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Acute Sporadic Episodes of Severe Abdominal Pain

Following is my case, please see if anyone can help or relate:

I randomly get "periodic episodes" of severe stomach pains that occur roughly about 2-3 months apart, almost always a few hours (anywhere from 1-4) hours of having a dinner (that is, almost all episodes occur at night time right before or at about bed time); each generally lasting 7-9 hours on the average. There have been a few shorter episodes and a few much longer, with differing intensities but generally a typical episode on the pain scale level of 1-10, 10 being worst, starts at about level 1-4 with peaking at about pain level 7-9 for the most part of an episode and then suddenly diminshing after about 6-7 hours of severe duration.

Note, the pattern of each episode is almost always about the same from start to finish - a sensation (kinda "feel like") of some heaviness in the stomach, then gradual increase in pain in abdominal area (about half an hour to an hour after that "heavy feeling"), which then quickly shots up to a severe pain scale level 7-9 that would last most through the night and then eventually resolving on its own after about 5-8 hours of peaking.

During a typical episode what I experience, almost always in the same order of occurrence: (1) A feeling that an episode is about to happen, a few minutes to about half an hour right before it actually starts - (this is important to mention because this is an onset of an episode where my body alerts me to stop intaking any food/drinks of any sort; howeveer, this initial stage is also full of anxiety and mental pressure with an unpleasant "sixth sensation" of a sort, if you will, that I am about to start facing yet another night of restlessness; (2) A mild to severe pressure in stomach and general abdominal area, lasting for a few minutes to about half an hour, that would signal positive that the episode has now begun; (3) a wave of cyclical/sinusoidal pain wave that suddenly increases in intensity from severe to extreme; typical time duration for each sinusoidal pain-wave lasts about a 1-2 minutes duration each, a low-peak-low acute cycle of sharp stabbing/burning sensation and intense pressure in the general mid-abdominal area, lasting about 5-7 hours; (4) during the peak pain hours my stomach muscles/wall may harden several times for 5-10 minutes for each time; I may lay down, get up, kneel, crouch, fold in fetal position, walk, pace, rub/massage my tummy, and try to use toilet to allow me pass gas/stool or throw up to help lower the pain and to get some relief from constant churning going on in my belly; (5) a feeling of chill/cold occurs during the early hours of an episode, followed by mild to severe dryness in mouth, that eventually is followed by a bit of nausea and/or mild-to-severe burbs upon which I "make" myself to vomit that often yields positive in throwing up of whatever may had been leftover inside the stomach by then; (6) the pain generally peaks out after 5-6 hours of acute/sharpness in severity, eventually subdueing itself almost suddenly; (7) I finally able to go to sleep after about 6-8 hours of intense pain.

I am generally so tired and full of fatigue towards the end of each episode that I fall asleep in no time and wake up in the morning all fine as if nothing ever happened - with no pain or any signs of it!  Apart from being tired the morning after and having to cope with general fatigue throughout the next day due to the restlessness night, I am able to resume all functions just as normal like no problem - that is, normal eating and normal bowel movements!  

I must state, during these episode, I do not have any fever (despite feeling chills/cold), headache, backache, diarrhea, blood in stool/vomit or anything else of that sort. I make myself to go to the bathroom several times during an episode to see if that would help and I am able to go with normal bowel movement (while the pain in the belly is still going on) and pass normal stool - with no extraordinary smell, blood or any abnormal discoloration - suggesting that the issue is not with my large intestine (colon).  I strongly suspect that this whole thing occurs and is confined to my small intestine. However, no doctor, gastrointestinal specialist, and even expert surgeons have been able to diagnose or detect any problem with any of my organs or digestive tract.  

I have had all sorts of blood and stool tests, ultrasounds, x-rays, colonoscopies, endoscopies, barium swallows, tests at the best-of-the-best hospitals and by the best-of-the-best specialists in my area but, alas, yet all to none avail. I do have insurance despite of which it has still cost me several thousand dollars in deductables.

I have had tried maintaining a food diary to isolate if there may be an issue with my diet, an unknown food borne allergy or malabsorptions, but, that too had not been helpful except to suggestively (but not conclusively) suspecting some ingredients such as certain fruits and veggies, etc, that perhaps may be the culprits. However, none of those suspected food items can be positively identified to be the actual culprits because some episodes had occurred even in absence of the suspected ingredients!

As a subject for a case-study: I am (otherwise) a healthy adult male with healthy lifestyle and normal dietary habits. I don't smoke, don't drink, nor eat/abuse junk/fast food nor go on eating binges. My preferred choice of drink is simply plain cold water. I avoid all sorts of sodas, sugary/salty drinks/snacks, and coffees etc. as much as possible. I do take a cup of hot black tea every morning and occasionally a glass of plain low-fat milk at bed time. I, in fact, have what known to be a balanced/healthy dietary lifestyle. It has been ruled out that I do not have intolerance to dairy, eggs, cheese, wheat/breads, cereals, etc.  I prefer chicken and fish over red meat, however, I have not shown any signs of indigestion after eating a meal containg beef or lamb meat.  I do get some stress on times but generally it's no more than any guy next to me and probably just what an average healthy normal adult would get during a working week. I do get to relax and excersize time to time (but not as regularly as I used to some years ago) since I pack quite a busy daily routine that does not allow me to even think or feel about having any extraordinary level of stress.

My stomach problom started about two and a half years ago (October 2009) and has been so typical in its recurring patterns that, by now, I have become accustomed to handling each occurrence as to just endure the pain through the whole night rather than rushing to an ER or going to see a doctor about it.  That said, it is still quite troubling (and annoying!) when it occurs and I have not (yet) lost all hope in finding a cure for it.  If anyone else out there suffering with similar issue(s), please kindly share. Thank you so very much.
100 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm 34 years old. These exact same attacks that everyone is describing have just started for me.. I've had four so far, all beginning at around 4am and lasting until 11:00am. twice after eating red meats and the other two times after eating pastries. (yet other times I've eaten the same things with no consequence) I've had colonoscopy and CT scans - No clues yet..
Avatar universal
I have the same exact thing that most of you are describing above. My pain is always extreme 10/10 on the pain scale right next to belly button on the right side. About an inch to right and a half inch down. Always the same story and usually at night time, but this last one happened during the day. I can always tell when I'm going to have one and I usually can't do anything to stop it or hinder it. This last time however, I was able to stop it from progressing to the 10/10 pain and the usual 5-8 hour attack. I managed to keep it around a 6/10 for an hour and a half by taking 800mg of ibuprofen and putting an ice pack wrapped tightly around my abdomen on the spot with direct contact to my skin. The pain subsided much sooner than usual. Luckily, I went to the hospital for the first time during my last attack. I was doubled over for about four hours and the pain was unbearable so I had my roommate drive me to the hospital. Mind you, I am a 22 year old male who plays college baseball and is in the best shape of his life. A little stomach ache couldn't put me on the ground and make me do just about anything to make the pain stop, right? Wrong, this is the worst pain on the planet. When I push and poke on my stomach it's almost like it is hard sometimes and I can feel it moving around. So, long story short I've had these attacks five or six times per year since I was 15. The last one I had I got a Dr. that diagnosed me with a very small hernia located right next to my belly button and claimed that my small intestine could be gettingt pushed up into the little hole sometimes and if it's not pushed back right away it can cause pain for hours and hours even if you push it back after awhile. It has something to do with you intestinal glow being up stricter and causing huge amounts of inflammation. So, most people think of a hernia as in your lower abdomen and sticking out visibly, but he claims you can have very small ones that are hard notice. I had an ultrasound done by a dr last week... The dr I was referred to... And his daughter had a very similar case to mine. They couldn't find the little hole or "slit" in the lining on an ultrasound. So they did a little exploratory surgery and sure enough found two small hernias that were causing her pain. Hers describes what mine feels like 90% of the time. Now, I haven't had mine confirmed without a doubt that it is a hernia, but I have had a colonoscopy, a lactose test, a crliac test, etc and have normal bowel movements and am very healthy otherwise. All of those tests showed no signs of anything wrong with my bowels. This is just my experience, but I am hoping that next week at my next dr visit I will have more answers for you guys. I really want this pain to end... Not just for me after reading about everyone's. Note: I didn't believe the hernia idea at first either, but after speaking with several dr's and people that have seen "this" I am much less skeptical. Now, my exploratory surgery could still show no sign of a hernia, and then I'm back to square one of just dealing with it.
Avatar universal
Note: at the beginning of my last post I said "my last attack" twice, but those were two seperate attacks occurring within two weeks of each other. One I went to the hospital and the other i stayed home and did what the dr said about the ice pack, massage, and ibuprofen for inflammation.
Avatar universal
Iphone typing on this site is terrible lol. I look like I don't know how to speak properly... Up above, I was saying that your small intestine can get obstructed and cause severe pain. Jeez haha
Avatar universal
OMG hats me finally after bouts over the last 5 months ended up in emergency yesterday to no avail just put me on a drip for dehydration did tests etc,, and gave me panadol and nurofen today feeling better but lower abs very heavy and sore from cramping please please lets hope they can sort this out for all of us ..
5121236 tn?1363899782
You have described what I go through to a T. My episodes last at least 10-12 hours. This has been going on for 2 years now. I've had IBS all my life but never had this kind of pain. After the episodes, my abdomen right below the navel is sore when I press and I get twinges of pain on and off for 2 days. I usually eat very light also for 2 day, mostly because I fear a recurrence. So far these episodes are 6-9 mos. apart and start 3-4 hrs. after supper, but my last one started at 4 in the morning, lasted until 3 that afternoon, with pain at a 5, only to return by 8 that evening with pain going to a 9 very rapidly. I drank 2 tsps. of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in 2-3 oz. of orange juice and dang if it didn't work within 10 minutes! Pain totally gone! I only hope that it works every time! I'll report what happens next time.
Avatar universal
I've never been able to find someone else with the exact same problem and here you all are. My first attack was when I was about 14-15 (i'm now 27) In my teenage years I had them much more frequently then it slowed down to once in a year maybe. I haven't had an attack for quite a while until last night. Mine also starts late in the evening I feel a slow burning that I almost mistake for being really anxious. By 12am I give up the idea of going to bed and basically sit on the couch all night crying from the pain. Standing, sitting and laying down does nothing to ease the pain. The pain comes in waves, it creeps up and builds to a excruciating point then slowly subsides over about a minute. I haven't been able to pin point any foods that set me off although I am quite sensitive to dairy but I can still eat it in moderation. I am a very anxious person and was particularly stressed yesterday before my attack so I don't know if it could be stress related. I've never been to a doctor for it and by reading everyone's comment I don't think I will be either. I have extremely sensitive skin and am prone to rashes and skin irritations I don't know if anyone else shares that. I really feel for everyone going through this it's an absolute nightmare.
Avatar universal
Also I forgot to add, the next morning stomach feels really tender, I feel really hungry but even thinking of food puts me off and I feel nauseous.
Avatar universal
Thank you all so much for sharing, it's a sad relief in a way to know others are suffering from these sporadic bouts of extreme unpleasantness.  Same issues for me with the exception that I feel like I have to use the bathroom (num. 2) or vomit at the same time but usually cannot do either unfortunately though my suspicion is that it would help relieve some of the pain to expel whatever is in my tummy or intestines that is causing the issue.  My husband suffers has suffered from kidney stones since he was a teenager so we always have Rex painkillers around even if they are old they do work if I take them quickly enough.

Otherwise baths only help slightly when I can drag mysel doubled over to the bathroom, and I can't seem to keep down any fluids I try to drink.  I've also gone to the ER and have had scans but the Drs there don't have any information and act like I'm making the symtpoms up.

my attacks started when I was in college at around age 24.  The pain was so intense when I made my wa back to my room from an unsuccessful trip to the bathroom, my vision started to go black like I was blacking out.  

Usually I just lie in the fetal position and toss and turn trying to get comfortable to no avail.  This happens to me at night at bedtime or sometimes it wakes me up and happens to me about every six months - I'm 35 now.

I used to eat a lot of sugary foods but am trying to cut unhealthy foods from my diet.  I've given up caffein too so we'll see how these dietary changes go.

Please let me know if anyone has gotten a diagnosis and treatment that works as right now I have zero faith in established medicine for this problem.
Avatar universal
I had severe stabbing pain in three to four different areas in my abdomen. After going through a thoroughly useless "specialist"-ordered colonoscopy, it has transpired that the pain was because of my lactose intolerance. With less milk in my diet, i am totally free of the pain, only for it to return because I'm such a coffee, ice-cream, yoghurt etc etc addict. so, please go for a food allergy test before any invasive procedure....
Avatar universal
I am the same.
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But I don't vomit always? ?
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I have been prescribed medical Marijuana for it, which helps for about an hour each toke,  depending upon the strain intensity.
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I should also mention,  my sensitive eyes to light.
Avatar universal
I have the exact same symptoms. im 22 live a healthy lifestyle. work out 4-5 times a week. i have been previously diagnosed with acid reflux and sometimes take zantac(ranitidine) especially before eating spicy foods. Around May 20, 2015 i had my first episode. started off with a mild stomach ache which was wierd because i dont usually get stomache aches because i dont eat too much junk food or sweets. It felt like there was a ball in my stomach. the pain kept getting a little worse every hour. after the 3-4 hour mark it became extremely painful. That pain lasted for about another 5-6 hours. Had to lay in bed in wierd positions to try to get the pain to be a little worse. All energy drained. Can barely see. after it was over my stomach was sore for about a week. I think that this was caused because at that time i took alot of supplements like vitamins etc in pill form. which might have agitated my stomach. however i had another episode yesterday august 2. And it was the exact same thing as before. But i had a normal breakfast of eggs and oatmeal. Dont know why it happened. 2 days prior i went out drinking and the next day ate pizza. but thats 24-48 hours before it actually happened. What can this be?
Avatar universal
In the last month I have had this happen to me twice with the latest one occuring yesterday.  Both episodes lasted about 30 minutes so it's a little less than others on here, but it's the exact same extreme pain.  You walk around trying to find a good position, breath differently, take hot showers....whatever to dull the pain.  And POOF it's gone in an instant.  

I wanted to bring something up that has not been mentioned on here as I had a very similar situation when I was younger that the Dr's could never figure out.  Back in my 20's I lived in a very old house that had a lot of Mold that I ingested over time.  I had about 3-4 episodes in a year during this time frame while in this house.  As soon as I moved I have not had an episode until this year.   Thus my family and I thought we cured it by getting away from the Mold.  

Fast forward to this year and my GF has recently moved into an older apartment.  I stay over occassionally and about a week later I had my first episode on August 30th.   Now about a month later I stayed over a few nights in a row and I again had an episode.  I am thinking her place may have mold, which I am once again ingesting and possibly allergic to.  It seems far fetched...but the research I have done states that mold can have a direct effect on the stomach and digestion system.

So my question to anything viewing this site....where do you live, sleep, work?  Could there be a possibility of mold?  I think I am going to get an allergy test to see if I can confirm the allergy, but with no answers...I thought I would mention this...
Mr gradhodude. My own symptoms are similar. For me it has always occurred  in the middle of the night. Like last night. I awoke to the same intense biting pain lower left abdomen that lasted about 30 minutes, then it vanished. It reoccurs a few times each year, for the past 15 years. I saw some mold in the attic late last year. I opened the attic windows thinking fresh air and some bleach might fix it,  but its still there. I guess I gotta fix that then. I keep hoping a bolt of lightning will hit this house.
I should have left off the part about lightning. The pain I experienced only lasted for aprox 30 minutes but it was none the less intense. I've had tooth aches, head aches and kidney stones that turn hours into days. If this pain lasted for hours on end I would crawl to the emergency room. I've never seen a doctor about this pain I just curl up in the dark and groan for thirty or forty minutes till it vanishes again. I still remember the first time; whatever I thought it was  I thought it would pass when I used the restroom, but sitting there grunting I passed out, hit my face on the sink and woke up when a friend banged on the door. The pain in my abdomen was gone. I thought it might be appendicitis, or a parasite. In my 20s I worked in around and under old houses, never gave a thought too nor worried about such things as mold or parasites. I've had kidney stones about 5 times now. Last time I passed a 7mm stone.  When the stones like glass scrape the tissue I could not sit still for one full minute. The pain last night was more intense like something with teeth clamping down on soft tissue. I guess I may never know what is really causing it.
Avatar universal
Wow!  What the hell is going on with us.  The "gone in an instant" is the big deal, I think.

I had this same prob as everyone.  Excruciating pain in middle of belly, under breastbone/diaphragm.  Starts like indigestion.  I always take Tums and Pepto B.  Never helps.  Pain comes in waves and lasts 6-12 hours.  This latest attack (yesterday) lasted 24 hours, then "poof, gone".  Seems impossible to go away so quick when you were in "10" pain just minutes earlier.  Crazy.

I had my first attack 4-5 years ago, at age 45 (male).  I eat very healthy, lots of fiber/plants, no fatty foods, sugar snack, bread.  Not overweight.

I had attributed this to Acute Gastritis caused by ibuprofen overuse, and stopped all Ibuprofen almost 2 years ago.  This is second attack, last one was 12 months ago, since stopping all OTC meds.

If any of you use Ibuprofen/aspirin, maybe stop!

I have appt with doc tomorrow to look at gall bladder.

Avatar universal
I am a 50 year old caucasian male who has been suffering the exact same symptoms for about 3 years now.

These episodes happen approximately three times a year. Like everyone else here, I found this forum researching my symptoms to determine and diagnosis and cure.

I'm  going through an episode now. This was my third night of successive episodes. For me, from the first onset to the last, my episodes typically last 3 days with symptoms only occurring before bed and increasing in intensity during the night.

Like most here, I have tried all the OTC medications and nothing works. For me, I have found that as soon as I drink a couple glasses of water, wait about 5 minutes to stomach contents to hydrate thoroughly, then force myself to vomit until stomach is empty, my symptoms subside within 10 to 15 minutes.

Although I hate vomiting, this vomiting procedure works every time. I used to try everything possible using vomiting as a last resort. Now, like tonight, I don't mess around. I drink a couple glasses of water, wait 5 to 10 minutes and force vomiting until stomach is empty. Works every time.

I hope this little bit of information helps someone else out here. Please post if you try this and find the same success I have.

Thank you.
Avatar universal
After my last episode, I had some time to reflect.  This may be a big clue:

I vomited up some apple chunks from an apple I had eaten almost 18 hours earlier.

This should have been impossible.  Food is supposed to be expelled normally from the stomach within 2-4 hours.  I have a theory!

There is a temporary condition called "gastroparesis". (for more info, see:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastroparesis  ).  Symptoms:  nausea, pain, vomiting.

Every time I have had this, it was preceded by a bout of heartburn and burps. The next time this happens, I will not eat for 12-24 hours. I believe that any food entering a stomach beset by gastroparesis will only add to the pain and symptoms.

Avatar universal
27 Year old Male.

Hi all,

I've been experiencing this pain for about 9 months now, with episodes usually occurring very 2 - 6 weeks. They can last from 1 hour to 10 - 12 hours (usually the latter). Usually starts as a dull ache in the mid-section and over the course of an hour or two builds to excruciating plain in the whole stomach/abdomen area with specific tenderness and pain right of the belly button. The pain is constant but as many have mentioned it seems to cease instantly rather than fading away.

I usually vomit during the pain but on a couple of occasions, particularly the first few this was not the case. I normally feel the need to burp significantly. Stools are normal.

I have currently been admitted to hospital as i went to my doctor while having an episode. So far ultrasound, CT scan, X-rays, blood tests etc have found nothing (and i am not confident an endoscopy tomorrow will prove any different).

I have come up with the following things over the last few months:

1) Bread: on a number of occasions i have eaten normal gluten/wheat bread the day before the pain. I normally eat Gluten free bread.

2) Fatty Fast foods: Although i eat a healthy diet, the pain has sometimes followed a fast food/greasy meal the day before.

3) Alcohol: My pain almost always happens during a weekend or maybe Monday or Tuesday - when i would tend to visit the pub and consume alcohol.

4) Stress: Im not convinced by this, but others have mentioned it. I am a teacher and have very busy periods and can get very tired. I don't consider myself a stressy person, but its a possibility. Having said this I have had pain during my 6 week holiday, so I think stress is unlikely.

5) Exercise? Bit of a weird one, but i first started having these episodes when i began a weight training program, which also included an increase in calorie intake and use of a protein supplement. May be a coincidence, may be useful.

Like most people here, I'm perplexed, but desperately crave a solution.

