Mysterious Flank Pain - Has anyone had these symptoms?

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I have been suffering with flank pain for the last five months.  Attacks last for 10-20 minutes with severity ranging from 6 to 9.  Pain is best described as cramping.  They occur at any time of the day.  Pain usually starts upper right abdomen (front), moving to upper right back and then moving to lower middle back.  Pattern has been that there will be a series of attacks 24 to 48 hours appart and then nothing for a month.  Here are some other details:

- Gall Bladder was removed 10 years ago

- ER visit after one of these ruled out kidney stones based on CT scan, blood and urine analysis

- No other symptoms other than the pain (i.e normal bowel and urine funtion, no temperature, no nausea)

- About a month prior to first attack, had a series of IV antibiotics to treat a leg injury

- Most comfortable position during these attacks is standing, slightly bent over, resting elbows on counter

- Upper endoscopy failed to reveal issues

I am currently working this with my doctors, but we do not have a diagnosis yet.  I anyone knows what this might be, or has had these symptoms, please let me know.

Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hello Jrtrotter2,

    Have they checked for Appendicitis and Liver? What about Pancreatitis? There are so many things that could be wrong including Referred pain which is pain that moves around your body. It is basically trying to tell your body that something is wrong.

    It's like when women get a tooth ache before a heart attack.

    Also how about the Antibiotics they used. Could they have been tainted? Was there a recall? You need to find out what antibiotics they used and look up the manufacturer, date, and see if it was recalled.

    The only other thing I can think of is that when they did the surgery did they leave anything inside of you? Its a scary thought but it happens. 

    Good luck to you. I'll pray for you.  


    Abdominal pain accompanied by left shoulder tip pain. This is referred to as Kehr's sign.

    • Rebound tenderness, in which the pain is worse after a quick release of deeper palpation pressure. This is called Blumberg's sign.

    • Pain in the RLQ following palpation of the left lower quadrant (LLQ). This sign, called Rovsing's sign, indicates that the irritation is spreading across the peritoneum.

    If you suspect peritonitis, call a doctor immediately.

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    • Posted

      Hello debra59438,

      I am sorry for not replying to you sooner.  Thank you for all of the advice.  To go through your list:

      - All internal organs appeat to be normal

      - No sign of appendicitis

      - The surgery was over 10 years ago.  They did leave some clips in, but that was intentional (they still show up on scans)

      - As for the antibiotics, that is a good question.  I will have to do some research on that.  Since they were administered via IV in the hospital, they should have a record.

      The good news is that I have not had an attack in months.  My gastrointerologist believes that this is a spontaneous spasm of the bile duct.  He gave me smooth muscle relaxers to deal with this.  I am not sure if they worked, because the attacks continued for months after starting the drugs.  I have pretty much stopped taking them, and have been pain free for a while.

      Again, I am sorry for not answering you right away.

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  • Posted

    This is just to give everyone an update.  After numerous tests, the root cause of this has not been identified.  My GI doctor believes that this is caused by a spasm in the bile duct.  He perscribed dicyclomine (20 mg, 4 times daily) and hyoscyamine (0.125mg, as needed).  The latter is taken sublingually when the pain starts.  While it does not completely stop the pain, it does seems to take the edge off.  I have not had an attack in over two months, so that is good.  I had been on this medication well before that, so I do not think that the drugs stopped it.  It could just have been one of those things.

    I hope that this helps someone who is having similar issues.

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  • Posted

    This is just another update, in case it might help someone.  The last attack that I had was over a year ago.  So, it appears that it was just one of those things.  The bile duct appeared to spasm for no good reason.  This may have had something to do with having my gall bladder removed, but that was over ten years ago.  If anyone else has this happen, I recommend discussing the medications below with their doctor.
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