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Upper Left Abdominal Pain

I apologize in advance if this is lengthy.  I'm a 48 yr old woman with history of HBP, lupus (SLE), severe arthritis (all over), fibromyalgia, GERD, IBS, asthma.  Past surgeries for hysterectomy (1998), tonsils/adenoids (1970), R shoulder replacement (2008), gall bladder removal (1999), R & L knee arthroscopies (dont' remember what years, but was many years ago), ovarian cyst removal prior to hysterectomy (1985).

For about the past month or so, I've had intermittent left upper abdominal pain that ranges from a sharp, pinching pain to an aching pain (anywhere from 3-8 on pain scale) I do not have any heartburn with this pain.  The area where the pain is located is also sometimes quite tender to the touch.  Some intermittent nausea as well - no fever.  No change in bowel habits from "my norm".  No changes in any medications.  Pain does not "travel" anywhere such as back, neck, other areas of abdomen, etc.

Pain is usually more pronounced after eating/drinking, however, it does not matter what I've eaten/drank - it can be water, fruits and veggies or heavier, fattier foods and it doesn't make any difference.  Also no difference if I've had gluten or not.  Also does not seem to make any difference if I've only had a few bites or eaten an entire meal.  It also is NOT ALWAYS more pronounced after eating/drinking, but I have noticed some correlation to that.

This pain is different from the occasional lower stomach cramping that I get with my IBS, and also since there has been no bowel changes, I feel strongly that this is not IBS related.  And, of course, since I've had my gall bladder removed, I know it's not gall bladder related.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what this might possibly be?  Of course, I know nobody can "diagnose" me over the internet - I'm simply trying to get some ideas of what it might be.  I have a regularly scheduled doctor appointment next week and plan on discussing this with my doctor but would like some input before then if possible.

Any suggestions/advice greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Do you have any nausea with this?  Also, with all of your prior surgeries, it could be something like adhesions causing the pain.  Other than that, I'm having trouble thinking of something that would be related to eating and be tender to the touch.  Sorry I couldn't be more helpful!
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply.  Yes, I do have some nausea with this, although not always.  I hadn't thought of adhesions, but you're right, that defnitely could be a cause.

It was a little strange this morning, also - I was putting some groceries away and turned to my left to get something (also slightly leaning forward I think), and I got a horrendous charley horse type cramp in that same area that I've been having the pains.  This was the first time this has happened (or that I can remember, but believe me, it was severe enough that I WOULD remember if it had happened before).  Would something like a hernia possibly cause this type of pain (and the charley horse cramp today)?  I'm wondering that because it does help relieve/reduce the pain if I lay down rather than sit and when the charley horse cramp happened today, to get rid of it, I had to really stretch towards the other side and put some pressure on the area (thinking maybe I actually was reducing a hernia doing that??)

Any other ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  I don't think it's anything really serious or else the pain would have gotten much worse during this month or so that I've had it - or had other symptoms, but it sure is annoying!!
Avatar universal
I don't know what that sudden pain could be caused by.  Your surgeries might have put you are a higher risk for developing a hernia, so this is a possibility.  It could also be related to your lupus, I don't know much about lupus but I do know that it can cause a huge variety of symptoms.
Avatar universal
Did you ever find an answer to your upper left abdominal pain?  My daughter is 43 and has all the same symptoms you've described.  She cannot find a cause to it even following here recent hysterectomy. She has had 2 C sections and been diagnosed with Lupus a few years ago.  IBS has been ruled out as many other common causes..  Tests all come back normal. She did have a severe allergic reaction to oxycodone (codine based)  following her surgery recently (Dr thought it was the reproductive system)  which paralyzed her limbs, experienced severe joint pain and loss of speech.  Very close call!! You have made me think that lupus and a possible hernia may be the cause.  Her lower abdomen tends to swell during this episode, most frequently 20-30 min after eating.
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