Have you had your pancreas or gallbladder checked?
Have you had your pancreas or gallbladder checked?
Avatar universal
I think that there are two sets of symptoms in this thread now.  One that has pain centering over the belly button, and another with pain just under the rib cage/sternum.

I have been having the latter.  Had an ultrasound last week:  Gallstones!

If anyone is having these pains, get them checked out.  The sudden relief is probably from a stone that finally passes.    
Avatar universal
I have another potential explanation, from my recent experience.

I experienced the symptoms identified on this thread during periodic (every 4-8 weeks) episodes over the past 9 months. Ultrasounds (both during an episode and not), blood work (both during an episode and not), and an upper endoscopy all revealed nothing to my gastroenterologist. At his suggestion, during the most recent episode, earlier this week, I went to the ER and asked for a CT scan. It revealed that I had appendicitis, and I had an appendectomy that day.

I can't say for sure whether appendix issues were the cause of my previous episodes, though the pain was identical. I'll know more in the coming weeks and months and will update with anything more I learn. I can report two things now though:

1. Previous diagnosis was likely complicated by the fact that I experienced pain not where my appendix is (or was), but rather midline in the abdomen about three fingers above my belly button. I'm told by my doctors this week that it's possible I have a nerve that referred pain from my appendix to where I felt it. Post-op, I feel soreness in the same place (midline above the belly button, even though my appendix was removed from the usual place in the lower right abdomen. (In the ER, my appendix (lower right abdomen) was sensitive to strong direct pressure, and I'm not sure I'd ever checked that before. The pressure had to be right on the appendix to be felt; an inch or two off and it didn't feel different. Though, to be fair, I was on a bunch of pain meds by the time they did these pressure tests.)

2. My doctors this week told me that it's possible to have chronic appendix issues. I didn't get much more information out of them. But I take from what they said that a chronic or repeated appendix issue is one POSSIBLE explanation for my pain, though the recent appendicitis diagnosis does NOT confirm that possibility.

I hope this is helpful. I'm happy to answer (most) any further questions anyone might have.
Avatar universal
I get this kind of thing alot but tonight it hurt so bad that it felt like something was trying to force its way out of my vagina!!!  One quick bout of diahrea and the pain lessened but it kept me up all night!
Avatar universal
I have a lot of these similar symptoms and my doctor associates it to my diagnosis with pancreas divisum. It's something Im born with and started causing problems 3 years ago at 28. Its bad upper stomach aches that spread across my whole stomach.it lasts basically all day off and on, more off then on. It doesn't always cause me to have to use the bathroom and that doesn't always help. I take pancreatic enzymes,creon, but lately is acting up more even with more pills. My doctor also said it could also be ibs. I also have acid reflux. He didn't seem concerned since I have no other red flag symptoms thankfully, but its still painful and Im getting really tired of it! Anyone else on here have that??
Avatar universal
I've followed this thread for the past 6 months. I've had the exact same attacks mentioned in the original post.

Over the past year, I've had 15 attacks. The last one coming a month and a half ago. All of them have been separated from each other by at least 2 weeks with the exception of the last one, which occurred on 3 consecutive nights. Worst 3 nights of my life.

My symptoms are the same as many others. Always start at night between 7-11 pm. Intense abdominal pain that I can feel coming at least 30 minutes before the real pain sets in. At that point the pain can be felt in my back as well. Because of my frequency, sometimes I feel it coming on well before that. Though many times I have that feeling and nothing comes of it.

Usually lasts 7-9 hours, with one only lasting 3 hours. No relief from any position or anything except extremely hot bath or heating pad, but both only help in the early stages and lately I've wondered if they may eventually make the pain worse.

Always comes with intense anxiety, burps, and slight nausea. All leading to an eventual loss of pain that dissolves in about 5 minutes. Left with little soreness or anything. Just extreme tiredness.

I've been to the ER 4 times and have had multiple X-rays, HIDA scan, endoscope, MRI, etc.. Never had any fever, except the second to last time. This one time involved something I've haven't seen on here and is the main reason I'm writing this.

The following day after one of my attacks that sent me to the ER, I had 103 fever and my Dr had me admitted to the hospital for 3 days for fear of something major. During the 3 day stay I either developed severe constipation or I had it before then and it led to the fever and possibly the attack. I didn't keep track of my bowels before I was admitted.

The next and last attack I had, the 3 day event one, I had severe constipation again. The first day I had actually eaten several prunes and other high fiber foods to relieve the constipation. Then, that night, I had an attack.

The next day I felt fine as always. I ate very little and took some stool softeners, but still had an attack that night. Then another the next night. I drank nothing but water and Miralax from that point on until I finally used the bathroom about 2 days later.

Here's one theory I have: something, whether Gastritis, Gastroparesis, or some other gut problem, is shutting down the digestive process for a certain time. I/we keep eating like normal and it causes a build up so to speak. The pain lasts until movement returns or until the food has moved from the place that causes the pain.

This likely is not it, but it may be connected in some way. Regardless, sorry so long and I'll give a few of what I believe may be triggers:

1. Dehydration or maybe just not enough water. I drink between 20-40 cups of water per day now.
2. Tight clothing. Pants or underwear in the lower abdomen region.
3. High fiber (veggies, corn especially, nuts)
4. Alcohol. Either from dehydration the next day or
Avatar universal

from the alcohol itself. I've quit entirely.
5. Greasy foods. High fat meats and cheeses
6. Large meals. I've tried to avoid these entirely and generally try to eat soup whenever I can.
7. Sugar. I'm not sure on this at all. Sometimes, I believe that sugar may lead to the digestive shut down. It's almost like a pattern of eating too much sugary food at breakfast or the previous night(alcohol) leads to a digestive paralysis, followed that day by high fiber, hard to digest food that eventually leads to the attack that night. Probably stupid though.
Go to the doctors could be an ovarian cyst, those are all foods that affect the cyst and a lot of symptoms are in your stomach
Avatar universal
My story is very similar to many posted here.  After 4 years of various test and frustration, I finally went and got a CT scan during an episode and it turned out I had appendicitis.  Not sure why "chronic appendicitis"  is not more on Doctors radar, but it may be worth looking into.  The surgeon who removed my appendix was a little stumped as to why I didn't display the usual symptoms (pain was just below sternum instead of lower right side)  A clue may be that antibiotics will suppress attacks for a period of time.  I should also note that I had a pedunculated fibroid (from pregnancy) that had adhered to my appendix and who knows how this may have been related.  In any case, I have had no issues and have felt great in the past three months since the appendectomy and fibroid removal.  Hope this can help or give some leads to someone else.  Hang in there!
Avatar universal
It's good to know I'm not alone! I've been (what seems like) a medical anomaly to all of the stomach doctors I've gone to (there have been 3 plus a gastro surgeon). I've been experiencing this for the past 5 years, each relapse getting WORSE AND WORSE. I had my  gall bladder removed June 2015 claiming it MAY help...Now it's Jan 2015 and I had my relapse again. It's getting to the point where I'm living in somewhat fear because I never know WHEN it's going to happen, HOW long and how severe it's going to be. After my episode (during work hours) yesterday, I ended up exhausted that I barely made it through the work day and when I got home, I napped for 2 hours. If anyone finds out what it is, please let us know! I'm going to be going BACK to a doctor sometime in the near future to see if there's anything else left that they can do for me.

