Hi, Welcome!

The community is a safe space for people living with and connected to arthritis to ask questions and share experiences. Get started by registering here and posting your first comment or question!

Sign In with a Versus Arthritis account

stomach problems

bailey27bailey27 Posts: 689
edited 28. Sep 2010, 12:27 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all, hope you are having a good day.
I had a query I wanted to run by you all as I dont know whether it is a problem for my rheumy to sort out or my GP.
I have always had a probem eating certain foods like salad, seeds and nuts, raw foods and coffee. The top of my stomach swells up like I need to pop it with a balloon, the skin goes quite tight and I feel full of air at the top of my stomach.
When i started on the sulphasalazine last yesr I didnt get any symptoms for ages and was able to start eating these foods again. Recently I have had this problem return with a vengeance. I ate some museli this morning and for a change added a cranberry and seed mix. Al day my stomach has ballooned out and feel like i need to put a pin in it to release any air. I have been having a lfare up with my joint s recently and was wondering whether it may be related. I know certian type sof arthrits can cause sotmach issues but when I have gone to my GP he just tells me it is IBS. My partner has IBS and my symptoms are nothing like those so I dont really trust that diagnosis. I have been given IBD tabs in the past which havee done nothing for me and so dont even bother taking them now. I have been relying on andrews liver salts which do ease my symptoms slightly but I dont think I am suppose to be taking them whilst taking meloxicam.
I am currently taking 2x3 sulphasalazine, 1 x meloxicam, i ome[prazole and 4 mg of prednisalone daily. ANy advice would be really appreciated.
Should I see my GP or wait to see the rheumatologist in december?


  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think go and see your GP. It could be a food intolerance, a form of IBS or some other gastro thing, he/she should be the person to know. Make a list of symptoms, and the foods you know that trigger it, and see what they say. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • bailey27bailey27 Posts: 689
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Will do thanks. Just thought it was a coincidence as i am having a flare at the moment. Havent had this problem in ages and I have eaten the same foods.
    Thanks for your reply.
  • annie_mialannie_mial Posts: 5,818
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    As I understand it, stomach probs could be due to arther as it can cause inflammation just about anywhere, but among the first symptoms I had was inability to digest lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower - practically all the green veggies, except green beans. Coffee also was a no-no. I subsequently added most seeds, wholemeal/granary bread, oranges and apples to this. On investigation it turned out to be a hiatus hernia, but I had to fight quite a few doctors and medics who insisted it was IBS. I was only in my 40's at the time and I was considered 'too young' to have a hernia !!!???

    It's like most other things medical - only[/i]you know what it feels like. Go to your GP armed with all the info you can think of, a list of symptoms, whether it feels better in the mornings or evenings, if activity sets it off, or if it's worse just sitting down - everything.

    There's not a lot worse than sitting there at work thinking you are going to explode any minute - I would swell up so much I looked pregnant and it felt as if I had swallowed a football.

    Do go to your doc.........


  • alarkraalarkra Posts: 213
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Bailey,

    What you are describing sounds a lot like what I have!

    Before I was diagnosed with RA I suffered from IBS for 2 years previously. For me this is something that it ongoing which was better for the first couple of months I took sulfasalazine but ironically over the past 3 days I've started to get nasty pangs again, worse that they have been for the past few months. I get colically pains and my tummy bloats right out so I look an attractive 3 months pregnant! My triggers are wheat mostly, but also raw salads/veg and also nuts and seeds. When I have a flare up with my IBS, I take a drug called Mebeverine which is completely safe to take with my other drugs (I'm on Meloxicam too, as well as 2 other drugs) and has no side effects at all whatsoever. It's an antispasmodic which eases the nasty tummy pains. I sometimes take it with Buscopan too which can increase the pain relief. Both of these drugs can be bought over the counter, but it's good to check with your GP before you do so to ensure that it doesn't offset your other drugs.

    A good natural remedy is to drink peppermint tea. It really does ease the stomach and can take down bloating. It's really effective if you drink a cup after eating as it eases the digestion. You can also take peppermint capsules which can help in the same way too. Try not to have too much caffeine as this can aggravate your tummy.

    Yes, it is a fact that SOME IBS cases can be connected to arthritis. However, in my case I am just unlucky and the 2 are totally unrelated and this may be the case for you too.

    I hope that you feel better soon. Having a hot water bottle on your tummy can help ease the pain until you can get some antispasmodics and peppermint tea. I also use the stick-on heat patches on my tummy (stuck to underwear as it can burn the skin if stuck directly onto it!) when it's bad and it really takes the edge off the pain and soothes it.

    I hope some of this helps! Feel free to PM me if you need / want further information!

