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Nurse Susan
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1091
Experience:  RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
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Im having bad stomach pains/cramping sensation right now. It

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Im having bad stomach pains/cramping sensation right now. It came on kinda of suddenly although i had a smaller case earlier also a few hours ago. This started about 1 hour after eating oatmeal and 3 hours after a normal meal.

I am sorry you are in such pain! Id like to try and help you but I need some more information. Are you allergic to anything? Have celiac disease or gluten intolerance? What did you eat a few hours ago? Where is this pain located on your abdomen....upper, lower, on the right side or the left? Does it radiate or travel into your back at all? If so, where? any trouble peeing?

Thanks for clarifying,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hmm. I dont know of any allergies although i was suspected of food allergies before but never had a real documented reaction to food. Never known to have celiac disease . I do have a history of stomach and abdoman pains that goes back a couple years but this episide is not normal for how those feel. This is center stomach, broad, sometimes under the diaphram, sometime slightly right but pretty central around the belly button. No real back pain per say but just a cramping type pain that varies in strength and some bloating feeling perhaps. No trouble peeing that i can tell.

Some more questions for you based on what you wrote above; thank you for your patience, the more data I have the better my guess will be. What did you eat, before that oatmeal? Can you please tell me a bit about your history of stomach and abdominal pain? What is the situation there? Any diagnosis? Take any medication for it? On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being virtually NO pain and 10 being the most pain you have ever had in your life, how bad is this pain?

Any fever, nausea vomiting so far with this? Is this pain traveling to the right more over time, and do you have an appendix?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do have an appendix. i ate a cheeseburger and mashed potaties corn and mixed vegitables for lunch and had some ice cream in the afternoon. For dinner i had an asian dish, steamed ginger chicken and white rice with vegitables. Then the oatmeal as a snack. No fever and no nausea to speak of, just pains/cramping. I dont notice the pain moving towards the right, more central and around my diaphram and sometimes lower around my belly button, broad, almost like gas or something, like relieving pressure would feel good. The pain probably varies from a 3 to a 5 and kinda fluctuates. probable closer to a 3 or 4 with occasional 5 moments.

Thanks again for your patience, can you explain a bit what your history of stomach and abdominal pain is about? You say it is not like this...what is it like and has that been investigated?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It has not been investigated accept by my primary care doctor with a physical and normal work up. for the past 2 years i get pains in my lower right abdoman area, a couple different spots along my hip bone and right side low below my belly button, almost groin area. It varies. Seems to be digestive related as it often comes a few hours after eating and comes in episodes on and off over the last 2 years, getting in a few weeks then it might be gone for a few weeks and then come back. A burning, sore feeling, achy around a 1-3 in severity maybe on rare moments hitting a 4.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sometimes it even cones as back pains too

Thanks for your patience with all my many questions. They were indeed helpful. I am working on your answer, and there is quite allot to write so I wanted you to understand I wasn't neglecting or forgetting about you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Its ok i appeciate ur time. It actually is getting a bit better sense we have been talking. I would say its closer to a 2-3 in strength and less 4-5 now but its still there. At least it seems to be trending in the right direction. But im lieing down also.

Again, I am really sorry you are in distress. Please understand though that online, no one can state with certainty what anything is, or make any diagnosis, all I can do is offer my best most informed guess based on what you wrote. Thats why I asked so many questions; the more information I have, the better I can opine.

First, your pain level is distressing, but it is not at a level (yet) which signifies a true emergency. If you had said your pain was at a 7 or 8 or above out of 10, that would make things far more urgent...not that your situation is not important, I am just saying that just based on that, it does not strike me so far as a medical emergency.

A couple of possibles present themselves. One is that you could be having some heartburn or GERD. Normally, there is a sphincter muscle at the top of the stomach to keep the contents of the stomach in the stomach. If this muscle is weakened for any reason, acid from the stomach can regurgitate into the esophagus, and that can indeed cause pain depending on how high the fluid rises. Simple heartburn is easily treated, un treated heartburn can result in GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease).

