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severe left lower abdominal pain

     My 15 year old daughter has been experiencing constant abdominal pain for the past 3 months.  She has had problems with severe abdominal cramps for about 5 years but usually they would come on for a few hours and go away.  3 months ago, she started having severe pain that comes on very strong for about 20 minutes and then subsides for about 10 minutes and cycles like that.  She is always in pain and movement seems to aggrevate it.  She has been having trouble sleeping at night, has suffered from constipation but not anymore, has pain on her bottom that runs down her leg every once in a while, also every so often gets red blotches that are not raised or itchy on her chest(she doesn't even notice she has them, unless she looks in the mirror).  She also has a lot of gas and noises in her belly.  The last two days she has had floating stools (she was a little freaked out, since she has never had that before).  She doesn't eat much at each meal because if she eats too much, it makes her stomach pains worse.  I have been giving her small meals during meal time and giving protein smoothies with frozen fuit to help give her more nourishment
    When she first started with this pain 3 months ago, she would like in bed with her knees to her chest and stay still.  Movement seems to aggrevate it.  As the time has gone on, she has been able to cope with it(I think because she has had the pain so long) and can get up take a shower and get dressed and work on her computer.  She has been on homebound education for 2 1/2 months with teachers coming to the house to keep her up to date on her studies.  The stress of this seems to also aggrevate the pain.
    In the beginning, the doctors had diagnosed her with IBS and later decided she didn't have that because her pain would not subside or go away when she went to the bathroom, which is a indicator of IBS.  Then they labeled it functional abdominal pain and gave her amitriptyline to help with what the doctor thought were abdominal spasms.  This did not help with the pain but only made her loopy.  She took that for about a week and we decided to take her off of it.
    She again had severe pain and I took her to the emergency room and they did a ultrasound on her and did blood tests.  All came back fine.  They recommended that we take her to see a gastroenterologist and a ob/gyn because they suspected either something gastro related or endometriosis.   I then took her to a gynecologist and she gave my daughter birth control pills to take for 3 months.  My daughter did and it didn't seem to help.
    She then had xrays which indicated that she had fecal impaction and also had problems with that for the past year or two.  The doctor told her to do a enema once a day for 4 days.  She did it for 5 days.  Still no relief, so the doctor told her to take Miralax 3 times a day until she was having diarrhea.  A few days later she was having abdominal pains that were very severe and was having trouble even walking, we took her again to the e.r.  They found that she still had fecal impaction and recommended the Miralax 3 times a day for a week and then have her xrayed again and there was no fecal impaction.
     Since then, she had a blood test for lyme disease and it was fine.  Then she had a lactose breath test and that was fine.  She also had a cat scan and that was fine.  The gastroenterogist she saw didn't really do anything for her.
     Finally, I heard about a great pediatric surgeon and I asked if he could just look at her xrays and cat scan and see what he thinks.  He noticed on two of her xrays that she had a big gas bubble on the xray, which he thought was unusual.  He suspected either chronic appendicitis or a meckel diverticulum.  He had a meckel scan done on her and that came back normal.  Then he had a upper g.i./lower bowel series done and the only thing found on that was that my daughter had 2 bouts of g.e. reflux(which does not even bother her).  He ended up doing a exploratory surgery on her to remove her appendix and to check for a meckel as well as check inside to make sure everything is alright.  He did find that her appendix was kinked and it was lodged into the fat behind and also the pathology reports indicated it had scar tissue on it.  He said her appendix was like it was in a cocoon because it was lodged in there.  He did look at her intestines and ovaries and everything else and everything looked great, except the appendix and he felt that her left sided pain was referred pain from the appendix.
     It has been 2 weeks and she is still having the same pain(all over below belly button but, worse on lower left side just like before).  The surgeon scheduled us to see another gastroenterologist and he said that if they do a colonoscopy, then they might be able to find the reason she is in pain.  Her appt. is next week.  The surgeon also prescribed donnatol for her to take once a day.  
     Do you have any suggestions as who else we should be seeing or any other tests to do?  It is hard as a mother to see your child in so much pain and we aren't finding anything to help with a diagnosis.  I feel if I knew what it was, maybe we could treat it or I could do whatever to help her.  Right now, I often wonder if what I am doing could be making it worse (such as feeding her something that is making her worse or something like that).
     If anyone has any ideas of what this might be, what kind of doctor we should go to or what tests we should have done, please post a reply.  I am desperately trying to get to the bottom of what is causing her pain.  Any suggestions, ideas or comments will be appreciated.