(My coworker made mention that this seems like what Kurt Cobain had - he had horrifying stomach pain that doctors couldn't diagnose either...)
I just came across this post. I also suffer from this same kind of attack. Have you found any help/diagnosis??
I just came across this post. I also suffer from this same kind of attack. Have you found any help/diagnosis??
Avatar universal
I just spoke to my doctor. I am going to get tested for Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. I don't know if any of you have been tested for this and if it was ruled out. Once I get checked and find out, I'll let you guys know. From a website:
Functional disorders of the gallbladder, bile duct and pancreas have been defined and classified by the Rome criteria for functional gastrointestinal disorders.[2] The criteria outline three variants of functional disorders of the gallbladder, bile duct and pancreas, termed functional gallbladder disorder, functional biliary sphincter of Oddi disorder and functional pancreatic sphincter of Oddi disorder. All of the following criteria need to be met for as part of the definition of a functional disorder of the gallbladder:[2]

the pain must be located in the upper part of the abdomen and/or the right upper quadrant of the abdomen
episodes of pain must last at least 30 minutes
the symptoms must be recurrent, and occur at differing intervals
the pain must incrementally increase to a "steady level"
the pain must be severe enough the patient's daily activities are affected, or that the patient must attend the emergency department
the pain must not be relieved by any of bowel movements, change in posture, or antacids; and,
other structural disorders that could explain the symptoms must be excluded.
Go get checked!!
" functional biliary sphincter of Oddi disorder and functional pancreatic sphincter of Oddi disorder"

Brilliant post!  The Sphincter of Oddi is not opening properly at intervals, which would not allow bile to flow freely.  If it's not gallstones, or stomach flora degeneration, then this would make perfect sense.  I have the breastbone to right right-rib cage symptoms during my attacks, and the unpredictable intervals in which these attacks occur, could be related to the Sphincter of Oddi malfunctioning at unrelated intervals.  I hope sufferers like my self do not over look this post.  Thank you MsTues, I hope you can bounce back with an update on your test!
Avatar universal
I have had the EXACT problem !!!! I've been to the ER 7x last year for it . Hosp says pancreatitis, my dr says gastritis or SOD , another told me endometriosis which is just pulling things out of a hat . In 2 months I've hat 5 attacks and the pain is hideous . I do have 3 meds and pain killers to take to get through it . But it is affecting my life and I'm becoming depressed because no one can figure it out . We have mirror symptoms ... something that dr's are missing .
celiac compression syndrome?  MALS?
Avatar universal
Have you tried medicinal marijuana or CBD? I've read that it helps with the muscle spams, inflammation, and GI issues. Just throwing it out there.
MsTues may I ask how you are doing now as I am reading this thread in hopes I can help my Doctor help me. I am really getting to the point of just giving up as I have been passed around the medical field for almost 4 years now and the attacks are becoming more debilitating as today I was unfortunate enough to have an attack at work that had me crying for two hours. Embarrassing to say the least
Avatar universal
I've been having similar pain after lunch for the past week. This did not happen over the weekend, which I found to be odd because my diet is the same. My activity is slightly subdued, I suppose. While the timing is completely different, your description is perfect. I thought it was the introduction of coconut oil into my coffee in the morning. Stopped that and still had pain. Tried drinking tons of water with my meal, tried drinking noting at all.

