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Pain Upper Left Quadrant - have had every test - DOC stumped as usual ....
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Pain Upper Left Quadrant - have had every test - DOC stumped as usual ..

Same old story gang---recently had ABDOMINAL
SCAN, endoscope down the throat, didn't have colonoscopy this time...ahhhhh  lets see anything else.... DOC is stumped---constant pain in upper left side,,,,, everything looks ok I keep hearing.....pain is always there and sometimes gets REALLLLLLLLLLL  uncomfy...
On the prilosec which I guess is OK for heartburn etc;;; not really a problem with that anymore.... but not this mysterious pain..... ahhh about 5 years of frustration now----with no end in sight-----kinda like  gurgling, pulled muscle, twitching feeling inside that drives me crazy....I'd like to reach in & grab it out if I could....
something is being missed.... some pancreas inflammation type thing ?? spleen ???  scan says all is fine and blood readings OK...
hmmmmm  DOCTORS   you are missing something...
arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh  !!
frustrated Rob ....take care all.....
someday  maybe someday I just wanna double over real bad & not get up & say SEE DOCTORS  I told you there was something wrong---ya just couldn't find it....!!!!!!!

take care
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I agree.  Sad, they buy books, they go to school.  I hope they have fun with the money.  My doc has looked down my throat, looked up my a.., I starting to think he likes it!
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I'm going through the same thing.  Mine starts upper-left and radiates to my breastbone and goes into the center of my back.  Has to be the worst pain I've felt.  Sitting makes it worse, pacing back and forth makes it better.  Overall an 'attack' will last for 3-4 hours.  Had an endoscopy, colonoscopy, hidascan/cck and gallbladder removal (due to poor function), bloodwork, etc...  The gastro doc blew me off and my regular doc has stated I have IBS.  Now I'm on Bentyl so we will see what happens...

Good luck with yours (and post if you get 'fixed')...
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This site may be of interest http://bellnet.com/cwc.htm  
I've been diagnosed with ALS and am hoping info from above site might help me as modern medicine won't. Many illnesses can be related in treatment methods.....Bill
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I have had diarrhoea for 3 days, can you tell me when it is likely to stop, I have taken (loperamide hydrochloride USP 2mg)

Yesterday it was every 15 mins for 12 hours, When can i expect to eat again and what should i eat
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Hey Rob -

See some of the previous posts below re. upper left quadrant pain without a diagnosis. Pretty discouraging. Some of us women suffering from these same symptoms have thought maybe it could be due to female hormonal changes, but I think your case just ruled that out as a possibility. Oh well...

Have they (the Drs.) ever given you any clue?  Your sympotoms sounds so exactly like mine ("kinda like gurgling, pulled muscle, twitching feeling inside").   I have started seriously thinking that It's some kind of nerve related sensation.  I actually had a second opinion by a Dr. appointed  through the short term disability insurer for my employer.  He was kind of a jerk, but his theory was that it was some kind of "localized neuro - mechanical" problem -- mayb esomething pressing on a nerve, but offered no ideas as to what.  He also thought I could've had shingles with no outward sign of skin eruptions because I was fighting the virus and it never made it out to the nerve endings. But that doesn't explain why I still have the pain 4 months later (for you, 5 years later!)  Nice try.

have you found anything that helps the pain?   Do you experience it all the time?  Have you ever had a back problems/pain?  How about gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)?  In my case, I'm now wondering if either of these conditions could be causing the ULQ pain/sensation.

Thanks for any info -

Carol D.
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Hi,,,,,, Sure--I suffered from Reflux in the past--am on prilosec now which really helps any type of heartburn....
Yepper---pain is all the time---always there---sometimes somewhat tolerable---sometimes makes me wanna scream...
what frustrates me about local doctors is they say--well Rob,,, the scans, tests are OK etc... gee ya must be fine..nuttin wrong..... we don't see anything--- BAD ANSWER... go to the next level DOCS....... don't ya got any other ideas.....for God's sake....
Yes---we just live with it like most; but it would sure be nice to get ride of...  Not a clue what really kicks it off---food, stress  never had a pattern to anything.....
i just don't know...................
the search goes on & on & on... I have a checkup/follwup next week where the DOC always pushes on my gut & says is that tender ???
Y E S  I say--that's tender !!!..well stay on prilosec---come back in a few months  BOOOO !!
arghhhhhhhhhh
take care,,,,rob
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Hi,  havent posted in a while, but Carol D and myslef seem to be buds as far as our very similar problems.  I am trying to self diagnose myself.  I am beginning to think maybe IBS??? But who knows.  My pain isn't as bad lately but my BM's have changed.  This past week I had nothing but mucus.  Odd.  Sometimes I feel I have the answer and feel it relates to things, other times it seems there is no rhyme nor reason.  It is frustrating.  It is now over a year and no closer to knowing whats up.  I still think it gets worse for me around the time I get my period.  I don't know and no one has any answers.  Just wanted to make sure everyone is hanging in there.  I have noticed that eating high fiber helps... atleast I think is does.  I added a bowl of Fiber One or AllBran with soymilk to my day.  Makes the bloated feeling less.  As always, if anyoone has any idea, keep us posted,  Dawn
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A few comments to all of you folks.  I have had RUQ pain for the last two months.  Had all the tests.  Lately, I have had lots of fatigue and widespread pain in the back, neck, rt arm and leg, joints, etc.  I haven't been diagnosed yet, but I have a feeling it is fibromyalgia.  There's lots of debate about this disease but the latest is that it is a neurological disorder which makes one hypersensitive to pain - eg. pain signals are being amplified.

Regarding shingles, it is possible that the nerve damage from shingles could last for a couple of years.  From what I have read, it usually heals eventually.  Fibromyalgia has no cure.
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Your comments, can hardly believe them. I call it my alien. Left side up like under rib. It is a weird sensation and sometimes stings. The pain is there most always. This bubble alien. I have had 2 cat scans and tomorrow go for colonoscopy. I have not found anyone that has anything similiar to this. Just chanced upon this boad.One other thing though, when pushed upon I get a cramp in the back ? Sometimes I expect to c a swollen spot there but no...I am on prilosec. I was told the pancreas in on right side; but don't know about the spleen. I've had this for almost 4 yrs now. Man, it wears one down. Also, just started of late, i feel like a pinching now and once in awhile like being stabbed with a blunt bone....take care
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I also have your alien.  He's with me always.  Sometimes he scares me.  I am on prevacid twice a day.  ssh, he's listening to me.
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Hey Rob - could it be gas pain??  I've had pain in my upper left abdomin (abdomen) - feels like my intestines are bulging out under my ribs.  Had a deal of other problems as well (which I've had xrays, lower GI, gastroscopy, colonoscopy, blood work from hell..)  The pain is the worst thing I've gone through.  Have passed out because it's been so bad before.  Found out it's gas build up (never feel like I have to burp or, fart..)  I've found that Phazyme (over the counter gas stuff) is an immediate relief.  Give it a try, maybe it'll help.  I'm with you on the "NO.  EVERYTHING IS NOT OK".  (Been through this now for over a year, hearing nothing but "everything looks fine".  Then explain my 65lb. weight loss in 4 months...)

Good luck to you.  Hope the phazyme helps.  If you want to chat more, drop me an email at ***@****.
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Hi all - can't believe you are talking about the same pain I have had for years now.  Doctors cannot analyse what it is, and one told me to take paracetamol! I've thought about this one, and remember that 3 or so years ago, I tried picking up money I had dropped on the floor, instead of picking it up with my right hand, I did so with the left, and as a result did something to my neck which rendered me in such pain, that I couldn't drive or move my neck (I broke it before in a car accident - not as bad as it sounds -I cope with daily pain no problem. I do Yoga and feel a "block" in the left area under the back of left shoulder. I'm seriously thinking of having a scan to find out what is going on INSIDE THE BLADE. Hope to hear from you, and hope you sort your aliens out!
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I have the same type of problem, I was sent to a gastroenterologist who did the scope down the throat and said only that my stomach looked a little red. He wanted to put me on prozac!  my stomach hurts everyday just below my sternum. gnawing pain. I figured when he looked with scope he would see a huge ulcer. but nothing. I know there is something that isn't right.it is hurting right now as I am typing. It feels like a headache in my stomach. Yes I have lowered caffeine and that sort of thing but it actually feels better to eat than to not eat certain foods. I can't even let my baby lie on my stomach because it feels so tender . I don't know what is wrong but I know it is something.
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I have the same pain to. Do any of you have stabbing headaches?
have you thought the side pain was your heart? My symptoms are definately stronger during my cycle!!

***@****
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sounds to me that you all have 1 of many different symptoms related to the "red flu".....the only cure i know of is to take back your country and prosecute those with ties to our corrupt govt that are spreading this s--t around.........
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Yes, I too have had a chronic discomfort, sometimes pain, in my upper left quadrant for around eight years now. Have been through all the tests including MRI of my entire spine. They did notice a "slight buldge" between vertibrae in my upper back which might explain some of the discomfort which includes ocassional numbness in my left arm and hand and stiffness and cracking when I stretch out my back and arm. I've done the bone crunching (chiropractor)approach and physical therapy which has provided some releif. It also feels as if I have a big "thing" growing under my rib cage to the left of my sternum. When I stretch back and push out my chest it also cracks.

I am going for a scope of my upper GI to biopsy a "Polyp" found during a barium x_ray. I don't think it is connected to my pain but who knows.The Polyp is adjacent to my stomach spincter and is 1 cm in size. I am 45 weigh 180 exercise and am a non smoker. I do have gerd and am on Prilosec as of last week. Has anyone ever been told they have a hiertal hernia with a polyp it it? I'm scared but my doc says polyps are common. Does anyone know what the liklyhood is that something like this is cancer?
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I am no expert, but what I have read tells me that most polyps are benign.  They may slowly become malignant, so should be checked and/or removed.  I'm speaking of what I know about colon cancer - polyps generally appear about 10 years before cancer in the colon.  It's best you are having it checked out.
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Hi ROB,
THAT'S FUNNY CAUSE I JUST WENT TO THE DR'S THIS AFTERNOON FOR THE SAME EXACT THING, XRAYS CAME BACK FINE, BLOOD WORK STILL WAITING, THEY CHECKED MY KIDNEYS AND PANCREAS, ALL FINE. IT FEELS LIKE A PULLED MUSCLE ON MY LEFT SIDE AND ON THE LEFT SIDE OF MY BACK. THEY JUST GAVE ME ZANTAC, WELL WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.        TAKE CARE
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I've been having similar pains to what most of you all are experiencing. The comments back and forth are interesting.
It occurs to me that in trying to find the cause we are wasting valuable energy. The point is to assist the body in doing
what it does so well: which is heal itself. It's been called the wisdom of the body among other things. Eliminating bad foods,
negative thoughts, eating healthy, whole foods, trusting ourselves above doctors, cleansing and detoxifying the body,
healing our pasts, are all positive things that we can do to allow the body to have the energy it needs for self healing.
Modern medicine is terribly inept at helping anyone with any kind of chronic or degenerative diseases. That's where the
common sense healers run circles around the doctors. Check out any number of alternative healing sites, you might find
some of what you're looking for. A friend said "Diseases are the cure for what needs to be healed."
When that statement becomes meaningful then none of us will need to be sick anymore.
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I have had the exact same pains and I have seen 3 different doctors who have said its a rib muscle strain which I know it is not.  I have had this pain for 4 weeks so far, it all started after drinking alot of alcohol in one night.

I believe it is some type of ulcer(but I could be wrong. The doctor said an ulcer would be on the right side not the left.

As a fluke, I came across some Pepcid AC, after tying it the pain went away in 5 minutes or less.  The pain comes back put the Pepcid AC knocks it out or 80% or more of it. Also tums seem to work also.

My friend told me about his aunt who had every test done and they couldn't find anything.  Later after several stomach xray's
the found a pin hole ulcer in her stomach that was causing her the problems.  You may or may not have something like this, but I thought I would let you know in case it helps.  Good luck and let me know if it helps.
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I'm not sure if my symptoms are the same.  I have a "swollen" place right under my left breast that is the size of my left hand.  It is quite uncomfortable and at time it will "catch my breath". It's been there for about two days now.  I don't want to have to go to the Doctor but I am puzzled by this. Any ideas??  Thanks for your help.
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I have had a similiar ULQ pain for about a year. Diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. Prescription drugs helped some but had side effects. I am now taking 2 peppermint oil capsules with enteric coating so they do not dissolve in the stomach. They have helped reduce the pain more than anything else has. And if they don't help, at least they are harmless and have no side effects. They are recommended by doctors such as Julian Whitaker and Andrew Weill. You can get them at a health food store.
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Same pain, upper left quadrant.  Diagnosed with fatty liver.  Fatty liver can be inflamed and cause pain.
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Cindy,

Your liver is on the right side.  Everyone has told me that fattly liver is not a problem and doesn't cause pain.  Do you have more info?
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Thank's for the information.  I will try the peppermint oil. Take care and hope all of you feel better.
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Well, Dr said he thinks it MAY be a muscle problem. So when it got real bad the other night I took a flexeril. Did not stop "alien". However,went to sleep. I was woken with shooting pain only when I breathed in. So I took small breaths and massaged the area on top of left ribs. I could feel something slip down. Thin like skin ? approx. 3" wide. That problem went away. Still have the other. It just won't stop. Don't know if this is a connection. I, too, have h hernia. It is small.
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Have you had your gallbladder checked?  What about your bile ducts?  I have had to have 5 sphincterotomies on my bile duct and pancreatic duct.  It is very painful...and can be a cramping, doubled over feeling.   Have you tried taking Flax Seed Oil?  It's relatively cheap and helps digestion, the arteries, the heart, etc. You might want to check it out.  The best part of it is that it is naturally found in foods, but we don't eat enough of these foods to get enough of it.I'm not sure how high up your pain is, but your gall bladder sends referred pain all over your body.  My pain mimicked appendicitis....oops, that wasn't it....here lets take something else out of your body..Anyway, hang in there....you're not alone.
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I have been experiencing the same upper left quadrant pain for about six months.  I have been to three different doctors and all have had a different diagnosis.  First it was acid reflux disease then a muscle problem and the latest diagnosis is that it
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I have been experiencing the same upper left quadrant pain for about six months.  I have been to three different doctors and all have had a different diagnosis.  First it was acid reflux disease then a muscle problem and the latest diagnosis is that it is stress related.  I experience a constant stabbing pain on my left side which radiates through my back and arms and I often experience a tingling sensation in my hands and feet.  I have had chest x-rays, ekg, and full panel of blood work and everything is normal but I feel they are missing something.
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i have had pain in my left side under my rib cage and in my right side toward my back for about one year now. i went to doctors and they found a small ulcer, i have taken several medications including prylosec and previcid and nothing helps with the pain. I am beginning to worry. After reading all your comments though i find this is not uncommon. I thought an ulcer should be healed by now, maybe not/
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Hello there!  I ran across this site accidentally, and I cant tell you how much it helps to know that I am not the only one out there with what you all refer to as an alien!  I have had upper lt quad pain for going on 23 years now. I picked up a parasite in 1976 in Brazil (estrangeloides) and have suffered mystery symptoms ever since. I used to pass out from intestinal pain until they did a lysis of adhesions, and that helped. But since then i have had the ulqp with steadily worse progression. 2 years ago they put me on zantac, then prilosec. I have had every test put the down the throat scope, and its gotten so bad now that I cant lay on my side at all anymore.  I get short of breath, then anxiety hits.  Now I get nauseated. My doctor and my family all think Im just crazy.  last week I was talking through an episode with a crisis counselor, for anxiety, and ended up with them calling an ambulance because they were sure I was having a heart attack instead.  I finally gave in and told my Doc that I was ready to accept anxiety and such as a diagnosis, now he doesnt think I need that.  So they want to do more and more tests. Meanwhile, I dont sleep, I eat fairly well, visit the bathroom on
special occasions, and feel like I will definately loose my mind
if something isnt done.  AT least youre all out there, and that is definately a help.  Thanks, and if anyone knows any more......
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Had the exact same symptoms myself for 4 months.  Had every test imaginable.  $30,000 of medical bills and 2 hospitalizations.  I had 2 GI docs blow me off.  Finally my family practice doc nailed it.  It was shingles without the rash.  The virus itself only lasts a few weeks, but the remaining inflamed nerve can last for years!  I had shingles once before across my right eye and it took 5 years for it to go away.  So, the doc started me on Elavil, 50mg. at bedtime and I haven't had a pain since!
It's worth a try!  Ask your doc to at least consider the possibility!
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I have had the same problem with pain in my right upper side. I had an ultrasound and everything was fine. No gallstones.  My thyroid levels were high and he put me on synthroid and said that because I was constipated from my thyroid not working that was causing stomach pain.  I have been taking it a week and it seems to help some.  It takes time.  Give it a try, or mention it to your doctor.
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Beck your pain was on the right side.The side that contains the gall bladder etc. Ours is on the LEFT, and this is why the drs r baffled.
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I just want to say one thing.  If either Rob or any other people who commented on this are drinking Coffee Mate, stop now.  Whether with regular coffee or mixed in any other beverage, stop it.  For whatever reason, after consuming coffee mate for 3 or 4 weeks I developed all of the symptoms you have stated, pain in the ul quadrant, through the back, and even vomiting, as if the food did not want to go through to the intestines because it was blocked.  It was horrible.  Because that was the only thing that had really changed concerning my food consumption, when I did stop using it, within three or four days the symptoms became less severe and by ten days they disappeared.  Just a thought!
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Hello
To Rob and all with this mysterious pain - some of you may have any number of conditions which may be otherwise diagnosed and treated. However, for some, if not most of you, I definitely agree with Debbie G's post on 4/25 about SHINGLES.  I had this very same pain on the right side. It grew to to encompass the lower right also, including the inguinal region and around the back at waist/kidney level.  At times the pain was cycles were so long and excruciating, I was border-line suicidal.  Breathing was difficult, digestive tract was "inflamed, irritated", etc., etc., in general my entire body and mind were sick.  I also had over $30,000 in medical expenses, including a needless surgery to remove my ovaries.  I had 5 GI Doc's and 3 Neurologists either fired or give-up. I also took Elavil, it worked for a while, but since it's a narcotic the dosage must be continually increased, then replaced by stronger medication.   I took all the prescribed GI med's and heavy pain killers (kinda cradictive treatment, huh!), was even on MORPHINE pump for a week, all to no avail.  I had so many upper and lower GI exams, I could have sold tour tickets and made a fortune.  I donated enough blood for tests to supply the local Red Cross for a month.  The horror stories could go on, including epidurals of the inguinal region using lidocaine and cortisone, from which I suffered cortisone rebound.

My pain was also caused by SHINGLES, which never (or just slightly) errupted in the tell-tale rash or blisters.  More specifically, I had a severe inflamation (inflammation) caused by the shingles virus in the intercostal nerves of two ribs on the right in the region of the waist.  My fix was by a genious doctor in MEXICO, a gastroenterologist and surgeon who used no sophisticated equipment or tests to diagnose my problem. He just listened to my description of symptoms, examined me with his fingers and  pinpointed the origin of the pain.  He gave me an epidural in one of the intercostal nerves, and within seconds I was 90% pain free for the first time in 20 years.  Eventually he deadened the two nerves completely, and that was 8 yrs. ago!  The pain has not recurred, nor have I suffered any adverse side affects since then.  If those nerves have regenerated, they has done so without developing any further problem.  As Debbie said, please consider this a very viable explanation to your problem.  For those of you that don't know, shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken-pox and herpes, and can be agrivated by stress.  How much stress does one experience with chronic pain?  Once that virus invades a nerve path it can cause an unbelievable amount of pain.  Ask your doctor about this possible solution and a permanent epidural as treatment.  Why spend your life taking medication which is taxing (and toxic) to your liver and body!

Good Luck!
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I Found out what my "swollen place"  is. I have a breast mass.  I get a mammogram done on Friday which will show more what I'm dealing with.  probably a cyst (lets hope and pray it is if not I'm in trouble) because at this point it's covering my ribs and tailing up under my armpit.  Hurts like the Heck.  Thank God for Vicodin and Ambein.  Anyway, thought I would share that what I thougt was a stomach thing is actually a female breast thing. Please don't depend on others for your "self" diagnosis. You just never know.
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Hmmmmm...the shingle theory is very interesting gang.... I shall have to ask my DOC about it since everything else has been checked out...
Take care all..
Rob
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I can't believe that someone out there has the same symptoms as myself.  I have had this problem for about a year.  The first time I was concerned because I was feeling chest pains around the middle of my chest and my back around the shoulder blade area and also some pain in my left arm, this happened about a year ago.  After a heart cath, EKG, ultrasound.....well $12,000 later all  the tests came out good.  The thing that was a relief was that the heart checked out good. About two months ago I started getting the chest muscles and back pains again I told the Doc the heart was checked and that was not the problem,  but what the heck lets do the heart scan and stuff again,  I sort of convinced them that it could be something with the stomach and and ultra sound of the abdominal area was done....again everything turned out fine.....next an endoscopy?  I've been taking privosec and that seemed to help .... but the annoying middle chest and back pain is still there, but also not as bad.  I've been watching what I eat and have been drinking a lot of water.  If someone finds out what your problem is let me know, if my Doc finds something I'll let you know.....take care and good luck....(pray a lot)
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Thanks to Sharon M. for reinforcing my first post regarding the possibility of shingles.  The pains everyone is describing sound so much like what Sharon and I endured.  Left upper quadrant pain radiating to the back, left arm pain, numbess, inflamed GI tract, etc.  The only thing I would disagree with Sharon on is that Elavil is not a narcotic, but a pill that has three properties...antidepressant, antihistamine, and anti-nerve pain.
When I had shingles across my right eye, I never had to take more than 50 mg. each day of Elavil.  I will admit there were some days when I had break through pain and I had to pop some Advil, but for the most part the Elavil took care of it.
So far, with this new diagnosis of Shingles in the left abdomen and back area, I have been on 50 mg. each night for almost 2 months now, and have never felt a pain....yes, the pressure of the pain is still there at times, but no pain.  You can even take higher dosages if you need to, but consult your doctor.
The only side effects that I have noticed are constipation (use stool softener) and your heartbeat is a little faster.
I really think you should all consider this diagnosis and at least try the Elavil.  I obtained relief in 24 hours.
I also was practically suicidal from the pain.  Talk about stress causing shingles....after you get it and can't get diagnosed is when the real stress begins.  The scary part of this is that I am an RN and still got jerked around by the medical system.  Talk to your doctors!!!!!
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I have some what similar symptoms from chronic pancreatitus (pancreatitis) caused by pancreas divisum. Blood tests may show elevated levels of amylase and lypase, you can try ultrasound and ercp and a dozen other tests and in the end it can still only be an educated guess. Its pretty rare, I had trouble finding a doctor who would believe me when I moved to another state, with me there to explain all my tests. Good luck
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I had these pains nearly everyday for six months.  My most recent diagnosis was that it was stress related or possibly depression anxiety.  My doctor put me on 50mg a day of Zoloft which is an anti-depressant. I had been taking it for about a month and I still had the same pains but my doctor wanted me to continue taking it because in can take a while to work.  I have been taking it for 2 months and I have been pain free for almost 2 weeks now.  I don't know if anyone has symptoms that are the same but I felt like I would not make it through the day.  Every morning when I woke up I hurt so much that I didn't want to get out of bed.  It wouldn't hurt to ask your doctor if your symptoms sound like this.  My doctor said some symptoms would be  always feeling tired, racing heart, shortness of breath, sweaty palms and feet, and tingling of the hands and feet.
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I had my gallbladder removed 3 years ago. Since then I have pains almost identical to my gallbladder pain. Pain below center of rib cage, stomach, and into mid to upper back. I have had endoscopies and recently an MRI of all related organs in area.
My doctor put me on Prilosec 2 years ago and recently upped the dosage to 40 mg. twice per day. I now have burning sensations in upper back into front below center of ribcage and stomach. I am nauseated and vomit thick orange/yellow bile. The doctor said they found nothing on MRI scan. Yesterday he prescribes  METOCLOPRAMIDE 5 MG 4x per day for nausea.

Any ideas?

Thanks, and God Bless,  Bob J.
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I've now had 2 doctors mention the Shingles theory!  Although, when my pain and symptopms first began 5 months ago, I had bno sign of any skin eruptions.

But wouldn't a blood test have revealed this type of viral infection?

Also, some other questions for those with the Shingles theory:  has your pain been primarily surface pain, or does it sometimes feel intestinal or like a pulled abdominal muscle - or sometimes just like pressure inside pushing out? My pain also moves around from day to day and changes in intensity. Are these symptoms true  for you all as well?

Debbie G: you said when you take the Elavil, the pain is gone but the pressure of the pain is still there. What do you mean by this?  Is it that uncomfortable feeling like there's not enough room in your left side for your organs?

I also thought Shingles primarily affected the elderly: I'm 39 years old (and had chicken pox when I was 4). Can anyone explain further?

This is the closest I have been to getting somewhere with this medical mystery!  Thanks for allo fo your information and input.

Carol D.  :-)
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Dear Carol,
    My pain was very deep within my abdomen.  The way I would describe it is something was in there trying to literally push it's way out.  That's why I thought it had to be Gastrointestinal in nature and because of my nausea and inability to eat at times.  It was not surface pain.  And, I had no rash at all.  The way my family doctor finally figured it out is that the pain never crossed the midline in the front or back.  It was totally on my left side from my spine around to my sternum, with pain in my left arm as well.  Shingles is always unilateral in nature or one-sided. I don't think there is a blood test to determine shingles.  I have read that they can detect it in the cerebrospinal fluid but don't know for sure if that's true. The best way to determine if it was shingles is to try the Elavil.  When I say I feel pressure, it's not painful or even distracting.  It's just that I know my left side feels different than my right side.  And I don't feel that all the time; sometimes it feels as if I'm totally cured.  The pain that results from shingles is due to the inflamed nerve that it runs along. Again, shingles, itself, goes away in a few weeks, but the remaining inflamed nerve can last for years!  I know shingles is supposed to be an elderly person's disease, but I have now had it twice in 6 years and I am only 42.  Each time I got it, it was a result of severe stress (once in nursing school and this time when my husband lost his job). Hope this helps.  After experiencing the four worst months of my life due to this illness that was undiagnosed for just as long, I pray I can help others by suggesting that they check this out with their doctor.
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Hi!
  Shocked to here that so many people are having the same medical problems that I am.  I had my gall bladder removed Feb. 26th, 2000 and have had pain in my left side and back and some in the left front.  Was hospitalized for 3 days, 3 weeks ago for dehydration. They did abdominal CT scan and checked all organs and an endoscopy to no avail.  They have said it is excess bile, muscle inflamation (inflammation). Treated me with prylosec, levcin, several anti inflamatories all to no avail, just makes my neasua worse. The pain seems to be around my ribs, feels like something trying to get out. They even put me in physical therapy and shot electron currents in my back which seemed to make it even sorer.  I'm at a loss as to what this could be.  Could it be shingles with no rash?  Some of your responses make me think so.  I've had colon problems 15 yrs ago but saw a gastrologist today and he says it's bile excreations and put me on something called Cholestyramine Powder but said it could make me really neasuaed which is why I went in the first place.  Mine seems to get worse after either sitting or laying for a while thin getting up and moving around but there is still a constant nawing all the time, sometimes bearable and other times not so bearable.  Let me know if you have any answers, we've all got to do something, I believe we are all just going to have to depend on God to heal these bodies and I pray that he will just heal us all real soon.  10 weeks is a terriable long time to be in pain and neasuated. If anything changes I'll let you know, you do the same.

Thanks and God Bless and Heal You,
Teresa in Tennessee
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Teresa,
    My very first diagnosis by a GI doctor was excess bile production.  He put me on Carafate and I got so sick I threw up for a week.  Then another GI doctor treated me with Aciphex due to my inflamed stomach. She totally disagreed with the first GI Doctor about excess bile in the stomach.  She said everyone has bile in their stomach.  However, all she did was treat symptoms without ever finding the real cause.  Apparently shingles, itself can cause an inflamed GI tract, but no GI doctor even considered it.  This pain that I experienced was like something was trying to punch its way out of me!  Burning, searing, throbbing pain...but only on the left side.  That is the key to whether or not this might be shingles.  It should be limited to one side or the other.  Hope this helps.  I am starting to think there's a lot of us out here who have this wierd strain of shingles virus...because there is no rash...and you usually have a rash with shingles.  My doc (who finally diagnosed it) said there is no rash in 15% of cases.  Take care and I pray you'll find an answer.
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Debbie:  thank you so much for all of your very helpful info!!

I am now strongly considering going back and asking the Dr. to perscribe Elavil for me. If it works, than it must be shingles, right? (because I to have been convinced that it's somethaing gastrointestinal but they find nothing.)

Would you mind answering a few more questions about the Elavil?

-- Do you take the it as needed or on a regular daily basis?
-- Again: how long before you experienced some releif from taking the Elavil?
-- How much is your dosage?
-- Have you noticed any side effects: particulary nausea, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth. Has it negatively affected your libio/sexual functioning?
-- Has your Dr. mentioned how long you'll expect to have to stay on the Elavil?

I am concerned about all of these things because I would almost rather live with the pain and discomfort than have to experience some of these side effects of the medication.

I, too have been wondering if we all have been experiencing some strange form of Shingles or other virus that hasn't shown up on the skin but affects the nerve endings in the abdomen, side and mid back.  

PS  I also have pain into my groin area that sometimes feels like I've pulled a muscle there when I haven't done anything physically that would've caused it.  Have had the left arm pain too (a feeling of swolleness and hypersensitivity like it hurt to have my arm at my side, around my underarm area.

Thanks so much for all of your help!~

Carol D.
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Dear Carol,
    I, too, have experienced the groin pain!  Everything you have said has been my experience, too.  And, yes, there were good days, but the bad days were horrible and I just couldn't live like that, so I kept going to the doctor until I got an answer!  Now, for the answers to your specific questions.
1.  The elavil must be taken everyday!  The doctor will usually start you on 25 mg. at bedtime each night, and in two weeks bump it up to 50 mg.  I experienced relief within 24 hours and had no pain for the first two weeks.  Just as I was ready to bump it up to 50 mg. I had a pain attack for about 4 days.  After that attack and being on the 50 mg. tabs I have not had another episode(and it's been 2 months).  So the 50 mg. is controlling it completely!  I had shingles before about 6 years ago, and I have to be honest and tell you it took about 5 years for it to completely go away (the inflamed nerve, that is.)  During that time I weaned myself off the Elavil from time to time when I thought it was gone and was able to be off of it for sometimes 1 year.  But it seems any type of high stress situation will bring it back with a vengeance; so then I'd have to go back on the Elavil.  At this time, I wouldn't even consider trying to go off of it, because I've only been on it for 2 months and because I can still feel that pressure feeling at times that lets me know it is still there.
2.My only side effects have been constipation (which I take a stool softener for every other day) and a little dry mouth.
Sometimes my heart beats a little faster, as well.  Compared to the horrific pain I was in, this is a small price to pay!

I hope you can convince your doctor to try the Elavil.  I think you'll be glad you did.  It has truly saved my life.  For four months I thought I was dying.  Actually there were times that I prayed to die, because I had no quality of life.  Couldn't plan anything, because I never knew if it would be a good day or bad day.  If you want to e-mail me personally, my web address is
***@****.  Let me know how you do!
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I am taking Elavil right now and I think it is doing wonders.  You can see my history below ("RUQ pain - no diagnosis").  Docs were chasing down gallbladder for a while when I had RUQ pain and pain in my upper back.  The pain seemed to locate finally in my right shoulder and arm, with wierd pains in my hips, knees, feet, etc.  The best the docs could come up with was fibromyalgia.  I also had sleep problems and lots of stiffness.

I started taking Elavil (20-30 mg) at night about one month ago.  I am feeling much better now.  The foggy concentration problems are gone and most of the pain has diminished.  I am sleeping better.   I would say I am at least 70% improved.  I am also taking effexor (75 mg) everyday.

I often wondered if it was shingles.

Some people have problems with weight gain on Elavil, but I have been watching what I'm eating and have not gained.  No sexual side effects with this dosage.
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Well - yesterday I picked up my first Elavivl prescription.  The gastro doc is starting me out with 10mg at night before bed.  In 2 weeks, if I don't feel any effect, he's bumping it up to 20mg.  This seems much lower than what all of you are taking, but this morning, after taking my first 10mg dose last night, I woke up feeling groggy and drugged (I have a low tolerance for meds) - but I feel refreshed now that I've been up a couple of hours.  Still have some pain/uncomfortable feeling but it does seem a littel better than it was yesterday before I took the Elavil.  Maybe I am imagining it?! I suppose I'll give it a couple of weeks to a month before I make the final determination.

Another question for those of you who've decided it must be shingles:  did you or do you experiencing any bloating of the abdomen?  I feel like I'm a bit bloated, so I'm wondering of the shingles aftermath could also cause some intestinal symptoms besides the feeling of pain, pressure and discomfort -- perhaps like IBS without the diarrhea or constipation?  Again - since the abdominal CT scan and 2 pelvic ultrasounds turned up nothing, I don't think there's anything in there that can be causing me to appear bloated.  I do experience some bloating with my period, but now I feel (and look) a bit bloated even when I'm not bleeding (about the same amount of bloat as I experience monthly.)  I can't tell if I just didn't notice that I had the bloat before the pain started 5 months ago, or if it is something new.

Thanks again to all for the info and recommendations. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the Elavil works for me.

