Aa
A
A
A
Close
Gastroenterology Community
31.6k Members
Avatar universal

Does this sound like an ulcer or something else?

A few days ago I was hit with INTENSE abdominal pain, primarily on the left side just below my rib cage. I woke up feeling fine and the pain onset within 30 minutes of taking a few bites of food. (Everyone else ate the same, not caused by particular food.) I was doubled over for HOURS. After staying still (napping) for awhile it calmed down but started up again the next time I ate something.

I went into the ER that night and was eventually diagnosed with an ulcer. I have been taking Prevacid for 3 days now (I know it takes awhile to work) but even narcotic painkillers don't completely get rid of the pain. I've gone through my pain prescription, which I was told to only take for 3 days, so I assume the doctor thought there would be more improvement by now.

Along with severe pain in the upper left quadrant, I feel super gassy/bloated. Even a normal sized bowel movement doesn't relieve the pressure much. It is insane how much pressure there is for how little I'm eating. The pain doesn't feel like burning but like intense gas pains that never shift or relent. The only thing I can really compare it to is the pain before I had my appendix removed several years ago.

Long story short: Does this sound like an ulcer? If that's what this is, I've never had them before now, so I have no idea what is 'normal'. It seems as though the ER doc underestimated my pain, or thought that it would be improving by now. I will probably return to the ER tomorrow as it is a weekend but I'm anxious I will be turned away, denied more pain meds, not be taken seriously, etc. Any advice, or does this sound like something else?
4 Responses
6543835 tn?1468847635
I went through the same thing a few weeks ago. The pain went from slight, to excruciating. always worse after eating.
What tests did they run? I had a ct scan done, but that found nothing. I also have celiac disease so I wasn't sure if that was the cause, but it lasted for about 2 weeks. then i started taking acid reducers 2x a day (before breakfast, before dinner) and I started taking a special vitamin for Celiac disease called Celiact Gluten free diet help. Not sure if it is the vitamins or the 2x acid reducer that helped. Or if the pain just ran its course.
You are actually the 3rd person on this site to have the exact same symptoms, which makes me think that maybe its some sort of bug or parasite that doctors are missing.
The normal thing to look for with this type of pain is enlarged spleen, pancreatitis, hernia, mass on spleen or pancreas, ulcer, or gastritis.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the quick response. Looks like I'm going back into the ER today, as it's the only place I can get in. I just want to be taken seriously. My husband obviously thinks I'm being dramatic and the doctor I saw seemed pretty quick to dismiss it as an ulcer. He ran some blood work but didn't tell me what (and it was around 5am after being up all night so I didn't ask enough questions) but everything came back clean. Scanned to look for kidney stones because I had a little blood in my urine, even though I told them it didn't feel like that kind of pain.

I keep searching for "What does an ulcer feel like" and nothing is quite a match. Wish someone would confirm or deny that this is similar to ulcer pain!

Sitting here debating going into ER or not. Maybe I'll eat and that will make my mind up for me. At most they will probably write me a handful of Vicodin which just takes the edge off, and the whole day will be lost in the ER instead of with my kids. But my only other option is to not eat anything until I can get in somewhere else, which seems kind of unrealistic.
6543835 tn?1468847635
wish i could be more help, but no dr was able to tell me what my pain was, and now its gone. I was diagnosed with chronic gastritis when I had an endoscopy done back in april. The pain could have been a gastritis flare up. Maybe you have gastritis? Try picking up some Nexium or another acid reducer (not tums) and see if that helps at all. Other than that, I'd suggest getting in to see a Gastroenterologist asap. They will be able to help more than an ER dr, i think.
Avatar universal
Thanks! Went into ER again and got more painkillers but the doc thought previous visit was thorough so all she did was a physical exam, which showed a lot more tenderness than last time on the left side but that was about it.

Gastritis was the official diagnosis. Just seems a little weird as I've never had any stomach problems. I have been taking NSAIDs recently and that just makes me furious because I was only taking those because my PCP refuses to prescribe narcotics for my back pain or migraines. So yay, subpar care leading to more medical problems.

Honestly I was kind of hoping for something more conclusive to shove in my husband's face... He wouldn't say it but I know he thinks I'm being dramatic and just want attention or painkillers or something. It's frustrating not being taken seriously by doctors OR him. :/

Happy I found this community though. I lurk a lot of forums and this is the only one I've taken time to sign up and post under. :)
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem