Upper right abdominal pain for 2 years!

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Hello all,

Since September of 2015 I have had reoccuring and random stomach pains on upper right abdomen. These pains are sharp, as if someone is stabbing me with a knife, and right below my rib cage. It is tender when I push on it too. They occur randomly and do not occur after eating a particular food. Sometimes they even occur when I haven't eaten in a while. 

I have no other symptoms, just the pain. Occassionaly I have upper back pain but it is very rare. When the pain is unbearable I have to go to the ER just to get some sort of relief. The past two years I have had many blood tests (all normal), two endoscopys (both normal),  have been to two different GI doctors, have had a hida scan and ultrasound (normal, no gallstones). Sometimes pain killers can't even get rid of the pain. It is very sporatic as well. I have been on zantac, bentyl, and also a laxative. I also take birth control to regulate my period. 

My current GI doctor seems to think it may be from stress or IBS. I am currently on an antidepressant, I was diagnosed about three years ago. I am on a low dose. I am an overthinker and a worrier and this stomach pain did begin right after a bad breakup. I am just not convinced that stress can cause this much pain (maybe it can?)

Before I go to bed I put on an icy hot patch under my right breastbone just to give some sort of relief so I can sleep. But what kind of quality of life is that? I am 25. I want to go out with my friends and have a proper social kife but I am always in pain. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm crazy I just need to know if anyone else has ever experienced anything like this to know I'm not alone. Thank you very much for the help and support in advance!

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Have you considered the possibility of cardiac problems (thromoboembolism, or cardiac ischemic ) besides IBS. 

    This is because your pain on right chest area at this young age is surprising, but no unheard of, since you had some stressful relationship and breakup. 

    Probably some cardiac ecg test would be helpful. 

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    • Posted

      I actually had an ablation in 2011 for tachycardia (my resting heart rate was 200 beats a minute) so I had the ablation to get my heart rate back to normal. With that said I have had many many ekg's and whatnot and still do. All are normal. But thank you for the suggestion!

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  • Posted

    Have your bowel habits changed?  Sometimes they can change very subtlety without you realising.  Does your pain move about?    Stress can cause IBS especially if you overthink and worry.  I overthink and worry and I didn't think anxiety could cause this amount of pain and stomach disturbance but it can.  There is such a thing as the brain gut axis which means that what you feel emotionally has a direct effect on your stomach.  Your stomach had many more nerves in it than your spinal cord.

    The fact your pain began after a break up sounds like stress related IBS.  I had several months of non stop stress in 2015.  By February of the following year, I had IBS.  It wasn't officially diagnosed until mid May.  The doctor who diagnosed me asked me about any recent stressful events.  When I told my GP about all the anxiety I had had, he immediately recognised IBS.  Previous doctors did not ask about stress levels and I didn't mention it either because I didn't think it was connected to my symptoms.

    I have no pain at all after eating; it only comes on with stress.  I have had four different types of paIn: deep grinding, dull, stabbing, and sore to touch. I get constipation mainly, but I have had loose stools as well. I have had nausea, back pain and twitching in my stomach.  However, everyone experiences IBS differently and responds differently to treatment.

    Go back to your doctor and tell him/her that you tend to worry at lot and that you have had a very recent stressful event and that your pain came on shortly afterwards.  Sometimes, it is a seemingly insignificant thing that can help the doctor to diagnose you.

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    • Posted

      My situation sounds very similar to yours!! I'm glad I'm not alone but sorry you have to go through it as well. My bowel habits are completely normal. However, I have learned that stress can do alot to someone's body. I am a worry wart and have high anxiety, but do take Zoloft to help with that. My doctor has suggested a new treatment called gastric hypnosis so I may try that. He also thinks IBS may be one of keys to my problem.

      Thank you for your insight! I appreciate it!

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    • Posted

      Gut targeted hypnosis has been shown to help IBS patients because it deals with the pain and the anxiety together.  Does your anxiety medication help you? 

      I have Aspergers and this is what fuels my anxiety.

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    • Posted

      I figured that's why it would be worth a shot. My medication helps by taking the edge off but I overthink and worry about every little thing so it only helps slightly. 

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    • Posted

      If the medication only helps slightly, hypnosis is probably better since it is natural.  Anti anxiety meds are potential toxins and can cause side effects.
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