  • elnafinnelnafinn Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    bailey27 wrote:
    I have always had a probem eating certain foods like salad, seeds and nuts, raw foods and coffee.

    I did not have a problem eating the above, but since May have been suffering somewhat with diarrhea. A gastroenterologist, diagnosed IBS, after tests. All those foods above are in the "no, no" list I was given. Cucumber was ok if peeled. I am still struggling and am seeing the gastro again, I got an appointment for this week instead of next. I always drink peppermint tea but it was awful giving up coffee but I have.

    I would seek advice from your gp, if I were you. I would not wait until December. It must be terribly uncomfortable for you.

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • lavenderladylavenderlady Posts: 409
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was diagnoised with a spastic colan now known as IBS when I was 21 after a bad case of gastrointeritis, its only now I know what aggravates and starts it off and what works for the gasey feeling try deflatine made by Rennie they are magic, I find all sorts of food can start a new bout of it off bran which we was told to eat lots of years ago is the worst offender onions digestive biscuits I am now only just able to eat Weetabix as long as I drink a probiotic drink I also take a daily probiotic tablet from health shops , I stopped taking them after a long spell of being fine only for it to reappear, if you suffer bad pain try colofac from chemist AMAZING stuff my DR can prescribe mebeverine same stuff different name, the thoguht of IBS pains again is enough to stop me eating the worst offenders, good luck
  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 26,211 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I know you say you've had similar problems in the past, but I wonder how long have you taken Omeprazole? Only reason I ask is when I was prescribed it last year, I had exactly the same feeling you describe - like a big balloon waiting to go pop. As soon as I stopped taking it, I felt fine again.

    Hope you get it sorted soon,

    Lynn xx

    If it was that it could be easily changed to lanzoprazole too couldnt it?

    Hope you are a wee bit better today Bailey?


    Toni xx

    Toni xxx
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Morning bailey, how are things today? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • bailey27bailey27 Posts: 689
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, thanks for all your advice. Dont want to moan but I have had better days. Had physio this morning and was hopeless, it has taken me so long to get to where i am now and following my surgery i feel i have taken a huge leap backwards, So thats getting me doen, other than that i cant grumble really.
    At my surgery i can no longer make an appointment for the mornings, you can now only make an emergancy appointment for 2days time - how ridiculous! I think i may phone them next monday as i may be poorly ont he wednesday!?!?!?!! Never heard so much rubbish, dont know why they cant keep to one system and stop messing people about. Whats the point of an emergance appointment if you cant have it for 2 days.
    Any, thats released a bit of steam! How is everyone today?
  • tillytoptillytop Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Bailey

    Sorry you are struggling at the moment with everythiing.

    Just to add my thoughts - I wonder if, as you suggest, your stomach probs could possibly be linked to inflammation - the only reason I say this is that I know that Sulphasalazine is also used for other inflammatory conditions and that fact that your symptoms improved when you started taking Sulpha and have gone downhill at the same time as a flare in the joints, makes me wonder if could be another symptom of inflammation. May be a complete red-herring I know, but docs seem very quick to diagnose IBS as a "cover all" when they don't really know what's going on. I was diagnosed with IBS after various tests, on the basis that the tests didn't show anything else. But, when I stopped taking one of my meds (not an arthritis med), the so called "IBS" symptoms improved hugely.

    I think you should go to your GP, rather than wait to see the rheumy - and tell him about the potential connection between the sulpha and the improved symptoms if you haven't already done so. Might give him a bit more of a clue as to what's going on and you could ask to be referred to a gastroenterologist if your GP doesn't suggest it.

    Re the appts at the doc's surgery - mine is not much better and it's damn frustratiing isn't it.

    Good luck with it all - thinking of you.

    Love Tilly xxx
  • bailey27bailey27 Posts: 689
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I will do thanks for that. When I go next I'll mention it to him. I ws only there last week so dont want to go back too soon as they get a bit funny behind reception.
  • sharmainesharmaine Posts: 1,638
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Bailey

    I agree you should go and see your doctor. I have a hiatus hernia before it was diagnosed properly (camera etc) they thought I had an ulcer. I couldn't drink coffee or eat fried foods. I couldn't eat a large meal and often I was physically sick. The medication I take is great (Rabeprezole) and it means I can eat most things.. The only thing I can't tolerate are fizzy/carbonated drinks. I always had a burning acidic sensation at the top of my stomach and at the base of my sternum.

    There's obviously something wrong and your GP will obviously have a better idea of what it might/might not be. The medication we take can be abrasive on our stomachs. Get it checked out properly...December is much too long to wait.

    Take care.

Sign In or Register to comment.