Avatar universal

Upper Left Abdominal Pain Worse With Movement

I'm a 33 year old female who has been having upper left abdominal pain for the past 5 months.  It's a burning pain on my left side near my ribs, unlike anything I've felt before.  It's oddly worse if I make a sudden movement or stretch.  When palipated by a doctor the area is sore.

When I initially visited the doctor, they diagnosed me as having acid reflux and prescribed omeprazole.  At the time, this seemed reasonable, as I had experienced terrible reflux while I was pregnant a few months previously. The omeprazole didn't work, so I returned to the doctor and they did a variety of blood tests (CBC, Lipase, and Comprehensive Metabolic Panel ) all of which came back as normal and prescribed pantoprazole.  That seemed to help a bit, but the upper left side pain came back.  The doctor did a stool test for h. pylori and a barium swallow, all of which came back as normal.  I'm now on ranitidine with the instruction that if this doesn't help, to return to the doctor in a month and I may be referred to a gastroenterologist.

I'm completely beside myself at this point as I have no idea what is going on, although I'm very certain I don't have reflux or gastritis.  I've tried to explain this many times to two different doctors, but no one will listen.  It seems very strange that the pain is always worse when I move - something that has never happened with heartburn before- but this is always brushed aside.  My question at this point is what could be going on?  Could it be as simple as a badly strained muscle?  What questions should I be asking the doctors?  Should I ask for a specific test?  Any help or suggestions offered are so appreciated because I'm out of ideas on what to do.
4 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
It can be really confusing!  I will say that the upper left quadrant pain IS a symptom of a gastric ulcer.  There is a chance they'll want to do further tests and perhaps even an endoscopy.  You can have ulcers from other things such as  biliary reflux (that is how I had mine). Bile backed up and burned a little ulcer into the top part of my duodenal.

Your spleen, though, is also in that area. It could possibly be enlarged.

Then there is your pancreas near that area.

So, I'd definitely move straight to determining if this is gastro related at that months end if the pain persists and then also make sure there isn't anything else going on.  I would imagine that your doctor has checked for these things.  But that it hurts when you move and is sore to the touch, that really would be a bit odd for an ulcer and perhaps really IS something like your spleen.
Avatar universal
Have you received  an ultrasound exam? It can diagnose an enlarged spleen, a "rub" caused by dryness in the area, or perhaps a bulge in  upper loop of your large intestine. Pain can be "referred" in most unusual ways, so it could be caused by something not real near the pain, such as your stomach, esophagus, or even an arthritic spine. Best of luck, keep us posted!
363281 tn?1590104173
Hello~The fact that it hurts to the touch could mean it is "Costochondritis" (inflammation of the ribs) this can hurt very badly and even mimic the pain of a heart attack. I suggest possibly seeing a chiropractor, he/she will take some x-rays and your history, after reviewing them, he/she will then discuss the results and if chiropractic will be able to help you. Also, possibly therapeutic massage might help some.
Costochondritis is a last resort explanation when all else is ruled out, and usually affects the ribs where they connect to the sternum.  I have it.  Thanks to fibromyalgia.
Left sided pain in that area can be air stuck in small intestine, pancreas or spleen pain, heart issues, upper stomach issues, etc.
Avatar universal
I found this article on IBS, which I have, IBS-C....and any changes in diet or medication worsen it.
I have a lot of similar symptoms, however am not a doctor, so can not say this is what you are experiencing.
If you feel like this article has similar symptoms to yours, please bring this to your doctor and discuss it:

Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Gastroenterology Community

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