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983959 tn?1248752773


I'm a 21 year old female.  I've always been in great health. However, about a year ago, I started having pain in my left side.  It lasts for about a month, and then goes away for several months at a time.  It is like a sharp, stabbing pain below my stomach, and then a dull, aching pain above my ribcage, into my side, and into my back.  I also have irregular bowel movements, and it's almost as if mucus is present in it when I do have a bowel movement. I have had a CT scan, ultrasound for ovarian cysts, ultrasoun for gallstones, blood work, etc.  If I had to live with this pain, I could, because it is tolerable.  It just worries me as to what may be wrong! I'm afraid that something bad is going on inside me and the doctors are missing it.  Does anyone know what this may be?
12 Responses
Avatar universal
From where exactly to where exactly the pain goes? You say: from below the stomach...above the rib cage...

It could be an urinary stone either in the left kidney or left urether...At least a minor amount of blood would appear in the urine in this case (would require testing of urine sample collected right after the pain).

Another possibility is gas built in the upper part of the descendent colon and the left part of the transverse colon. This often occurs in "IBS" that is present with irregular bowel movements. There is often some or complete relief after having bowel movement. If this is the cause then you should find out which foods cause the problem. Search for "foods to avoid in IBS".
140029 tn?1393301742
hey I have the same pain as well on my left side, there's been users that have shown up in the past and it was gas trapped in the colon so maybe running to the grocery store and getting gas-x pills would be a cheap try...

but I think mine is related to a new food intolerance (what it is..i'm not sure..) but it could be dairy/corn/fructose/celiac/gluten/wheat/lactose/casein...you name it.. so maybe if you went on white rice and turkey and got some physillium husk from the store...if you improve after like 3-5 days doing that maybe it's something you're eating that you could be allergic/intolerant too *shrugs* just an idea.  Hang in there :S

983959 tn?1248752773
I went to the doctor yesterday, and he says it could possibly be kidney stones.  He also scheduled a colonoscopy for me because he doesn't want to accidentely miss colon cancer... This has me extremely freaked out right now. I asked him if it could possibly be IBS because it runs in my family. He said it wasn't likely because my left back flank is swollen.  I'm just so worried that it's something really bad.
983959 tn?1248752773
My dad has the celiac disease.  The symptoms aren't the same as his though.  He always gets really bad diarrhea and loses weight. I only get diarrhea right before the pain starts, and then I become constipated.
Avatar universal
Colon cancer at 21 is not likely. This cancer almost always appear after 50. Symptoms lasting for a year and not drammatically worsening don't speak for something really dangerous.

This is what you can do by yourself:

1. 3-4 days of low fructose diet.

2. Have you ever tried gluten-free diet? It could possibly take a week or two to see any improvement in case you have celiac disease.

Alternating constipation and diarrhea, gas built under the ribs and mucus in the stool are characteristics of IBS (especially if it runs in your family). In IBS, the colon is irritated by stress and certain foods (often fructose-containing foods but can be anything what you personally would need to find out).
140029 tn?1393301742
well what you could try meggo... is either go on some fiber (like non-allergenic fiber like citrucel or physillium husk..) and just hit is hard..start slow and do mass water..

but if your stools have mucus in them, usually that means either a blockage of some kind or you're now intolerant or allergic to something...I have a bad hunch i'm fructose intolerant andI have the same symptoms as you...and I've also read celiac sufferer's usually run in the family and can have constipation, so another idea is just get some 5 min. white rice..some eggs..spinach/salads...and eat those for like 3-5 days like boron said with fiber and my bet is you'll feel better...

but you still need to figure out what's causing the problem (could be dairy..casein..corn..wheat..gluten..fruits..sugars you name it..) so yeah while you're waiting for more tests or getting more frustrated you could try a food elimination diet and see if that helps because your symptoms are spot on with mine sadly :)  (usually a ct scan picks up kidney stones so I don't think that's it unless you have white blood cells or red blood cells in your urine...and it MAYBE might be a polyp or something really going on like colitis but usually you get IBS-C not D...but who knows.. I wouldn't freak out about colon cancer..you're way too young for that but a colonoscopy is a good idea to rule out everything.  Could be a stricture and maybe a upper barium gi series would be an idea..but I still have a hunch it's a food intolerance problem with you esp. with family history..)

Good luck, that prep s u c k s on the colonoscopy so be prepared to stay home and right near a bathroom *yuck done that twice..not fun..*
983959 tn?1248752773
Well, I went for the colonoscopy today. The doctor said everything looked fine.  However, he found a couple of little nodules. Do you guys know what that could mean?
Avatar universal
Nodules? Polyps maybe? Did he take a sample (biopsy)?
140029 tn?1393301742
yeah i've never heard of nodules, just polyps...I just looked up what they are..this is copied straight from a web site.  Basically Nodules are normally not a threat...


A nodule is a small mass of tissue which forms in or on the body, usually in response to injuries. Nodules are typically hard and they can be easily felt. For the most part, nodules are benign, requiring no medical action, but sometimes they can interfere with the function of the body, or they may be malignant. For this reason, people should consult a doctor if they notice a nodule, so that the doctor can determine whether or not the nodule needs to be addressed.

The term “nodule” comes from a Latin word meaning “knot.” These usually benign clusters of tissue often do feel sort of like knots, and in some cases, they can pull on the surrounding tissue in the area to make it feel tight or sore. In many cases, nodules on the inside of the body are discovered accidentally in the course of checking a patient for other problems, as a growth inside the body takes some time to become visible or palpable.

Tendons and muscles are both prone to developing nodules in response to injury, with nodules appearing in areas like the vocal cords fairly frequently. Nodules can also appear on the skin or in the layers of the skin, in which case they are usually very noticeable because they are visible. Organs, glands, and other parts of the body can also develop nodules, as for instance in the case of thyroid nodules.

Upon examination, a nodule is often paler than the surrounding tissue. When palpated, the growth may feel hard or rubbery, and it is usually roughly spherical in shape. Often, multiple nodules form together in a cluster like a bunch of grapes, and they can vary in size but they generally remain quite small. The area around a nodule may be red and inflamed, or it may appear normal, depending on the reason the nodule formed, how large it is, and where it is.

If a doctor suspects that a nodule may become a problem, he or she may recommend that the growth be removed. Nodules can interfere with the function of part of the body, which is a good reason for removal, and people may also have nodules removed for aesthetic reasons. Removal may also be performed for the purpose of examining the nodule to determine if it is malignant.

The development of a nodule is not an immediate cause for concern. A doctor will usually evaluate the growth and take a wait and see approach to see if it changes or grows larger. If the growth or the area around it becomes sore or painful, a doctor should be consulted.


I'm still thinking some allergen is causing you problems..i've read some sites that most people who are found with nodules in the colon or stomach are normally due to an allergy (could be wrong).  That's my guess.  You're probably going back in for another colonoscopy some time in the future to check on the nodules if they're growing.  I wonder if your doctor did a biopsy as well..anyway I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it but I do think you've got some sort of reaction to food going on.  Hope that helps! :S
140029 tn?1393301742
a good question to ask the doctor is if the nodule is right in the area of your pain.  That would explain a little..if that was the case you'd probably be looking at surgery.
983959 tn?1248752773
Yeah, he did a biopsy. I'm supposed to find out the results of that next Thursday, but once again I'm freaking out.
140029 tn?1393301742
well...honestly I would be freaking out too..i'm a worry wart, and I won't try to say "ah you got nothing to worry about" but yeah good luck I hope it's negative and just a bad reaction to something you're eating.
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