Thanks, Concerned Mom
11 Responses
Avatar universal
keep that dr. appointment.  You need one you can trust.  do you mind me asking what state you live in.
Avatar universal
We live in Pennsylvania.
Avatar universal
Last Monday I went to the Hospital with the same pain. Acute pain in my lower left abdomin with radiating pain up around my waist to my back up to my shoulder blade. They did a CAT scan and found I had acute diverticulitis. I have been taking 2 antibotics. One is specific for the gut. The pain is gone now. The GI DR told me for the rest of my life he wants me to take Miralax.
You should keep the appointment for the lower gi. I feel for your daughter. I know her pain.
Avatar universal
Does your daughter have heartburn when she eats to much?
Avatar universal
My daughter doesn't get heartburn when she eats too much....it just exacerbates the pain, if she eats too much (which to me, too much isn't that much).

I also forgot to write that we also had a blood test for H-Pylori done on her and it came back negative for H-Pylori.  I thought for sure it was that, since she gets a lot of the same symptoms.  I don't know how accurate the blood test is and if it could be a false negative.

Well, thanks for your help and I would appreciate any help anyone can offer.
Avatar universal
My daughter got another one of her red blotches on her chest yesterday and it was very red.  My husband took a picture of it, so we can show her doctor on Friday.  When we told the doctors about it, they said it had nothing to do with her abdominal pain, even though it started at the same time.  They said it was stress related.  Right now, she is in a transition between her high school and charter school and she doesn't have any stress, other than not knowing what this is (which I think I am the only one stressed right now about that).  It is odd, because she doesn't even feel the red blotches.  They aren't raised and they don't itch and you will see one or two of them for about 5 to 10 minutes and then they disappear.  Does anyone know what these red blotches could be?  
Avatar universal
Hi, I have just read all of your posts on this page and can relate to some of the symptoms that your daughter is suffering from. I have the abdominal pain which gets worse after eating a meal. I also get the noises in my stomach, the best way I can describe it is like a gurgurling sound (very annoying). When you mention about the stomach cramps and pain can you tell me if the pain is more severe when your daughter is having her period? The reason I ask this is because I always suffer from severe period pains and am doubled up in pain. The only thing that takes the edge of the pain is sitting in a hot bath for hours. Also does your daughter suffer from extreme tiredness and has she unintentionaly lost weight? If you can let me know, I can advise further.
Avatar universal
     Yes, my daughter does suffer from more severe pains during period, extreme tiredness and she has lost weight.  Her periods are very long too.  They put her on birth control pills before her surgery thinking that it might be endometriosis and she was on the birth control for 3 months.  We took her off of them, because she wasn't noticing a difference.  Before going on the pill, she was having 7 day heavy periods.  She just had her first period after going off the pill and it was 9 days long total.  I don't know if that is just from the transition of going off the pill.
     I know that when she had her appendix removed, the surgeon looked inside and he did say that he didn't see endometriosis.  I don't know if that is what you might be telling me about, but thought I would let you know.
Avatar universal
I  had a similar problem, and in my case it was a shortage of Hydrochloric acid [ stomach acid] Has your daughter been tested for that? I take one glass of buttermilk after each meal.No harm in trying.
Avatar universal
I forgot to add that she must eat slow and chew her food well.
Avatar universal
I just met a nurse and spoke to her about my daughter and she thought that the rash might be due to an autoimmune reaction to what is going on with her pain in her left lower abdomen.  Does anyone have any thoughts on that?
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