Carol D.
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Carol,
    I hope you figure out what your required dosage of the Elavil will be soon.  I took 25 mg. each night for 2 weeks and thought I was cured, but then had a flare-up for 4 days.  Then I went to 50 mg. and have not had a pain since!  Your body will adapt to the Elavil...I was very sleepy in the beginning, as well, and used to be in a panic if I didn't take my pill by 9:00 pm the night before.  Now, I take it as late as 11:00 pm and I'm fine the next morning.  It takes awhile for your body to adjust.
    Yes, I definitely experience GI problems with this.  I still feel these wierd gas bubbles in my back!  The endoscopy showed that my esophagus and stomach were extremely inflamed.  I did some research and read that shingles can cause these symptoms.
As a matter of fact the doc put me on Levbid (antispasmodic for bowel) at one time and I did experience some relief from that.
So whatever nerve or nerves are involved, they are definitely connected to my stomach, bowel and esophagus.  Yes, I remember extreme bloating in my left upper abdomen.  
     I still think that Elavil is a wonder drug, despite the side effects.  After being sick for 4 months, I don't care how long I have to be on the Elavil as long as I can be well and have a normal life.  Take care!
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I was so relieved to come across the conversation in this forum regarding the upper left quadrant pain.  In many of your descriptions it sounds exactly like what I have.  I had the flu at the end of March and shortly after I recovered I had a bout of pain that best can be described as feeling like a "stitch in my side."  It was up under my left ribs and radiating around the side.  It felt as if there was gas in there so I assumed that's what it was and it went away the next day so I didn't worry about it.  Then in mid-April the pain returned but became so severe it hurt to breathe in and was very uncomfortable.  It lasted 4+ days.  After 2 days I went to my doctor, she sent me for an ultrasound.  They found kidney stones in my left kidney so I've been pursuing this path, trying to find out how large they are, etc., with a urologist.  I originally assumed the pain was from a kidney stone that had moved or something and so did the doctor.  But the pain returned again this week and I'm sure it was accompanied by gas as I felt the gurgling some of you describe, as if it's a bubble.  I feel as if there is something "in there" as some of you call the "alien."  The pain comes and goes, which is weird.  However, I've had a lot of back pain and sometimes I was wondering if it was related to that.  In between the acute attacks I still have back pain that radiates around my left side.  When I read about the shingles possibility without a rash, it makes sense!  I wonder if that's what it is.  

I still intend to investigate the gastrointestinal route, however, just in case.  I've had irritable bowel syndrome for years (stress always makes me have to go) so it's not surprising it's acting up during these pain flare-ups because of course I am stressed about the pain.  But I want to make sure it's not cancer or something blocking my colon and trapping gas.  The fact that I had the flu right before this, which could have made me run down, may have been a precipitating factor for shingles.  This particular flu definitely had a nervous system component anyway, because after the flu it took me a month before I could smell or taste anything normally.  I could stick my head inside a piping hot pizza box of onion pizza and not smell a thing when it first happened!  My sense of taste came back gradually.  So I wonder if the flu could have somehow affected the nerves or caused shingles.  I've had no rash but according to some of you, it apparently is not required!  Thanks for posting all this, it's given me a lot more peace of mind to know I'm not alone.  Any further advice would be welcome - I've had a CT scan of my left kidney and if the stones are big enough I'm going to have them zapped with sound waves to get rid of them (I go back to the urologist next week to see what the results are).  I figure that would at least eliminate one possible source of pain.

Good luck to you all!

Miriam
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Dear Miriam,
    Yes, it is important to rule out any GI problems.  I had every test imaginable (to the tune of 30,000 dollars).  You have to be tested in order to be sure it's not something serious or life threatening.  If they don't find anything, then definitely consider the shingles diagnosis.  When my symptoms first occurred, it was just pain and it lasted for 1 week and went away as mysteriously as it came.  2 weeks later, it came back with a vengeance and accompanied by nausea and vomiting.  I couldn't even keep liquids down. I lost 18 pounds over the next 2 months.  Because of the weight loss and nausea, everyone automatically assumed it was GI related and thus gave me all the tests.  When 2 different GI docs couldn't find anything, then I had to go back to my Family Practice doctor and start all over again.  That's when he guessed it could be shingles.  Is your pain confined to just the left side?  That's what tipped off my doctor.  A stitch in the side is exactly how I would describe my pain at times.  At other times, it felt like something was trying to punch its way out of my back (around my kidney area).
Take care and I hope you have an answer soon!
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Rob, has the doctor checked to see if it is your pancreas?  I understand pancreatitis is extremely painful.  I know how frustrated you must be.  I hope they find out soon what the problem is.  Take care!
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Hi,

I too am having this same problem. Last week the Doctor sent me for an ultrasound of my Pancreas, Liver, Kidney, and Gallbladder.
I have yet to hear the results of that test. On 4-24 I had the Upper GI, and a week following that procedure I started having the twitching under the rib on my right side. My Right shoulder aches and the Doc can not explain why my body is full of bacteria. The biopsy results from the upper GI and blood work have proven H Pylori bacteri, and the urine test last week showed bacteria as well. The Doc is not sure why I would be having this bacteria as I was on heavy doses of antibodics because of the H pylori. If you or anyone else that reads this has an answer please let me know by responding here.

And I know what you mean about wanting to reach in and pull it out.. it is nerve wrecking to say the least.
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HEllo all
          The pain in the upper left quadrant is often mistaken for pendicitis but i can't beleive none of your doctors knew it was diverticulosis which usually occurs from the 40's on up.for more info look it up. Ruben out
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Hi Rob,

My name is Sue.  I suffered with chronic and acute pain for years before being diagnosed with pancreas divisum.  I was born without the main duct for my pancreas.  I went several times to the ER and finally gave up.  It was sheer luck that this was diagnosed when I insisted on having my Oddi spincter released (it had been found to be very tight years before).  While the specialist was in there for that, he told me I had a problem with my pancreas.  I have written a story which explains a little about it.  You will need to type in the address to access it.  I don't know if it will help you any but it is a start.  The best advice I can give you is not to give up.   Be your own advocate and try different doctors until you find one that will listen to you.  We know our bodies best and we know when something is wrong.  Good luck and please don't hesitate to write back.

www.insulin-free.org/stories/rebello.htm

Sue Rebello    ***@****
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I, too, began having severe stabbing knifelike pain under my left lower rib cage about two months ago. It was so painful I couldn't even touch the area lightly. Three different Doctors, and two emergency rooms diagnosed it as a "muscle strain", and gave me pain pills (which I found out later compounded the problem even more). I knew it was my colon, but not sure what was wrong. Today I finally got the answer: colonic splenic flexure distention. My Gastroenterologist described it as the opposite effect of a P-trap in a sink drain, only instead of water in the bottom of the drain keeping gas from traveling back up the sewer pipe, the gas is in the "top" of a P-trap, with stool keeping the gas from moving. The gas just balloons against the rib cage, and causes pressure and severe pain in the rib cage. The problem is compounded with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS--aggravated by stress), or constipation, or pain killers.....anything that slows the normal bowel movement process. The "cure" is to move everything along, either through adding fiber (i.e. Metamucil, fresh fruit, etc.)or by taking Milk of Magnesia or other laxatives. I still experience intermittent pain, but it is usually now a signal that I'm getting blocked. I suffer with IBS, Diverticulis and reflux (GERD), and take Prilosec, Propulcid, and Metamucil daily for same. Now Prilosec is being taken off of the market, so will just keep increasing the fiber and drinking water. Good luck!
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Sheree u stated <<"Now Prilosec is being taken off of the market, so will just keep increasing the fiber and drinking water">>
I hope u have this confused with the propulcid, which is being taken off the market. However, if one qualifies, I believe their Dr can get it for them. I am on prilosec and so far no notification has been given.
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Sheree,

I have exactly the same thing going on as you. i'm 29 and I've taken Senakot and it has helped before. I just can't believe all of the tests that show nothing. I'm just wondering if you think it can be anything else. My pain is right under my left rib cage and if i press under it it feels like there a bubble there that when I press it it's tender. My gastro-guy says it's the colon not emptying sufficiently.

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So interesting! I've had the same pain for a year. Upper left, just under ribs, around side, back, etc. Used to have trouble sleeping on my left side but that has imrpoved. I think stress plays a big part in this malady.

Had a *very* intense case of chicken pox about 4 years ago (at age 42) and wonder if shingles could be a possibliity. I still have strange nerve sensations on my eyelid and nose in the same spots where I had the chicken pox.

I've seen several physicians, most recently a GI specialist who did colonoscopy and endoscopy. He found irritation in the stomach and small amount of bile in stomach from intestine. Put me on Carafate and Previcid for three weeks (carafate helped a little with stomach irritation but not with the strange pains). Previcid had several side affects including stomach pain(!), GI upset and swelling of legs and ankles. He changed Previcid to Aciphex. I take Aciphex 1x day and Carafate 3x day instead of 4. After 2 weeks, I've felt better but today the pain is back and I've noticed the leg and ankle swelling again. I don't like taking these types of drugs.

My doctor seems genuinely interested and takes a lot of time with me to answer questions and listen to my compliants. When I asked him why I have the bile reflux he said that it could be viral related. I'm going to ask him about the shingles theory and see if he will prescribe Elavil. I read an article about abdominal pain in June Good Housekeeping (I know - its not Harvard Medical Review) that suggested endometriosis, stress, IBS, pelvic congestion and posture problems as possible causes - alone or a combination - of abdominal pain. It stated that low doses an antidepresant seemed to be beneficial. Without knowing it, could they be treating the shingles?

Prior to my colonoscopy, I had to drink that awful stuff but the pill I took to relax my stomach before hand made my abdominal pain go away!  In fact, the day after the procedure, I did not have that "alien" pain for two days.  Could that have been a result of, first, the pill to relax my stomach and, second, the drugs during the procedure?  

What are the symptoms of shinges beside the rash and pain?  Could there be any other symptoms that could help in the diagnosis?  I know when I just contracted chickenpox I had spells of lightheadness and have that sometimes still - especially during period of high stress of fatigue.

Thanks to all of you who are trying to find out what this pain is and for sharing your experiences.  Glad I found this site!!!
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Dear RS,
    When I first came down with the actual shingles virus, I had very acute symptoms!  Couldn't eat because stomach was so inflamed, tremendous pain throbbing under left ribs through to the back, etc.  Doc tried me on all the GI meds, including Carafate because he discovered bile in my stomach when he did the endoscopy.  Another GI doc told me we all have bile in our stomach, so that should not be a concern.  Who knows?  All I know is that I tried everything, and the only thing that worked after 4 months of hell was the Elavil. Which brought us to the conclusion that it must have been shingles and now I am left with the resulting nerve inflammation which can last for years (if not the rest of your life).  I did not have the typical rash that shingles usually exhibits, which to me means it travelled along a deep nerve within my abdomen.  Remember, one of the most telltale signs is whether or not this pain in one sided...does it ever cross the midline in the front or back?  Mine did not.
This is characteristic of Shingles.  I too have the gas bubbles at time in my back and don't know why or how the shingles can cause that, but it is there as well as the inflamed stomach and esophagus that they found.  I did some research and found that shingles can indeed cause esophagitis.  Hope this helps.
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Hi all -

Well - I've been on Elavil for a little over a month now and I can say that it has definitely helped the left-side, near-the-lower-ribs pain. I've posted here a number of times with similar frustrations over lack of diagnosis and was reluctant/skeptical about the shingles theory and Elavil. At first I was started on 10MG of Elavil -- after about 10 days on it, I noticed that I didn't notice the pain so much anymore. It wasn't completely gone, but it wasn't there as intensely or as constantly as before.  I was still somewhat skeptical, but had been feeling good for about 3-4 days when the pain returned as per its usual manifestation.  The GI Dr. told me after 2 weeks if I wasn't finding the Elavil to help, that I should increase my dose to 20 MG.  I've been at that level dosage for the past 2 weeks or so and the pain has definitely subsided again. This isn't an instantaneous reaction, but,rather, a gradual one.  I have had one or 2 instances where I feel the pain returning a bit more intensely, but for the most part, these past 2 weeks have been good ones.  I still have a sensation that my left side feels different from my right side - but it is more of a sensation (sensitized?) than it is pain like it had been.

The down side to the Elavil is that it can slightly constipate you if you don't drink lots of water and it also made me drowsy at first (I take it only at bedtime, but I found I was waking up in a bit of a fog and not feeling clear headed until aroun 11am or later.  I was also ready to pass out at around 9:30 -10pm -- but I do think it improved my sleep pattern - I'm a lot less restless and feel more rested when I wake then I had felt before.)  Also am craving sugar big time and have put on about 6 lbs in the last month (I had also quit cigarettes, so I think the combination of the 2 things accounts for the weight gain.)

So - ultimately - I do think I probably had shingles without the skin eruptions. I also have poor posture and mid-back problems which I think continue to irritate my side and nerves at times. Maybe it was all connected?  I guess I will stay on Elavil for a few months to see if it has a further effect.  At the very least, my close friends say I "seem happier."  So there's a positive "side-effect!"

Carol D.
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Dear Carol,
    I am thrilled for you.  I know the nightmare you have been living.  The doc started me on 25 mg. of Elavil at bedtime and that controlled the pain for a couple of weeks. Then I had about a 4 day attack.  Bumped me up to 50 mg. and haven't had a pain since...and it's been 3 1/2 months.  As much as you don't like the side effects of the Elavil, being painfree is heaven and I'm willing to put up with the side effects.  I, too, have put on weight due to the Elavil because it substantially increases your appetite.  If you can make it on 20mg., stay with it, but if not, don't be afraid to talk to you doctor.  I wish there was some kind of medical journal we could submit our case studies to, because I think this is out there and GI docs are totally missing it!  Take care!
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I wrote in around April with ULQ pain.  My OBGYN thought it was a breast mass because of swollen area under my left breast. Mammogram was negative.  Still had the pain and swelling.  OBGYN still thought it was a mass so I had a Bone Scan..negative.  I still this severe pain.  Dx..Costachronditis so I'm taking Vioxx. The Shingles theory was mentioned by my new Doctor but I told him I never had a rash. So I'm scheduled for a CT of the Chest to see if there is any underlying disease. Maybe he is not aware that you can have shingles without the rash. Are yall sure that can happen? If yall are then I will approach him with this theory. So my question, Why does Elavil work for shingles. And I too had a Bad case of the Flu New Years Day and for the following week.  So..which would be the better Dx.. Costachronditis or Shingles. Which is more easily treated and will go away fastest!!.  Sorry this is so long..just had alot to say.
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Dear Cathy,
    According to my doctor and some research I did online, you can have shingles without the rash. About 15% of cases do.
I guess because of that statistic, doctors don't automatically think of it.  I had every test imaginable along with every medicine prescribed and nothing worked.  So my diagnosis came simply by process of elimination.  Elavil is an antidepressant, but was discovered to have anti-nerve pain properties.  I guess it blocks the nerve pain.  Which means, it doesn't cure anything, but allows you to live pain free without narcotics.
The nerve is inflamed and has to calm down on its own which can take several years.  I hate taking any medicine long term, but I was so incapacitated for 4 months that this drug has given me my life back, so I can't complain!  I can't say which diagnosis would be better because I don't know anything about costochondritis.  I only know what I've experienced.  Talk to your doctor and tell him what you have discovered online.
It would not hurt you to try the Elavil just to see if you have any relief. I started out with 25 mg. each night at bedtime and then went to 50 mg. I am having complete pain control with that.
Good luck!
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I have been to this site before.  I starting getting left side pain/stitch around March 1999.  I tried to ignore it initiall and now it is just a part of my life.  I can't ignore it but don't seem to know what to do about it.  I notice rib tenderness and a bruised feeling between my left rib area and belly button.  When this area is pressed on, gently, I shy away quick.  One doctor told me I chostrocondritis (sp?) but I told him I didn't agree with him.  He shrugged me off and told me to take Tylenol for the pain.  Obviously it didn't work.  I went to another dr. who did an xray of the area whcih didnt show any abnormalities.  He was stumped.  I haven't been back but have been considering going to a gastro dr.  I think maybe I have  IBS.  This is just from research I have been doing on my own.  I have begun to have some numbness in both my arms, especially at night.  It is almost like my arms are falling asleep/pins and needles feeling.  It wakes me up and I can't move my arms.  It is starting to get scary.  I recently turned 31 and am in good health other that this.  I work out at the gym about 5 days week doing various exercises.  I also ride my bike about 2 times week.  I have been a vegetarian for about 12 years.  I am slightly overweight.  My blood work has always come back normal.  My cholesterol is 153 and i have low triglycerides.  I am at a loss.  Any help or leads would be appreciated.  Hang in there.  Smiles, Dawn
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To add to the above:  I have just read the new postings.  The shingles theory is interesting.  I noticed my problem when my grandmother was very sick with cancer, whcih put a lot of stress on me.  I also noticed a fever around this time and being tired.  I didn't think much of it and just thought I was feeeling under the weather.  I have not lost any of my symptoms but the bouts of severe pain have subsided.  I do, however, still have the constant "nagging" feeling in the left side area.  I have noticed some bowel problems and thought it could be IBS.  But I have begun to notice numbness in my arms, especially at night.  It is occurring more and more frequently.  I wonder if this is related and could possibly be due to Shingles.  I had chicken pox when I was 20 (I am now 21).  I had a sever case of chicken pox.  The pox were on the palms of my hands and soles of  my feet and in my eyes, nose , throat.  I wne to the ER as they were interfering with my breathing.  The ER dr. said it was the worst case he had ever seen.  How would I have caught shingles?  What are the initial symptoms?  I was in Physical therpay for a knee problem and the PT pressed on my hip area to test flexibility.  I jumped as it was so tender.  She thought it odd and recommended some stretches, taht didn't help.  The tenderness in the hip area is the same tenderness when my ribs are touched.  CAROL D. had similar symptoms as I did.  I wonder if she could comment on her progress, now.  THANKS, Dawn
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Dear Dawn,
    You do not "catch" shingles.  Anyone who has had chicken pox has a potential to "develop" shingles.  After chicken pox, the herpes zoster virus (also known as shingles) lays dormant in the body and just waits for a time of extreme stress or immunocompromisation to pop out and surprise us.  I have had it twice in the past 6 years in two different places.  Each time I developed it, it was due to extreme stress.  The first case was when I was in nursing school (trust me, there is no stress like it!).  I developed it across my right eye, but did NOT have the accompanying rash that went with it, thus it took Doctors 8 months to diagnose it and that was in retrospect of course.
The symptoms were extreme pain and numbness,fever, sagging eyelid,and tearing.  It was only when I went to a dentist and got a novacaine injection that he hit a nerve and I felt the exact path of my pain.  I mentioned this to my doctor and the light bulb went on...it was initially the shingles virus and now the resulting inflamed nerve (which can last for years and the only medication to combat it is Elavil).  It lasted for about 4 years, and at times would come and go, so I would go on and off the Elavil. This time, it started back in November of 99.  I felt this throbbing and swelling in my left upper abdomen, under my ribs, and eventually radiating to the back left side.  I never even thought of shingles because it seemed so gastrointestinal in nature.  I couldn't eat, was in bed for days with the extreme throbbing pain, felt feverish, lost 27 pounds over the four month period.  Kept going to docs and getting tests all of which were negative for anything GI related.  The only thing they ever found was an inflamed stomach and esophagus, but could never explain what it was from.  I have since done research and discovered that shingles can cause this.
Finally, my family doctor examined me and really asked me to describe my pain completely.  When I did, the light bulb went on.
He said,"Do you mean the pain never crosses the midline of your body in the front or the back?"  I said no. He said it has to be shingles.  I did have burning and numbness in my left arm.
I had pains shooting up my spinal cord into the back of my neck.
The virus is located in the spinal cord and when it erupts, travels across a nerve coming out of the spinal cord.
Hope this explains everything well enough for you to either consider the possibility or rule it out.  I also had pain in my left hip/groin area at times, as well.  Take care.
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I'm glad that I found this site.  I too have experienced most if not all of the symptoms that have been described, (ie- pain in the left upper quardarnt, groin pain that seems to travel from front to back on the left side, etc.)  I also, at times, have constipation problems during an attack but don't know if it is related to this or just a coincidence.  I do believe that stress can cause a flare-up because mine got worse a while back during a period of time when my company was going through a downsizing.  The herpes virus can manifest itself in a lot of ways.  I have sometimes even had sores that seemed to explode out on my lips overnight and believe me, it is not a very pleasant experience, not to mention a horrible sight.I think I'll mention the Elavil to my doctor and see if he thinks it will be worth a try.
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Hi Mike -

