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  • Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

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    Old 11-26-2003, 01:20 PM   #1
    Tweety22
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    Unexplained upper right quadrant abdominal pain/need help

    Hi. I'm new here and was hoping that someone here may have had similar symptoms.
    I have had constant pain in the upper right side of my abdomen - just under my ribs (and epigastic pain) for almost 6 months now. It started suddenly and has NEVER gone away since--I have it 24 hours a day. The pain feels like a strange sort of pressure from the inside - like something is trying to push its way out of my abdomen because there is not enough space for everything to fit. The pain gets worse when I eat (anything). I cannot eat or drink more than about 4 oz at a time w/out suffering terrible pain - as a result have lost 20+ pounds (and I was thin to begin with).
    I have NO lower abdominal pain at all, No pain on the left side of my abdomen, and NO bowel changes or symptoms. The pain never moves and it does not radiate to other areas.
    I have seen a multitude of specialists (GI (2), Infectious disease, gynecologist, urologist, nephrologist) and have had a battery of tests including CAT, MRI, HIDA scan (gallbladder and liver), Upper GI, endoscopy, enteroscopy and tons of blood tests for everything from lupus to Celiac to lead poisoning. ALL tests have been negative.
    I am on Elavil for the pain (but it is not helping)My doc now wants me to try Zelnorm - which I am very wary of b/c I do not have IBS symptoms according to what I know of the syndrome.
    The surgeon I consulted with is pretty adamant about NOT doing a laparoscopy since all of the other tests have been negative - he doesn't think it will show anything.

    I am desperate to feel like a normal person again...to be able to eat a normal meal and to end the constant pain. I don't know what to do...since none of the tests I had showed anything AND no one is willing to do a laparoscopy to potentially find something that may not be showing up on a scan - I am left to suffer in misery with no answers and no help. I seem to be at a dead end...

    Has anyone had a similar experience or can anyone possibly shed some light on this situation? Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do?

    Thanks.

    Last edited by Tweety22; 12-05-2003 at 08:34 AM.

     
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    Old 11-26-2003, 01:38 PM   #2
    actudan
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    I have a very similar problem. To start I have no lower abdominal pain and my bowel movements are normal. I have also had all the tests you listed except for the enteroscopy. My symptoms are URQ discomfort and epigastic pain located more to the right where the stomach connects to the lower intestine. My discomfort is there 24 hours a day. Eating makes it worse if I eat too much and I was having problems with nausea but the limbitrol that I am taking seems to help with that. I have also been thinking that my problem is muscular because standing or an activity that requires the use of stomach muscles makes it hurt worse. It seems like anything that puts more pressure in the discomfort area such as a overfilled stomach or laying on my right side makes it hurt worse. For the most part, lying flat on my back is the only way to make the discomfort go almost completely away. The discomfort feels like you described, like something trying to push it way out.

    My tests haven't shown anything and I am going to get another opinion early next year. However, I have also thought about consulting a surgeon for another opinion too. My current doctors say IBS but I really don't think I have IBS. But just in case, I have gone to eating IBS friendly foods and have added a lot of fiber to my diet. The only change I have noticed is more gas. Good luck and let me know if you ever discover the source of your problem!

     
    Old 11-26-2003, 02:00 PM   #3
    Tweety22
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    I forgot to mention that my pain also increases after physical activity. I definitely feel pain when twisting my adbomen and cannot sleep on my side at all either.
    I too have tried the gluten free and IBS diets - but they have offered no relief at all.
    Actudan - my latest theory is that I could have some sort of rare internal hernia that is not presenting itself on the scans (this sometimes happens especially w/ hernias that slip in and out). You should pursue this option w/ your doctors as well.
    Please keep me posted on what happens as will I do the same with you.
    Good luck.

     
    Old 12-03-2003, 07:50 AM   #4
    Tweety22
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    Top please.
    Anyone else have any ideas?

