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Lower Left Side Dull Constant Ache


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#1 Ralph9898

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 10:31 PM

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Hi. I am new to this forum. I am a 38 year old male. I have never had any issues with constipation or abdominal pain in my life. A little over 2 months ago, I woke up one morning with a dull ache in my front left lower abdomen. Pain is about a 2 out of 10 or less. Not a sharp pain, just a very dull pain. I figured it would go away, but it didn't. About 3 weeks into it, I started noticing some difference in the shape of my stool. Around Thanksgiving I became constipated and had some bright red blood in the toilet after straining to go to the bathroom (but not in the stool itself). I made an appointment with my GP, who referred me to a gastro doctor. They did a colonoscopy about 3 weeks ago and it came out completely clean, except for some internal hemorrhoids, which were the cause of the red blood. He said no polyps were found and no divirtuculosis/divirticulitis. Colonoscopy was a breeze by the way--they gave me the Michael Jackson drug diprivan to put me totally asleep.Gastro doctor who performed the Colonoscopy said it may be IBS, but he didn't really give me a definitive diagnosis. He said to eat more fiber, which I have been doing. He didn't seem at all concerned and didn't even schedule me for a follow up appointment. He gave me a referral to a hemorrhoid doc, but I have not gone yet, b/c the bleeding has stopped completely and I have been using some prescribed cortisone suppositories, which I think are working to reduce/eliminate the hemorrhoids. Left side pain generally went away temporarily during my 2 days of fasting and the use of the laxatives for the colonocopy prep. I am now regular every morning, and my stool is looking larger and more normal shaped, which is very promising. However, I still have the same dull constant ache in my lower left abdomen. And I still sometimes have a bowel movement with thin shaped or very mushy stools. The type/shape of the stools is still kind of random. But at least now I have a full and complete bowel movement every morning, which I am very happy about. But the continuing ache concerns me. The location and intensity of the pain is exactly the same as it was 2 months ago. It has not gotten worse or better. I have noticed that the pain goes away for a while if I drink about 2 glasses of wine or 3 beers. Maybe that relaxes the nerves. It also seems to be worse about a half hour after a bowel movement. I usually wake up without much pain in that area, have a bowel movement, and then start to feel it again about a half hour later. Kind of feels like a hunger pain feels, but on my left side. Very dull and annoying.I am probably going to make another appointment to see a different gastro doctor, but I am sure they are just going to tell me I have IBS. I assume that the clean colonoscopy has ruled out anything serious, but I don't like to live with a constant dull pain. Does this constant dull pain in the exact same area of my front lower left side combined with different shaped stools sound like IBS to you guys? My reading indicated that the abdominal pain from IBS moves around a lot and may change in intensity. This pain is the same intensity in the same location, and is around most of the time.


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#2 BQ

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 01:27 AM

My reading indicated that the abdominal pain from IBS moves around a lot and may change in intensity.

Actually the area you describe where your discomfort is located is a very common area for IBS'ers to have discomfort... it is the descending colon area. None of us likes living with IBS but I am glad to hear it is a dull pain for you and not intense. Sure go ahead and get another opinion by all means. But I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the diagnosis remains the same.Have you tried Peppermint oil caps or strong peppermint (Like ALtoids)/Or peppermint tea to help relieve this discomfort?? Peppermint is a natural smooth muscle relaxer and may relieve it for you.All the best
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#3 Kathleen M.

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 08:20 AM

There is no singular pain pattern in IBS. There are very few pain patterns that mean it cannot be IBS.A few pain patterns are more typical of other organs when they go off, but most of that is on the right, and usually dull ache isn't in the description of those. Usually those are more worst pain of my life descriptions.Some docs won't say definitely IBS because not much proves you have it, so they hedge their bet. There is a new blood test that can rule in IBS where most other tests just rule out other things. http://www.ibsbloodtest.com/ is the info on that.The pain of IBS is not always migrating from spot to spot, but it can occur anywhere along the colon. So whole right side, whole left side, across the top by the stomach and down low. However you don't need pain in the whole colon for IBS. I've had overall tenderness from IBS, but the more painful areas were usually in the same couple of spots.It may be worth seeing if some peppermint tea would help with the ache (or capsules or I've used Altoids as they are cheap and no one thinks twice if you pop a couple of mints in public)
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#4 Ralph9898

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 09:20 AM

Thank you for very helpful posts. I will definitely be trying some form of peppermint. I am certainly grateful that my pain is dull rather than extreme. And I realized right away that dull left side pain is better than sharp right side pain, as there is much less chance that there is a serious problem with an organ. At least this is a wakeup call that I need to watch what I eat and make sure I have adequate fiber in my diet. I will post again if this dull ache ever goes away completely, and any changes that helped.