I'm not a doctor, but from researching my own condition I did come across the fact that herpes zoster, which is Shingles, is not the same kind of herpes infection that would cause sores on your mouth or lips, nor is it the same thing as genital herpes.

Shingles without skin eruptions is referred to as "zoster sine herpete."

Good luck!

Carol D.
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I'm so frustrated like many of you.
The pain is so intense at times. I am currently on disability and my job is not to happy with that but I can't go a day with out pain my doctors so far seem baffled. I've had several blood tests, stool tests, upper gi, and I've also had a laporoscopy because my gyno was so sure that I had endometiosis but found so sign of it. I am constipated, have bloating pain, gas, acid reflux, sharp stabbing pain in my stomach, excrutiating periods which they are trying to releive by putting me on the pill(it's not working) i get extremely dizzy at times, naseous, and I am extremely tired all the time. I was waiting to have and endoscopy for 1 month and now it's being rescheduled because me gastro has family problem so now my appt is postponed I am so tired of waiting, some days I get so deppressed and frustrated, I was thinking of seeing a therapist to help with the stress, but I'm so tired of these doctors. Any medication that is given to me is horrible. My body is extremely sensitive to most medications. I always end up taking it once and never again because of all the side effects. It just seems to add to the problems not help. I never considered shingles. I do find it hard to beleive but most of you seem to have the same problems as I do. it's just so damn frustrating. Any suggestions would really help. I am litterally in constant pain and it is annoying how the doctors seem to constantly shrug you off and try to convince you that it is all in your head.    help!!!!!!
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hmm, has anyone here looked into pancreatitis? Let me describe what I feel: Pain Upper left, right under the bottom rib. Kinda like a baloon is being inflated and the pain goes through to my back. When it gets bad enough I curl up into a fetal position. My  mid-section becomes tender. It mostly occurs shortly after a meal.

I too have been prescribed prilosec because of this (but the side effects wasn't worth it.)

I have been having this problem (off and on) for about 9 yrs.
Recently it has been a daily thing.

From what I have been reading, this seams to fit some ppl. You might have your doctor test your blood for elevated lvls of (excuse my spelling) amalyse and lypase.

I don't want to get to techy since many may think I am way off. But you can do a search for Pancreatitis via internet.

Anyways, hope this helps some of you.
Dave
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Hey Rob, I've been going through the same thing for about a year and a half.  They did the scope down the throat and found Hpylori bacteria in the stomach, test came back in 10 min. versus 24 hours.  That got better but the other pain was still there, so went through more test and now the doctor is saying it's a nonpeptic ulcer, and my nerve endings are like awake when normally they should be asleep.  Same exact pain as you, it hurts bad.  Plus I've stopped all diary, sounds weird but it's actually helped.  Now get this they put me on Paxil, which is a weird drug for compulsive disorders, panic attacks, I called him back and said that I didn't suffer from any of these things and he said that it's been working on people with this type of digestive pain.  Has to do with the nerve endings telling the brain that there's pain.  It's helped, but it's not gone.  The only thing left for me is an MRI or Cat scan to see if anything is in there.  I've had blood in my stool, just once but alot.  I'm also on Bentyl but it makes me ssssllloooowwww.  The worst part is when they do another test and it comes back negitive you almost want to cry because  we're in pain and they can't possibily understand.  I've had good doctors (knock on wood) It's really affected my life, at times I just will it away, but that doesnt' work.  Good luck to you and hope your pain free soon.
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I can't seem to find where I am supposed to post a question about my problem, but this seems to be what i am experiencing...dull pain in left side just below ribs to waist area, sometimes feels like it is in my left hip, occasional sharp stabbing pains below ribs left side back area.  I have been having a low grade temp of 99.2 to 99.4 for the last 3 weeks and Dr. keeps telling me it is a virus.  My colon feels a little bit hard when he palpates it and under my ribs (left side) are very tender to touch.  I have had stool cultures for parasites and occult blood which were negative and urine analysis which shows moderate bacteria but all other u/a tests are negative.  I feel weak, tired, weepy and have had some cramping initally but not lately.  I just don't know what to do now.  My blood tests show rbc and wbc normal..liver function tests still pending.  Does this sound familiar to anyone??  help!!
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Hello. This is nothing new, but I wonder if this is specifically how any of you feel.

I went to the emergency room because I was having chest pain, pulpitations, and prickly sensations. They did a chest x-ray and blood work. I was fine. All they found was a high level of white blood cells in my urine. They thought I pulled a muscle in my chest. The doctors gave me anti-inflammatory and pain pills for my chest, and antibiotics for a urinary tract infection.

A week later I went in to see my doctor. I don't think I pulled a muscle in my chest, because there is no localized pain in my chest. I do have constant pain in my left side, behind my lowest rib (in the front and back of my body). Sometimes the pain is just a dull ach other times I feel almost nausous, but have never thrown-up. My ribs seemed really swollen. They appeared to be jutting out. The lowest floating rib on my left side is poking out (it has never been like this). It feels like someone has blown a balloon up under my rib cage. It feels like pressure to put a bra on. I don't have a hard time breathing normally, but if I am singing (OR LET OUT BREATH -- NOT TAKING IT IN) I HAVE terrible pressure in my chest. I have no problem with my bowel movements, but I feel like there is a lot of gas in my chest and stomach, but there is no release of it. This feeling is always constant (DO ANY OF YOU FEEL LIKE THIS???)! I feel bubbles in my chest. I am always tired. It is uncomfortable to lie on my ribs -- either on my back or stomach, or on my left side. I can only sleep on my right side.

ANYWAY, I told my doctor about my emergency room visit and about everything I told you. He didn't even examine me! I had to force him to look a my ribs. He told me they looked normal. But they weren't! Since my doctors visit my ribs have gone back to their normal position and aren't poking out (except the lowest floating rib on the left). My doctor gave me xanax for anxiety.

I've taken the medication and all it really does it my me feel extreemely tired! But I still have the pain in my side.

Today the pain in my side is dull and not profound, but I have I have pangs of pain in my chest. What should I do? Should I see my doctor again? Is this what you are experiencing?

Help.

(Sorry about my terrible spelling!)

Traci
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Have you considered the good possibility that you are having spasms of the intestines???  That is a very good possibility....see about trying a muscle relaxant...also...be sure you stay in an upright position after eating and maybe raising the head of your bed with something.....       Chlorazepate...aka  tranzene  {dose 7.5 mg} is a good one to try.....Joanne
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Joanne,
Thanks so much for responding!

Do you know what would cause spasms of the intestines?
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I am 47 years old. On December 29, 1999 at 7:17 pm I had an acute onset of extreme abdominal pain.  To make a very long story short.  I had perforrated my large intestine.  It seems I have a severe case of diverticulitis and one of them ruptured.  I went to surgery for 3 hours.  The surgeons did not find the rupture.  I was in the hospital for 10 days on powerful antibiotics.  The worst part of it all is the 10 inch abdominal wound.  When they could not find anything they just kept cutting.  Well,  a few weeks after returning home I developed severe LEFT UPPER ABDOMINAL PAIN of a 5 to 6 on a 0 to 10 scale It was all consuming I could not focus on my job or think because of the continual LUQ pain which at it's worse radiated straight through to the back. I had the gamut of tests.  Two abdominal CAT scans, a Gastroesophagealduodenoscopy, an entercolysis of the small bowel, and an Air Contrast Barium Enema.  All they found were hundreds of diverticulum. In and of themselves they do not cause any pain unless they are infected.  I continued to have the LEFT UPPER ABDOMINAL PAIN.  My Gastroenterologist put me on two powerful antibiotics.  Flagyl and Cipro and told me I would be better in a few days.  NOT!  Then the Prilosec, Bentyl, Compazine, and Creon with no relief!!  Then he tried Neurontin 400mgs three times a day!!  It worked!! I now feel so much better! I have my life back. Please, Please have your DR. try it for you.  It worked for me.  I do not know how it works but it does.  When and if I have my pain it is much less frequent and much less severe.  It is a God send!
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Dear John G.
    Neurontin is a nerve medication probably much like the Elavil that I'm taking for my eventually diagnosed illness of shingles (without the rash).  My guess is you probably had the same thing and that is why the Neurontin is making you feel better.  I was on all the meds you were on as well, and none worked until they tried the Elavil (which is for nerve pain).
I'm sure you have read through the other letters and mine are in there explaining the horrendous ordeal I went through for 4 long months.                   Debbie G.
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I TO HAVE  BEEN HAVING THESE SAME PROBLEMS AND STILL HAVE AFTHE MORE THAN FIVE YEARS IF THER IS A DOCTOR READING THIS WHY DONT YOU DO A STUDY AND HELP US YOU HAVE MANY PEOPLE TO PICK FROM
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Many of you sound just like the problem I have.  I fell down a flight of steps about 4 years ago and fractured my 19th rib.  Ever since then I have had pain in my LUQ, have had ex-rays, medications perscribed but still having major pains at times.  My left rib hurts after I eat, and sometimes when my system is empty.  It feels like something is locked or stuck to my ribs.  Times I can push and I hear much girgling.  I wish I could also grab and yank whatever it is out so I can be painless.  I was recently in the hospital and informed the doctor of this pain, they ex-rayed and he stated that all is okay, it's just a muscle there.  I have also been told that I have a difragmatic hernia, but I had never heard that there could be polps in these.  I am going to try the peppermint capsules and see what happens and also contact my Internal Medicine doctor and see if he will take another look down my throat and see what is going on.  Times I feel that there is a cyst, tumor, an ulcer or something else going on. I guess time will tell.  Good to know that I'm not the only one dealing with this kind of pain, and we aren't crazy either.
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I had upper left quadrant pain. It was intermittent. Usually occurring 15-60 minutes after eating. The onset was acute and after that periodic with about a 1 minute period. At times it was so bad that I vomited. Ultrasound showed a kidney stone up in the left kidney. Doctors were convinced that it was not the cause of the pain, but I should have it busted up anyway. It was the cause of the pain.
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This forum could be more useful if people posted cures or fixes as readily as they complain. I suspect those who no longer have the problem, no longer are interested in those that have.
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Hate to say it but one day I did double over and and after 2 days in the hospital, they checked my amylase and lipase. Turned out I had pancreatitus (pancreatitis). Problem is, raised levels of these enzymes don't often occur with me, and its only my history that backs up my doctors claims I have chronic pancreatitus (pancreatitis).                    good luck
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I AM NOT ALONE!!!! ULQ PAIN FOR OVER A YEAR AND A HALF! NO RASH, SO DOCS KEEP BLOWING ME OFF RE SHINGLES. FINALLY, ONE OF THEM MENTIONED IT OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE (AFTER I HAD MENTIONED IT TO HIM FOUR TIMES) AS IF IT WAS THE FIRST TIME HE HAD CONSIDERED IT! I AM ALREADY ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS (FOR DEPRESSION). PAIN MEDS DON'T WORK. BUT AT LEAST I KNOW I AM NOT ALONE AND THAT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I HONESTLY HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE. I THOUGHT I WAS LOSING MY MIND. THANKS TO ALL WHO SHARED THEIR STORIES. I STILL HURT LIKE HELL, BUT I'M NOT ALONE.
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Dear Ginny G.,
    What antidepressant are you on?  To my understanding, Elavil is the only antidepressant that works on Shingles pain because it has specific properties to deal with the nerve itself.
There were days too, that I would have rather died than go through the pain another day!  Good luck...and no, you're NOT crazy!                    Debbie G.
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This site has really opened my eyes!  I cannot believe that there are other that are experiencing the same pain I am.  I have been dealing with this for about 2 years.  Had all the GI tests (more than once).  I had chicken pox when I was little but have never had shingles before.  When the shingles rash occurs, what does it look like?  The reason why I ask is I recently had a red spot on my abdomen (left side, I thought it was a bug bite but it got a pus pocket and took about a month to heal.  A red mark is still there but much smaller.  After I read about the shingles, my light buld came on and I wonder if this spot onmy stomach could be something related to that.  I am afraid that the Dr will think I am crazy if I try to tell him it is shingles.  Is there a test they can run to see if it is?  I would really like to get rid of this pain but would be afraid to take Elavil because I don't want to gain weight.  I am trying to lose weight.  Any ideas would be great.

