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Pancreas Cancer

bloating was posted 10/17/2015 10:45 pm by Anonymous
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Is it bloating high up, like in her stomach, so that she burps a lot and feels like she has indigestion/reflux? Or is it bloatin low down, so she feels like her lower abdomen is distended and uncomfortable?

If it is 'high up', it is likely due to something called 'gastroparesis' or slow stomach emptying. This is a common side effect of pancreatic cancer and can cause a variety of symptoms including abdominal pain/discomfort, reflux, bloating, burping, feeling of early fullness with eating, nausea and more. It is treated with the common medicine Reglan (generic form is metoclopromide). Also, sometimes a proton pump inhibitor class of medicine (PPI) that you can buy over the counter at Walgreens can help. Many people find that smaller meals spread throughout the day, and watching for trigger foods that can worsen your symptoms (often high fat and high fiber, for example) helps.

If it is lower down bloating, first.... are her bowels moving ok? Make sure she stays regular, especially if she is on pain medicines which can cause constipation. Mirilax (over the counter) is a good medicine to know.

Also, it is common to get lower down bloating with PC too, and I don't remember why. My Mom had a great gastroenterologist with an interest in the pancreas who helped with her symptoms, and he saw a lot of patients with various pancreas problems. When my Mom's bloating was getting pretty persistent and uncomfortable (and they knew it wasn't ascities, which is fluid in the belly), then he had her two weeks of an antibiotic called Xifaxin (I think). Her doc said that these treatment was helpful in many of his 'pancreas patients' with bloating. It alters the normal bacterial flora of the gut, and gets rid of some of the bacteria that were producing too much gassy waste products. Then when your bacterial flora re-establishes itself, it often has less of the gassy problem. It helped my Mom quite a bit.

She also tried Gas-X initially when her symptoms were mild. Maybe it helped some? We only looked for more help when she was dissatisfied.

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