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Upper and lower abdominal swelling and discomfort

Posted by duck

My husband abdomen is swelling from between the rib cage down into the whole abdomen. He states it is uncomfortable all the time. He had some bleeding with bowel movements but thinks that is from hemroids. He had pneumonia a month ago and they stated they felt there was something there but than after another xray decided there wasn't. His Vitman D level is low and was told he needed to take a vitamin. What could be causing the abdominal pain. He doesn't sleep well because of gas and it is hard for him to get comfortable.
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hello im curious hows ur husband ?
i have  a dull pain in my abdominal next to belly button
it all started after 2 weeks of  exercise healthy eating .. and bike riding ..(also massaging my abdominals ..) im worried its something very serioius .. my dr said its no hernia or ceptic ulcer ..i get scans soon >.> can u give any updates?

Back in July 2006, the British Medical Journal () published a study looking at patients >45yo who presented to their family physician complaining of blood in their stool.  They all underwent colonoscopy, regardless of whether they thought it was due to hemorrhoids or fissures. 5% were diagnosed w/colon cancer and 6% w/adenomatous polyps.  

As a family physician, my job is to get your husband scheduled for a colonoscopy, performed either by myself or by a gastroenterologist (depends upon where you live and what your family physician is trained & allowed to do).  

Abdominal swelling & discomfort accompanied by unexplained weight loss in the elderly is colorectal cancer until proven otherwise.  Sure, constipation could do this but a change in stool appearance (to either flat as a ribbon or thin as a pencil) would also be concerning for cancer (think of PlayDoh being extruded thru a disk w/either a line or hole punched in the center).  Diverticulitis could also present in a similar fashion but is more likely to be accompanied by fevers and left lower quadrant pain.

Gastritis, peptic ulcer, and sometimes even esophageal reflux (heartburn) can also present w/abdominal swelling & discomfort.  If he's had any type of abdominal surgery, then bowel adhesions could do this.  So could a gall stone ileus.  

Is he eating any new foods?  More beans than in the past?  Did he suddenly increase his fiber consumption?  Does he have issues digesting milk products?  All this and more could cause gas and thus swelling & discomfort.

The point of mentioning all this is to get him in to see his family physician who can then help figure out what's going on.  Sometimes a pneumonia sitting on the diaphragm can mimic an acute (surgical) abdomen, so conceivably, he's recovering as he finishes his antibiotics (which could disrupt the bacterial balance in his gut and lead to gas, swelling & discomfort, usually accompanied by diarrhea).  I don't think a low vitamin D level would cause swelling & pain although he needs to supplement his vitamin D to strengthen his bones (and possibly for other health conditions).  

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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