Thanks
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I also have the same problem. Right under the ribcage and under it , radiates down to My middle left side. Doctors said nothing there to hurt so, I went to Chiropractor and Pain Gone. It was Nerves!!!!   Pat
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I can't believe that there are others out there experiencing the same pain as I am and there is no diagnosis.  I too have been through the GI tests upper and lower.  Sometimes the pain in really bad and I just have to lay down.  Does anyone out there know what SHINGLES looks like when there is a rash?  I have been in pain for about 1 year with no answers.  About a month ago I had a red mark on my abdomen which I thought was a bug bite.  It developed a pus pocket and has taken awhile but is healing however not totally gone yet.  There is still a red mark.  And low and behold it is on my left side!!!  I may ask my doctor his opinion on this.  I don't like to request medications but if it will take the pain away, I would be willing.  I am concerned about taking the Elavil as I am trying to lose weight and don't want to gain any.  Can anyone let me know how much weight gain you are talking about?  I am glad I found this site.  I do believe that we all have a problem here and it is high time that it be solved :)

Cindy
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Dear Cindy,
    Since I have now had shingles twice (once across my right eye and once in my left abdomen) I can tell you that while Elavil does increase your appetite, you still have the ultimate control over what you put in your mouth.  I have dieted while on Elavil and lost weight, just as I have gained weight if I haven't been careful about what I eat.  In other words, the medication itself doesn't make you gain weight...it just increases your appetite...so you have to make sound decisions about what you eat.
    Isn't it amazing that we have all discovered this "thing" that's out there and the docs just don't get it!  I never did get a rash, but the bump and pus pocket you talked about sounds like a shingles' bump.  I did experience itching in my left back, but no rash.  The conclusion we all came to was that the nerve that it ran along in my left abdomen/left back was deep within.  Tell your doctor that shingles without the rash has a name...it's called Zoster Sine Herpete.  I have looked it up, as well as Carol D. who has also had entries on this board.
I have told one of the GI docs that saw me about this in hopes that it will come to her when she has another patient that she sees with these symptoms.  
    As far as I am concerned the Elavil gave me my life back.
I was in bed for four months!  Couldn't work...had no quality of life...often wished I was dead!  Don't hesitate to try the Elavil.  I call it my "wonder drug."  
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weird that so many people have the symptoms ive been having, chest pain was first diagnosed as muscle strain from lifting heavy boxes the pain was severe in the center of my chest on and off. the doctor put my on vioxx took it for 8 days then quit because i felt better, 2 weeks later i woke up in severe pain on my upper left side, went to the emergency room had a clear ekg and chest x-ray, was given a pain killer after being diagnosed with the same thing again, went back on the vioxx at the highest dose, felt better unilt all of a sudden my throat started feeling like it was burning and spasming...quit the vioxx again, too late i guess by then i was in terrible pain especially at nite, had an endoscopy which showed some inflammationand have to take achiphex for 2 monthes, i still have pains around my ribs worse at nite and a wheezy feeling in my left lung when i lie down...anyone have that???????? isnt it fun ...good luck to everyone.
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Pam,
   I, too, had inflammation in my stomach as well as my esophagus and was put on Aciphex for a couple of months, simply because they had no real answer, so they wanted to treat "the symptoms."  Apparently, shingles can cause an inflammation in the esophagus/stomach, or so I read.  Once we figured out that it was shingles, I threw the Aciphex away.  Try the Elavil...if you obtain relief, then you have your answer.
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This pain has just started on me about 4 weeks ago .Im 29 years old.It stopped and has returned 3 days ago. If feels like a slight burning on my front left side waist area .It is not constant pain it comes and goes , but always THROBBING !!! I was told it was a kidney stone and it does help to drink WATER WATER WATER lots of it .
Some of you may want to try for the pain , however its not gone and especially at night it wakes me .
Im going to look into the shingles virus more .
See you all soon
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John,

I had pain similar to yours for a year-a dull recurring ache which turned to a burning sensation about two inches left to the belly button.  I had a sigmoidoscopy, which was fine and the doc said it was probably irritable bowel, which I doubted because at 40 , I never had this problem before and had no  other symptoms.  I also checked out the possibility of a spigelian hernia and ovary problems to no avail.The problem disappeared by Thanksgiving.   Then last Christmas, I experienced severe nausea,discomfort, bloating and pains in the central and upper left abdomen. I had ultrasounds, bloodwork and then an endoscopy in January.  The doc removed stomach polyps , which he said were unrelated to the pain and found irritation of the esophagus and stomach. He had no explanation of why I would get this- I thought it may have been caused by Baycol or Lipitor, but, now ,after all these months,  I still have to take 300 mg Zantac daily, still have some ulcer-like symptoms that get worse if I try to lower the dose.Make sure you get complete tests done.  Even then, it can be frustrating when you get no  reasons for why you have the pain.  The shingles angle is interesting and I will check it out.

Take care.
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Rob it sounds like you are thinking about this pain too much. Try to ignore it.Have faith in your body. It is just a normal feeling for you. I have weird feelings in my chest area all the time. Try to relax. Do muscle relaxition exercises and deep breathing. It helps to calm and soothe. Trust your body!Good luck
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It's a sad commentary when we all resort to diagnosing ourselves on the internet -I too have been dealing with a LUQ side pain that feels like a numb spot early in the day -then beginning mid-afternoon starts raging -like a knife in my side-only it does not radiate -sometimes appears stress related. Its been going on for 1.5 yrs. Doc said it was just irritated spleen nerves and it would go away. Never did.  Had migraines when i was younger -got 2 bout's recently -checked out internet-h.pylori is now implicated in migraines AND ulcer formation. Doc reluctantly blood tested me for h.pylori/found out I had it/antibiotics for 10 days. No add'l migraines but still have the side ache-speaking of butts-had the upper/lower gi recently-nothing noted.go in for the abdominal ultrasound tomorrow. Would like to check in with CAROL D. for an update as to her success w/elavil. I've never had shingles (that i know of) -nor chickpx. but will inquire (is there a test for shingles? My mother had it once-could i have gotten it from her8+yrs ago? (also hypothyroid -diag'd 1990-35 y.o. very active (less so now with this knife in my side-very VERY aggravating!) I sympathize with you all!
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Well - thought I'd check in (since I haven't been here since June ) and update anyone who might be interested.

Continuing on the hypothesis that I had herpes without the skin eruptions, I have bveen taking Elavil in low dosage since May, starting with 10mg for 2 weeks then upped it to 20 mg.

The ULQ pain pretty much disappeared on this dosage with the exception of occasional slight hyper-sensitivity/soreness in that area (not nearly as bad as it had been and only on occasion, not everyday.)  I did put on about 8-10 lbs. because the Elavil definitley increased my taste for sweets and I have little self control (never had a weight problem in my life).  Again, had I watched more closely what I ate and excercised more frequesntly, I doubt I would've put on any addtl. weight.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I decided I would try to get off the Elavil and so reduced my dosage back down to 10mg for about 1 1/2 weeks, then 10mg every other day for about a week, then stopped taking it completely.

Within 3 days of stopping the Elavil, the old pain returned with a vengenece:  constant, irritating, traveling down into my left hip and groin, ribs sore/ tender, especially to the touch.  Also my left upper arm began feeling fat and numb-ish again.

So I went back to 10 mg. of Elavil, which has helped some, but I think I probably need to go back to the larger dose of 20mg.  I need to make an appt. with my dr. becasue my prescription runs out and I want to let her know how things have been since I've been on the medication.  (Elavil was prescribed by a gastro doc I was referred to, not by my primary care doc.)

Also, have since learned that Elavil which is a tricyclic antidepressant was found to have a positive effect on nerve pain, and also their is an anti-seizure medication (not sure of the name) which also produces the same positive benefit.

For the person who asked about how they might've gotten shingles and if there is a test:  you can only "get" shingles if you've had chicken pox in your past. Shingles IS NOT contagious from another person. It is usually brought on by a weakened immune system or stress. The virus which causes chicken pox never entirely leaves your body, but lies dormant at the root of your nerves., When activated again it usually rtravels along the nerve pathway and out to the skin where the nerves end . (But not always! that is when you've got the "zoster sine herpete" OR shingles without the rash).  I believe the only way they can test to see if you have shingles is by doing a spinal tap becasue it will sho up in teh spinal fluid.

Personally - I'd just rather take the Elavil and if it works, assume that shingles was the culprit, because spinal taps can be extremely painful (a friend who is employed by a reputable hospital here in the Boston area suffered 2 botched spinal taps at that hospital and was in terrible spasmodic pain in the entire lower  half of her body, so much so that she had to be on a morphine drip in the hospital for 2 weeks.)

Hope this answers some questions. I am still just as baffeld as everyone else as to why doctor's don't seem to think of Shingles as a possible culprit.

Best -

Carol D.
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My daughter is 18 and has experienced these attacks of pain around the sterum area that she explains as pins and needles which then leaves her breathless and spreads out. She has had an upper G.I. and chest x-ray.  She has been having them for 4 years with no help.  One specialist actually said it was growing pains from the breast.  Where did he get his degree, K-marts?  We have a referral to a specialist now but no one seems to understand what she is saying.  The year 2000 where they are putting new organs into people and no answers for anything else. I am so tired of doctors telling us that its hormonal or stress.  She gets these attacks when she is just laying on the couch watching t.v.  Scares the hell out of me.  Its ok if its nothing or even if they aren't sure.  But they don't do testing and then still give you a diagnosis.  Without testing how can they be sure.  Its not their child so they don't care.  The last time she had one it was worse than before running around down the side, she was taking a shower and then couldn't use her arm until it went away.  What is it?
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I had a gastroscopy back in May of 2000 because of stomache pains and gas I complained about. Ever since the endoscopy I've had
chest pains in the upper left quad of my chest. It scared the heck out of me the first time I had it. All the web sites tell you to contact your Doctor promptly if you have chest pains after a gastroscopy, when I called the Doctor he said it would not be from the gastroscopy and for me to try Zantac for heartburn. Reading all of the other stories on this site that sound similiar to each other it must have something to do with the endoscopy. Just one last note: I've also read that Gastroentrologist will often expand a muscle while putting the scope down to increase air flow and other minor reasons. If they are doing something like this, I could see how it could result in chest pains. They say the muscles in the chest are extremely sensitive.
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i have been experiencing pain in the left side of my chest & sometimes right accross my chest i think this could be heartburn but also mt chest ie: brest bones in the left breast is very tender like a burning & under my left arm  & also under my left rib cage does anyone have any ideas?suggestions?
many thanks in advance.
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Hey guys---I can't believe I'm really not alone....I was begining to think this is the way everyone lived and I was being a "pain"...Ever since I could remember I have been with diaharea and vomiting on and off it happens every couple of months ....I have all kinds of test done and the last one they did they said "oh your ok you just digest slow" put me on previcid and Yes! Propulsid which has been recalled....I get that same alien right under my right rib cage and early in the mornings its soooooo hard to catch my breath it hurts sooooo much and I have been told its gas!
Sometime the fustration is so high I just deal with the pain and vomiting and diaharea and don't say anything....it goes away as quickly as it comes back and I go back to my normal routine....I just had a sonogram done to see if gullbladder (gallbladder) and liver are ok...we will see...Thanks for sharing your stories its helps to know I am not going CRAZY or lacking attention.....Good Luck to all....
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I ran across this site because I too had mysterious pain in my RUQ  and I too was told by doctors that everything was fine. After my regular physician sent me to a Surgeon and he did xray after xray and even as far as laproscopic surgery. He sent me to a Urologist and the urologist must have seen this web site. He never diagnosed me with Shingles but he put me on 50 mg of elivil and within two days I was 100%.. I was completely bed ridden for 4 weeks and ran a low grade fever.. I have now been taking the med for two weeks and am back to my old self.. I came down with this RUQ pain after being told they found a mass in my face and had to undergo surgery to remove this mass. Which luckly was benign. I ran across this site because my mother who is a RN was puzzled of how this elvil had made me do a complete turn around. The only question I have is how long will I be on this elvil?? I take 50 mg one time a day at bedtime.

Andrea S.
***@****
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Dear Andrea,
    Even though the Elavil takes away the pain, I still often feel a kind of pressure where my pain used to be.  When that pressure feeling has gone away, then you can probably try to wean yourself off the Elavil.  If the pain comes back then you will know it is not time.  When I had shingles the first time, across my right eye, there were periods that I could go off the Elavil for months at a time.  Then when I would have a lot of stress, the pain would come back with a vengeance and I would have to return to the Elavil.  It's complicated, but you have to listen to your body.  It will tell you when it is time to try to go off of it.  I, too, take 50 mg. a day.  Sounds like the surgery was the stress factor for you that brought this pain on.
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Thank you all so much! same story, but what a help knowing there are others. For 8 months left side just under my ribs I have this stabbing sore pain that goes around into my back. My doctor blew me off. I imagined the worst!! I was so glad to hear the shingles theory. I never thought about the connection, but I have one spot on my back that itches all the time and I thought it might be shingles. Anyway just wanted to say thanks for all of you!!!!
Carol
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Thank you all so much! same story, but what a help knowing there are others. For 8 months left side just under my ribs I have this stabbing sore pain that goes around into my back. My doctor blew me off. I imagined the worst!! I was so glad to hear the shingles theory. I never thought about the connection, but I have one spot on my back that itches all the time and I thought it might be shingles. Anyway just wanted to say thanks for all of you!!!!
Carol
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My wife experienced similiar symstoms before and after gallbadder
surgery. She died two months after surgery due to an undetected blocked pancreatic vein. If pain persist, remember to press your
doctor(s) to use a little common sense.
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to Deebie g
I have just found this sight by typing in Lower esophageal spincter syndrome. I have had chest pain for five years. It  has slowly taken over my life. I have the pain on one or the other side. It is never on both sides at the same time. I have had many tests for heart problems. My pain becomes inflamed when I exorcise. But I also have it when I wake up,when I bend over alot cleaning house or just for no reason. I burp alot with pressure when I'm in pain. I have only found relief taking a laxative called citrate of magnesia. I feel better after it takes affect. Like the other letters I have been to many doctors and have often considered suicide. The pain feels like something in my chest pushing to get out with a knife. I keep living because I am a widow with a young son.  I don't want to leave him without anyone. I keep going right now only for him. I'm sorry to sound so pitiful but I'm in pain right now. I am thankful to know that I'm not alone. The doctors made me feel like I was.
I've tried Prevacid, Librax, prelosic, and I find this interesting, one of the first doctors I went to was an older gi guy and he put me on elivil. I never took it because I thought he was brushing me off as a kook! He said he wasn't sure why but that people with my problem seemed to imporve on it. I have not been dignosed with shingles but I  have had severe pain on my eye and face(one side) I thought it was herpes and never saw a doctor. Maybe the shingles track is worth trying.
I was originaly convinced that I had LESS. The lower spincter problem. Seems to match my symptoms. Extreme  pain after exorcise in the chest. Gas feeling and pressure. This is when the valve between stomache and esaphogus does not close. Allowing gas and acid from stomache to burn and put pressure in your chest. Does anyone else burp alot? But I'm courious because the pain never crosses the middle line. Its either one or the other side. esaphogeal  spasms are supposed to feel like angina, a doctor told me it was because their are shaired nerves in the chest area. Anyway  I hope we each find relief from this pain.
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I have had the same problems going on five years now. Upper chest pain not heart related. Had every test that can be done on the heart except angio gram. I'm forty years old. I was in good shape but my pain comes on with exorcise. Also when I bend over alot or when I wake up. mine feels like gas in my chest. I burp alot. The Pain is relieved by drinking a laxative called citrate of magnesia. The pain stops six hours later when ever the laxsative works. I have thought about suicide, but stop when I think of leaving my precious son. I'm a widow and I'm all hes got. But sometinmes I feel like this unpredictable pain is ruining his life too. I can't make appointments, I can't promise to do anything because I never know when the chest pain is going to get unbearable. But finding other people with this has helped. I'm going to look into the shingles thing.
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Sorry to read so many of you in unexplained pain.  But I have had pain in upper left,under rib area and somewhat into the back area, for about 5days now.  Was very surprised to find this board. My pain is sharp (knife-like) and strong.  Sometimes makes me feel like getting sick at my stomach.  Also I have noticed that sitting still I don't seem to have it, only when I move in certain postions. This makes me think of muscle.  Oh well I plan to call a Dr. soon.  Thought it might go away have been taking ibprofen, seems to give some relief. Also I have read that this is where your spleen is located.(that is a scarey thought.)
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I seem to have the same symptoms as Rob above.  I recently had X-rays of my ribs and sternum, a gastroscopy (have acid reflux and am on Prilosec, too), and some blood work done.  If I get any answers from these, I will let you know . . . maybe we have the same problem.  I've had symptoms for well over a year now, but they seem more continuous lately.
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I have more of a pressure below my left rib cage than a pain.It is uncomfortable but bearable for now. I am concerned what my alien will lead to as I get older. There  seems to be more questions than answers with this sympton. Here is more to consider. How many of us have worked in industrial settings where chemicals such as chlorine are present? Have any of you worked in nuclear plants and received high doses of radiation? I am not trying to start a conspiracy here, just looking for a common bond. Stress seems to be mentioned a lot. What kind of foods are we eating?SPICY?? Alcohol? Please mention these factors when you reply.I find myself being awakened within two hours of going to sleep.It is just pressure not pain.
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HI ROB I WANT TO LET YOU KNOW I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM.WHAT THE WRLD COULD IT BE? I,M SO SICK SOMETIMES I HAVE TO LAY DOWN TO RELIEVE PRESSURE AND I TAKE A GAS REFLEX PILL EVERYDAY CALLED ACIPHEX WHICH DID HELP SOME FORAWHILE TODAY I HAD THE MOST AWFULL ATTACK LASTED ABOUT HOUR FINALLY WENT AWAY AFTER TAKING MALOX AND A NITRO PILL SOMETIMES I BELIEVE THESE MYSTERY ILLNESSES THEY HAVE THE GOVRMNT KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE BUT THEY ARE NOT COMMITING THERSELVESTHNKS ROBDnSwango@netscape com
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I have had chest pain for four years. I am 42 yrs old and I'm starting to get worn down. The pain is so severe I just cry. I've been through all the heart tests and had an endoscope. nothing. The gastric doctor thinks its the nicorette gum I chew. But when I stop the pain does  not go away. The only thing that stops the pain is alot of laxitives. Usually this takes a day to work. Then maybe I'll get a day or two pain free, then it starts all over. I thinking about suicide sometimes. The pain is like pressure on one side of my chest then turns into burning pain. The next day it will be on the other side of my upper chest. It feels like I have a huge air bubble that is stuck.  I think this whole thing started when I stopped smoking. I don't know what to do have been through so many doctors.
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Man I'm glad I'm not the only one with these same symptoms.
Mine started about a year ago in the middle of my wife's pregrancy and we were in the process of building a new home so I think that stress definitely played a major role in the development of this problem.  Here are my symptoms: I start off in the morning (having rested fairly well usually) feeling decent, as I am in the shower I feel my stomach, just below my left ribcage, start to rumble. At this time I have an empty feeling in my stomach also.  Then about an hour after that my ribs on the left side and my middle left back start to ache. By 10 am the pain has increased to where I am constantly stretching and twisting to try to loosen this feeling up. Sometimes when the pain is really bad, I feel like I can't breath very good. As the day goes on, the pain usually stays constant with slight peaks and valleys in the consistency. After work the pain seems to subside somewhat, although it is still there untill I retire for the night.  I have been to the emergency room 2 time with this with the thought that I was having a heart attack. I have had ekg which was normal every time, I have had ct scan which was normal, I have had an upper GI which showed mild gastritis, I have had a breathing test which was normal, I am scheduled to have an endoscopy in a couple of weeks.  My gastroenterologist thinks it could be an ulcer or Hpylori.  My regular doctor has diagnosed my symptoms as anxiety related and I have taken xanax which does help me to relax with the pain thruout the day.  I stopped taking it because I didn't want to get addicted. I am really fed up with this ****!  I am a 33 year old male who is a picture of health.  I have worked out my whole life, am not overweight, don't smoke, etc.  My wife feel bad for me and wishes that she could help. I feel bad for her having to hear me complain alot.  I am tired of feeling like this.  The pain just drains me down to nothing and I haven't worked out in several months.  I am even turning down fishing trips because I don't feel like going.  My life is going into the crapper.....
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I also forgot to mention some of the other symptoms that I have:
My face feels flushed much of the time, my right cheek under my eye twitches alot when I am having these pain episodes.  Also, when I am having alot of the rib/back pain I have heart palpitations which worries me.  I know from doing research that heart palpitations are common with some gastro problems.  I have had my heart checked and everything was good. Does anyone else experience any of these symptoms?
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Hi Rob,

