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Oesophageal Patients Association
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Does anyone get colic from/with GORD?

I am a long time sufferer of GERD/GORD (depending on where you come from!) and I have oesophagitis because of it. I now also suffer from IBS, which may or may not be related, but it makes eating a whole lot of fun. Over a month ago I had an attack of 'biliary colic' (not really, as I no longer have a gallbladder, but felt exactly the same) and since then I have colic every day, without fail. It starts as soon as I eat and generally gets worse as the day goes on, producing a LOT of pain. I'm popping Simeticone and Buscopan and Gripe Water (yes, baby's gripe water!) like candy but all to no avail.

I tried asking this question on the IBS forum but got no replies so can only assume that it's not a normal feature of IBS, which led me to wonder if it is actually attached to my GORD, since burping (or more accurately NOT burping) is a feature.

My question is do any other GORD or Oesophagitis sufferers get this? I would love to hear from you because I'm at my wits end as to what is actually going on...

8 Replies

Even though the gallbladder has been removed, there can still be issues related to the surgery. Look up "Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction" and see if there are similarities. \wc


Yes, Chris, I've thought of S of O Dysfunction. I actually kind of fit the bill. I once had an attack of biliary colic just like this one which was brought on by taking Co-codamol. I stopped using it after I read that it could cause these attacks in people with S of O dysfunction. I did run this past my doctor but he didn't want to know. This latest constant colic, especially as it came after a very similar attack, has made me wonder if I might need to insist on having tests done to see if it is a sphincter problem. As the tests are no fun though I'm being a coward and hoping something else might be the issue!


There are quite a lot of people who have had their oesophagus removed who suffer from colic, and indeed they also resort to gripe water. It makes you sympathise with babies, doesn't it! I think of it as trapped wind, and if it cannot be released upwards by burping, it has to progress downwards through the system.

I am wondering whether it would be worth asking your gastroenterologist to review your situation, whether your medication and any side-effects could be contributory causes, and whether diet changes might help.

I am not sure whether the reflux problem could be closely connected or cause colic as such, but there might be an underlying condition that creates both, perhaps?

Something to soothe the oesophagitis would be a good thing. An alginate like Gaviscon should work whether the reflux is acid or alkali. I do not know enough about IBS to offer any thoughts.


Thanks, Alan. I don't suppose you know why, exactly, people who have had their oesophagus removed would suffer from colic? I'm just trying to understand the mechanism to see if it might have any bearing on my own situation. And I don't have a gastroenterologist. I've never seen one. My doctor/s are very much of the opinion that GORD, oesophagitis and IBS are workaday things you just put up with!


If you do not have an oesophagus and/or stomach, the food travels through the system more quickly and can reach the intestines in a less-digested state compared to normal. Sometimes swallowing air with food means that more air travels with the food and gets trapped, so eating slowly and chewing well can be helpful.

Long term exposure to reflux can damage the lining of the oesophagus, so unresolved, persistent heartburn really needs an endoscopy to check for underlying conditions, especially Barrett's Oesophagus that should be monitored because of the potential cancer risk from dysplasia.

Gastroenterologists specialise in gut conditions, including IBS.


Thanks, Alan, so it could be a sphincter of Oddi problem then, in that it may not be letting through bile, or enough bile, hence the indigestion feeling with the build up of wind that doesn't move. I've also wondered if there may be some gastroparesis (sp?) going on too, or instead of Sphincter of Oddi. I think I'll have to look back into both.


I do think it needs a good doctor to do tests and make a diagnosis: Otherwise, with respect, it is speculation!


Absolutely, Alan, but I need to be forearmed with info before approaching my doc, otherwise he won't take it seriously at all!


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