I've posted before a few months back about having possible indigestion, and it seemed that a few days of juicing had done the trick to set me straight. (It had actually just been constipation)
However, for the past three weeks, I've been having this discomfort of feeling unusually full too quickly and not really being able to eat anything except for ridiculously small servings at a time. Basically, the only thing I can consume comfortably is juice.
I actually just came off of a five day juice feast, broke it by eating a little butternut squash. Afterwards I had bloating, gas on the left side. Since then, I've not only been having the feeling of there being like a blockage under my ribs, but a slight off and on pain over my stomach area and feelings of heartburn.
I've started on cabbage juice and I'm going to see if this relieves anything. Otherwise, I guess my only other option would just be to see the doctor and get scoped.
get yourself checked out. You can decide yourself how much of the doctor's advice you will take.
Are you constipated? Did you eliminate well during your juice fast? Many people don't eliminate good enough during a juice fast if they don't use something to assist them with that. When I started this raw thing I was experiencing extreme constipation which felt like I had blockage and a bunch of 'something' underneath the ribs area usually during times I was doing mostly juicing. Eventually I figured out what was going on and now I consume foods I know will keep things moving. I've always been prone to constipation.
Just a suggestion, if you're eliminating regularly like the other poster said it's probably time to see a doc.
A couple of my thoughts if you don't mind hearing them.
Squash may be too hard on your digestion to break a juice fast with. I think one should do a couple days of soft moist fruit (after a five day juice fast or a general rule is one meal for each day of a fast) until you are back to normal bowel movements, before re-introducing veggies to the diet. Read up on breaking a fast safely. Squash might be the wrong type of fibe for your body to re-intoroduce so quickly after a fast.
Check to see if you have a hyatal hernia, as your symptoms fit it. Search here for the heel drop method to alleviate it. I have posted it a couple times in the past.
I'm not constipated. I drank a herbal laxative tea once during the fast, and after I broke it I ended up having two movements in a day. I went ahead and scheduled an appointment with a gastroenterologist so I can really find out what's going on. And ugh, I hope I don't have a hiatal hernia. My sister has one and she loads of problems. Ah well.
Thanks for the responses, guys.
Originally Posted by halfsleep
I had a hiatal hernia and eating small meals really helped. It has completely resolved itself with raw!
Hope you feel better soon!
fab Walnutty :)
Originally Posted by walnutty
It sounds like you have the same symptoms I've had before. It turned out that I had a lot of matter packed in the loops of my colon, causing gas to get trapped even though I was still "going" a couple times a day. What worked for me was prune juice, or you could also soak prunes in water and eat them. I hope your GI helps you find out what the problem is. Feel better soon!
Certified Living on Live Foods Chef, Instructor, and Teacher
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Thank you, Mallory.
I saw the GI doc yesterday and explained my systems. He says it seems like I'm having both upper GI and lower GI issues - one of which could possibly be IBS. He told me to get some Miralax to help move things along on the inside, because he says it might help with the "rock in the gut" feeling beneath my ribs every time I eat.
I've got an upper endoscopy scheduled but it's not until December 7th, so... I'm hoping that some of these symptoms will let up by then. I'm pretty sure I've got some sort of inflammation going on inside, so I'll see if they find any ulcers or anything when they scope me.
Whether it comes out to an actual diagnosis of something or turns out to be just gas, I want to update with results just in case anyone else is having similar symptoms or issues.
I sure hope you get relief soon halfsleep. Hang in there....it will come. Having been in a similar situation I can understand the feeling of despair that can come with it.
Work on what you can in the meanwhile. Some of that is knowing that your mind and emotions do not have to follow so closely what your gut tells it, although our "gut feeling" is a valuable and real thing we don't want to dismiss. I just mean we don't have to feel helpless and let our anxiety control us, or be so acid in our mood if we are acid in our system. It is hard to control but possible. Smiling releases dopamine, so using that may help when you are in discomfort. Your stomach may be anxious, but mental techniques can help you overcome the stress and anxiety that come with agita, gerd, stomach upset. Try not to let it totally control your thoughts. Let your thoughts instead try to guide your stomachs reactions, if you can.
