterday mid afternoon out of nowhere, I started to get severe stomach pains/cramps. They would come in waves lasting aprox 4-10 seconds a piece and increasing in strength. The only other odd thing has been gas.

I assumed the pain was due to indigestion, so I took 3 tums. Having seen no improvement, and it only getting worse I left work early yesterday. I took one pepcid ac yesterday before going to bed and it still did not get better.

The pain, still coming in waves, woke me out of a dead sleep at 3 am. I took another pepcid ac before going to work, and it did not improve. After coming home from work-frustrated and in pain, I took a teaspoon of baking soda with water and STILL NO improvement.

I do not have a fever, have not been vomiting or diarrhea, did not consume alchol/drugs or eat anything fried or spicy. I eat a normal non-processed foods diet and could lose your traditional female 10-15 lbs, but am not morbidly obese. I am 26 and not pregnant.

This makes noooo sense. It has been nearly 24 hrs with no improvement, and I would not consider myself a wimp when it comes to pain, but these wave stomach pains (they are not low in my intestines like the feeling to poop, and they are not favoring one side or the other. I would say they are directly in my stomach) I would say are a 9 on the 10 scale. Is this serious that I should seek medical treatment?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 1 year ago.

Anthony Bray MD :

Hello!

Anthony Bray MD :

The length of the pain sounds consistent potentially with intestinal spasms... this pain of sevral seconds that then abates....

Anthony Bray MD :

So this pattern of pain that lasts for a few seconds and then abates would seem to potentially fir with abnormal contractions of the intestines. This would also seem to fit with the lack of benefit from Tums or Pepcid AC...

Anthony Bray MD :

This type pattern may be seen with a gastroenteritis commonly so I would not be surprised if these pains were later accompanied by some diarrhea...

Anthony Bray MD :

The pattern may be caused by IBS (Irritible bowel syndrome) but usually patients with this have a long history of GI symptoms ... still IBS would have a strting point potentially as well....

Anthony Bray MD :

The INTENSITY of the pain I wish to clarify...

Anthony Bray MD :

On MY SCALE a 6/10 is too severe to sleep and a 10/10 is being dragged behing an 18 wheeler truck... on this scale how bad would you describe the pain??

Anthony Bray MD :

IF the pain is truly a 9?10 on that scale then you should be seen and have medical evaluation...

Anthony Bray MD :

Do you have nausea or fever?

Anthony Bray MD :

Do you have ongoing abdominal pain??

Anthony Bray MD :

These latter symptoms could be signs potentially of a serious intra-abdomianl infection... something more serious such as appendicitis that might require IV antibiotics or surgery in other words....

Customer :

I would say the pain is between a 6-8. There is no way at this point in the day I would be able to fall asleep, and if I did; I def would be woken up by a spasm/pain. The strange part about it is, the pain/spasms will come and go. They are always between the same pain level when they do come, but they are not often or regular enough to be able to time them. I would say that I have at least 4 an hour, and in the most recent hour at least 20.

Anthony Bray MD :

If you have more progression with some diarrhea as a gastroenteritis might be expected then trying Pepto Bismol after each loose stool > max 7 doses/ day and max 5 days may be of benefit....

Customer :

I do not have a fever, but I would say slight nausea. Also, my stomach seems very bloated - not tender to the touch, but the fact I am getting my cycle next week doesnt help.

Anthony Bray MD :

Hmmm> I see>> well the frequent sapasms could fit with the intestinal spasms but the severity of the pain that you report bothers me...

Customer :

also, when the pain/spam happens, shifting positions - or balling up does NOT at all help.

Anthony Bray MD :

I would be more comfortable about your situation if these pains were not so intense...

Anthony Bray MD :

Does it hurt to press on your stomach?

Customer :

it def hurts. I know what pain is, and have been diagnosed with MS when I was 23, so always complaining over every little thing is def not something that I do. I always know things could be muchhh worse, but the fact there has been no improvement in 24 hrs is what is making me nervous

Anthony Bray MD :

Could you be seen at an urgent care this evening perhaps? The medicien Levsin would be helpful to distinguish if these pains were due to intestinal spasms and I think that a medical evaluation would be wise for you at this point...

Anthony Bray MD :

A CBC with diff (complete blood count and analysisis of the white cells ) would be helpful to evaluate you at this time...

Anthony Bray MD :

I think that also a check of liver and pancreas enzymes would be helpful...

Anthony Bray MD :

A 3 way of the abdomen set of some xrays could tell much if you had concerning signs of an obstruction or ileus (the latter term means a lack of normal intestinal function)...

Customer :

What is the most common cause of the symptoms I am describing?

Anthony Bray MD :

Gallstones as a source of pain would be a possibility with your severity but the pains seem to brief >> this could be an atyipcal presentation of that...

Customer :

hmmmmm.....

Anthony Bray MD :

You do not fit into a clear pattern to me at this point although as I discuss above there are sevral possible explanations for your symptoms...

Customer :

thank you so much for your time, I will go to the urgent care and see what they say. Hopefully it is something easily treated.

Anthony Bray MD :

The out of the blue SVERE pains and nothing you do making it better or worse just wait until it gets better could fit with gallstone caused pain....

Anthony Bray MD :

I hope so too!

Anthony Bray MD :

Good luck to you!

Customer :

Thank you

Anthony Bray MD :

Let me know if you have further questions for me and I will be happy to get back with you!

Customer :

Thank you, enjoy our 4th of July!

Anthony Bray MD :

If my answers have been helpful and to your satisfaction then please remember to leave positive feedback. that would be much appreciated!

Anthony Bray MD :

Thank you and you as well!

Anthony Bray MD :

Happy 4th!!

Anthony Bray MD :

Best Regards,

Anthony Bray MD :

Anthony Bray MD

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