     
    Old 12-05-2003, 11:20 PM   #5
    bruised
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    What about a "hiatal hernia'?Have you checked the symptoms on that?I'm having the same problem as you but in my lower abdomen.I was told I had/have IBS but my conclusion is that I do not have it.No denial or anything,I just don't have the symptoms people describe.So they can keep thinking it.I do have an insional hernia that hasn't shown on any tests.We can feel it popping out.It feels like a nobby finger.It causes me discomfort.And they gave me pain prescriptions also.What they need to do is repair it but because it doesn't show on cat scans or ultrasounds they aren't doing anything about it except prescribing pills.Pills won't get me anywhere.Laposcopy probably would.But check out "hiatal hernia" symptoms somewhere on the net.

     
    Old 12-06-2003, 09:00 PM   #6
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    Tweety22 sounds like were having the same symptoms.I have gerd and ibs but i had both those problems long before the pain showed up.My pain is located on my right side just under my breast on the bone.My stomach always feels like its full and it feels like pressure.This has been going on for 9 months,with no relief in sight.I have the pain 24 hrs x7.I have the pain wether i eat or not.The pain is always on the right side and never the left.Sometimes it like a gnawing pain,and when it really gets bad it starts to ache a bit.Ive had blood work,upper barium gi small bowel series,adominal xray and ultrasound,and a hida scan.Havent got the results back from the hidascan or the upper gi yet,Suppossed to see the doctor dec 12 hopefully find out something.If your having the same pain im having,i feel for you.I thought i knew what pain was before.Sometimes it scares me that the doctors are taking so long to diagnose this problem.Im in real misery just about everyday,trying to hang in there .The only time i get any peace is when im asleep.So i try to sleep alot.Food doesnt seem to cause the pain ,but sometimes it can make it worse.Good luck on finding an answer to your problem,keep us posted.Ps, the third gastro doc thinks the pain is connected to my ibs.Take care

     
    Old 12-08-2003, 09:54 AM   #7
    Gingerly
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    Sounds like Gastroparesis to me. I have the same problem! Get an gastric emptying test done and it will show if you food is digesting properly.

    Love,
    Gingerly

    Last edited by moderator4; 01-25-2004 at 08:50 PM.

     
    Old 12-08-2003, 02:32 PM   #8
    Tweety22
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    First, I have been tested for a hiatal hernia...I do not have one. The first thing they thought I had was an ulcer (it was a clinical diagnosis w/ no tests to confirm at first). I went on the ulcer diet and took PPIs for 1 month. After about a month of continued terrible pain I went back to the MD and that is when then the tests began.
    Second, Gingerly, I am definitely going to speak to my GI about being tested for gastroparesis -- our symptoms sound quite similar. Except for the one symptom I have in addition to yours is that...sometimes I have noticed that I also feel an increase in the pain level when I twist my abdomen or move certain ways. It is not a muscular pain though it is coming from underneath the muscle. Do you have any of this sort of pain?

    Thanks for the responses. This board has really made me realize that I am not alone. I take comfort in that.

     
    Old 12-29-2003, 01:48 PM   #9
    Tweety22
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    I am still searching for an answer - anyone have any thoughts?

     
    Old 01-25-2004, 06:03 PM   #10
    hallmatt
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    Suzy: How'd the HIDA scan go? I tend to have predominate pressure under left ribs, with a little "runners stitch" on each side. Slight nagging pain on the right side.

    My HIDA showed 8% ejection fraction. Meeting with surgeon tomorrow and thinking the gallbladder is doomed to come out. I'd be perfectly fine with that, if they can make me confident that the left side bloat pressure sensation is related. I just hate to think that the GB was found on accident, but my real issue is something else. The GB doesn't seem urgent to me, the "something else" might be and that's what worries me.

    The left side stuff tends to be after eating. I've been one to eat only one meal a day (almost never breakfast, sometimes lunch, most of the time I do eat dinner though). I have also eaten my share of fast food because I never gained much weight from it. Maybe I should look up Gastroparosis just to see.

    Good luck all on the Dx!

