Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:46 AM
I also had a slow, subtle onset, was only in hindsight that I realised how long I had had GI problems (over 30 years before diagnosis with SSC!). In my late teens reflux-barium studies showed I had a very slowly emptying stomach, but I had no other symptoms. The problem disappaered after a year or two All through my twenties I had chronic constipation despite good diet, plenty of fluids and laxatives- even needed hospital treatment for anal fissure due the this. Also had frequent bloating (not related to premenstrual) that would make me look six months pregnant - that has continued ever since. I had no futher upper gut problems until about 4 years ago when developed frequent upper abdomen pain. An endoscopy showed that I had haemorrhagic gastritis - which was a bit of a suprise as it is usually associated with alcoholics or people who are severely ill, neither of which I was!. After a few weeks on a proton pump inhibitor there were no further problems. Then I started having trouble swallowing - I first noticed it when eating apples- they made me cough to the extent that couldn't eat them. The swallowing problem wasn't present all the time, just now and then. I was diagnosed with SSc two years ago - it was only then that I realised that all the gut problems might be connected to it. Since I was diagnosed I have developed reflux again and more frequent swallowing problems, plus worsening constipation interspersed with diarrhoea and bloating. Although now I have written it down I feel sorry for myself, it really is all little more than a nuisance to me most of the time.