Doctors explain Gutierrez’s stomach issues

Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who underwent tests two weeks ago on a lingering stomach problem, has been diagnosed with a “slow digestive tract” and should be fine now with medication and some dietary changes, team physician Mitch Storey said Sunday.

Gutierrez was bothered by stomach pains much of the second half of last season and when the problem returned last month, the Mariners sent him to Seattle for a battery of tests.

“We think we’ve made some definitive answers,” Storey said. “The bottom line is Franklin doesn’t have a fast digestive system and as a result would get stomach cramps and get bloated. As a result of the tests and conclusions we’ve made working with specialists, dieticians and Franklin on other dietary measures, he’s doing much better.

“We think we have the problem solved for now.”

Storey said tests for other more-significant problems came back negative.

“This is great news,” Storey said. “There’s nothing wrong with him. He’s not sick. This is just a simple thing.”

The Gold Glove outfielder will mostly need to monitor when and what he eats to control the problem.

“Some of it is food and how much he eats at one time,” Storey said. “In the past, because his digestion was slow, things would back up into his stomach and he’d get cramps that would sometimes last for a couple days. We fought that all year last year.

“With the combination of medication and dietary changes, he is doing much better. Since he’s back from Seattle and we’ve made these strategy changes, he has felt extremely good.”

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