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Digestive Disorders

Burning in stomach

05/13/2008

Question:

My son had his gall bladder removed at age 16 and has since on and off been suffering with severe burning in his stomach. It is sometimes so bad that it makes him sick. What could this be and how can it be treated?

Answer:

First of all, how old is your son now? Does he have any other medical or developmental problems?

"Burning" in the upper abdomen may be as a result of Gastro Esophageal Reflux disease (GERD). Although vomiting would be a rare presentation. It sounds like he should see a Gastroenterologist for an evaluation for reflux disease. Other signs of reflux are nighttime coughing, persistent hoarseness, sour taste in the mouth, difficulty swallowing. Symptoms can be improved by sleeping elevated and avoiding spicy foods.

The first line of treatment for reflux is medical (Prevacid or Pepcid) and not surgery. But only your gastroenterologist would be about to determine care.

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Response by:

Prakash  Gatta, MD Prakash Gatta, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati