Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Community (GIST) Community
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Abdominal Pain

I've suffered from abdominal pain attacks for about 10 years (I'm 39).  I get anywhere from 2-5 attacks per year.  The pain is located under my right rib cage so it is closest to my gallbladder by my estimation.  During pain, if I press under my right rib cage, it hurts quite a bit whereas my left rib cage is fine.

Attacks always start mildly and ALWAYS after lunch such that by about 2-4 pm, I can start to feel mild pain/discomfort in my abdomen and I know that an attack is imminent.  Severe pain sets in around 6-9 pm that evening.  It feels like knives slicing into me and the pain undulates over about a 2-3 hour period.  I'm usually fine by 10-11 pm and good for several months until another attack.  I don' t eat anything during an attack but I do try to drink water but when the pain subsides and my attack is completed, I can eat right away and normally--and I usually do since I'm hungry!

I have no other symptoms other than sharp pain.  I have no gas, no diarhhea, no headache and no other pain elsewhere during an attack that I'm aware of.  While attacks certainly appear related to food, I cannot figure out if certain foods cause it.  I've eaten certain things for many years with no issues but then WHAMMO!, an attack hits me.  Between attacks, I have eaten plenty of fatty meals that could cause issues; I've eaten way too much food that could cause issues; and I've eaten normally and carefully.  I can discern no relationship to the food I eat or the amount or the type and an attack.

Nothing helps these attacks.  Antacids don't do anything.  Pepto bismal and other indigestion medicine do not help anything.  Time was it--just suffer through it and eventually it'll be done for several months.  One thing I've finally found that does help: Manuka Honey.  If I take this when I feel an attack coming on, it seems to stave off the attack early and I don't suffer the severe pain: only mild discomfort one might think is just indigestion.  This has worked on the last 3 attacks.  Now, of course, I don't know if the attacks would have gone "full bore" but they sure felt like my classic GI attacks that I've had for years.

For the first time, my latest attacks, I had back-to-back attacks.  I have never had attacks two days in a row that I can recall.  Manuka honey helped both.

My gastroenterologist so far has had two ultrasounds done on my abdomen and has found nothing of significance.  I have no gallstones according to the US.  I managed to get to a lab on the second attack of my back-to-back attacks to have some blood drawn.  The doctor asked for PTT, PT, Comp metabolic panel, and CBC w/diff.  I guess all came back normal but my doctor and I are playing phone tag right now so we haven't had a discussion about it yet.

Anyway, looking for some thoughts and other informed opinions.  I've recently discovered a show on TLC call Mystery Diagnosis.  I'm glued to this program and record everything.  I saw one last night about GIST on a woman who appeared to share some of my symptoms.  I think an CT scan or MRI or whatever else might be in order to take a better look at my abdomen....

2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello, i realize you wrote this a few years ago, but if you are still on this site., I have very similar issues and have been searching for answers to no avail. I have had so many test and again, nothing. If you are still on this site, did you ever get a diagnosis?
Still searching and getting desperate:-/
Thank you
Avatar universal
I have GIST. I recently suffered chext pains that radiated from sternum to RH shoulder. Pain also along RH ribs to lower RH back. Culprit was a liver cyst that contained about 3L of necrotic fluid. Oncologist said this was typical refered pain. CAT scan with barium contrast found a number of cysts.

Hope this helps.
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