Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Gurgling, left lower and upper abdominal discomfort
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Gurgling, left lower and upper abdominal discomfort

I've had general discomfort in the area just beneath my left lower rib cage and slightly to the left and down for the past month or so. Lots of "gurgling" and "funny noises" and it can radiate downward to the left ovarian area and sometimes around to the left to my back. It wakes me up at night sometimes. I've been under severe long term emotional stress for various reasons. Bowels seem OK except sometimes 2 or 3 hours after eating lunch, I get cramping and some diarrhea. But then, all is OK. I do have a strong "gag" reflex and often throw up my morning cup of tea when brushing my teeth before going to work - stress related, I'm sure, (going through some sibling problems, job mergers, husband's medical issues) but also probably not too great for the STOMACH (this has been going on for about 6 months). I'm "doctor phobic" and the thought of invasive tests creeps me out.

I'm 48, female, haven't had a menstrual period in 9 months and in fairly good health. Not taking any prescription meds, although I probably should, for depression and anxiety!  

What organs lie in the area I've described (upper and lower left quadrant)? I'm sure it must be intestinal or stomach? The funny "gurgling" seems to be centered just under, and also down a bit to the left. All the discomfort is on the LEFT side of my upper/lower abdomen - right side is totally fine. I need some reassurance here, please.... Before I go to the doctor, which I'm sure you will recommend, are there any homeopathic ideas I can try? Over the counter stuff? Exercise (which I DON'T do as much as I should)? ANYTHING?

I would appreciate as much info as anyone can give me for the little $15 I paid.  :-)
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Hello - thanks for asking your question.

In the left upper quadrant would be the spleen and pancreas.  Stomach disorders can also present there as well.  The left lower quadrant is primarily bowel.  Diseases of the bowel such as diverticulitis, masses or inflammatory bowel disease can present with discomfort in that area.  

With your symptoms, I would suggest a workup for dyspepsia (i.e. GERD vs gastritis/esophagitis vs ulcer).  An upper GI series along with testing for a bacteria known as H Pylori would be a good place to start.  

If negative, you can broaden to workup a bit with tests for the pancreas (amylase/lipase and CT scan), or a gastric emptying scan looking for gastroparesis.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

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, M.D.

FYI - I will be away from August 1-9th.  I will look forward to answering your questions when I return.
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