Certain foods can make GERD/ heartburn worse, (I am noting two possible dairy cases in what you write, depending on how you make oatmeal) so if you notice more discomfort after eating acidic foods, or caffeine, or alcohol, cut down on the intake of those food items. Also, remaining upright after a meal will help also, as will eating small meals throughout the day as opposed to two or three large ones. Stress has also been implicated as a factor in making GERD and heartburn worse, certainly you have been under stress with constant stomach pains for the past few years.

GERD doesn't go away, if this is heartburn at all, but it can be made less with some lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine, alcohol, peppermint, and fatty foods (that cheeseburger and if you make oatmeal with milk or butter) . Smaller meals will also help reduce the severity of GERD as it wont fill up your stomach as much. Also, avoid lying down after you eat, remaining upright will help keep the stomach contents in the stomach.

There are over the counter treatments for heartburn: antacids like Malox, medications that block the stomach from making the acid like Zantac, and medications that block the production of acid in a different way, like prilosec. Severe GERD that is not treated can result in ulcers and do damage to the esophagus that can make it more prone to developing cancers.

If you use these OTC measures and the heartburn does not go away, then do seek medical care.

Also, if you are obese, or a smoker, those will make you more likely to get heartburn as smoking changes the muscle tone of that sphincter as does extra weight.

In truly horrid cases of GERD, surgery can be done.

Here are two helpful websites on GERD:

and :

Second possible: You may have an ulcer. An ulcer is when the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine is eaten away by stomach acid. Usually, the stomach produces a special layer of mucous to prevent the stomach acid from irritating it. If that lining is thin or damaged in places, then the stomach acid will corrode the stomach, wherever the "breach" occurs. People with ulcers have pain which usually is relieved by food, but then occurs again after eating, and it is worse when you are hungry as the stomach is empty (that is because the food helps neutralize the acid).

The most common reason for people to get this is a bacteria called H. pylori.

Other reasons for ulcers can include medications such as motrin/advil, and alcohol and cigarettes. Untreated and as they get worse, ulcers can bleed, and the blood loss can be severe. And if there is a big hole in the stomach, stomach contents can be released into the body, and that peritonitis (infection of the body cavity) can be very bad. Blood in the stools can appear as black and tarry stools. Ulcers are not typically associated with diarrhea.

Treatment of ulcers is with antibiotics if it is caused by H pylori; if it is not caused by H pylori treatment is prescription medication.

You need to be seen by your provider to be tested for H pylori, to establish if your ulcer...if this is an ulcer at all.... was caused by that bacteria.

Third Possible: You are describing pain that happened after a cheeseburger and after oatmeal. I don't know how you make your oatmeal, but many people put milk and or butter in it. So, you had pain on your right side after eating fatty foods. This could indicate a potential problem with your pancreas which makes the enzymes to digest fats, or the gallbladder, which stores the bile that digests the fats. Your liver could be having issues as well when you have pain on the right side after eating a fatty meal. Pain of a gallbladder, liver, or pancreatic attack though is normally more severe than what you describe, and is not characterized as crampy...its more like stabbing pain.

Here is more information about gallstones:

Fourth: That possible dairy and the cramping and bloating makes me wonder if you may possibly have developed some lactose intolerance you are just noticing. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy and its not uncommon for people to become unable to process it as they get older.

When was your last bowel movement? You may be constipated and having crampy pains because you need to have a movement; it may be occurring after eating because there is a reflex to defecate after we eat (its called the gastro colic reflex).

I mentioned your appendix because any pain on the right side should at least raise a red flag for that...but if it was your appendix the pain would be constant, becoming more severe over time, migrating to your lower right side, you'd have fever, nausea and vomiting. IF any of these do appear, please go to the Emergency Room.

So, thats my list of possibles...but you want to know what to do NOW because you ache. If its heartburn, try an antacid. If this pain does not go away with the antacid, and gets worse, and or you have nausea, vomiting, fever, then it may be that it is not heartburn, and a greater index of suspicion that something more serious may be a problem with liver, pancreas, or gallbladder. If the pain does gets worse, I would suggest heading to an ER for evaluation.

I hope I was able to help, and I hope you feel better soon.
I am happy its getting better...that makes me believe it may have been some heartburn, but of course I cant state that with any precision or certainty.

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