Five months and still having upper left abdominal pain

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My upper left abdominal pain started in June and I'm about at my wits end! I am on painkillers from my doctor but the constant pain is starting to make me very depressed, anxious, and irritable.


- A constant sore ache in the upper left abdomen near the ribs that sometimes goes to my back and halfway down my left side.

- A sore ache in the upper right abdomen that comes and goes

- Rumbling, squishy/wet noises in my stomach from time to time, especially after eating a big meal

- Headaches (this could be from the painkillers though as they seem to occur when I take my meds)

- VERY sore when I first wake up around the left ribcage

Very little nausea. Very little heartburn. My bowel movements are healthy and normal. I am eating fine. I do not feel bloated or full after meals. I do not feel sick or weak.

I've had an ultrasound, bloodwork, and h pylori test. All fine.

I am waiting to see a gastro specialist. Does anybody have any idea what this could be? I am leaning towards hernia but not sure.

Before this started, I was drinking apple cider vinegar for many months as I heard it helps digestion. I fear I may have "burned" my stomach or digestive tract as I drank it straight (didn't mix it with anything). Anyone heard of this happening? I also used to be a very heavy beer drinker and wonder if my stomach is beat up from years of drinking.

Just at the end of my rope here. Tired of the constant pain. I am hoping the GI doc can give me some answers.


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  • Posted

    Hi Kalten,

    My symptoms are also very similar to yours, and I think we may have the same thing, whatever it is. I have been having a pain in my stomach area for over 6 months now, although it's not constant pain, more like a dull ache under my left ribs when I take a deep breath, sometimes restricting my breathing, and sometimes radiates to my back on the left. The pain used to be worse when I got out of bed in the morning, and went away minutes after. Now it's always there.

    My gut makes a lot of noise hours after I've eaten. I did have some bouts of diarrhoea at one point, with random belly aches, but these aren't so frequent.

    I remember I started eating an apple (granny smith, green sour ones) every day at breakfast. I then stopped when I started having symptoms and it seemed to clear up slightly. Like you, I also drink beer regularly. Maybe these are linked?

    A month in, my Doctor thought it was an acid problem and told me to try gaviscon. This seemed to help slightly, but the pain kept coming back- to a point where the gaviscon had no effect.

    After seeing my doctor after month 6, I was prescribed Lanzoparole for gastric acid. I've been taking these for a week, but the pain is still there.

    The doctor also sent me for an X-ray, which showed I had Pleural Effusion, which is a build up of fluid around the lungs. Luckily a CT scan showed no heart or lung abnormalities. My doctor thinks the two symptoms (abdominal pain and pleural effusion) are unrelated. He reckons I had a lung infection which is just clearing up- hopefully he's right.

    I'm currently waiting for a chest specialist to contact me to confirm whether it has cleared up.

    I have had several blood tests. All have come back clear.

    I've been thinking it could be related somehow to wheat/gluten intolerance and am currently on a wheat-free diet. After a week, still no difference.

    Have you figured out what the problem is?

    • Posted

      Hey there. No, it was never diagnosed. And I still suffer from it. I had the doctor suggest it could be IBS since it always feels like my stomach and bowels are achy/crampy. I quit drinking for over 9 months and no improvement at all, so don't think it's alcohol related. Keep me posted and let me know if you get a diagnosis.

    • Posted

      you should have upper endoscopy to rule out any problems with stomach.  


  • Posted

    Hello Kalten,

    I have had the same problem for 7 months now. Actually the pain comes in the morning and goes at night. I had an endoscopy and the doctor told me my stomach was okay. But now it feels more painful. Sometimes I have suffered constipation and when I go to the bowl, the stool somehow floats before I flash. Am starting to feel back pain also. Any one had similar symptoms?

    • Posted

      Sounds to me your pancreas is over working. Do you have a bacterial infection? Have your blood work done. It'll tell you if your sugar level is high and your blood count. Recently had a tooth extracted that had some abscess. It wasn't hurting nor it was a big infection. What I noticed is that my stomach would bother me. My left upper obdomen underneath my rib cage. When I was on antibiotics, the pain disappear but now it has returned. I'm having endoscopy performed soon.

  • Posted

    I have had 6 months left abdominal pain to the belly button. I suffer from crohns since October have 30cm of chrohns in the small intenstinen which is on the right side which is not that troubling this was discovered when I had a ultrasound in august 2016 and then a colonoscopy in October 2016. This left side pain is dull and I have it on and off now very painful

    My gastrointestinal said it'd spasm pain bloods are fine now I've given a stool sample for protien waiting results. I have tried changing dairy products but no change at all. Anyone know what it maybe. I also had a mri scan few months ago which showed no findings on the left side. If I pinch the skin it's hurts alot. I am onazathioprine 2 tablets a day and at night 1 tablet of amitriptyline. Tests have been done by bloods ad no issue in the meds

  • Posted

    I too have been having intermittant upper left pain just under my ribs for over a year now.  Endoscopy and CTs shows nothing unusual.  I cannot determine a pattern except if I stand upright for more than 5 minutes, the pain happens.  The pain seems to subside if I sit or lie down.  It can happen on an empty stomach, a full stomach or in between.  It doesn't seem to be affected by spicy, acidic or mild foods.  The only thing that consistently helps is using a wide compression belt with help pull-in my stomach.  When I wear the belt, I can stand for long periods of times without pain.  This would indicate some sort of hernia however imaging has not indicated this.  I too am at the end of my rope.

