Abdomen Pain FAQ

I have been diving for 15 years without problems, but on my last couple of trips I experienced pain in my upper left abdomen under my ribs about 15-30 minutes into a dive. It becomes increasingly painful over the rest of the dive. I am healthy, take no prescription medications and exercise regularly. I usually take antacids prior to diving. I do not have this pain any other time. It gets more uncomfortable during ascent but goes away shortly after I get out of the water. It is starting to take the fun out of diving. Any suggestions?
Please note that we cannot diagnose you; you really need to be evaluated by a physician. Because your abdominal pain seems to change with pressure, it may be due to the expansion of gas in your gastrointestinal system. The increased discomfort during ascent in particular suggests trapped gas as a possibility. It could be normal gas resulting from digestion, or it could be from drinking carbonated beverages. Avoiding gassy foods such as beans, broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables may help. Many divers stay away from sodas prior to diving to limit the amount of gas in the gastrointestinal system.

This may be evidence of a hernia. During ascent an isolated segment of bowel containing excess or expanding gas can expand, which may cause pain or injury. People should not dive with an unrepaired hernia. Other sources of abdominal pain include reflux, an irritated ulcer and other causes, but pain caused by these factors would be expected to occur at other times as well.

Another possibility that you should consider is that this may be related to swallowing air while breathing from your regulator. Divers swallow a certain amount of air as a result of breathing compressed gas, and a second stage with very low breathing resistance or that is prone to free flowing can increase air swallowing. You might consider having your regulator serviced and discussing your issues with the service technician. A "tightening up" of the second stage may help you.

Remember this is all speculation and that an evaluation by a doctor is crucial.
Posted in

No Comments


Categories

 2016 (119)
After anaesthesia Air Quality Annual renewal Apnea Arthroscopic surgery Barbell back squat Bench press Boyle's Law Boyle\'s Law Boyle\\\'s Law Boyle\\\\\\\'s Law Breath hold Breath-hold Buoyancy CGASA CO2 Camera settings Cancer Remission Cancer Cape Town Dive Festival Carbon dioxide Charles' Law Charles\' Law Charles\\\' Law Charles\\\\\\\' Law Cold Water Cold Conservation Contaminants Corals DAN Profile DAN Researchers DAN medics DAN report DCS DReams Dalton's Law Dalton\'s Law Dalton\\\'s Law Dalton\\\\\\\'s Law Decompression Illness Decompression Sickness Decompression illsnes Dive Instruction Dive Instructor Dive accidents Dive health Dive medicines Dive medicine Dive safety Dive staff Diveleaders Divers Alert Diving career Diving emergencies Diving injuries Diving suspended Diving Dr Rob Schneider EAP Ear pressure Ears injuries Emergency plans Environmental impact Exercise Eye injuries FAQ Fatigue Fish Fitness Francois Burman Free diving Freediver Gas laws Gastric bypass Gordon Hiles HELP Health practitioner Indian Ocean Inert gas Instructors Irritation Kids scubadiver Labour laws Legislation Leukemis Liability Risks Medical Q Medical questionaire Medical statement Middle ear pressure Military front press Mycobacterium marinum Nitrox Nosebleeds Orbital implants Oxygen ears Part 3 Pool Diving Radio communications Rashes Report incidents Rescue training Resume diving SABS 019 Safety Save our seas Science Scuba Injury Scuba children Scuba dive Scuba health Scubalearners Skin Bends Skin outbreak Skin rash Snorkeling Sodwana Bay Squeezes Surgeries Surgery The truth Thermal Notions Tides Underwater photographer Underwater pho Valsalva manoeuvers Vasvagal Syncope White balance Wreck dive Youth diver abrasion alert diver antibiotics bent-over barbell rows breathing air child clearances closed circuit scuba currents dead lift decongestants dive injuries dive medicing dive ready child diver rescue dive diving attraction doctors dri-suits ear spaces emergency action plans emergency assessment equalizing health hospital immersion pulmonary edema (IPE join DAN marine pathogens medical procedures medical risk assesment mucous membranes nasal steroids nasal newdivers nitrogen bubbles off-gassed operating theatre outgas post dive preserve rebreathers risk areas saturation scuba sinus infections strength tecnical diver thermal protection training trimix unified standards