At this point I just plan to bear it. I can't afford $10,000 worth of testing for guesses. I've found that Alka-Seltzer seems to help a little bit.
Avatar universal
Look up MALS (Median arcuate ligament syndrome) or celiac compression.  I had the stomach issues in July and August 2015.  At the time, I didn't know what it was, but I saw this post while I was doing research and the description matched what I was going thru.  In August, I went thru a EGD/colonoscopy, did Prilosec, and it seemed to resolve on its own.  Didn't think any more about it until today.  Today (Feb. 2016),  I got the results of a CAT scan of my chest for a heart issue and it turns out that the symptoms we all seem to be describing may be due to impaired blood flow because of a structural defect in the muscles and blood vessels just under the diaphragm.  I hope this helps some of you solve this mystery.  Discuss the possibility of MALS with your physician.
I just found your post. Have you had any other attacks? I am going to ask my doctor about this MALS before mu EGD next week.
Avatar universal
MALS - celiac compression syndrome
Avatar universal
I experience these terrible episodes too, started when I was a kid. I too seem to be an 'anomaly' to my doctors. But, I have noticed that it happens with stress and constipation. I'm actually having an episode today, it's 9pm and it started around 11am. I avoided the ER today though! I usually can't make it through the pain but I tried the new anti spasmodic prescription and pain med I have to take prn (hycosamine and baclofen). The meds helped, still had bad pain but it was manageable. Anyway, I hope you at least have those types of meds to get you through your episodes. It's a relief to hear there are others that have experienced this.
I have experienced the same as everyone is describing.  I am 52 year old white male, live in Latin America, and the first time I had the pain was in 1984 after a 24 hour fast, I ate a meal and an orange juice and thought it was the cause.  The pain has repeated every 1 to 2 months for the past 30+ years and I have visited countless doctors and had all kinds of medicines and no one worked.
I feel that is it somehow gas related because when I stand in vertical position I feel like burping and this eases the pain, not much from about 10 to 9 , but not for long.  The pain starts 3 to 4 hours after my last meal and it lasts exactly 6 hours.  Sometimes the attacks are lighter than others.
What happens to me, and not one has yet mentioned in this forum, is that even though meds do not help, whenever I have them the next few days my stomach feels weak and I sometimes get like “after- shocks” of the pain,  which are lighter versions of it for about 3 to 4 days.  Therefore I have decided to just ride off the pain and not risk it by taking meds.
Has anyone been successful in eradicating the pain?
Avatar universal
It is truly amazing how similar my symptoms are to the ones you have discussed. Is this a form of IBS? I have been searching for answers yet have found none. I have intense stomach pain for 5-7 hours every few months. It reaches a 7-9 on the pain scale as you have discussed.
Me too the stores are so similar to mine. Unfortunately I've been dealing with this since 2012 I've had many work ups and still haven't found any answers.  I've even had my sphincter of Odi cut and I was born without a gallbladder and I had the theory about EPI but the doctors can't find any reason why I get these episodes exactly 3 months apart.  It used to be every other month until I got my sphincter of Odi cut now it's every three months  
Avatar universal
No, after July and August 2015 episodes, it has not recurred.  Don't know what triggered it although I had undergone a cardiac cath July 7, 2015 where they go in thru your groin and feed a catheter up to your heart thru the abdominal aorta which runs alongside your spine.  I wonder if maybe some nerves got irritated which triggered the spasming and, once the inflammatory response subsided, so did the episodes.
Avatar universal
I've also experienced the exact same symptoms as described above and I was finally diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis. It's basically upper GI inflammation caused by reflux and/or a food allergy. You have to get a biopsy of your esophagus taken to be diagnosed as it can often appear "normal" with just a scope. I was given a prescription for a PPI which helped a little but eventually I discovered I had a mushroom allergy and I was reacting to foods with mold in them including some cheese, beer and wine. Hope that info is helpful for some of you too.
Hello Mellowmel3, after your 2 diagnostics, did you get cured or continue having pain?
Avatar universal
Has anyone been diagnosed with Diverticulitis?
Avatar universal
I am a Mold Patient, and have noticed that 3 out of my 4 attacks have been right after visiting Moldy (funky smelling)houses. My 4th attack was from a bad egg salad sandwhich and other travel food I was not used to for 2 days of airport hotel food. IBS symptoms are typical of Mold patients. Sensitive immune systems are typical of Mold patients too.
Avatar universal
Female - 66 years old
I have absolutely the same problem that many of you have and you have no idea how *nice* it is to know that I'm not the only person who is suffering with this pain and no explanation as to why!! I had considered (and only just 'considered'...lol) telling my family GP about it but since you all have had so many tests,procedures,etc.,I'll definitely be saving myself the trouble,now! The first time I experienced this pain was about 7-8 years ago...about 4-5 hours after supper and it lasted about 6 hours. I hadn't had it again until about 6 months ago and it's happening 1-3 times a week,now!! I have found that I dare not over eat...I have to be careful to not eat any meat (beef or pork) and not a lot of chicken or fish! Last night I was suffering again until about 2:00 a.m....I had 3 mouths-full of baked ham! I've given up having butter on my mashed potatoes and trying to stay completely away from any fat,of any kind at suppertime. Then I make a huge mistake (I think) by having a very small bowl of ice-cream at 7:00 p.m.! I'm starting to think that the ice-cream is a/the culprit (the kind I eat has a very high fat content)! This evening I'm having a small bowl of chicken soup for supper and I'm going to try to stay away from the ice-cream container!!
I haven't read about many of you having "spasmodic" pain...my spasms last about 20-30 seconds and then eases up/off for 3-5 minutes or so and then another spasm lasting 30 seconds or so...and yes,it's pretty much about a "10" on the pain scale (I've found that deep breathing during the pain helps 'deal' with the spasm). I don't get nauseated (no throwing up) nor do I need to use the bathroom....I just have pain directly above my navel/belly-button! Pepto Bismol did help to ease the pain many times but never stopped it (and I'm saying about 4-5 tablespoons...not the piddly little amount suggested on the bottle)!
Have ANY of you ever been tested for "H-pylori"?? (Helicobacter pylori....a type of bacteria & these germs can enter your body and live in your digestive tract). It's "curable" with 2 different antibiotics but I'm allergic to most antibiotics,couldn't take those so I'm left to suffer.
It's a very simple blood test...nothing invasive! I tested positive for it about 20-25 years ago but was having no pain,then....just a VERY "sensitive stomach"!
*My* pain,now could very well be caused by/due to the bloody H-pylori....which,btw can also cause ulcers!
I am a 63 y/o female, suffering this debilitating pain so many of you describe, for 20+ years now. I have been to the ER numerous times and be "diagnosed" with a myriad of issues ranging from chronic appendicitis to "maybe a ruptured ovarian cyst?" to stomach flu. All were simply good guesses and not correct.
Never nauseous nor constipated, but if I force myself to vomit it typically brings some relief, though not complete resolution. The pain lessens enough that more often than not, I can fall asleep for a while.
My episodes seem to occur once or twice annually and I've never been successful at pinpointing a 'cause' whether of food etiology or environmental. However, I've noticed several of you have mentioned mold allergy, bulk/high fiber foods and lactose intolerance. While I have tested positive for mold allergy, I'm not 100% certain that is my personal trigger; however, the fiber and lactose components could be culprits, something I have never considered but will DEFINITELY stay away from now as I have recollection of ingestion of such food items prior to having an attack!
Bentyl is the only Rx that has had any positive effect, but only to a partial degree of easing the pain from a 10 to a 7 and also helping me fall asleep, as it cause drowsiness.
Finally, thank you Swarovsky, for H-pylori! I had ulcers years ago but am now allergic to many antibiotics, also. I am going to mention this possibility to my Doctor as well.
This is the first time I've found others who suffer with this issue and, at the very least, I can provide this thread to my Doctor to show that it isn't "all in my head". Should I have any beneficial updates/information about this problem, I will return and share with the thread.
Avatar universal
Female - 66 years old
I have absolutely the same problem that many of you have and you have no idea how *nice* it is to know that I'm not the only person who is suffering with this pain and no explanation as to why!! I had considered (and only just 'considered'...lol) telling my family GP about it but since you all have had so many tests,procedures,etc.,I'll definitely be saving myself the trouble,now! The first time I experienced this pain was about 7-8 years ago...about 4-5 hours after supper and it lasted about 6 hours. I hadn't had it again until about 6 months ago and it's happening 1-3 times a week,now!! I have found that I dare not over eat...I have to be careful to not eat any meat (beef or pork) and not a lot of chicken or fish! Last night I was suffering again until about 2:00 a.m....I had 3 mouths-full of baked ham! I've given up having butter on my mashed potatoes and trying to stay completely away from any fat,of any kind at suppertime. Then I make a huge mistake (I think) by having a very small bowl of ice-cream at 7:00 p.m.! I'm starting to think that the ice-cream is a/the culprit (the kind I eat has a very high fat content)! This evening I'm having a small bowl of chicken soup for supper and I'm going to try to stay away from the ice-cream container!!
I haven't read about many of you having "spasmodic" pain...my spasms last about 20-30 seconds and then eases up/off for 3-5 minutes or so and then another spasm lasting 30 seconds or so...and yes,it's pretty much about a "10" on the pain scale (I've found that deep breathing during the pain helps 'deal' with the spasm). I don't get nauseated (no throwing up) nor do I need to use the bathroom....I just have pain directly above my navel/belly-button! Pepto Bismol did help to ease the pain many times but never stopped it (and I'm saying about 4-5 tablespoons...not the piddly little amount suggested on the bottle)!
Have ANY of you ever been tested for "H-pylori"?? (Helicobacter pylori....a type of bacteria & these germs can enter your body and live in your digestive tract). It's "curable" with 2 different antibiotics but I'm allergic to most antibiotics,couldn't take those so I'm left to suffer.
It's a very simple blood test...nothing invasive! I tested positive for it about 20-25 years ago but was having no pain,then....just a VERY "sensitive stomach"!
*My* pain,now could very well be caused by/due to the bloody H-pylori....which,btw can also cause ulcers!
I apologise for the 2 identical posts!
Avatar universal
Not sure how long ago this post is. Several years ago I had almost the exact thing. With the episodes lasting that long. Always at night. Eventually though started lasting s little longer and it was memorial weekend that I guess it was an attack and was out of town so I dealt with the 3 days of excruciating pain. When we got back we went to the hospital and found out I had a gullstone attack
Avatar universal
After reading the symptoms described in all these posts, I believe there are multiple GI issues going on here.  So, even if someone did find a "cure", it would probably not resolve everyone's problem on this thread.  I am posting on here for both of a type of support group therapy, and a hope of finding a cure.  I pray that everyone suffering from any of their symptoms does find a cure.  I also encourage anyone who has found relief or a cure to post their story on this thread.  I am interested in anything that anyone has to say about what has helped them.
I am a 42 yr old male who has been suffering for about 30 years from most of the symptoms described here.  I'm "glad" to have found this thread, because for all these years I thought I was the only one who suffered like this.  I have been through multiple doctors and most of the standard GI tests throughout my life.  I finally gave up going to doctors about 10 years ago when the last specialist I saw diagnosed me with IBS.  That's the first time I ever received a diagnosis.  And even though it felt good to have an actual diagnosis, did it really help?  No, because I still suffer.  My episodes are unpredictable, and I live in constant fear of them occurring, especially during an important social event or just a fun night out with friends.  It's been such a big part of my life for so long, that it's always on my mind without me even being consciously aware of it (if that makes sense).  So, in a way it controls my life and I hate it for that.

