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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 34537
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

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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
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 3 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

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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