Sharp Pains That Happen Fast? It Could Be Gas, Gas, Gas
Over the past few months, I have been dealing with an issue that is causing extreme pain. I have tossed and turned at night. I found myself stretching during the day, trying to relieve the pain. Since I tend to put off going to the doctor aside from my normal appointments, I started trying to determine the culprit on my own. My initial concern was gallstones or appendicitis, and I started thinking I would have to make an appointment with my doctor. Fortunately for me, that is not the case.
What does gas pain feel like?
It turns out that it is gas. Yes, gas has caused pain severe and sharp enough to keep me awake. I have had IBS for decades. I have experienced plenty of episodes of gas at that time, but I have never had anything like this. For those of you who have experienced this long-term, I do not know how you have kept your sanity while experiencing this on a regular basis.
For anyone who has been fortunate enough not to experience it or for those who are having similar issues and do not know the culprit, let me explain. The pain often starts as a bloated feeling. Then it becomes a dull pain beneath my rib cage on the right side. I have had plenty of gas pains in my lower abdomen, but I had never experienced it under my rib cage. This pain is bad enough, but it can quickly turn to very sharp pain. That pain is enough to drive you mad after a short time.
Determining the source of the pain
So, how did I determine gas is the culprit? I was lying in bed last night in absolute misery. After tossing and turning for a while, I found a single position that seemed to somewhat relieve the sharp, stabbing pain. Once I found relief, I refused to move, even when much of the rest of my body started to ache from being in that position. As time marched on, the pain moved lower and lower. As it continued to move lower, there was instant relief. And I do mean instant.
I was both shocked and thankful. I was honestly shocked gas could cause the extreme amount of pain I had been experiencing, but I was thankful to know it was not something more serious. The position I was in allowed the trapped gas to move along and move on out of my system. It was not instant, but it did not take too long for the pain to start moving lower. Of course, I will discuss this with my doctor at my next scheduled appointment. If you have unexplained pain, do not ignore it. Talk to your doctor.
How to relieve trapped gas pain
Now, I have a fairly high tolerance for pain. I really do. However, this pain is testing my limits. I tend to adjust to pain over time until I can ignore it. That is how I have built up a higher tolerance. It has been several months now, and I have yet to adjust to this. Perhaps this is because it is less frequent than other pains and in a much different location. I sincerely hope I can build up a tolerance. This is brutal. Kudos to those of you who have dealt with this for a long time. I am about ready to tap out and ask for help.
Knowing a change in position can help get things moving is helpful, but I will say this does not always work. I have read that walking and yoga can help relieve gas. While improving, I do have mobility issues. Long walks and yoga poses are out of the question for me, but it might help you. Peppermint seems to take the edge off, but it definitely is not a solution for me. Perhaps I will try some over-the-counter medications. If you have suffered from trapped gas pain and have had success in ending the pain, share your secrets. I am open to suggestions.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?