I'd like to break down this post down into 3 different sections, if only for the sake of the therapeutic properties of telling my story.  First, I will describe my symptoms.  Second, I will discuss what I KNOW brings on my symptoms, and also what I THINK might bring them on.  Last, I will tell you what I do to help myself ride-out these "episodes".

1.  Around the last 30 years of my life, my symptoms have remained pretty consistent.  It's a dull pain WITHOUT NAUSEA (different from most symptoms in this thread).  Time and pain varies a little with each episode, so the following will describe what generally happens.The episodes happen once every 3 months on average.  It starts in the mid-afternoon and lasts between 6-9 hours. I begin to feel a dull pain in my upper right abdomen.  It progressively gets worse throughout the evening, peaking at about a 8 or 9 on the pain scale before subsiding almost instantly.  It kind of feels like something "moves" in my bowels out of the pain area, and that's how I know that the pain is about to subside.  I also start to feel hungry , sometimes even when the pain is still at its worst, but I dare not eat for reasons I'll describe below.
Anyways, the pleasure from the lack of pain is extremely welcome by the time an episode is over.  I'm finally able to relax and fall asleep.  I should mention that over the last few years, heartburn sometimes occurs with these episodes, and Tums helps that, but not the other pain.  The next morning I'm fine, but will still be "tender" in that area for the next few days.  Sometimes an episode will occur two or three nights in a row, but that is not the norm.

2.  Here are a few things I've learned to avoid over the years, which almost certainly bring on an episode.  Obviously, these are not the only things that bring on the pain.  Otherwise, I'd just avoid them and be fine:

- Overeating - I have been teased many times for "eating like a bird".  This means that I eat light meals and snack, rather than eating large meals.  When I eat too much, it seems to just sit like a lump in my stomach and will eventually bring on an episode (not always, but very often).

- Spicy foods - I tend to avoid them.  Occasionally, I'll eat food with some spiciness and I'm fine, but I've noticed that episodes have come on after eating very spicy foods.

Here's a list of things I THINK may also cause an episode:

- Strenuous activity after eating:  I seem to be okay with light activities like walking after I eat.  But one time an attack came on after I ate lunch and helped my brother install flooring.

- A traumatic event occurring during the day - something out of the ordinary that happened that day which disturbed me emotionally.

- Stress over a period of time - Stress at work, home, etc. that goes on for days or weeks

- Special Events - I've had several episodes during vacations.  Not sure if it has to do with stress from travel, routine being out of the norm, or whatever.  One episode also came on the night I was throwing a bachelor party for my brother, as I was the best man.  I had to leave the party and leave my cousin in charge.  I've also had attacks on a couple of Christmases, where my family and I had to visit multiple families in the same day.  Not sure if this was stress induced, or overeating.  Maybe both.

- This may seem weird, but I've had some episodes occur after I was wearing new (maybe tight?) pants.

As I stated above, this is definitely not an all-inclusive list, because many episodes have occurred when I haven't eaten anything spicy nor had been through anything stressful or done anything against my normal routine.

3.  Although I haven't found a "true" cure, here's some guidelines I follow to get through these attacks.

- NOT Eating or drinking during an episode - I've learned that eating or drinking ANYTHING will only make it worse (more pain and/or last longer).  I get really thirsty and hungry toward the end of my episodes, but dare not put anything in my stomach until I'm sure it's over.  Sometimes, I'm actually able to lessen the time-frame of the attack by not eating or drinking during it.

- Soaking in a hot bath temporarily helps ease the pain.  It also relaxes me, sometimes helping me to fall asleep shortly after I get out of the bath.

- Massaging muscles in my rib cage around around the painful area and also in my back behind the pain area.  Sometimes I can't tell if the pain is coming from my back or my abdomen.  I'm not sure if this is due to nerve connections, or if maybe it's because my body tenses up during these episodes, causing my back to hurt as well.

- Here's a weird one, but I think it's worth mentioning because it helps ease my pain.  No body position had ever helped my pain until I discovered one a few years ago.  If I lean over the arm on a couch in a certain way, it somehow eases the pain. I kneel on the edge of the couch cushion, with my knees against the bottom of the arm.  The arm must be high enough to support me in a "half-fetal" position, to where I can put the full weight of my chest on the upper part of the arm.  I let my head and neck relax so that I am staring down at the floor to the side of the couch.  My head does get some pressure from the blood being pulled to it by gravity, but this uncomfortableness is worth it due to the ease of pain that this position provides.  I try to stay in this position as long as possible until the pain subsides.  I've even been able to fall asleep and stay asleep, waking up after the pain has left.  I have no idea why this helps.

Well, that's everything I can think of so far to write in this post.  If I think of anything else or happen to find more ways to relieve the pain, I'll post again.  Until then, may God Bless us help us find comfort and ease our suffering.

