'undiagnosable' abdominal pain.

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Hi there,

I've had right severe abdominal pain, just below my rib line, It's a constant pain and i've experienced it for about 4 months now. At first I didn't really pay attention to it, it then became too painful to ignore at all. I would find myself waking up at night, or having to sit/lay down at work clutching my side. One day at work it became so painful I collapsed, and began having heart palpitations, after calling an ambulance I was sat inside it for 30 minutes or so hooked up to an ecg, my heart beat averaged about 125. I've seen about 10 doctors, 4 of my local GP's, and had 3 trips to AnE. The palpitations proceeded the severe pain a total of 3 times so far, It'd feel as if something in my right side had almost burst and spread across my body becoming numb and having severe chest pain - and I honestly thought I was having a heart attack because of the pain and the feeling of my heart pumping through my chest.

I guess the best thing will be to answer every question they've asked me..

I'm a healthy 19 year old male, I've eaten healthy, exercised often, i'm 10 stone 8, and i'm 5ft 8. I am not a drug user, although I am partial to the occasional binge drink (Like most teenagers).

I do not lift heavy objects, I work in a bar and don't lift any barrels/trays of glasses. I have been a smoker for a year now, and have been cutting down since the pain started, although giving it up entirely is quite hard as i'm finding it the only thing that has relaxed me. I've had no blood in my urine/feces/vomit. I have only vomited once during the 4 months. I do not have a temperature, I do not have a fever, the pain is not increased when pressure is applied. It is not relieved by warm/cold packs etc. The doctors are adamant I do not have appendicitis, i've had 3 ultrasounds which show no stones in my kidneys or galbladder and everything is as of normal size.

When I was admitted into AnE and asked to spend 2 more nights in the hospital I became so bad I had to have someone to hold me up while I walk, I couldn't sit up due to the pain and I would be so tired that I couldn't get out of bed. They had asked me to stay because of one blood test that showed my liver functions spiking high (I think it was billirubin? - and no I had not had a heavy night of drinking or anything the night before It was taken) They released me because they said being an outpatient would be faster (Which, it isn't, as the specialist i've been referred to will not be able to see me until december, when it's september now.)

Through all the doctors i've seen, i've stuck with one who has been incredibley helpful throughout this all, although completely clueless to what is going on with me.

Whilst in the hospital I've had a doctor tell nurses to stop giving me any pain killers because Im probably just a drug addict, and other doctors tell me it's complete anxiety, and others take one look at me and say it's a mucle inflammation under my rib.

It's got to the point where I can't work, my relationships are suffering incredibly because I can hardly do anything. I Can't drink without having incredibly bad hang overs which last for days or throwing up after the first couple of pints, some days I will wake up and sit on the floor because it's too painful to lie down or stand up. My relationship with my partner is suffering, as it is most of the time too painful to be intimate. This is ruining my life, and all the doctors are telling me 'come back if it gets worse, but there's nothing wrong with you'.

But as I said, 3 ultra sounds, 2 x-rays, 15 blood tests (Including one for hepatitus).

And nothing except one liver function spike, the once. My blood sugars are normal, there's nothing abnormal in my urine.

What i've told every doctor i've seen;

I've had severe right abdominal pain. Just below my rib. So severe I can not walk etc. I've had constipation for 4 months a long with the pain, which every now and then seems to just disappear. It seems to become more severe every other week, and on 3 occasions so painful I have collapsed and either thought I was having a heart attack or my appendix had burst due to the pain.

Please, any help is incredibly appreciated, I just want my life back!

Thank you, Alex.

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  • Posted

    Had severe abdominal pain and discomfort 2011/12....had tests eventually, failed colonoscopy. started pariet medication (after others no help) some help. As am gluten free was advised to go lactose free which improved condition (dr not agree to lactose free) Did not have reflux somehow going ok. As for constipation now have plenty pears which keep me regular. No reason found for pains. Must say gastrologist wanted me on anti depressant to help wasnt pleased when refused same. Did lactose free which he didnt agree with and soya milk. He hasnt sent re appointment for over year. Just hope never get symptoms again as very severe. Maybe something to do with bowels but have no idea, it was a very painfull condition day and night. Sorry no help. Pears help better than other laxatives.
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  • Posted

    Hi guys, I'm having the same issues...although pain can travel all over my torso. Had loads of tests, meds, different gp, specialist...you name it. I've had this for about 10years now, it's been getting progressively worse to longer I deal with it. My current specialist has today told me "there's nothing else he can do" and " your life is going to be difficult". What do I say to that?!? I'm only 24. If you find anything new out id love to no.

