Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Charley Horses in Upper Abdomen
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Charley Horses in Upper Abdomen

Hi there- I'm 35 years old and have had 3 c-sections (4 children).  After my second c-section in 2005, I started getting charley horse-like cramps in my lower abdomen when I would bend over a certain way.  They got quite painful but I found that lying down flat helped them go away quicker.  I had twin girls in Feb 2008 and since then I've been getting the charley horse-like cramps again but this time they are in my upper abdomen  and lying flat on my back doesn't seem to help them go away.  I discovered getting on all 4's seems to work better.  I don't get them every day mind you, just when I bend a certain way.  I think I'm conscious of them so much now that I try not to do anything that will bring them on.  Back in 2005 I asked my ob/gyn about the cramps and he said it could become a hernia but that it wasn't at the time.  Is this something I will just live with or could there be something more serious going on?  
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It's difficult to say exactly what it is without examining you.  That said, there are a variety of GI-related conditions that can lead to crampy pain, including, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, or colitis.  

I would start the investigation with imaging the abdomen, specifically with a CT scan.  Another consideration would be a colonoscopy to exclude inflammatory bowel disease or an anatomical cause of the pain.  

If those tests remain negative, you can consider a GYN workup, which can include a pelvic ultrasound or CT scan.

These options can be discussed with both a GI physician or your gynecologist.  

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin Pho, M.D.

KevinMD.com
Twitter.com/kevinmd
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