Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Pain In Upper Abdominal Area
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Pain In Upper Abdominal Area

For the past year I've been getting on and off stitch like pain in my upper abdominal area...and just below/under my right rib cage near the stomach...also tends to move around to the right. The pain is worse when I'm sitting and sometime when I'm lying on my side. It's now starting to come on when I walk. There also appears to be a lump on the edge of the rib cage...which when pressed is very tender. Whenever I went to the doctor, she was unable to find the lump...very annoying.

I've had all the blood tests and they've come back completely normal. I had an ultrasound 8 months ago...all normal...they didn't see any lump...

The pain sometimes disappears for wks but recently it's come back with full force!!! Very uncomforable!

Last wk I went back to my doctor. She finally felt the lump and is sending me back for another ultrasound, pinpointing to the radiographer when exactly to look. She thinks it's just a lipoma. Can this be causing all this discomfit?

I also have IBS with was diagnosed 2 yrs ago. I had an endoscopy and...not colonoscopy but the test where they look into the first half of the colon...rather then the whole colon. Sorry forgotten the name. As well as bloods tests. Everything came back normal apart from samples taken from my stomach showed I had a stomach infection which was treated...and I'm assuming cured.

I'm a very healthy male...28yrs of age. No weight loss.
I am an ex smoker so that's always worried me.

Where should I go from here? Doctors in the UK can't order CT scans so they have to send me to a specialist. What whould you suggest?

Thanks for any advice.
Luke
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A lipoma can cause the discomfort, but I would exclude other causes first.  Indeed, a CT scan would give a more accurate reading.

If the symptoms continue, you can consider an upper endoscopy.  This can exclude major upper GI causes including GERD, an ulcer, or inflammation of the digestive tract.  

A negative ultrasound would make gallbladder or liver diseases less likely.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

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.
www.kevinmd.com
7 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had an upper endoscopy a year ago and all they found was a stomach infection.

I forgot to mention that I've also had an chest x-ray and all was normal.

So what specialist should my doctor be sending me to see?

Luke

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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Luke,
Dr. Pho does not normally answer supplementary questions.

You may possibly have an inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis) in which case you need a referral to a gastroenterologist.  I have Crohn's and regularly have a calprotectin stool assay test - cheap and non-invasive. If the calprotectin level if out of range, norm is 20, mine can be as high as 40, this identifies inflammation somewhere in the GI tract, but not specifically where. However, this does give the gastro the "green light" to do invasive testing, such as upper endoscopy and/or colonoscopy. The procedure you referred to in your original post, was I believe, a sigmoidoscopy, which only goes so far up the rectum into the colon. A colonoscopy should be able to get right up to the end of the small intestine, and allows biopsies of any suspicious tissue to be taken, for pathological review.

Take care,
Liz.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks Liz.

Will have a talk to my doctor.

Luke
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Avatar_n_tn
is the calprotectin stool assay test something that you can buy OTC, or is it through your gastro doc?

Mary1234
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Avatar_n_tn
Re: lump sticking out in abdominan
I had a growing lump sticking out by my duodenum starting last year.

With a Cat scan they found a cyst.

I had this complication with a cyst on my pancreast, and the bile leaked, the pain was so excruciating, even after a 2nd ECRP 2 days later...

I was in the hospital for 4 months so fat this year because of the cyst and complications of leaks from the pancreas. I had dilaudin (much stornger than mprphine) and morphine. In fact I live on morphine, and there has been no end in site from having to take morphine, been on it many many years.

I had my gallblder out in 1993 because of the inflammed gall bladder and bile duct. The pancreaitis started from the ECRP and cyst removale a few months ago.

All the time I spent sick the docotors and I labeled mysylf as a mystery problem with IBS. I went through stages of extremem diareah for many many years. But with the morhine, it helps change it to constipation, both are evil in their own way. The pain and nausa I have lived with and have no other choice. I take so many prescription drugs for al this.. also antibiotics.


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Avatar_m_tn
Mate I'm so sorry. Sounds like you've had a very tough time.

I hope eveything resolves itself for you soon.

Take care.
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