     
    Old 01-26-2004, 12:56 PM   #11
    suzyshop1
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    Hallmatt hida scan was ok ,all my tests so far have turned up nothing.One blood test did turn up with me having elevated liver enzymes.So now the doctors are doing a more extensive set of blood tests.Elevated liver enzymes can be caused by so many different things.From simple things like meds ,antibiotics,to diseases.So right now im waiting on some results from those blood tests i had last friday. Also my doctor wants me to see a surgeon. He still thinks its my gall bladder ,i think it is either gastritis or and ulcer.Will keep everyone posted.Thanks for asking .Take care

     
    Old 01-26-2004, 01:33 PM   #12
    hallmatt
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    Suzy,

    I spoke with my surgeon today and sure enough on the gallbladder, 8% is 8% no matter how you slice it. He said I was in the "gray area" because the test result was extremely low but the symptoms aren't necessarily severe enough to warrant immediate surgery. He said about 8-10 people he sees every year are in this situation and so far they have all had symptomatic relief after their GB was removed.

    Have you had an Upper GI? He told me that since the Upper GI Barium Xray came back negative, he was pretty positive that it was not a stomach problem like an ulcer or tumor or anything. The test wasn't pleasant but it seems to be a good indicator or those things I've heard. I think the ECRP (or whatever) is also good to really look at it, I'd have to think a camera down there would be more of a gold standard than Xray.

    It's strange that your Dr thinks it's your gallbladder. From what my surgeon told me, the ultrasound will show shape and size and stones usually. The HIDA (with CCK) shows how well it functions. I would think those two tests together would be able to pretty much rule out your GB. I'm not sure if they would detect things like stones in the common bile duct but I've read that you'd be in bad shape already if that was the case.

    I think I'm going to go with the lapro GB removal and hope it resolves the left side gas as well. The surgeon said that since the GB is known to be bad, even though he can't guarantee that removal will solve all my problems, he said it is something that will probably need to happen anyway and it will help eliminate the GB as a possibility if the other problems are still present after surgery.

    Hope you get some resolution!

     
    Old 01-26-2004, 11:24 PM   #13
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    Hallmatt i had and upper gi done,it came back negative.The doctors doing all these blood tests to try and single out whats wrong with me.I have the symptoms of gall bladder disease but i am not showing anything on tests.Thats why he wants me to be seen by a surgeon.So he can get his opinion.This cant go on much longer im running out of patience.The doctor did mention once that there can be other abnormalities of the gall bladder beside stones.I also have elevated liver enzymes ,which also can be and indication of gall bladder disease.Hes doing all these blood tests i think to narrow it down, till he can say with a certain degree of certainty what he thinks it is.I can say one good thing about him ,hes not afraid to put me thru tests.I guess hes going by process of elimination.Good luck wth your gall bladder removal.I hope its the answer for you.Keep us posted please.Take care.

     
    Old 01-27-2004, 06:23 AM   #14
    hallmatt
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    When you say "HIDA was ok" what exactly do you mean? Did they give you an ejection fraction or did they just tell you it was fine? What my surgeon told is that he would be reluctant to remove the GB if my ejection fraction was say 35%, the very lowest end of normal. He said that type of fraction, plus my symptoms, would not necessarily be a sure sign of GB disease. But since my HIDA ejection fraction was 8%, it's a more likely cause.

    In my case, my symptoms aren't terrible at all. He thinks maybe I'm just seeing the tip of the iceberg though since it's at 8%. Now if your HIDA was 75% then yeah it would be hard for the docs to diagnose a GB problem. But if you were at 35%, they might tell you it was OK, but since it's the very bottom of OK that plus the symptoms would be a decent indicator.

     
    Old 01-27-2004, 09:20 PM   #15
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    Re: Unexplained abdominal pain/need help

    hey, just wanted to throw something out there. i too have URQ pain and had a severe colon infection in august. i had all the tests done too and they couldn't find anything. i am now going to the chiropractor 2x a week and i have to say i am feeling a lot better. i also get actupunture done and i am really quite happy with the results so far. my doctor thinks my ribs collapsed on to the cartilidge causing this muscle strain and side ache. i am hopeful. maybe this could offer some relief suzi?
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