    I hope things get better for you guys.

    Thanks

    Miss bobbie

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  • Posted

    Bobbie, has any docs suggested anti-depressants? My son had a followup meeting with his doc yesterday (his surgery was two weeks ago) and the doc said that going to a gastro doc would probably be a waste of time, and he suggested a pain management doc and anti-depressants. My son has suffered from clinical depression in the past and HATES antidepressants because, he says, "they make me feel like a zombie." As a singer/songwriter, he likes to feel his emotions. He is scheduling a meeting with the pain management doc we met in the hospital and we'll see where we go from here. He's only 22 and I can't imagine him "living" with this pain the rest of his life!
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  • Posted

    I no this is probably something you don't want to hear but I found cannabis very helpful with taking the pain away. I used so many different tablets over the last 10 years and cannabis is the only thing that works other than morphine.

    Thanks

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  • Posted

    Interesting that you write that. My son's pain sprouted up when he STOPPED smoking weed. He was afraid that he was becoming "addicted" to pot, so quit. Perhaps it's time to re-start. I'lll let you know how things progress. As always, thank you for your posts.
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  • Posted

    Yeah this was one if the reasons I put it off trying it for so long, but I've done a lot of research and watched a lot of documentaries, and spoken to all my doctors, it's great for me because my only other options is morphine which is a lot worse for me to do things n go to the toilet. I found it helped my appetite massively which was a issue when I was taking the morphine. I still take morphine once a week for the bigger amounts of pain I get. And I have found it easy to quit smoking it when doctors wanted to try new medication so I wouldn't stress too much about getting addicted, although this is just me, it may be different for other people. But yeah if you are worried about him taking/smoking it i found a lot of documentary on top documentarys . Com

    Glad to help

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  • Posted

    Hello to all,

    I have been in the hospital for 2 weeks now with all the same symptoms, with the difference that my pain started on my left side. I've been experiencing this pain for several years now but it just got worst and it has not gone away with any pain meds, it just comms it for awhile then its back full force that if i'm asleep it wakes me up, now doctors will send me for another cat scan in the morning to compare with the first one done on the 4th of this month. if that one comes back normal then what? the floor doctor wants to release me with pain meds and antidepressant but with no answers on why the pain. another doctor consulted a surgeon to perform an exploratory surgery. any suggestions on weather i should or should not do the surgery, can anyone help?

    any suggestion accepted!

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  • Posted

    Hi norma34254,

    In my opinion because no one has offered me exploratory surgery, I would go for it. If you have had all other test first (MRI, blood test, ct, endoscopy). I would love to the doctors to take a look inside but there not willing to do that for me.

    Obviously it's your decision, I'm just saying if I were offered it, I would.

    Hope that helps

    Bobbie

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  • Posted

    I agree. I would have exploratory surgery if it is offered. My son had exploratory surgery and the docs said they found nothing wrong. He had the original pain while his incision was healing, but now the original pain has diminished significantly.

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  • Posted

    Hi Bobbie,

    I pray that you son heels quickly, as for me it's been two weeks and still nothing today the Sergeon will come and discuss the options for surgery I was told that the open exploratory is very dangerous and I am scared but at the same time I'm so frustrated with this unexplained pain and I want it gone I'm afraid that I might have a tumor hidden somewhere inside or a blood clot, because I've had two already in the past year so now they have me on a blood thinner called prodaxa. I know I should have faith in God, it's just do frustrating all I can say is God please reveal to the doctors were and why the pain!