I found an old posting of yours on ulq pain and wondering if you ever found what was causing it.  I have had upper right pain just like yours and I am also emailing a copy of this to all the other people I can find on-line that have this problem.  If you have time, let me know if this has helped you with a return email to ***@****
I had SEVERE upper-right quadrant (urq) pain for 4 months, and was reduced to taking 12 narcotic pain pills a day and giving my resignation at work.   However, I have just discovered what was causing it and I am awaiting my physician's call so I can tell him (I am home on a leave of absence to try to figure out what is wrong.)
I was taking Allegra D, which is a Histamine receptor antagonist.  Many allergy medications have the same H1 receptor antagonists as part of their mechanisms.  My thought is that some people who have urq pain are experiencing side effects of allergy medications with this type of antagonist.
Just last week, after 4 months of taking Allegra D and 4 months of extreme pain, I missed my Wednesday morning dose.  I went to work, took my narcotics for pain, and had a fair day.  That night, I took Allegra D again, and then again on Thursday morning.  I was "sicker than a dog" all day Thursday.  
Allegra D is meant to be taken twice a day, morning and evening.  However, after only 1 week on the medication, I kept forgetting to take the nightly dose and my sinuses were doing great so I just quit taking the evening dose.  This means I was only taking half of the prescribed medication with all these disastrous side effects!!
So on Friday morning, after being so sick Thursday, I forgot to take my meds again in the morning and I felt pretty good Friday.  Saturday was the beginning of my week off of work so I decided to sleep in, not take any meds, and just see what happened.  I ended up taking only 5 pain pills that day, and only 4 on Sunday.  Sunday afternoon I went to the pharmacist and asked for a printout of the medications I had taken in the past year.  I started Allegra D the first week of May, 2000 and had my first pain/vomiting attack 2 weeks later.  I asked the pharmacist what the half-life of the medication was (meaning how long it stays in the body) and she said it should be 80% eliminated in 3 days.  
As an FYI, my pain was CONSTANT after just 5 weeks of taking this medication.  The constant pain, now, Monday morning, is gone!  This is after three full days of being Allegra D free!  I still have a little discomfort after meals, but it is probably because my body is re-grouping and getting back to its normal processing.  My prayer, of course, is that I have no permanent damage as a result of taking this medication.
So, all this because "I feel your pain" - I know, it's not funny when you are still in pain.  But, feel free to print this out, take it to your doctor, request that s/he take you off all histamine antagonists and brave the allergies for a week or so and see what happens.  I wouldn't be surprised if even over-the-counter meds could cause the same thing.  Our bodies are all different so the severity of symptoms will vary with each.  But it is too easy just to quit taking allergy meds for a week and see if this eases the pain.

By the way, I am not in the medical profession, so this is not
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I feel so much better reading this website. This is the first time i found it. I have had back, chest and rib pain for 7 years. Gone for all tests the latest is I was told I have fibromyalgia. I will now ask my Doctor about shingles. I always had that in the back of my mind but I never had a rash so I thought I could not have it. If anyone would like to email me please do so at ***@****

Thank you

I will keep reading
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This site is a godsend.  I can't believe you are all out there with the same type of symptoms I have.  We can't all be crazy!  It's wonderful to know there are others who are suffering this way and together we can, perhaps, work it out.  I'm certainly going to check into the Shingles theory: I've tried everything else.
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I have same problem but my pain goes all the way down my left side.
  I have had all the test that my doc. could do found some problems and fixed them .
But I am still in pain all the time and I have gotten to where I won't eat in the day, because I swell and have pain so bad i can't work if i eat.
So I eat at nite so i can lie down in pain .
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Some of your symptoms sound like mine.  I seem to get very bloated, pain on sides of stomach and on the bottom real bad sometimes.  I also feel like I am going to pop.  Under my ribs I have alot of pain too.  All the doctors say is just some of the uncomfortableness of being a women.  I feel like they think I nust need and want to come see them at their office for the fun of it.  They are so wrong I have no time for just complaining.  Maybe someday they will have the same feeling and they will look for a real cure.  Feels good to just vent and to see that I am not the only nerotic one.

Thanks for listining
Jennifer
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back in April, I suggested oil of peppermint capsules for the relief of irritable bowel syndrome. I would be interested to know if anyone has tried this with good results. In my own case, after taking them for about 6 weeks, I had much less chronic pain. I would hope this may help someone. Please note they must be enteric coated, so they do not dissolve in the stomach. They can be ordered from the Vitamin Shoppe and other health products sources.
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Rob, you said it's kinda like a <<gurgling, pulled muscle, twitching feeling inside that drives me crazy....I'd like to reach in & grab it out if I could....>>  well, I went in a few months ago for a check up and explained this same feeling to the doc, he says it sounds like maybe a hernia, or I tore a muscle, or there is a fluid sack developed there from either a torn muscle or other type injury.....well...that's all he could come up with....that was several months ago, but now my stomach itself, lower down around navel and to left of navel and back up to the original area below ribs on left side, feels like I have been kicked by a horse, and my lower back is hurting me....muscles? what?  
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Rob,

Did they ever find the source of your pain?   My 16 year old daughter is having the same symptoms, and she has had every test, and yet no answers.  School work is suffering.

Thank you for any help.

Janet
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Well, I finally had an endoscopy and a sonogram and guess what, everything was normal.  I am somewhat dissappointed that they didn't find some ulcer or something that could be treated.  I am still having the same pain.  They also did another blood test and it came out normal also although it did show my blood sugar was elevated.  The gastroenterologist said that my pain could be caused by a colonic splenic flexure distension.  The way he explained does add up.  He said that gas or food gets caught at the bend in this area of the intestines. The pain in the upper left quadrant is in the same area where this bend is.  He told me to take metamusil to help alleviate buildup of gas.  He also gave me a gastric muscle relaxant. Even though the pain is still present,  I think the muscle relaxant has helped relieve the tightness in the rib and back area.  Has anyone else been told anything similar with this colonic splenic flexure thing?
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Dear Royce,
I was so relieved to read your post.  I have the exact same pains as you, and am scared I may have something terrible going on in my stomach.  I,ve been taking prilosec, but it doesn't really seem to help.  On Tuesday I'm having a scope done, I too am hoping they find an ulcer,so atleast they could treat it.  I quess if it were an ulcer, prilosec would have helped ?  Did you ever inquire about the shingles theory?  This constant gnawing in my gut is just sapping me of any interest to do anything.   I hope you find that you are feeling better.  Would you let me know if you find out anything else.         Jeanne
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Like Sharon my pain is in my right side.  I had my right kidney
removed nine years ago and for the past 3 - 4 years have been
experiencing a lot of pain in my right side.   I have also been
put through a lot of tests with no explanation why.  I also have
nuerogenic bladder and some arthritis in my back but the pain in
my side causes me the most problems especially at night.  I just
started taking elavil about 3 days ago so will have to see if it
will help.  I will have to ask my Dr. about the shingles theory.
I have not heard of that before.  I guess we will all have to
hang in there together and hope for the best.
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Royce, your statement about the splean may be it.(I have posted a couple earlier with description of, my alien-that's what i name it) My pain has really gotten worse, and is distracting to say the least. The rheumy dr did say, when i told him where this was, splean. But, outside of getting some vioxx,which nearly blew a hole in my stomach, that was about it. When i push on that area i get a cramp in the back area. I know there is something and it certainly gets to me, my eyes water....take care all...
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For anyone with upper left quadrant pain you NEED to look into Spontaneous Pneumothorax...It is a spontaneous collapsing of the lung due to the little sacs of air bursting...
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I've found this site very interesting and helpful, since the primary symptom you describe - a "stitch" (or I'd also say a "hollow" kind of muscle-pulled feeling) just at the edge of and up under my left rib cage - is what's been bothering me off and on, and increasingly persistently for 5-10 years.  I don't have any pain radiating around to my back, but the under-rib or intercostal pain sometimes extends farther up my rib cage.  What is most notable for me about this pain, and I don't know if this is characteristic for others of you because I don't see mention here, is that it always comes on for me at night, as a result of sleeping, and often wakes me up in the middle of the night.  Or if not strong enough to wake me up, then I wake up with it in the morning.  This is the most characteristic quality of it for me - that it comes during sleep and rest.  It kind of goes away during the day, and there can be days or weeks without it, but it always comes on during sleep.  I wake up with this "gnawing,"
"hollow," "pulled," "stitch" feeling that makes it sometimes hard to take a breath.  I too have a small hiatal hernia, and have a good deal of stress in my life and a strong tendency to be a worrier, but not really IBS that I'm aware of.  Waking up also often is accompanied by what feels like a racing heart (though EKG tests have never shown) and sometimes spates of arrhythmias (the racing heart feels much like a car with an automatic choke that will not "kick down" - for any of you who used to go out and start your car on cold mornings by setting the accelerator pedal based choke and leaving the car running until it heated up and the engine started running high and you had to go out and tap the accelerator to kick down [turn off] the choke).  I don't think that the racing heart stuff is necessarily related to the stitch in my side, however.
    I too have had a whole bunch of tests - CAT scans, ultrasounds, etc. - with no findings (except some fatty liver also).  The shingles suggestion seems interesting because I suddenly remembered when reading this that I've had two or three occasions in the past year or so where I've suddenly had a few very itchy spots on my hands.  They felt almost like poison ivy, but I hadn't been near any poison ivy that I could recall, and they didn't quite have a poison ivy type rash (and I had lots of experience with poison ivy as a kid!).  When I scratched them, they got even more ferociously itchy, and one or two seemed to break open eventually and sort of ooze.  The strangest thing I found about one of these, was that it spread a discolored line across my knuckle and across the back of an ajoining finger.  The discolored line turned the skin sort of a brown color - like a tan from the sun - and wouldn't go away.  Another way of describing it is that it was almost like a scar.   It's sort of faded now (about a year later), but there is still kind of a scar line there.  I was amazed how persistent the discoloration was, and also how persistent and ferocious the itching was.
I couldn't figure out at all where this had come from, but now I'm wondering if perhaps these spots have been shingles eruptions.  If the disease goes with stress, this would make some sense.  
     Anyway, for what it's worth, that's my offering of symptoms and info.  If anyone else has this left-side stitch come on during sleep, I'd be interested to hear.

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I hear you Rob.  Has your Dr. checked  you for H. Pylori?  Le
me know.  It's a bacterial infection.  I nearly were nuts with
a stomach pain.
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I commented earlier.  You can also contact me on E Mail as I check that everyday.
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i'm having sort of the same problem. i don't really have any pain there but, it feels like there is something rubbing on my rib cage on the left side. sometimes if i laugh or strain too hard i feel a little pop. what can this be? i've been experiencing this for about five years! help!! thanks!
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I can relate to so many of you.  I too has constant pain.  I have learned to live with this horrible pain.  My pain in my upper left pain feels like a knife cutting into me.  I also have pain in my lower back and my abdomen.
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Wow!  I read through a good number of these postings and was feeling in good company!  I too have had the on again off again shooting pains (twinges) under my left upper quadrant.  Mine began approximately 18 years ago. I thought it was my spleen at first. . . reminded me of the pain when I had mononucleosis when my spleen was enlarged.  I've seen various doctors on occassion. . . had an ultrasound and a battery of blood tests.  I've been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome along with stress/anxiety (went through a behavioral medicine program) and tried a few medications.  The symptoms seem to disappear as fast as they appear and seem to bother me more in the fall.  At first I thought it was cancer and got myself in a tizzy (couldn't think about anything else until I was reassured that it wasn't).  At the age of 18 I had a ruptured appendix (misdiagnosed) which led to major abdominal surgery (a portion of my intestines were removed and I had an illeostomy for 3 months while everything healed).  I was very lucky.  Since those two major surgeries, I've had a bout of problems with "attacks" from eating high-fiber foods (corn, raw vegetables, etc).  I just learned in recent years (after two hospitalizations) that these attacks are partial small bowel obstructions most likely caused from adhesions.  I have this feeling that the pain under my ribs is part of my intestinal troubles. . . it is relieved when I have a bowel movement and is worse when I feel constipated (more problematic when I eat healthy. . . low fat. . . high fiber for some reason).  I have seen a gastroenterologist & a surgeon and am contemplating laparoscopic adhesiolysis (to remove the adhesions).  There's no guarantee, and this could aggrevate my symptoms (cause more adhesions) so I'm still undecided at this point in time.  Until then I live in fear of eating the wrong foods and triggering another episode (the treatment for my small bowel obstructions is a 5-day hospitilization with an nasogastric tube, I.V. hydration, & no food) yikes!  One doctor suggested that I try daily Citrucel fiber therapy(sp?).  It tastes ok, doesn't cause me any bloating, and does seem to help with my I.B.S. symptoms and elimination.  I also use Pepcid & Phazyme (sp?) on occasion.  Don't hesitate to get second/third opinions.  Doctors are only human. It's just unfortunate that they give up trying to find the answer sometimes. As a patient, you have to be persistant.  Doctors are so busy these days that they barely have time to breathe.  Diagnosing patients with chronic problems must be frustrating (almost like fixing a car). Good luck to all of you.
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i have had sharp pain  under my left  rib cage for abouut 4 to   6 years now and i still have my gullbladder (gallbladder). do you think that could  be whats stabingg me?
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Debbie and others re shingles, thanks for posting. I've had the pain for about nine months, and, now that I think about it, I had a severe viral infection around that time, the type that made my entire body so painful that I was writhing in bed and had to take a LOT of Vicodin for any relief. I'm going to try Elavil and see if it helps. It's so good to hear a possible answer to this very uncomfortable and worrisome pain. I'll post when I see the results. Thanks again :)
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To Carol and Cathy who posted on this board I would like to email you and talk I have had the same symptoms on the right side which started with a sore area in the bottom part of ribs near waist then I developed pain radiating through to back which I thought was gallblader (gallbladder) All tests were negative The soreness and burning sensation were treated like gastro problems then subsided in 2 to 3 weeks then returnrd again in a month for a few days went away then returned with a vengeance Terrible buning searing pain around the waist sensitive to clothing sometimes crawly feeling then numb. Lasted 6 months intense 3 doctors did not know what it was no rash!!!! I went to emergency room and the doctor immediatly said it was shingles or a virus in the herpes family. I also had an MRI of the entire spine showed nothing.  I was pain free for about 4 months and it is starting again this time I am taking an antiviral and acting like it is shingles but Im wondering if this just isnt a reoccurance of the nerve pain???? Please respond
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Dear Patty,
    I pray that you've found your answer.  I remember when it hit me, I was so sick, very much like you described.  I thank God that I found the answer...4 months was enough for me...can't imagine how you've endured the pain for 9!  Good luck!
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Dear CKent,
    It is absolutely a recurrence of the nerve pain!  It can flare up for many years to come!  I have had shingles twice...the first time, I was on and off the Elavil for 5 years!
Now with the second occurrence in a different location, I have been on the Elavil for 7 months and know I can't go off of it yet, because while I feel no pain, I know there is a pressure there that would feel like pain if I wasn't on the Elavil.
Hooray for your doctors who originally diagnosed it!  The antiviral might help lessen the nerve inflammation if it is in the early stages of the shingles virus...otherwise, it won't do a thing.  Good luck!
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This site is so wonderful and I feel so lucky to have found it.  I too have left upper quad pain for a little over 3 years now and have been told everything.  First stress, then spleen (I had mono), then a spleenic node and now spastic colon AKA IBS.  This pain is unbearable at times and feels like repetative stabs!  I haven't had any tests done, beside H-Pylori(which was negative) and from the sounds of it, it doesn't seem like many of you got any info from tests.  Saw a GI Doc and he had me start taking fiber pills...I also suffer from gassiness.  The pills were great, but too much for my body to take as often as recommended.  Anyway, I am just so glad I found all of you.  Although, I'm still terrified it could be something serious.  I have generalized anxiety as well, which doesn't help!  Your stories were comforting to read.  Thank you for all of your ideas, I will be looking into each of them.  Hope you are all feeling better.
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I have been reading these boards for a while. I have been having pain under my right ribs, along my right side, and into the right side of my back for close to 5 years now. I have been through almost every test. Endoscope, Colonoscopy, ultra sound on liver, pancrease, gallbladder and tons of bloodwork. Prilosec helped somewhat at first. Xanax helped the most, but still pain. pain has slowly been getting worse over 5 years, although there has been worse times and better times over that period. I wanted to try Elival so I went to doctor yesterday. He did not think it was shingles, because he thought shingles would come on strong and either stay the same or improve over a long period of time. My pain is ever so slowly getting worse. I don't know if it is shingles or not, but I have felt for a long time the intercostal nerve was being agrevated by a virus or something else. I can say that the first day I have been on elival, I have noticed an improvement. It's too early to tell, but so far so good. I also had an MRI on my back.          


