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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 32665
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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Hello. I'm 33, female. The problem is that if I lie on my

Resolved Question:

Hello. I'm 33, female.
The problem is that if I lie on my left side or my back my stomach churns/rumbles until I become so uncomfortable I have to turn over. If I try to stay on the left for more than a few minutes I end up bloated and in pain. on the right, no problems at all. This has been a problem I think my entire adult life and not ever actually a problem - but I now I am getting a bit of a stiff neck and want to try to vary my sleeping position and can't. I don't need help with the neck problem. It is always the same side, lying on the right that is ok. Lying on my back is also a problem eg on a plane as I feel a bit uncomfortable even reclining the seat fully. I don't get pains other times and so it is definitely positional. I don't have any other bowel problems/ symptoms.
If it helps, I have no significant medical history at all, no children, allergies, average weight, healthy lifestyle. No relevant problems in the family that I know of.
I would like to know: could this be a hiatus hernia and if so would it be worth looking into getting it operated on - what else could it be - is this an unusual symptom as I can't find anything online about it? thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Hi. We can continue beyond this if you'd like but this needs some investigation. Doesn't sound like a simple hiatal hernia but it could be a gastric acid reflux problem or perhaps an H pylori stomach infection. It possible also could be a peptic ulcer problem. Finally, it could be irritable bowel syndrome but that diagnosis can only be made when other causes are ruled out. You need to see a doctor and I would start with a screen for the H pylori and upper endoscopy. A hiatal hernia rarely requires surgical repair since the symptoms can be controlled with a medication like Prilosec or Zantac
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for your response. I tested negative for helicobacter (stool antigen) but anyway I don't see why this would cause positional symptoms. Ulcer is not a serious consideration as I have had the symtpom my entire adult life, as I said. IBS is surely a more pervasive problem than this with symptoms when stressed out etc, not only when lying on one side. I think reflux is a possibility, but again, why on the one side. What I want to know really is if there is a known anatomical defect that could cause this sort of problem, the most significant feature being that it is positional. thanks

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Well, lying on the left side puts more pressure on the stomach and if you did have a hiatal hernia that could push it a bit further up above your diaphragm and cause reflux. Sorry for giving you some information that wasn't necessary but I got the impression you hadn't had any evaluation for this up to now. Either a chest x-ray or a barium swallow would detect a hiatal hernia so ask your doctor about that and let me know how it goes, and please remember to rate my service to you
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