Allow you gut a chance to recover. If you feel apples for instance don't cause you distress maybe you can eat just them for a couple days.
May you have some peace as you await your answers.
Thanks for updating us, and
The gut or the intestinal tract at least, is able to repair it's lining within a few days or more. This is why fasting is so helpful. It gives it a break and allows that repair to take place quickly if the inflammation is caused by foods you are ingesting, even if they are what are normally considered healthy foods.
Last edited by streetsurfer; 10-30-2012 at 06:52 PM.
Halfsleep, I'm have similar gastric problems, plus gallbladder polyps. I went to my GI doctor today and will have an endoscopy and colonscopy Nov 30th. I have bad heartburn and almost constant nausea. So I decided to come back to raw foods. Right now my stomach only wants fruit and smoothies, so I'm listening. We will get through this. Raw is where I need to be.
So I had my upper endoscopy today, and they didn't find anything serious. No hiatal hernia, no ulcers. I'm actually surprised that I don't have any ulcers because I was very heavy drinker up until March of this year. The paper he gave me says "mild gastritis" and he told me to take some more Miralax for a couple weeks to aid my constipation. Oh, and he took a biopsy to test for celiac disease.
Before they started the procedure and sedated me, I asked the doctor what he thought about hydrotherapy and he scoffed. He went, "people like to claim that there are these toxins in the body, but I don't believe that. Your body automatically gets rid of them."
And I sort of went hrm....
I will continue to follow the advice of the guy who introduced me to raw in the first place: Dan McDonald. Because it's obvious that what he is saying is true. That doctors think holistic treatment is BS and only want to prescribe you drugs that don't get to the root of the problem.
Also, the "blockage" I was feeling for a long time has subsided. I think it had more to do with constipation and stress than anything else. Also, I'm going to start eating smaller portions of things at a time.
- Discomfort under ribs
- Difficulty digesting anything other than tiny meal portions
Can you be more specific about which side of the ribcage you are experiencing pain?
Do your symptoms improve when you consume a digestive enzyme capsule with each of your meals?
Do you notice any improvement in symptoms when consistently taking a clinical-potency probiotic? (e.g. Ohhira's / OMX)
Did your endoscopy include any investigation of the common bile duct?
Have you had any stool tests to check for pancreatic secretions? (e.g. pancreatic elastase)
There are a number of ways in which pancreatic and/or biliary function can be negatively affected, potentially giving rise to your stated symptoms of poor digestion and discomfort under the ribs. One of the most commonly discussed is that of biliary calculi and although these are generally only discussed when there is severe pain experienced, this is not the only circumstance under which they can nonetheless be present, reducing digestive efficiency and causing varying degrees of discomfort.
It is even possible for obstructive (or semi-obstructive) particles (I shall refrain from referring to them as 'stones' as this can be misleading) to occur not only within the gallbladder but also in other areas such as the biliary tree of the liver itself, the common bile duct, and even in the pancreas. Note that a complete obstruction in any of these areas would necessitate acute emergency care, so is evidently not relevant in your particular case. However, even in semi-obstructive scenarios, the notion of particulate matter occurring in the region of the pancreas or within the liver itself is highly controversial in the eyes of many medical professionals, so mention of such topics may meet with considerable resistance. However, because the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are all linked via the biliary 'plumbing' such problems can indeed, occur in some patients.
It can be problematic to identify some of the above issues, even in patients who absolutely do have them, because ultrasound does not always convincingly provide evidence for their presence. X-ray is much less used, for obvious reasons, but may sometimes shed different light, so-to-speak, on a patient's digestive organs.
I'm not a doctor but I have quite a bit of personal experience of symptoms very similar to yours and, on that basis, I would suggest you do investigate your pancreatic function - at the very least by having a stool test to check levels of pancreatic elastase. A CDSA can often be informative in circumstances such as yours, and would include measures of pancreatic elastase.
