Cruise, Booze & Stomach Ache!

Date: 08/18/2019


Cruise, Booze & Stomach ache!

K Patel, MD, MPH

My Health One Place | Case Files

Ray is a 24 years old young man who came to our clinic to seek care as he was suffering from significant stomach ache. Everything was fine until he went to a cruise with his friends to Bahamas. He thoroughly enjoyed the cruise with delicious food, entertainment, excursions and fair share of alcohol.

He started hurting his stomach the day before he came back from the cruise. He tried some antacids that his friend had but did not help. His pain got worse, as a result he came to our clinic to get evaluated. He complained of pain in the upper part of the abdomen. He described it as a burning pain with some acid reflux. He didn’t have any appetite and felt a little nauseous. After thorough evaluation, he was diagnosed with acute gastritis with GERD triggered by alcohol and certain food types. He was put on pantoprazole (proton pump inhibitor or PPI) to help his symptoms and was advised to stay away from fried, spicy, greasy, citrus food.

PPI suppresses secretion of stomach acid from so called proton pumps which are located in the inner lining of the stomach, which in turn helps in the healing process. The best time is to take it first thing in the morning before eating anything. Ray was seen in the clinic for follow up after couple of months and felt significantly better. He became more conscious about his food intake and alcohol consumption. If he didn’t respond to PPI, the next step would have been to further evaluate him with an endoscopy and check for H pylori infection in stomach.

Moral of the story: your stomach can handle only so much. If you ignore it, your stomach will let you know! Moderation is the key.

Note: Inspired from true patient encounters from Dr. K Patel’s clinical practice. Patient name is a pseudonym to protect privacy.

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