            Bill
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I am so glad that I found this site.  I have had a lower groin pain for 5 yrs now and was told by one doctor that it was a hernia and another said it was a pulled nerve....pain has never gone away.  I then caught a case of the chicken pox for the first time ever 6 months ago (I am 30 yrs old).  For about 3 months now, I have had severe nausea and cramping in my left side right under my rib cage.  The pain is getting worse and I was tested for a parasite, which came back negative. I have had onsets of constipation and then several days of 4-5 BM a day. Thought it could be my gall bladder but was told that it is on the right hand side.  My doctor is now sending me for Xray and ultrasound and a gastroenterologist is going to see me.  I never thought of the shingles thing because it can be brought on by stress and I started a very stressful job 4 months ago!! This makes so much sense.  I thought I was losing my mind and I think my co-workers think I'm a hypochondriac!! I am also beginning to feel very isolated and somewhat depressed and I hate being like this.  It's so frustrating.  It's so good to know that there are others out there with the same condition....I don't feel so alone now.  Thank you for your thoughts and advice.  I wish everyone success and a pain-free life one day.  Try to hang in there! I know I will.
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I have an appt. with my PCP this Weds. for the exact symptoms described here.  I've been dealing with this off and on for over 3 years.  Started in a very stressful time in my life. Felt like someone was pulling my stomach through my back.  It isn't a peircing pain, but a lot of pressure and a knot in my back just below the shoulder blade. Anxiety or exhaustion accompany it. Just a all over unwell feeling. Doctor gave me Prevacid and the pain went away in about 2 weeks.  
And then it was on and off until just this last May when I hit another very stressful time in my life and kicked in and has not stopped except for 2 weeks in July when it totally stopped, then kicked in again.
I had my heart tested last Oct. it was fine, thank god.
Had my gallbladder out June 1, 2000.  Was full of stones.
Still had the dull pain and pressure.
Started seeing a chiropractor July 1, 2000, he relieved the chest and upper back pressure, but the stomach pressure and bloating remains and the knot in the back still remains. Along with the overall unwell feeling.  2 weeks ago I developed this pinching like feeling in my lower left ribcage.
He will probably want me to go through alot of gastro tests, which is fine, but I think I will ask him for the Elavil just for shits and giggles while I wait on the gastro tests.
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Hi! Dr.Genious how are you doing today I hope fine. Anyway I have some questiond you ask you. My question is What bone can move in your skull? , and What are two parts of the skeletal system?
Pleaes e-mail me today no later becaus eif you don't then I'm sueing you page maybe you.

Bye
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Hi! Dr.Genious how are you doing today I hope fine. Anyway I have some questiond you ask you. My question is What bone can move in your skull? , and What are two parts of the skeletal system?
Pleaes e-mail me today no later
Bye
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Hi Carol and others,

I'm glad I found your notes and hope that someone can help shed light on my problem as well.  

Over the past three years I have been dealing with a growing abdominal "cramping" in my right side just below the belt line.  It tends to be worse about 1 hour after eating, and espeically after eating really filling meals, i.e. pasta and chesse are the two worst, but caffine and chocolate are bad too.

I've had many of the tests, Endoscopy down the throat, ct scan, kidney x-ray, blood tests, upper GI, nothing.

Over the past two months I have had a swelling of my tonsils and that doesn't see to want to go away.  Lots of various pills, now on Prevacid, thinking the throat issue may be reflux related, but so far no help.  The prevavic seems to make my stomach cramping worse as well.

The stomach issue is worse when I sit, and is almost not noticeable when walking or standing.  It feels like presure, and the best results have been to use heat combiined with massage in that area for about 1/2 hour.

I would love to talk to anyone who has similar issues so please write:  ***@****

Has anyone gone to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN to see what they can find?  Looking at getting an appointent in December....

Wayne
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For the past year I have had pain extending from my lower left ribcage to slightly before the center of my back. It feels like it is jutting out, like something under it is swollen. I also have a lump on my leftside slightly behind my armpit but still around my ribcage. I went to a chiropractor a few weeks ago after a friend mentioned that he had similar probs. that turned out to be a pulled muscle due to a bad back. I had an adjustment done and the size of the lump actually went down within a few hours of the treatment. The soreness was still there, but I could breathe better. Now I am back to where I started..the lump is big again and I am having problems even laying on my side. I am considering going to the hospital after reading your posts and trying to rule out..1. shingles, 2. pancreatitus (pancreatitis), 3. diverticulosis, 4. a gallbladder or liver problem. I will prob. ask for a scan of #4. first. Thanx for posting your experiences, atleast you have given me someplace to begin.
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For the last (around 6) months I've had this nagging "feeling" in the left side of my back, sort of at my ribcage. It definitely isn't a pain, it just sort of feels like something's in there. But it's only in my back, not my abdomen.

Maybe the shingles thing is applicable here. Twice, in the last 6 months, I broke out in a strange rash (sort of an intricate red design) on my thigh.

I don't know. I guess it could be some sort of nerve damage. I was taking St. John's Wort before this, for about a year, until I started noticing prickly feelings in my fingers (nerve damage) and found out St. John's wort can cause that. Maybe I've experienced some sort of lingering nerve damage.

The thing is, it's not "painful" just annoying and nagging, so I almost feel if I went to a doctor, they'd blow it off. They seem to take full blown pain more seriously.

But I am going to mention it to my doctor when I see her in a few weeks.
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Need to get HEALTHY. Everything you need for every part of the body you have. HERBALIFE is what you need. Email me with questions  Willison_co***@****
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Just want everyone to know that my doctor thinks there just may be something to this shingles thing.
He has prescribed Elavil 25mg at bedtime for the next 2 weeks and then he wants to see me again.
Keeping my fingers crossed.  =)
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I had pain for more than 10 years in my duodenum.
I could sleep thanks to Normacol.

After finding Helicopbacter Pilori, my doctor ordered me OGAST + Zeclar + clamoxyl.

After that, pain has disapeared (!!!!)
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I have been having pains in mu upper stomache on and off for eight years.I have tests for ulcers had two different courses of anti biotics for helicobactor pylori,when the symptoms appear I feel that I cant face food for three days also when I press my stomache to the top left of my ribcage I can feel and hear a clicking noise, my doctor says that it is coming from my smaller ribs and is nothing to worry about.I agree with Jeff,it is sometimes brought on after a night out,where too much alcohol may have caused the problem,I think that I may be allergic to white wine which may be causing acidity.
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I have been having pains in mu upper stomache on and off for eight years.I have tests for ulcers had two different courses of anti biotics for helicobactor pylori,when the symptoms appear I feel that I cant face food for three days also when I press my stomache to the top left of my ribcage I can feel and hear a clicking noise, my doctor says that it is coming from my smaller ribs and is nothing to worry about.I agree with Jeff,it is sometimes brought on after a night out,where too much alcohol may have caused the problem,I think that I may be allergic to white wine which may be causing acidity.
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Dear Royce:

I have acid reflux, and a great deal of heart papitations for three years now.  At first the doctors didn't know what is was from...thought maybe a heart attack. Then I was the one to say that about two hours after I eat, the heart races.  I turned out to be right...digestion is taking place I guess and all that air builds up in my chest and pow!  the heart starts going.  it's very scary...but I'm used to it now.  

I have a question?  I'm having tremendous nerve problems....twitches in leg, numbness almost over entire body.  anybody taking Prilosec experiencing this?  Just curious?
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have had ulq pain for 20yrs as matter of fact i had it for 2wks this time  this is the first time ihave found any bodies that have  it   thanks  for the info keep it coming
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When I found this site I actually cried.  I have had the same left upper quadrant pain for almost 1 year.  I am completely and totally stressed out.  I have had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, CAT scan, ultra sounds of the pelvis and abdomen, and now soon to have an MRI of the lumbar spine and repeat ultra sound.  After GI I went to GYN because I thought the constant pain also became worse around my cycle.  The GYN doesnt think it is cycle related.  Now the left upper quadrant pain is not only under my left rib cage but radiating to my hip and back.  I have that stitch in my side and i have been told about the IBS, also had H pylori, was terrified of a tunor or a cancer.  I have 3 sick  children - my oldest is 18 and is critically ill with a rare seizure disorder.  I CAN NOT AFFORD TO BE SICK ALL THE TIME DAY IN AND DAY OUT.  I am going to ask my doctor about the elavil TONIGHT!  For the women on the list does your LUQ pain get worse around the monthly cycle?  
Thanks for all the info I feel better just knowing I am not alone!
Tina
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Rob,
Rob,  


I started developing something similar while serving in Somolia. The doctors thought it was parasites and told me to take care of it when I returned to the states.  Let's cut to the chase, after a year of almost every test possible, they decided to do an upper GI.  About 15 minutes after drinking this fluid that weighed about two pounds, I thought I was going to die.  The doctor at the hospital did the upper GI and could not find anything.  I went back to my doctor doubled over in pain.  That night they performed emergency exploritory surgery.  They found adhessions that were attaching my colon to the abdominal wall.  The next day no less than 5 doctors came to tell me they never would have found that.  Their test were all focused inside the digestive track rather than outside.  This is just food for thought.  Have you ever had a blow to the abdomin (abdomen) or prior surgery?

Good luck,

Mike
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I am a 21 y/o female with normal health other than the problem I am about to mention. I have had right upper gastric pain for 4 months now and have had every test done in the book (CT scan, x-rays, upper gi, ERCP).  All came back normal.  I was originally diagnosed with pancreatitis (severe pain, clay stools, vomiting), but when I got it a second time and my lipase only peaked at 275, they looked to something else for the cause.  They then thought I had delayed gastric emptying and it came back as a mild delay but nothing to point to why I had this horrible pain in my right side.  I have been hospitalized 3 times since first have the "pancreatitis" like symptoms.  My lipase has elevated to 275 at it's peak, but my amylase has never been elevated, so they said it could not be pancreas or gallbladder related.  The definitive diagnosis I received was I had gastroparesis and dyspepsia.  I have still been sick even while taking reglan and elavil (for chronic pain).  I am out of options because I am withering away into nothing.  I weighed 123 in July and now in November, I am down to 108.  I look and feel very unhealthy and I sometimes cannot go on with daily life because I feel so bad.  I feel that maybe there is something the docs are missing.  Could anyone help me with this?
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To Emily,
    How much Elavil are you taking? Maybe this could be the shingles virus and resulting nerve inflammation. If you're on a small dose of Elavil, maybe they should try upping it...I have to take 50mg. each night to control my pain.
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I want to thank all of you so much who have contributed to this web site, especially those of you who have provided information about elavil.  This drug really has put a stop to what for me was unbearable suffering.  My story is as follows:

On August 2, I got what I thought was food poisoning.  The severe cramping and nausea lasted for about 10 days, and then disappeared for about 2 weeks.

On Sept. 4, the pain returned.  Anytime I ate practically anything my stomach would cramp for hours and I would become very nauseous.  The nausea sometimes lasted for days.  Eventually not eating anything became preferable to eating.  In one week I lost ten pounds.

In addition to the nausea and stomach cramping, I also had a constant pain in the upper left quadrant of my chest.  It was clearly centered in the epigastric region.  It burned through to the center of my back and extented up to my left shoulder.  In the front, it radiated up to the area at the base of my throat (at the notch in the collar bone) and downward just under the rib line.  It stopped an inch or so above my waist.  This was not a sharp pain, but more of a gnawing one.  By far, the worst symptoms were the cramping and nausea that occurred after eating.  My stomach also was very acidic. I had no lower abdominal symptoms.

My week of not eating occurred toward the end of September and caused me to realize that I needed to find something I could consume.  I began experimenting with different foods and found  that I could eat overcooked potatoes in chicken broth and also oatmeal without the usual stomach cramps and nausea.  I ate only these two foods for the next two weeks.  However not eating protein left me very weak.  I experimented a little more and discovered I could also eat poached fish and rice without the dreaded after effects.  These four foods were my total diet for the next month.

During the first two weeks of October I had all the stomach tests done: ultrasound, upper GI series, chest x-ray, CT scan, blood work, and finally a sigmoidoscopy and an endoscopy on Oct 15. The results of all of them, of course, were normal.  However, by this time I had already found this web site so, when my GI doc declared that what I had was IBS and gastroparesis (his only prescription was for reglan) I knew to go the next day to my GP and ask for a prescription for elavil.  Again you all, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I began taking elavil on Oct 16 starting with 10 mg.  I reacted so badly to this initial low dosage that I was certain I would never be able to take higher dosages without having unbearable side effects.  I was tremendously groggy and worse - tremendously dizzy.  But after 8 days the side effects
eased significantly and I gradually increased the dosage over time -10 mg, 20mg, 25 mg, 35 mg, to 50 mg.  After each increase the side effects returned and I just tolerated the dizzness and hoped that it would soon go away.  It always did.  But had I not been so desparate I would have given up on elavil a long time ago.

I have been taking 50 mg for 5 days now and all of my symptoms are completely gone.  I discovered I could eat practically everything after taking 25 mg of elavil for four days or so. However, I decided to continue trying to up the dosage because I could still feel an unpleasant-but-not-painful sensation in my stomach and I wanted to get rid of it if I could.  The only major noticable side effect that I still experience is constipation.  I have an appetite for sweets but I always have.  My mouth's a little dry but cough drops take care of it.  I'm just so grateful to be able to eat again.

I hope this can be of help to someone.  Again, to all, my thanks.
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Dear Susan,
    You described exactly what I went through. All the GI docs could tell me my stomach was inflamed, but could never give me the reason.  I, too, found only a handful of foods that I could keep down, and became so weak.  I lost 27 pounds during my illness.  I am so glad that my illness and its eventual diagnosis has helped others.  Four month of a living hell for me, but worth it all if it can help others!
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Hi, I would like to add to this list. My mother is in a lot of pain they (docs) did an ultrasound, blood work and Friday she has to drink some chalky stuff. She hurts under and around her left side of here back. In her ultrasound they found some cysts in her liver. They changed her diet and put her on proslacte. My mother is 68 years old. Is there a solution besides an operation?
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I am a 57 year old male. I have stomach pain in lower part of stomach after eating. Somtimes the pain just moves around my entire stomach. Had the endoscopy and sigmoud last week. They can't seem to be able to find anything wrong. Dr. says I have IBS and mild gastritis. I am having an attack as I write this. Not only is there pain in the stomach but have an overall feeling of doom. Feels like I am losing my mind. Also had sonograms of internal organs which showed nothing wrong. Many blood test. Taking Previcid and Hyoscamine to slow down the action of digestion system. Seems to help somewhat. Only other thing that helps is Alprozam (nerve pills). I only take them when I feel like my world is closing in on me. Nice to know that we are not alone with this condition, but it would be nice to be able to find releif of some kind. If I find anthing that helps me I will surely post it here. It is not good to feel that you are losing your mind. Hoping that the Doctors can come up with some kind cure or even something that would relieve some of the pain. Best of luck to all of you suffering from this condition.
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Thanks for having this website....I myself have chest pains, burning on the leftside of my arm...I've had my heart checked many times and even had an angio gram...Everything is fine..Whatever I have it's really annoying..Maybe it's shingles.
I've taken xanx and it releives the pain...And now I'm taking Kava Kava for relaxation.  Also, my pains are sometimes so severe that I cry.  I don't trust Dr.'s and I think they just guess.  It's good to know that I'm not going crazy. I've had blood test, everything is fine, I've had a physical and I'm fine....The burning pain is terrible on my left shoulder.  It's always on the leftside..Sometimes my left arm hurts...It's terrible...Delores



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Hello again,
I've posted before a few entries up.  I am still having the same ol pain.  Under the left ribcage and around to my left middle back.  Since I posted last I have had an endoscopy which was as clean as a whistle.  Ultrasound of abdominal area ...negative...imagine that. This week I had a Cat scan of my abdominal area. I don't know the results of it yet.  My symptoms are not only pain, but as another poster stated, I seem to get anxious when the pain is peaking. Does anyone else have this?
When I get up in the morning, I tend to feel the best and as the day goes by pain gets worse.  I have also been prescribed alproloxm (sp?) or xanax.  It does temper the pain somewhat but it doesn't cure the problem. My gastro doctor seems to be a very understanding doctor and is trying his best to figure out the problem.  He did say the elavil is a very good medication and that it is a tranquilizer of some sort.  As much as I have dissagreed with anxiety as the cause I am starting to have second thoughts that maybe all this is just tied to anxiety.  It seems like when I wake up that I feel so calm, and generally no pain.  I'm not saying the pain isn't real, but the problem might have manifested itself thru stress.  The last year and half my life has had much change.  Have a New baby, New house, job is somewhat stressful ect.  None of this **** started before all those changes.  Also the pain in my abdomin (abdomen) travels to my chest, back and sometimes arms.  I also have experience some depression due to this.  I feel as if I'll never be cured of this.  MAYBE all this is STRESS related. Does anyone else think this?
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This is very interesting.  Mine has been going on for 1 year now.  Had all tests run and everything comes up a big negative.  Very frustrating.  I've been to my general practician about 3 times with this.  On my last visit I went because the night before I thought I was having a heart attach. No heart attach.  It's interesting that everyone is mentioning the "shingles". My doctor mentioned it but decided that I am too young (37).  She still suggested that I watch my wasteline to see if blisters come up.  From what I'm gathering reading all of this, you don't have to have blisters.  Is this true?  If so, I'm calling my doctor and asking her to prescribe Elavil!  I'll keep you posted as to if my pain goes away.  I want to confirm first though that blisters do not have to show around your waistline for you to have shingles.  Please reply!  I'll keep all of you posted.

