Upper Left Abdominal Pain for 3 Months, Help!

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hey all, I've had an achy soreness in my upper left abdomen around the ribcage and on my left side for several months.

Been to the doctor. Blood tests fine, ultrasound fine, and h. pylori test came back negative. At first they suspected an ulcer or gallbladder problems but the tests have ruled those out.

I have no nausea, no vomiting. Bowel movements are normal. I don't feel "sick" per se. I just have this constant pain in my upper left abdomen to the point I cannot even lay on that side when I sleep or I wake up in agonizing pain.

I have cut fatty foods and all alcohol entirely out of my diet for 2 months now. Still no improvement.

During the last 7 years, I have also had a burning ache in my upper right abdomen and all tests for that continually come back clean as well. Just figured I'd mention this in case it's related to the left side pain.

I am at my wit's end here. I am on pain medication and taking prilosec, but the pain still persists. My doc has no clue what's going on. There is obviously something very wrong going on in my body and nobody knows. I'm wondering if it might be colon but, again, I have no loose stools.

Anyone experience anything similar?


0 likes, 8 replies

8 Replies

  • Posted

    It seems to me that you have some "gastrointestinal" discomfort...maybe gas, do you switch between constipation and irregular stools?  Or do you go normally?

    Have you tried taking Tums? Or an antacid?


    • Posted

      Hey misssy2, I never have any constipation. I am pretty regular. Mostly normal bowel movements with occasional loose bowel movements when I eat something spicy or greasy. Appetite is pretty normal, although when this pain first started a few months ago I barely ate for a week.

      I do take antacids, they don't really seem to help much. I do get bouts of gas and belching.

      My main symptom is just the sore achy pain in my upper abdomen around the ribs. Mostly on the left side, but also on the right side. It's so bad that I cannot sleep on my side without being in agony. I am only 35 but I am starting to worry it could be stomach or colon cancer. I know it's more likely IBS or gastritis but it's worth it to consider the more serious options and have them investigated.

      Doc has me on pain meds to help me get through the day and sleep at night. Otherwise, it's unbearable at times. I've done the gauntlet of tests. Several different blood tests, ultrasound, h pylori test. All come back clean. Right now I'm just waiting on my doc to see what he suggests next.


  • Posted

    Hi Kalten,

    I am in a similar situation. Have a look at my other threads if it helps. What diagnostic tests have you had? Eg ultrasound etc? And what blood tests have you had?


    • Posted

      Thanks Gem, I will take a look at your threads.

      For diagnostics I have had an ultrasound which came back fine, an h pylori test which came back negative, and several rounds of blood tests which the doctor said were okay. They were basically looking at everything in my blood. I have a whole printout of the dozens of things they checked out... all which came back normal of course.

    • Posted

      Hi Kalten,

      As Natalie said there are loads of us on here that are in the same situation. Some have been suffering longer than others. If you've had a look at any of my threads you'll see I started with right sided pain that then started on the left as well. I've had normal everything and been diagnosed with IBS. I argued with my consultant and kind of demanded in a polite way for more tests. They agreed and my EUS was normal but my HIDA scan show a dysfunctional gallbladder.

      My pains are related to food. Any food, particularly greasey and fatty foods. I lost a lot of weight in a very short space of time.

      I would recommend a liver panel (bloods), stool tests of faecal elastase and faecal fat. And I would also recommend a endoscopy/colonoscopy and/or and MRI/CT to have a closer look at your organs. If all clear in that then I would guess IBS.

      Have you tried a FODMAP diet? Has amitripiline been mention of suggested at all?

      I am not a Dr not do I think I am but if you have a look through other threads you will see everyone follows a similar path. Bloods and ultrasound normal, pain continues, more bloods and MRI or CT, still normal, then an endoscopy and colonoscopy, normal then you move to HIDA and EUS.

      Like most people I've been through them all. And I've suffered for over a year.

      Good luck and I hope some of the information helps.


    • Posted

      Thanks for the info Gem! Much appreciated!

      That is very interesting when you mention your pain also started on the right side. My pain started on the right side back in 2008. I remember the day it started. I was on xmas vacation and headed to the doc as soon as I got home from my trip. Did a whole plethora of tests including MRI and everything was fine. Doc just shrugged and said "Maybe IBS?" and that was that. The pain has been on and off chronically since.

      Now, fast forward to the present time and the pain has now appeared on left side a few months ago where it is much, much worse.

      And yes, I had the liver blood work last month. Enzymes were very slightly elevated, but that came as no surprise because I am a lover of beer! However, when these pains started I gave the beer up shortly thereafter. Ultrasound showed my liver to be fine. I've already dropped 30 lbs in just 2 months cutting beer and fried food out of my diet. smile The doctor told me the weight would just melt off, and he wasn't kidding.

      What is FODMAP diet? I'm willing to try almost anything at this point. It's 4:30am here and I'm up at my computer for yet another restless night because I can't sleep due to the abdominal pain. Can't pop another painkiller for a few more hours.

      I don't have insurance, so I can't see a specialist but maybe I can convince my doctor to order a CT for me. I'll keep you posted, and thank you very much for sharing this information with me! I'm glad I'm not alone.


  • Posted

    I am also in same situation have been for 6 years now. Seems to be a few of us with this undiagnosed problem! As gem said read up on our previous threads x
  • Posted

    Hi there! Just wondering if you all have any updates as I currently seem to be suffering very similar symtoms: Constant ULQ pain that seemes to get worse at night and interfear w my sleep when it flares up. No real bowel issues or any other symptoms other then the pain. Been going on for a couple of years n seems to be getting a bit worse recently.

    I did have HPylori though when this all started. I was treated for that and it cleared up all the other symptoms I was having. I've retested negative multiple times for it but still dealing w this ULQ pain.

    I've had blood tests (including for liver, pancrease n thyroid), stool tests, ultrasounds, endoscopy and an abdominal MRI. Everytning has come back normal other then a tiny liver hemangioma, slightly low D vitamin and a slight elevation of thyroid antibodies that is not significant enough to be classified as Hashimotos and a tiny benign stomach polyp. Nothing that explains the pain.

    With things feeling a bit worse I'm thinking of going and asking for an occult blood/ abnormal cell stool test, ct scan n maybe another endoscopy. Anyways, just wondering if you had any updates! Thanks!


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