#5 Chris767

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 01:19 PM

I have the same discomfort in my lower left abdomen I cant stand it. I am going for a colonoscopy soon so that should help. However until then I have found that (and I know this is really stupid and I thought it was too but I am desperate to get rid of this pain) yoga helps a lot. This site has all the poses you need to do to help your digestive track. Again I know its stupid but I have been doing it for about a week and after the first day I noticed a difference. The pain does not go away permanently but with repetition it does lessen and some days after performing yoga I do not feel the pain at all.

#6 BQ

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 03:16 PM

Chris yoga isn't stupid at all! And hey... whatever works is a good thing! I'm glad it is helping you and thanks for sharing your experience with us!
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#7 lorilou

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 03:41 PM

how intersting to read this post b/c i was just getting ready to post the same thing. i do have diverticulosis and when it turns to diverticulitis its the lower left side. however ever since the two attacks in the spring that hospitalized me i have this off and on low left side pain. comes and goes and it isnt severe- just annoying and enough to make me paranoid its an diver attack starting. i have noticed that i cannot eat raw veggies and lettuce seems to set me off with this. for the past two days i had a sandwhich with lettuce and pickles- i seem to do k with cooked b=veggies. its reasssuring to hear ibs can be left side too- having both diver and ibs the ibs is easier to deal with- happy new year everyone!!!

#8 lorilou

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 07:31 PM

no raw veggies today and no pain .....does raw veggies set anyone else off?lori

#9 Kathleen M.

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 07:35 PM

That is a common trigger, most people do better with steamed veggies rather than raw.
My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
Ph.D in Biology

#10 Ralph9898

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 02:09 PM

Thanks for the yoga suggestion. I am going to try that. I also purchased some peppogest off of amazon, which is an enteric-coated peppermint capsule. It gets great reviews for IBS. I have tried peppermint tea, and it is good, but I am not sure yet whether or not it helps my symptoms. I think it helps a little. My dull pain doesn't seem to be affected by what I eat or don't eat. I had a day where I decided to go off my healthy diet and eat a KFC buffet for lunch and chinese food for dinner. I felt a little better the next day believe it or not. It feels better in the morning when I wake up. Some days are slightly better than others, but I cannot yet pinpoint what makes the symptoms worse or better. I have had stressful days where it feels better and nonstressful days where it feels worse (like today). Bowel movement doesn't make it any better; if anything it makes it worse. A few alcoholic drinks definitely helps it. My stools are somewhat flatter/ribbon shaped than they used to be, but I don't have constipation or any trouble moving them. What I eat seems to affect how bulky they are (more fiber=bulkier, more fat=smaller/thinner). The pain is always located in the exact same part of my colon--a little lower than my navel and on the very far left front portion. I think it is at the corner end of the descending colon on the left part, right before the sigmoid colon. I have felt this dull pain pretty much every day for 3 months now.

#11 lorilou

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:23 PM

Ralph,have you tried bentyl? when you said the alchohol helps that prompts me to think the calming effect of bentyl may help.lori

#12 lorilou

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 08:06 AM

ok here i go again. low left side hurt when i got up- had salad last night... benytl is keeping all pain away in rest of my stomache- Kathleen, this low left side stuff was never an issue for me ( had ibs 25+ yrs)-its only been since a diverticulitis attack. could i be having irritation and not necessarily an infection going on? or could the diverticulsosis make me susceptible for ibs to flare there?paranoidlori

#13 Yukie

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 12:53 PM

Chris thanks a lot for sharing this link, I will try it at home. Abdominal pain drives me crazy. :(

#14 atlanticdare

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:19 PM

I am so happy to find someone that is having the same pains (aches ) and problems that I am having. I have a constant ache in my lower left side . This has been going on for months, it comes and goes but the times it goes away varies sometimes for a few hours, some times for days but always returns. my doctor said that this is a symptom of my IBS and he did the colonoscope and found nothing. It seems to get worst while I am sitting but is relieved while I walk around or stand. I wish I had a way to make the pain go away because it gets annoying.