It's also worth noting that there are many potential causes of constipation, one of which is poor bile flow, because bile stimulates peristalsis of the digestive tract. I know this connection not only on a theoretical level but also on the basis of personal experience. Next time you experience constipation, it would be a useful opportunity for you to try something to stimulate bile release rather than simply reaching for laxatives such as magnesium sulphate, Polyethylene Glycol 3350 (Miralax), or herbs such as senna/aloe/cascara sagrada, which, variously, either draw water to the bowel or irritate the bowel mucosal lining. Oxalate-rich foods such as chocolate, spinach, rhubarb etc. also irritate the bowel, stimulating peristalsis.
Options (which you should first discuss with your doctor, particularly if you are on any medication) for stimulating bile release include many of the bitter herbs such as hercampuri, gentian, andrographis paniculata, picrorhiza kurroa, celery (seed or edible vegetable part), turmeric, coptis, artichoke, licorice, aniseed, cardamom, cinnamon, etc. Milk thistle is also excellent for stimulating bile release and may meet with the least resistance from conventional medical doctors, since it is one of the few herbs that has been embraced by conventional medicine for the purpose of liver protection (it is even used in acute care of death cap mushroom poisoning). One of the very best options to consider is that of commercial 'swedish bitters' preparations, although please note that many of these are made using strong alcohol so for someone in your situation it might be wiser to seek out one based primarily on vegetable glycerine rather than alcohol. If, having tried a decent bile stimulator, you find your digestion noticeably improving then this would be not only a positive thing in itself but also a valuable clue to suggest there may be a biliary issue, to some degree, contributing to your digestive issues. If not, then no harm done and move forwards with other options, such as the results of a CDSA, which does cost quite a bit but can be very, very informative.
Something else you should seriously consider is the possibility of some parasitic contribution towards your symptoms. Please understand that stool tests for parasitic ova are not fully reliable, but they are a good place to begin investigations, and again, a decent CDSA would incorporate some screening for parasite ova. There are many, many different kinds of parasites. Some may cause pain in the stomach, others in the small intestine, yet others in the bowel/colon, and others may even intrude upon the bile ducts.
It may be particularly relevant that you state you have been quite a heavy drinker up until the last few months - I'm sure it has crossed your mind that you may have put your pancreas and liver under potential duress as a consequence of this. Have you had standard blood tests for liver function?
I should warn you that, as you are already beginning to appreciate, it can be a long, drawn-out, process to uncover what is causing digestive issues. My own story is a long, convoluted, and rather complex one, which I seriously would not wish to bore anyone with, so I truly appreciate how difficult it can be to figure out what is causing what. You have my sympathy and my best wishes in finding answers to your own situation.
Other things which you may find useful on your path are to take note of any particular foods which may exacerbate your symptoms (we haven't even got into the whole IBS side of your remarks, which I also share personal experience of). Also, note the consistencies and characteristics of your stools. Not a pleasant topic or task, I know, but it can be informative. For example, particularly smelly, or greasy, or hard, or having pieces of undigested food present, or unusually pale in colour, or having a mucus coating. All these things, and others, can provide vital clues.
On the heartburn side of things, this can sometimes be indicative of parasite issues, or can indicate low levels of stomach acid, or of some degree of biliary obstruction, and of course there are many further possibilities. Just to offer one very simplified example, though, a person suffering from heartburn/reflux who also sees lots of undigested food in their stools might consider the possibility of poor levels of stomach acidity. That's really simplified just for the sake of illustration, but I hope it makes a suitable point that all the many clues of your symptoms and of the characteristics of your stools can converge and help to form one or more potential hypotheses about the physiological processes underlying a particular individual's symptoms. Scientific tests can be very useful indeed, but they are not always sufficient to form satisfactory diagnoses, so observational skills such as the above can contribute enormously. Do expect to find yourself down one or more blind alleys during your quest - it hurts but every blind alley is a teacher in itself.
Regarding your doctor's skepticism about hydrotherapy - can you be more specific?
Do you mean colon hydrotherapy or do you mean external hydrotherapy as in Sitz treatments?
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