Doctors are puzzled, upper left abdominal pain that alternates

Posted , 5 users are following.

OK so 31 yr old female, reasonably healthy, no genetic disorders that i know not drink, smoke, etc.

So about a yr ago (September 2015), i was coughing and turned around and felt intense pain on my upper left side...i could not take a deep breath or breathe in. I took anti inflammatories and recovered in a few weeks time. 

3-4 (december 2015, Jan 2016) months later i was doing ab exercises (intense) and reinjured. Again took the anti inflams. Pain is always the same, cant breathe in, hurts like a strong stitch when i breathe in deep.

Then i felt the pain on and off for a few months every time id cough to excess especially after a cold earlier in the year( march?)

Back in July this year i felt it again after getting out of bed suddenly, anti inflams helped.

I came back from my trip in late August this yr and had an ultrasound and they found nothing except for  2 small polyps in my gallbladder (right side) and 1 tiny kidney cyst left side. All organs look fine. I then went for an xray to check for maybe bone damage, all fine. Blood test, fine. Physical exam nothing.  

Since the Ultrasound, so September October and November this year, i have noticed a pain stitch like/cramp like  AGAIN but  now in the upper left and occasionally, upper right  side.  If i eat more then usual, i experience more pain in those areas. Sometimes the pain is affected by movement (if i exercise, move suddenly or twist)... but its not affected by food (it doesnt matter if i drink alcohol, eat meat, cheese or fat)...

The only thing i can say is in  September i took a probiotic and it made me EXTREMELY Bloated and gassy for days so i stopped...but maybe i shouldnt have..maybe it was dead bacteria flushing itself out.

But the pain is there nearly every day, its intermitted right now i dont feel it but if i move or do something odd or press there i may feel it.

It bothered me so i requested a second ultra sound, a second blood test to check for organ function, stool sample and i had an MRI of the entire abdomen... waiting for results for these.

The pain is also not the same as the pains i felt when i couldnt take in breaths...its still a stitch like pain but its like the pain you get when youre exercising only milder.

If these are negative though.. what do i do? The ONLY other conditions that i keep hearing could cause pain like this is peptic ucler , gastritis, H pylori...

But i have NO other symptoms... all of the above mention nausia, vomitting, loose stools...

My stools (providing i eat enough fibre are normal) , i have no nausia , vomitting or fever

What else could this be and could this be in my head now as a result of the previous testing?


0 likes, 10 replies

10 Replies

  • Posted

    Was a biopsy taken of the polyps and cyst and were they removed?. Wait for the results of your scans and if they reveal anything.    You coild ask about ulcers, h pylori and gastritis just to get them ruled out if the scans show nothing   Also ask about IBS which causes shifting stomach pain, bloating, change of bowel habit, nausea and food intolerance. Some of these symptoms may not match your problems but it may be worth asking about.
  • Posted

    Very odd.

    Has the diaphragm, tendons of the diaphram got some damage or muscles?

    It sounds as if it was a physical more ligament/muscle related problem/injury, that damaged a nerve or so? If nerve or tiny damage, it won't show up anywhere I fear. Unless there was a clear hernia, damage in diaphragm or wherever, it would be seen or abdominal organs lift into chest, but nothing showed in imaging. Everything in place.

    If you take Magnesium supplements, does it get better?

    It's amazing how everything is connected with connective tissue, fascias, that are not shown on 'disected' pictures, but even disected pics show you how a hip-psoas muscle is interconnected with the diaphragm.

    Maybe you could try a good myofascial massage and see what happens?

    Can't massage the diaphragm, but intercostal muscles, back muscles, abdominal....

    Learning breathing techniques, slowing things down in meditation or via apps.?

    Of course proceed with organic issue finding,

    but just to think a bit outside the box given your history.....

    Good luck!!

  • Posted

    Hi Pand0.  I would echo what pippa says about the polyps & cyst - were biopsies taken?  I would tend to think your mri will reveal more detail about these anyway as mri imaging is more detailed. i know when i have had kidney stones it produced excruciating stitch like pain like you experience - i just wonder if the cyst in your kidney could produce the same sort of pain????

    The worst thing you can do is "what if" about things. (like you said what if they're all negative)  during my health problems that are ongoing, it is best mentally if you can try & discipline yourself to deal with one thing at a time - in your case that would be to just wait for your ultrasound, blood, stool & mri test results - & take it from there. you can't do anything more right now & you have done well in requesting & instigating these other tests.  do let us know how you get on here. x

  • Posted


    The cyst is a simple tiny cyst 5mm and simple cysts generally dont cause problems or pains and are very common. Its only when they get big that causes pain (like a few cm)

    Gallbladder polyp also basic cholestrol polyp, has not changed in size. Only 5mm big.. and will likely stay that size but ill keep monitoring.

    I keep thinking its more stomach based but food doesnt affect me , poop is normal, and no other symptoms.

    Last night when i went walking i felt the stitch on the left side.

    This morning woke up, had coffee , a cookie and a probiotic got in the car and when movement started felt stitch on right side

    Then felt more while walking to the station. When i sat down it was fine. Its fine now.

    I will wait for my results and update

    I keep freaking out its cancer 😟

    For the first time i cant put my finger on what it could be.

    I will try magnesium.

    I dunno if this makes a difference but i was paleo for a long time and stuffed myself up a lil with lack of fibre had loose bowls for ages.. then went doc and started eating carbs and more fibre and fixed my stools... but then if its recovery from that why would both sides hurt and alternate? And what exactly is causing the pain if my stool looks fine now?

    • Posted

      Also i should add gallbladder is not inflammed and same with all organs in that area all look normal but mri will show more as it was full abdomen that i did.
    • Posted

      Hopefully your test results will show the reason for your pain and your doctor will be able to treat you.
  • Posted

    And also ill be honest i am sick of tests and dont want to do unneccessary tests any more unless there is a reason.

    I was considering that it could be a GI issue but is this likely if i have no other symptoms? Would gastritis cause stitch like dull pain on both sides and no other symptoms?

    If i had a ulcer would i be able to drink alcohol and take anti inflams with no pain at all and is it possible that the only symptom is pain?

    What else did dr google say? H poly or whatever its called... surely that would cause more pain vomitting...

    • Posted

      To know for sure whether you have gastritis or h pylori, you would need tests.  H pylori can be identified by stool tests, blood tests, endoscopy or breath test.  Gastritis/ulcers can be picked up by an endoscopy.  Only a doctor can answer your question about ulcers.

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