Like all of you, it is somewhat comforting to finally find (after years and years) other people with similar digestive issues such as myself. I have been pushed off by baffled doctors since I was a child and was resigned to the fact that this might be only my problem and nobody elses.
I am 41 years old and since I was about 14 years old I can remember episodes (after eating fatty foods) of a severe throbbing pain on my lower right side of my abdomen just below my stomach. I noticed it would come after certain bouts of voraciously eating fried, very dense (mash potatoes w/gravy) or highly oily foods. Back in the old times I would just curl up in the fetal position as the constant, dull throbbing pain went on and on. I realized early back then that even water made matters worse so I could only "wait it out". Which in my younger days involved fasting for about a day or more then slowly eating soft highly chewed foods by the end of the second day. After giving obstruction some time to digest (1-2 days) the highly chewed food seemed to go through fine. Slowly I would heal from the distention of wherever the obstruction was. I deemed it my Duodenum because it happened sometimes hours after I ate the offending foods and seemed to be located right after my stomach on the right. My only other theory was I had a very narrow "kink" in my intestines and if I gobbled down big chunks of highly fatty foods that didn't have time to digest properly and then it wouldn't go through.
I would get these episodes about
2-3 times a year going into my twenties. I tried to remember to not gulp down fatty foods in big bites but growing up in a household as one of three 6' athletic brothers I picked up a bad habit of rushing to gobble up my food intake during meals.. maybe a primordial instinct to get the most of my meals before my brothers got to it
I made doctor's appointments along the way for this issue but they would never find anything. Most times the issue was clearing up by the time I got the appointment so they would tell me there was nothing to be done. I went for a few sonograms over this time and nothing came up for the baffled doctors. I even went for a endoscopy in my twenties to a horrible gastrologist who failed me. During the pre-procedure consultation I clearly described that the issue was located after my stomach, possibly in the Duodenum or Treitz Ligament (I was forced to come up with my own theories due to no official diagnosis) but he simply "forgot" to send the scope into the Duodenum as he said he would and told me he doesn't see a problem in the stomach...
Greeaaat, Thanks Doc....
So I have this "untreatable", "mystery" digestive illness that I had to just live with until my mid-twenties (1997) when I met my wife (who is a pharmacist). I get the first episode a few months into the relationship and explain to her what is going on. She suggests trying Manesium Citrate as it seemed to be some form of obstructional blockage. So I skeptically pay the $1 (I'll try anything at this point) and try it. I down the whole bottle slowly (which tastes like very sour lemon lime soda) with 8oz of water. Within 45 minutes the pain dissappears! I can't believe it!! Twenty years of pain and suffering, doctors baffled and it is solved by a $1 bottle of Magesium Citrate! I decide this is the woman for me
and marry her! Well not exactly like that but that was a first of many great things she brought to my life. I quickly load my cabinets with 3 bottles of MC for back up for future episodes and figure I'm good for life. By the way, for any of you trying Magnesium Citrate. It is great, no cramping. Just about
an hour to five hours later you have to be near a bathroom (preferably home) because you will have to make about
four to five seperate trips over a four hour span. But you will never feel pain as MC is a gentile saline laxative that works amazingly.
Fast forward fifteen years to yesterday. I have been using the Magesium Citrate for the 1-2 times a year as I get these episodes. Frequency has gone down a little as I have tried to eat properly and my "coach" (wife) regularly reminds me to take small bites and "CHEW!". But yesterday was a killer
Yesterday morning I grabbed an egg whites, bacon and cheese hero from the deli after driving kids to school and absentmindedly scoff it down. A few hours later I feel the beginnings of the signs of the obstruction (faint, dull throbbing). But because I felt the same mild feeling a month ago and it went away on it's own (after careful monitoring) I got over-confident. So I proceed to eat a bag of Jalepeno potato chips while playing a board game with my daughter (mild throbbing slightly increases) and chase it a few hours later with two very cheesy sicilian slices of pizza. An hour later I am doubled up, twisting and turning, nauseous, feeling like I'm going to vomit and having cold sweats from the distention and pain in my lower right side. I was outta my trusty Magnesium Citrate so my wife runs to the store to get some. That's when I realized, being alone with my two children, that I felt I could die right there in front of them from a rupture in my intestine or duodenum. I realized how serious and how dangerous this issue can get. I don't want my children to grow up without me. She came back with the MC (9pm),.. I quickly down the whole bottle with a glass of water then impatiently and painfully wait for the throbbing to subside. This time it took over an hour as it was slowly getting better. I just went to sleep figuring I would awake refreshed. I did awake at 4:00 am and the throbbing went away but the location was very sore due to the distension. Officially my worst episode ever.
For the past day I have been searching for some answer to my problem. I found out about Intestinal Malrotation (which I might have), poorly angle duodenum (possibly), Crohn's Disease, Superior Mesenteric Artery syndrome, or SMA (artery compressing the duodenum)... All of these are possibilities,.. I found this forum too but I haven't read anywhere about anyone (including here) who had a surgery to repair this ailments that was all cured afterwards. And I have read some horror stories of cases that if left untreated, could be fatal.
I also have not read one account that has been able to temporarily cure episodes like myself with Magnesium Citrate so I feel my "band aid" is not solving anything.
I fear I as I get older (41 years now) I am in for a horrible outcome from this unusual and rare ailment.
If anyone knows a gastrologist that specializes in this issue that is close to the New York area or vicinity please forward the information here? I could really use the help.
I will also post any new information that I find that might help with this issue.