#15 Ralph9898

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:29 PM

Moving around helps me. Riding a bike seems to help. The yoga suggestion above seems to help. But all of this is temporary. I have had this for 3 months at least, and things are pretty much the same, although I have drastically improved my diet. At least I am regular now. Stool shape varies even within the same bowel movement. Starts out normal shape, size, and hardness, and then usually becomes thinner, flatter, and more mushy by the end of the BM. But the pain is about the same. It goes away for a few days here and there, but seems to always come back. Very annoying. Glad to know you have similar symptoms.Peppermint capsules or peppermint tea may help you, per suggestion above from various posters.

I am so happy to find someone that is having the same pains (aches ) and problems that I am having. I have a constant ache in my lower left side . This has been going on for months, it comes and goes but the times it goes away varies sometimes for a few hours, some times for days but always returns. my doctor said that this is a symptom of my IBS and he did the colonoscope and found nothing. It seems to get worst while I am sitting but is relieved while I walk around or stand. I wish I had a way to make the pain go away because it gets annoying.



#16 Gary F

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 07:10 PM

Ralph,I was intrigued when you mentioned the pain in the lower left area. Although my IBS symptoms began at a very young age, I am now experiencing a constant pain in that same area. No matter how many times I explain this (in detail,) to my hotshot gastroenterologist, it never seems to mean anything to him. You sound like you're doing better than I am, however, which is certainly something to be thankful for. My I.B.S. has gotten terrible in the last 10 years or so. Prior to that, it really wasn't that great either. I'm 50 now, and things are certainly not looking up.Anyway, when the pain in the lower left area was getting sharp (about six months ago,) I made an appointment with a new family doctor (my old one had recently retired.) I told him all about the long history or I.B.S., etc. He asks me if I've ever had a CAT scan of my abdomen. Mind you, I've had every other awful test you can think of, but nobody's ever suggested a CAT scan before. He sets me up for the scan, and lo and behold, they noticed a thickenning/inflammation in the area of the decending and proximal colon (about 8 - 10 cm.) I was absolutely astonished, as no test had ever indicated anything. This new family doctor referred me to a new gastroenerologist, supposedly a leading one in my area. Armed with the results of the CAT scan, the new GI doc sets me up for a second scan in order to confirm the results of the first one. Despite my confidence that the results would prove similar, my second scan showed nothing. Very, very frustrating, to say the least.I don't know why the thickenning didn't show up on the second scan, but no further course of treatment was the result. I'm the patient (the guy with the pain,) so I know there's got to be a problem in that area. The doctors won't treat, however, due to the lack of confirmation. I was directed to this website as a result of new conversations about the use of Lotronex. As I've been suffering for about 40 years, I am now convinced that the bad area of my colon needs to go. The pain in the lower left region is now constant. It's always there as a dull pain, but gets quite sharp when my attacks commence. I think the Lotronex is worth a shot, but I don't think any drug will fix what I believe to be a basic structural problem with the colon itself.Perhaps in your case, a CAT scan might prove helpful.Good luck,Gary

#17 BQ

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 12:05 PM

In my experience Gary, the Lotronex did nothing for my pain. And in MHO.. it should not be prescribed to treat pain.... just severe diarrhea only.Are you on any antispasmodics for this pain? Have you tried using Peppermint Altoids.. some folks say the muscle relaxant properties of them can help with pain. (Not good though if you suffer from GERD at all.)Also I used this:http://www.healthyau.../ibs?r=VmPRrcNk hypnotherapy program to manage my IBS pain and it worked better than anything else on it...even narcotics!If you want to read more about hypnotherapy please see our CBT/Hypnotherapy Forum.. (especially the threads thumbtacked to the top of the page)Just click here for that forum:http://www.ibsgroup....php?showforum=9Also if you had the inflammation before and do not seem to have at the 2nd CAT.. but still have the pain the same... Perhaps the "sometimes" inflammation has nothing to do with the pain. Just a thought...People with IBS tend to be viscerally hypersensitive. We can feel things that loads of other folks don't feel or don't even notice. Just one of the aspects of IBS.There are other techniques I use to manage IBS pain.. things like distraction... relaxation techniques... exercise etc... You might try some of those as well. I use the antispasmodic at times to to take the edge of it off if it is super severe or it comes on too suddenly and I am 'behind' it so to speak. I like to stay ahead of pain and the way it has been me for me lately.. it can come on much more suddenly and that leaves me trying to catch up to it to manage it. So in those instances I use the antispasmodic as soon as I can. If you do not have a prescription for those.. I would ask one of your Docs for one. My GP gives me mine.. not a GI just so you know.All the best
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#18 Ralph9898