    Thanks for reading,

    Norma ūüė©

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  • Posted

    Hi all,

    I'm not sure if everyone posting here is in the UK, but I'm here in the US. Alex, I was researching severe abdominal pain and your post was the first thing that actually caught my attention. For everyone thinking this may be a gallbladder issue, I can pretty much guarantee it isn't. I had my gallbladder removed in April of 2012 and I've had issues ever since. I'm 29 years old, engaged and a TEACHER. I began a new teaching job in August of 2013 and that's when my problems started. It was bad enough that I had lost my previous job right after purchasing a home, so that was plenty stressful. I'm a Type A personality, so I'm always stressed out. My gastroenterologist started the flex scopes, endoscopies and colonoscopies in September after I was hospitalized 3 times from September though November with severe dehydration, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and blood in my stool. He couldn't find anything wrong and of course, like everyone else posting, there were the pain meds (Tramadol) and anti-anxiety or anti-depression meds (Xanax) nausea meds (Phenergan) and anti-spasm meds ( Hysociamyn). Like you Alex, I am now since November experiencing excruciating abdominal pain right below my rib cage that has caused me to hit the floor and curl up in the fetal position in front of students, co-workers and family. My relationships are suffering as well, especially my soon to be husband and I, and on top of it all, my soccer team I coach is losing games and we all know us Type A competitive folks hate that! I am now a patient at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee which is the best in the southeastern United States. And guess what everyone, SAME STINKING results! If I've been told once, I've been told a thousand times, IBD, ulcerative colitis, gluten allergies, or maybe we just all like those pain killers so much, we are willing to go through hell to get them.

    In all seriousness, I too refuse pain meds if possible to avoid the constipation that then leads to painful (and I mean painful as in screaming, falling off the toilet) bowel movements. And let's all be honest, the pain we are living with is so bad that even pain meds don't really help, they just take the edge off. I've given up caffeine and my much missed beer. I live in the South and fried food is definitely a no-no. As for anti-depressants, I have taken them before, and they are horrible to get off of, so I don't recommend them either. Really, who can blame us for being depressed and anxious considering what we go through?!

    I'm bound and determined to find something that helps my pain. Low fat yogurt helps temporarily, but I haven't had much luck with a heating pad. I am hoping not to lose my job. I have been blessed with an incredibly understanding boss and strong, supportive family.I think this has been the most therapeutic thing I've done so far. And since I've already given my spill, if my doc does find something that helps, I will be screaming it from the roof tops!

    Good luck to you all,

    Laura

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    • Posted

      Hi I am 14 years old and having same problems as Alex. I am going to the gastroenterologist in Nashville on the 15th of July and I am so nervous. I have had this problem probably since beginning of March and I am starting highschool. I can't do cross country cause it's so painful... I can't go and spend the night with my friends cause I am always nausae and sometimes can't breathe really well my doctors side it was shallow breathing.

      I had a swollen bump on left side under my ribs that was very tender.. This sickness has ruined my life. I know I am only 14 but it upsets me so much and worrys me of what this could be. Sometimes I feel like my parents don't believe me. 

      I have had 1 MRI, 1 gaubladder ulter sound, 4 blood test, and serveral urine test. I have tries several medications.

      I have lost about 5 pounds from where sometimes I don't feel like eating. At first my doctors thought I was constipated but then it just got worse and they said it was inflaming of the stomach line or somethan like that but the meds aren't working that well.

      I have shallow breathing,sometimes heart races, and I am nausae all the time. I was on meds and I was finally feeling a lot better I was so happy and was about to start running again this week even though it's been about 3 months and I just now have started to be nausae but worse than usually last night I was so close to throwing up.

      Well that's my 4 month story I was going to ask what did the gastroenterologist say about your resluts and what they did. I am super scared and nervous and just want to know what they all do. Please get back to me if you can before the 15th of July and tell me if you have gotten any better.

      Thanks,

           Brooke.

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    • Posted

      Hi, I had many surgeries.  I thought about Alax's problem, I forgot to mention that a rash that shows up could be shingles if he had chicken pox. Besides his pain.  I went through so many test. I had seen a few gastro's.  He found that I had Crohn's Disease. The can eith be with constapation or you are running and looking for a bathroom. I had pain in my lower right area. I always thought it was my scar tissue from my surgires. I have had a lot of nausa also. 1) it could be Gallbladder, 2) pancrease, 3) ulcer some where in the stomach, or inflammation in the lining of the small and large intestines.  All my illiness have ruined my life also. My family also thinks I am trying to get attention. This is least my problem, All I want is someone to help me and give me answers. There is no one, I am left to figure out my problem my self.  Ask you Dr. a lot of questions. Don't let him just brush it off. He will probably do an upper and lower endoscope if you comp,kain of pain and nausa. The bump under your arm he may say it is unrelated. He will address your nauasa He will ask questions like what kind of food do you eat. Fatty foods or bland diet. If it is fatty foods he might want to check your gallbladder for gallstones or sludge. That is just the bile that is thick. If you feel sick from eating icecream then it could be your gallbladder. Try not to be nervous, try to show him you are confident. Bring in a recorder if you have to record everything he says or wants to test. Bring someone that is an adult with you... I hope this helps  
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