Persistent lower right abdominal and back ache

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Hello, first time on a forum but I feel I need some guidance after much back and forth with various medics. I now feel in limbo.

I’m 36 yr old female with two young children (4 and 1). I’ve always been fit and active but have suffered from upset tummies since I was young. Often being told I have IBS. 

Since August 17 I’ve experienced discomfort in my lower right abdomen and now lower right back. To me it feels like there is a lump/slightly swollen feeling. I can almost feel my body digesting! Its not painful but it is there all the time now, but initially came on with exercise. I first went to the GP in November 17 who thought it was muscular so to rest for 6 weeks (I had been running, spinning and swimming 4/5 sessions a week). I stopped the exercise but it didn’t improve so since December I’ve been back and forth to see GPs and specialists. I’ve had an abdominal and pelvic ultrasound which were both fine. I’ve also had extensive blood tests (inc. virology, immunology, thyroid) . Then a month ago I had a full head, abdomen and pelvis MRI. Again came back normal. The colorectal consultant didn’t suggest a colonoscopy as I had one only two years ago and it was clear. I assume there is no bowel cancer concern as a result.  However, I gave it in my head maybe it could still be?

I feel in limbo. I’m clearly happy that the scans and blood tests are coming back clear. But I am still experiencing this constant feeling in my lower right abdomen and also on my lower right back. I would say the abdomen and back almost feel itchy and it is such a specific place. It’s really affecting by day to Day quality of life and don’t know what to do next. I guess medics feel they have ruled out anything sinister, now I need to somehow live with it.  

Any thoughts appreciated! 

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6 Replies

  • Posted


    A routine pelvic ultrasound doesn't look for it (you need a tilt table and at least a specific ovarian vein search, IRs know how),

    MRI if given contrast (or FBI method to avoid GAD contrast , which is hardly performed and needs sync with pulse), should be able to pick up pelvic congestion. Yet it can be overlooked if it was not the indication for MRI.

    Read your own imaging please and ask for review in case it was with vascular MRI imaging protocol.

    Otherwise it needs to be tested newly as it is not in your list.

    (Loin pain haematuria syndrome (cramping ureter) without detectable red blood in urine is a very rare possibility too.)

    Best of luck!

    • Posted

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. I will raise these options with the doctor.

      For now the consultant has suggested starting physio as it could be muscular skeletal. I also have been told to keep a diary for the next 4-6 weeks to track my bowel movements, weight and how the discomfort feels each day. I guess I have to try this and if no improvement return to the consultant for the next steps. 

  • Posted

    If your doctor was concerned about bowel cancer, he would have ordered a colonoscopy.   Since he didn't do this, it would suggest he is not  concerned about it which is good news for you.

    • Posted

      Thanks Pippa. That is what I initially felt too, but I guess the ongoing feeling has made me question it. I also was advised that MRI isn’t the preferred bowel cancer diagnostic so that made me start to worry again after initially assuming that was ruled out. I’ll keep the diary and start physio and hope it improves. Thank you again for your thoughtful response 🙂

    • Posted

      You can always make a list of your worries and ask your doctor to rule them out one by one.  I did this and it worked for me.  You could also request a colonoscopy if your bowel cancer worry will not settle down.  However, the fact that your doctor was not concerned enough to refer you for one, is still one good reason not to worry.  If your doctor did show concern, this would be cause for worry.  This has not happened.  Keep telling yourself that every time you start to worry.   Don’t think about the worst case scenario which has not taken place. 

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