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 04:56 PM

Gary, I hope you someday figure this out. I hope that it doesn't last 40 years for me or get much worse; 3 months is bad enough. What I don't understand is why they needed a second CAT scan? Why would they have to do a second one to confirm the first one? I agree with BQ that if you had the pain both times, but only one showed inflammation, it would seem like the inflammation on the first CAT scan is not causing the pain. Hopefully that is good news that you don't have a permanent thickening of your colon. I am going to wait a while longer before I get a CAT scan, but I appreciate your suggestion, as it may be something to discuss with my GI doctor down the road if things don't improve or they get worse.For me, it is not the pain that I need relief from. It is not that painful. I don't want to mask the pain with some sort of drug. I want to figure out what is wrong and get some clear guidance on fixing it. Maybe I am completely wrong, but if I have pain in one specific spot on my body, that is my body telling me something is inflamed/wrong in that spot. If my pain was in random spots or "all over", I would be more convinced that there is nothing wrong.

Ralph,I was intrigued when you mentioned the pain in the lower left area. Although my IBS symptoms began at a very young age, I am now experiencing a constant pain in that same area. No matter how many times I explain this (in detail,) to my hotshot gastroenterologist, it never seems to mean anything to him. You sound like you're doing better than I am, however, which is certainly something to be thankful for. My I.B.S. has gotten terrible in the last 10 years or so. Prior to that, it really wasn't that great either. I'm 50 now, and things are certainly not looking up.Anyway, when the pain in the lower left area was getting sharp (about six months ago,) I made an appointment with a new family doctor (my old one had recently retired.) I told him all about the long history or I.B.S., etc. He asks me if I've ever had a CAT scan of my abdomen. Mind you, I've had every other awful test you can think of, but nobody's ever suggested a CAT scan before. He sets me up for the scan, and lo and behold, they noticed a thickenning/inflammation in the area of the decending and proximal colon (about 8 - 10 cm.) I was absolutely astonished, as no test had ever indicated anything. This new family doctor referred me to a new gastroenerologist, supposedly a leading one in my area. Armed with the results of the CAT scan, the new GI doc sets me up for a second scan in order to confirm the results of the first one. Despite my confidence that the results would prove similar, my second scan showed nothing. Very, very frustrating, to say the least.I don't know why the thickenning didn't show up on the second scan, but no further course of treatment was the result. I'm the patient (the guy with the pain,) so I know there's got to be a problem in that area. The doctors won't treat, however, due to the lack of confirmation. I was directed to this website as a result of new conversations about the use of Lotronex. As I've been suffering for about 40 years, I am now convinced that the bad area of my colon needs to go. The pain in the lower left region is now constant. It's always there as a dull pain, but gets quite sharp when my attacks commence. I think the Lotronex is worth a shot, but I don't think any drug will fix what I believe to be a basic structural problem with the colon itself.Perhaps in your case, a CAT scan might prove helpful.Good luck,Gary



#19 atlanticdare

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 06:26 PM

Can anyone describe the pain they are having in there lower left abdomen, mine seems to be in the area of the hip bone also slightly over to the right and also near the top of my leg.. I guess I would described it as a gnawing burning pain or stabbing pain at times I can almost feel a spasm. I also have been having muscle spasms in other areas of my body like across my lower stomach which hold for a few seconds and release, that is painful... and on a scale of 1 to 10 I would say it is sometimes a 4 sometimes less and the stool seem to be thinner but that changes also and as someone has said in the middle of a bowel movement it has changed. These posts are helping me understand what is going on greatly, and I appreciate any replies Thank you...

#20 atlanticdare

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 06:32 PM

Yes I agree some days its bad other days almost non existent but never goes away completely It has been going on with me for over 3 months now even though I was diagnosed with IBS many years ago the pain did not start until recently. After my last colonoscopy had some bleeding that was nothing now about 6 months later the pain has started and won't stop. I am going to try the peppermint. I found that lying down relieves the pain or walking around, sitting is the worst.





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