- 311Brodel
Avatar universal
I have similar bouts 2-3x/year for the last 4 years.  It starts with what feels like a barely noticeable yet irritating burning 2 inches above the belly button within 30 minutes of eating for a day or two.  That sensation subsides replace with a minor yet irritating 'throbbing pain' to the left of the belly button about 2-4 inches.  This goes on for a day or two then I begin getting a sympathetic, very noticeable throbbing pain radiating from the left side of my spine outward to the left 45 degrees up & the same down.  After exhausting all the usual tests (CTs, colonoscopy, etc), I insisted on a scan of my pancreas & my gallbladder which came back showing normal functions for both.  I'm at wits end to figure out what this is beyond some mild form of IBS or very "quick and small" kidney stones (it seems that both of these diagnoses are par for the course for sources of pain in this region when nothing shows up on scans).   Like most others here, I don't drink alcohol regularly (maybe a glass on NY or at a special occasion), I have never smoked, I do not take prescription nor non-perscription drugs, I drink water and black coffee only (no sodas, etc), I do have dairy fats in my diet but not to any excess (a pat of butter or two for cooking if I cook, some low fat milk added to a rare oatmeal or to a recipe, 2 tbsp of white cheeses to top salads, etc ), I eat beef & chicken maybe 1x/year & never touch fish, & most of my fruits & veggies come from my farm.   It's all very weird indeed.  Now one thing I did ask the doctor since I eat a lot of peanut butter/peanut butter powder is whether this might be a late life food allergy/intolerance.  His answer was expectedly "no" since I constantly eat peanut butter & the symptoms are rare occasions.   Who knows really.... it wouldn't bother me but for the fact that I realize pain doesn't occur without a reason & I'm fearing something like "cancer" isn't being detected (I do have very low Vit D levels no matter how much I supplement w/D3).   Anyway, UR not alone.  OTOH, if U haven't had your pancreas & gallbladder checked out, you might want to have your Dr. give U an Rx to have these scanned.
Avatar universal
Hi everyone,

It is crazy to think there are 95 people in here who have the same symptoms that progress in the same way and follow the exact same pattern. This tells me it is not just any old IBS or "Stress" - it's too similar to be a coincidence in my opinion. At first I was shocked when I discovered this forum, it was almost as if I'd written that initial post myself.

Ever since I read that first post I have been following this forum in the hopes of finding a solution/cure/any information that can contribute really.

My story is very similar to everyone else here:

My symptoms started (August 2012) almost 6 years ago. The attacks are usually 2-3 months apart, but lately it hasn't followed any rules and it's sometimes been 5 months, other times 5 weeks...

I will know an attack is happening before it happens. My body warns me with a mild pain that references the one that comes later and after five years I know that this pain is like any other and that I am due an attack that night. I usually get them at night and on weekends. I have had one or two in the morning or during the day.

During Attack:
I will usually feel the first sign at about 6pm and then it will properly be in full force by 10pm. I will have cold shivers to the point that I feel my bones cannot keep warm. I will have excruciating pain in a very specific point in my abdomen (about 5cm above the belly button) Like a constant sharp stabbing. This will continue no matter how I sit or lie (though sitting up sort of bent over is preferable at times). Bowel movements are either non existent or frequent but don't help the pain either way. I usually start belching a lot towards the end and my stomach is very distended before, during and after. It is also Extemely sensitive to touch.

The only thing I have ever found that helps me is Iburprofen (in the beginning Doctors were always baffled by this as stomach pains should not be treated with that at all, but this is how I knew it was inflammatory long before I saw any blood work) and MOST IMPORTANTLY - a VERY hot water bottle directly on the source of pain. I usually take the bottle out of it's sleeve so it almost burns my skin, the hotter the better.

Post Attack:
I am usually so exhausted from the pain that I eventually fall asleep and wake up covered in sweat as if I'd just had a very bad fever. From then I will only have the residual pain as if I have stretched a muscle within my stomach/abdomen. Going over bumps in a car etc makes me wince, I am obviously exhausted and a bit sore but otherwise I am completely well within myself. This has always amazed me. It comes as quickly as it goes.

I will mention a few things that I have noted but I don't believe anything is a trigger per se.

1. Hunger
I usually find if I get to the point of "stomach eating itself hungry" it can 'trigger' an attack
2. Stress
I usually always get an attack after something stressful, even if I don't realise I'm stressed myself, it can be the tiniest thing
3. Getting Cold
If I feel myself get cold during the day or shiver, I sometimes find it can be a precursor for the shivers to come later

To rule out food allergies as a trigger - I have been tested for all kinds of food intolerance. I can confidently say - at least in my case - it isn't food related. I have quit Sugar, Dairy, Wheat, Alcohol, Gluten - even niche things that a very high-end intolerance test pulled up: Crab, Pineapple, Amaranth etc... I still got an attack anyway.  

I too have had hundreds of blood tests, endoscopy + biopsies, gall bladder ultrasound, liver fibroscan, gall bladder checked, H. Pylori checked, I've been tested for Familial Mediterranean Fever, stool samples... ALL completely normal!

The only thing I have found is that my CRP levels in my blood tests (inflammation markers) are always elevated. My ALT (liver enzymes) for the last two tests have been slightly elevated as well. Hence the liver scan which was absolutely normal.

Has anyone else found their CRP levels are raised? I haven't noticed anyone else mention that of yet.

If anyone else has anything else to add, any leads, finds or cures, or even a source of comfort or solution to the pain during an attack I'd be really grateful :)
Avatar universal
Hypothalamus dysfunction.
Antidepressants caused that for me. Stopped the medication & symptoms slowly resolved. Other factors that anger the hypothalamus: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001202.ht

I'm so late to the question, but feeling confident in the causation.

Avatar universal
I have the same type of event-having it right now. I have them about 1-2 months apart, pain starts around 7-10 pm, and lasts 12-15 hours and goes away.  I have had this happen to me in the last year about 9 times.  The pain begins in the upper right rib cage area, and over the course of the episode spreads to other areas then goes away all at once.  Before the pain begins there is a short span of stomach discomfort like indigestion.  After eating dinner I go to bed, but wake up in throbbing pain in the right rib cage area.  There was no sleep position I could find where pain dissipates.  However, standing, and alternating sitting positions did reduce the pain level, but not the stomach discomfort, feel nauseous, and like I needed a bowel movement, burp, or throw up.  I do have acid reflux, and some sort of stomach bulge between my rib cage.  I have yet to seek medical treatment for this, but now believe this is not a food issue but an organ malfunction that is heightened by food intake.  I do not believe what is consumed makes any difference.  Last month I felt it come on while I was having dinner, stopped eating, felt the normal stomach discomfort, but the stomach pain did not follow, but, that might have just been a coincidence. I plan on getting my colon checked first, then gall bladder, then all other things mentioned by previous posts.  I think the only way this will be solved is to get tests done during an episode which may prove to be difficult.
Avatar universal
I’ve had this happen three times, the most recent one being last night. I found this thread last night and was shocked how it fit my symptoms exactly. I asked my sister about it today to see if maybe it’s genetic and she had also experienced this. She’s a pediatrician, and said it sounds very similar to abdominal migraines. They are much more common in children, but can happen in adults—just much more rarely. Someone on the thread also mentioned light sensitivity, which goes with migraines. Since these always hit me at night, it’s hard to say if the light sensitivity for me is because of a migraine or just the time of day and darkness. It might not be abdominal migraines (especially since what I’ve read that pain seems closer to the belly button rather than up higher), but it’s an interesting possibility. My sister said typical migraine medication can help when it happens in kids and teens, so it could be worth talking to your doctors about...
Avatar universal
Hi everyone, I posted on here almost a year ago and I'm still in the same boat! My attacks haven't stopped and doctors are still dumbfounded! It's been suggested that though I do not have the gene for Familial Mediterranean Fever, I might still have it. Which made me wonder: Is anyone else who has posted on this forum also of Mediterranean descent?
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