Thanks!
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Dear Lisa,
      I have had shingles twice...once at age 36 and the other at age 42...both times without the rash.  It even has a name..it's called Zoster Sine Herpete (I think that's it).
Anyway, don't let the absence of blisters keep you from trying the Elavil.  I continue to be amazed at the lack of info doctors have on shingles.  Some of them don't have a clue.  Yes, shingles is usually seen in the older population, but I'm living proof (as well as many others that have posted on this board) that young people get it too.  Especially with the level of stress that we are all living with in this fast paced world.
Good luck.  I hope the Elavil works!  Don't be afraid to ask for a bigger dose if a smaller amount doesn't work.  50mg does it for me.
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I did not have time to read all the mails on this board (there are so many, I could not believe how many people actually suffer from bowel problems!). Anyway, I thought I tell you my story in short version. I am an IBS sufferer (diarrhea). Same story, everything okay physically but nothing seemed to work. However, being from Europe where homeopathy is quite big, I thought I give it a go. That worked wonder. Anyone tried that as well? Would be interested to hear about it.

You all take care.
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Finally Ive found a group of people who all seem to suffer the same thing as I do, and as yet Doctors are still baffled as to what the hell it is!!

Im not about to repeat the symptoms as you all have mentioned same.  All I can is that I hope somebody figures this out soon as people are starting to not believe the pain Im in, they say "Well if there is nothing major wrong with you, why are you whinging!"  ok so I'll stop whinging!  

Ive noted some of the medicines some you guys have taken and will be going to local pharmasist for more advice!

Thanks

Liz
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Hi i am also suffering from this in the upper left side of my chest. I had all the test related to heart and everything turned out to be normal the n i found a doc who diagonised me for having fibromyositis. A nerve pain u can get the details from my health.com. I am taking pain killers and am feeling fine now.
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My brother has had the same symptoms.  He has had numerous tests done.  The doctors can never really find anything wrong with him. He is a very nervous type person and is tense most of the time.
Your body reacts to stress in a negative way.  This can cause your body to work slowly and can cause a person to become
constipated.  Even though you may go to the bathroom daily, sometime the body does not rid itself of all bowel and can cause the sensation that you have mentioned.  Read comment on June 7 from Sheree.  Although this may be a problem for some, others may have other problems as well.  Check your family medical history and see if other's may have had the same problem.  
Talk to your primary care physician and if he/she can't resolve the problem he/she may refer you to someone that specializes in Gastroentology.  In this day in time it is very hard to live a stress free life.  Take time out of your daily routine for yourself and do something that you enjoy.  Take pleasure in the little things that life has to offer.  Good Luck and hope you feel better real soon.
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Sounds like me!! Pain is never severe with me,though,but gets very uncomfortable at times.This pain is located at the bottom of my ribcage,left side.Sometimes feels like a bruised rib,other times feels like it`s closer to the surface of the skin.Tight,pinching feeling inside.This side is more sensitive to water temperature when I take a shower,also.Changed bowel habits over last few years.Feel like Richard Pryor because I have to "wipe for like five hours" every time.That could not be normal.I`ve had colonoscopy and many x-rays and ct scan/mri done.No apparent problems.I sometimes have a general sick feeling,like my guts ache,but I definitely have not lost any appetite or weight.32 years old.6ft 230 pounds.Weight is creeping up on me.Maybe I just have diverticulosis,or something,although I don`t know if that causes stool change.No bleeding or anything,just pasty consistency.OK,LETS CHANGE THE SUBJECT,HERE.....how `bout that election,huh?! (This is my first "intimate details" kinda post!)
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Hello
I am also a sufferer of pain and I was wondering if anyone else has had high enzyme levels of amylase and lypase?
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Debbie G.

I've read most of your posts concerning shingles and LUQ pain and the relief you've gotten with Elavil.  You say you did your own research on the net and learned of rashless shingles in that manner.  Will you please post the link?  You also say that  Elavil, besides being an antidepressant, is an antihistamine and is anti-nerve pain.  The PDR and RxList.com only characterize it as an antidepressent.  They caution it should not be used by people with cardiac problems as it's chief side effect is M.I. and stroke.  Since everyone on this thread is concerned about chest pain it would be prudent to carefully consider it's use.
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I'm so glad I discovered this website.  I am going to the doctor tomorrow because of severe pain in my left ribcage radiating to my back.  I am terrified of a chest x-ray which may diagnose this problem as lung cancer.  I feel a little better now that I have read so many of your letters.  Has anyone with this pain been diagnosed with lung cancer?
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I have had the same problem for thy last two years off and on pain under the right ribcage going through to my back like a knife going through me. amost like a lage lump that I want to reach in and pull out I get indigestion really bad somtimes it feels like heart attack but its mainly in the middle and to the right side of my chest going round the backthe pain feels almost muscular as it sometime hurts more with movement.I am waiting for  more test but it alll becoming to much to bare.
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All I can say is wow all of us having the same type of probs and none of us can seem to find a doctor to say whats going on.I am 28 year old male been  to the ER about 10 times last 3-4 months pain in middle of chest radiating through to back pain moves around alot sometimes in right chest sometimes under left rib area.Have had 4-6 EKGS,Chest X rays,Blood work,Echo on heart and stomach baruim swallow and still no clear cut dianosis besides they want to bring uo anxity,I love how docs want to say anxiety when they cannot find something out pisses me off to no end I know that I am probly have some anxiety and stress but like I told the docs who the hell wouldn't be anxious and worried when you have so much pain and no one knows whats going on tomm I go to Baptist Hospital in N.C. to see a cardiologist as bad as I hate to say it I hope they find something that way atleast they might be able to treat it.

However I doubt they will find anything.I also have the episodes of racing heart that some of you have described its a blessing to read that others have the same kinda problems and hope and pray that we can all recover one day if anyone would liek to chat email me at ***@**** sometimes it good to have someone to talk to that knows how ya feel and what you are going through.
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All I can say is wow all of us having the same type of probs and none of us can seem to find a doctor to say whats going on.I am 28 year old male been  to the ER about 10 times last 3-4 months pain in middle of chest radiating through to back pain moves around alot sometimes in right chest sometimes under left rib area.Have had 4-6 EKGS,Chest X rays,Blood work,Echo on heart and stomach baruim swallow and still no clear cut dianosis besides they want to bring uo anxity,I love how docs want to say anxiety when they cannot find something out pisses me off to no end I know that I am probly have some anxiety and stress but like I told the docs who the hell wouldn't be anxious and worried when you have so much pain and no one knows whats going on tomm I go to Baptist Hospital in N.C. to see a cardiologist as bad as I hate to say it I hope they find something that way atleast they might be able to treat it.

However I doubt they will find anything.I also have the episodes of racing heart that some of you have described its a blessing to read that others have the same kinda problems and hope and pray that we can all recover one day if anyone would liek to chat email me at ***@**** sometimes it good to have someone to talk to that knows how ya feel and what you are going through.
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i am writing this in a sense of calm that i havnt had in months..after seeing that others are experiencing similar problems.....Im a 37 year old male, and for me , well...I had an undiscribable tickle under my left rib for years...it usually meant a bad cold was coming on...(my doctor in puzzlement said it was probably a gland thing??)..well about 6 months ago i had terrible diarreaha and after my gp sent me to a specialist and a colonoscopy with no results..i was sent home..guessing..shortly after i developed a rash on my penis and i was told it was a yeast infection...then it was jock itch and now its still there after numerous cremes  etc...then on top of which...my symptoms.....fatigue,constant diarreaha, stomach pain , acid reflux, pain that starts under my rib cage on the left and radiates to my lower back..(although sometimes more painful that others)..and now what feels like a bubble directly to the left of my solarplexis and bulging out from under my rib(especially if i sit down over a table or desk)..my most recent symptom..hives and itching on my forearms...
the medications i have taken...cipro( for prostititus)
                               flagellen for a misdiagnosed infection, prilosec for the upset stomach and hiatal hernia, and now protonix for the diagnosed hiatal hernia....
on top of it all my doctor checked my liver enzymes and said they were high enough to warrent a revisit to the internist/ gastro doctor(possibly for a liver biopsy)....I AM JUST SO FED UP WITH IT ALL ....AND MY WIFE THINKS IM CRAZY AND AND JUST BEING A HYPOCHONDRIAC...AND IM WONDERING THAT MYSELF.....ANY COMMENTS WOULD BE WELCOME EITHER HERE OR TO MY EMAIL ADDRESS POSTED IN MY HEADING...THANX
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I am 33 and have had the same kind of pain all my life. Whem I was 15 doctors found that my large and small intestine had not moved into their proper places while I was developing in my mothers womb. This alone was not thought to be the cause. I had surgery then to release a section of my small intestine that they thought was ocassionally getting kinked up.This didnt help.
Then I had to have a second surgery after scar tissue from the first surgery caused my small intestine to twist and become totally blocked. They said another 30 minutes and it would have ruptured and I might have died from the infection it would have caused. No sooner than  I went home from that, I was back with pain and unstoppable vomiting. This time they said the 2nd surgery had irritated my pancreas and caused pancreatitis.
Things went ok for a few months, then the pain came back.
This time they were thinking pancreas again. Ultrasound showed what looked like calcium deposits on it comparable to a person who had drank booze for 30 years! They wanted to put me through
an exploritory surgery to check it out. I refused and my parents did too. I still get the pain . several years ago , I had a cat scan done of my pancreas and gall bladder. It showed perfectly
normal! I know we all want the docs to do something for us.
But maybe sometimes nothing is better. I hope you can find out what it is but if you can't, try to find ways to handle the pain or lessen it. I gave up on any kind of antacid type treatment.
I dont think it has anything to do with it.I take pain relievers
and it may sound strange but I have found that a big glass of almost hot water drank all at once and then laying down on my stomach for about an hour sometimes helps.
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I can understand you, I have the same pain- had colonoscopy, a couple of MRI's, CT scan and name it all and the doctors say I am healthy. I am still searching for answer on this... I will post it when God will finally help the doctors figure it out.
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I am 38 and have recently been plagued with the same upper left abdomen pain.  And about 4 months ago I had a very sharp and very painful ache in my lower left abdomen.  I couldn't sit up right and it lasted for nearly 2 days.  I was experiencing the same upper left pain prior and also had some really bad acid reflux.  This was more evident after drinking alcohol and eating fried food.  I have read (a lot) about this and all the posts here and I have found that my symptons are found in several different disorders and diseases.  From pancreatitis, to cholecystitis, to hiatal hernia and biliary colic, liver disease, enlarged spleen and more.  But I also learned that some of these are related and one often affects the other.  It is likely that some of you are like me and are suffering from a sequence of one or more of these symptoms.  I am planning to visit an endocrinologist and run some tests but I wanted to research as much as possible first.  I expect that I have a problem with my gallbladder and have stones.  This explains the severe pain in my small intestine 4 months ago, ie. lodged stone and trying to pass it.  Also, I think that I have damaged my pancreas from poor diet and alcohol. Because it really is uncomfortable after drinking and eating fatty foods. Also, gallstones can block the bile duct and cause problems with the pancreas where the pancreas cannot push the digestive enzymes to the stomach. One more very distinct symptom of pancreatitis is an oily stool sometimes followed by an oily liquid.  Gross, I know.  The last thing is I get a very bad case of acid indigestion. This is probably from GERD.  That is the reflux that occurs when the valve at the top of the stomach (LUS?)doesn't shutin and let's bile move up.  That really hurts and I've been told can burn all the way to your back.  I have an immediate remedy for that.  If you get this really bad acid reflux and you don't want to wait for the prilosic or zantac to kick in then take 2 teaspoons of baking powder and stir in 2 ounces of water and gulp it down.  Tastes awful but you will get relief in less that 5 seconds.  Well, that is enough.  I will try to remember to post again after I visit the doctor.  Wish me luck on finding a good one.
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I have recently acquired the same symptoms.  I ma going nuts to say the least.  I hope to find out something because it is driving me nuts!!!
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same strange problem as above........imaginary? pain upper left quadrant- abdomen, had all the tests, doctor finds nothing, am beginning to think i am crazy - a constant, dull, burning pain, also tender skin in afflicted area - will flare up when i get some sort of infection or virus, hasnt hurt for 6 months, had a stomach/upper respiratory infection, pain is back.........help
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same exact problem as above, starting to feel a little insane...
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I'm sitting here incredulous, having just found this board, that so many other people are having the same pack of symptoms that I've been having for almost a year now. I've suffered with ULQ pain under my ribs which often wraps around my side and back. My own personal "alien". The pain is mostly dull and gnawing but will occasionally become sharp (mostly associated with gas in my colon, I've noted). I've had the same pains and numbness in the left side of my chest and down my left arm. I can almost feel exactly where my organs are on the left side as the pain sometimes fairly corruscates around them like paths of nerve lightning. Like many on this board, I've had gobs of tests (blood tests, endoscopy, palps, scheduled for a barium enema in two weeks) all of which came out both hearteningly and depressingly normal. I have been diagnosed with GERD, gastritis and a small hiatal hernia which are being treated fairly successfully with Ranitidine but that doesn't account for the rest of the pain I've been experiencing. I've had off and on bouts of constipation and diarrhea with the pain as well as gassy cramping and bloating in my colon. I've been doing pretty well until recently when my grandfather died (of pancreatic cancer which didn't help my state of mind any!) and then I had the flu. Whee. The pain came back with a vengeance on the tail end of the flu and has persisted for days now. I am encouraged by the discussions of Zoster Sine Herpete and plan to call my gastroenterologist tomorrow to request a prescription of Elavil. I had chicken pox at the age of eight with no major problems since, but I do develop the occasional pus-filled "zit" around my waistline (which I have always put down to heat or the like) and have had a recent major itch-fest on the back of my left thigh (with no visible cause). The more I read about the travails of others with this particular Zoster virus, the more it sounds like what I've been going through. Thanks all of you for sharing your experiences. It's really given me some peace of mind and a new avenue of treatment to investigate with my doctors.

Regards,
BrightLion
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I am tired of dr's myself. I've had ct scans, mri, blood work, ultrasound, endoscopy, colonoscopy and was told gerd, gastroitis or something like that. I have left side pain under my ribs and nothing makes it go away. Labs came back with elevated ast or alt they said gallstones but that's the otherside ugh!
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WOW! this is crazy information, and I am right there with you. mine has been 4 yrs now, 16 different doctors/surgeons/specialists. I play college bask etball and the pain was so intense I would feel like I could pass out any second! the pain is a sharp stabbing pain that constantly is under my left ribs. feels like my stomach and in between my ribs all the way from front to back. I tried kineso tape and many diff tapings to try and dull the pain so I could play but if I taped the left and it felt good I would feel it on the right. needless to say, nothing helped. yes maybe I shouldve stoppedplaying but rest didnt help either. 4 months off was the same pains, figured I still should work out if I am getting the pains if I wasnt training. suffered through it alll...for the love of the game. 16 doctors, all stumped. bloodtests, mri, bone scan, ekg, ct scan, with and without dye,ultradounds on heart, ovaries, gall bladder and entire left side, diaphragm and lung tests, im probably missing somethingbut all negative. im 22 yrs old trying to deal with this pain and live life work have fun. sleep with a pillow under my side if I even want to walk the next day. pain makes me throw up, I have fallen down from the pain, left side goes numb...under my eye my left side ribs, around my shoulder blade, elbow, fingers...all numb. told my last doctor everything even cried to get his attention to the amount of pain I am in. all his response was....u have had every test it is all up here (as he points to his head). again i am 22 in a few years I want children, will I be able to? i cant live like this for the rest of my life. please someone find the cure!
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