    If you've found a solution to your pain problem, please post as I am following this discussion.


    • Posted

      hello mickey i know its been awhile since your post but i was Wondering if you ever figured out what was wrong with you. I read your post and I have the exact same symptoms down to the standing up for five minutes and having pain on the left side I hope you figured out what the problem was i’ve had every test done endoscopy colonoscopy ultrasound CAT scan HIDA scan they removed my gallbladder but I still have the same-ish it’s been over three months now I was hoping you found out and you could tell me what helped you thanks

  • Posted

    I have been experiencing the same problem for past 9 months. Got my kidneys and lungs checked and everything was fine. Blood and urine test were normal too. Persistent pain in the left upper quadrant of my abdomen and intermittent pulsating pain which sometimes extends to the back and intermittent pain in the right abdomen. Please share if you get this problem diagnosed.
  • Posted

    Docs say it's likely a hernia which seems to make sense because when use my fingers to push in where the pain is, I can make the pain go away.  Will likely be consulting a surgeon at some point.  Good luck to you Kalten.

  • Posted

    Hi Kalten, Any updates? I hope you've manage to get to the bottom of this now. I have the same symptoms. Nothing showed up on the endoscopy and am at my wits end! 

  • Posted

    Hi there, I am hoping someone can help.

    I am 24 and have been suffering from an array of symptoms over the last 8 months. Apologies for the Bible but I will start from the beginning. It all started with body aches that were predominantly down both of my sides, I went to A&E and was simply told I was constipated and had IBS. (I believe I suffer from ibs which before this all started was majority constipation so this made sense to me) over the coming months my pain moved across my abdomen and down my groin, which also left me with a swollen testicle. Due to all of this I was put on various different antibiotics for urine infections and prostatitis over a course of 3 months. It turns out i had none of these and they were not necessary. This pain continued and I was given a CT scan and colonoscopy which came back clear.

    However, over the last 3 months my pain has changed significantly, please see my symptoms below.

    1. Upper abdominal pain central and across to left, below ribs and under chest and occasionally travels to right side. (normally a burning stingy feeling).

    2. Mid and upper Back pain on centre and across to left (usually comes after stomach pain, but can be more prominent that stomach pain at times).

    3. Constant change in stools, with diarrhea, constipation, normal and floating.

    4. Indigestion

    5. Allergy to too much dairy, fats and gluten (creates floating diarrhea)

    6. Occasionally tingling in upper back between shoulder blades which started mostly on right side

    7. Increase in burping

    8. Feeling of trapped gas.

    9. Weight loss, which started from the very beginning of this. I started at 13.5stone and am now just under 12. I understand a lot of this will be diet changes since i have cut out most fats and gluten. I have a very healthy diet now.

    I am also taking sertraline due to the anxiety this has all caused. I am recently engaged and have spent the entire engagement in pain, and I just want to be better.

    Does this sound like it could fit h pylori? I have not had any test for it, and it looks like I may be getting an endoscopy as I have been told because I am now on ompeprazol they cannot test unless I come off it for 2 weeks.

    I have had loads of blood tests also, which have all came back fine. I hope someone can please give me a bit of advice and help with this. Thank you once again.

    • Posted

      I’m sorry your feeling like this but your not alone. I’m dealing with the exact same thing. 
  • Posted

    Hi I had my symptoms also start after drinking apple cider vinegar. I have a constant dull ache in my left upper abdomen it gets pretty severe at times. It sometimes becomes a throbbing pain. I hate taking pain meds but occasionally I take an ultram which doesn’t take the pain but makes me forget about it. I have a problem with constipation but I take mirlax which helps and I haven’t noticed any blood in my stools. I don’t  have any other symptoms except pain. I am going to see a GI doctor in a couple of weeks, probably need a colonoscopy. 
  • Posted

    I have the exact condition and I have had an endoscopy and colonoscopy no ultrasound though. I saw a gi they told me i have gastritis that explained the burning in my stomach but not the ball it feels like it's coming out of my rib cage it's under my left boob but on the bone or in . I have gone to the hospital and they said it was fatty tissue but I really don't think it is ......i feel the pain in my back when I bend and I do lift a lot of heavy boxes over years without the proper stance.......i was wondering if I had a hernia the pain has been increasing and I even felt a throbbing feeling going on around the ball area.

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