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Pain when sitting down! Is this Bowel related?


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#1 axil23

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 03:38 AM

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I have been having a pain or call it a pinch below my left rib cage (stomach side) for 3 years now. It feels as if something is stuck below my rib or my ribs are sitting on something which is inflamed. Have been to more then a few Dr's who all said that it was A. kidney stone B. Excess Acid C. Muscle pull D. pinched Nerve E. Gastritis F. IBS G. IBD H. PancreatitisAnyway now it has been 3 years since this pinching numb pain started. Some facts about the pain- - It does not get worse with food or does it get better when I have not had food. I have experimented and not had food until 2pm the day after a dinner and the pain still comes when i am sitting. - It gets worse in car journeys and when i am sitting on a office chair for more then one hour - If i stand up or move my sitting postion to a more upright one it goes away completely. Even a slight posture change when sitting takes the pain away.- Sometimes when I lay on my left side on my bed it will start but when i turn on my right it goes away. - When i hunch it gets worse - Is hardly there when I am relaxing on a sunday on my bed. - It seems to get worse on days when I have eaten out- It definately gets worse when i am stressed.Now this pain always feels as if someone is pinching me below my left rib cage and never really onto the "need pain killers" stage. It is very annoying. It has been there every day for the last three years. Was diagnosed as having Hpylori which was treated with some anti-biotics two years ago. Have had a repeat test done 3 months back and its clear. But needless Hyplori should not cause pain. 6 months after this pain started (3 years ago) i got a attack of mild acute Pancreatitis which the Dr said was due to Alcohol? I am not a big drinker. The pain never stopped and silly me started to drink occasionally again a year back and I got another attack of Pancreatitis 8 months back. This time after only having two beers. This even puzzled the Dr's as Alcoholic Pancreatitis happens after Alcohol abuse. Anyway I am sure mine was not caused by Alcohol as both the times I have had a episode i have been eating out for 5-6 days everyday. My tests are all normal MRI, CT, Blood work, endoscopy, Colonoscopy & X-ray's.Recent Dr suggested it could be Costocondritis (inflamtion of muscles in ribs) and gave me painkillers which do numb the pain but when I let go the pain comes back. He even gave me a injection on the area to numb the pain but to no effect. Now a recent Dr gave me Librax x2 a day (chlordiazepoxide clidinium) and suggested I might have IBS. The pain went down considerably after a week of using the drug, then my Dr did a Colonoscopy and found that out to be clear. Nothing wrong with it apparently. Since that day my pain has come back and is now more then it was last week even though I am on the same drug. I am sure this pain has something to do with what is triggering my Pancreatitis. But I am lost.The pain is so much now that I can barely sit for long periods on my seat without shifting around. Is this IBS?


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#2 distressed

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 03:54 AM

I would expect you would have some bowel symptoms if it was IBS....but you dont mention anything other than some pain in your side. Quite frankly a very specific painful spot in your ribs is more likely to be muscular if you have no other symptoms... and since the pancreas is on the left side and you have had 'pancreatitis' several times...well thats where i would be more concerned...but that shows on testing. One question...had any symptoms that might be gallbladder related? such as pain after a fatty meal?...gallbladder problems can cause pancreatitis.....Test for gallbladder is an ultrasound...but you need a good ultrasound tech as it is something that can be missed even when they are looking....

#3 axil23

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:13 AM

Only bowel issue I can think of is that I am constipated unless I have my 2-3 Oranges every night after food. The two times I have had Pancreatitis I have been to the toilet 3-4 times on that particular day. My Pancreas is ok, all tests and scans suggest there is no damage and the blood work suggests that its ok. I have also had blood tests for Celiac which came clear.The pain does not get better after a good bowel movement. the colon looks fine during a Colonoscopy but do we need to test the upper part of the small colon? The gall bladder is fine on all scans but then sludge does not come up on Scans. But can gall bladder pain be movement related? All Dr's I have seen agree that any type of Muscular pain should show improvement after a while. 3 years of the pain not getting any better or worse does not suggest muscular according to them. The two times I have had an episode is when i have combined heavy food and beer for 4-5 days. Have beer alone and good food for 5 days and I am ok. Another thing is that I am lacking energy and have had acne on my forehead and upper back (shoulders) which started the same time as the pain. I have heard that if your bowel region is not working ok then you end up getting more toxins in your blood resulting in Acne. Any truth behind that?

#4 Kathleen M.

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:19 AM

The gall bladder is on the right. The pain tends to be severe, continuous for 5-12 hours straight, and happens mostly after a fatty meal.There is a bend in the colon (the splenic flexure) on the left up under the ribs and it is a common trouble spot for IBS.Maybe an area where gas gets trapped or constipated stool has an issue moving around the bend.The colon is designed to store stool for several days without leaking all sorts of nastiness into the body. I'm not sure how much of the toxin theory is just wishful thinking, but there really isn't much that is based on data, it just sounds like it should be right.That the Librax helps (it relaxes smooth muscles like the colon wall) tends to support it is just an issue with where that bend in the colon is.
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#5 axil23

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:32 AM

The gall bladder is on the right. The pain tends to be severe, continuous for 5-12 hours straight, and happens mostly after a fatty meal.There is a bend in the colon (the splenic flexure) on the left up under the ribs and it is a common trouble spot for IBS.Maybe an area where gas gets trapped or constipated stool has an issue moving around the bend.The colon is designed to store stool for several days without leaking all sorts of nastiness into the body. I'm not sure how much of the toxin theory is just wishful thinking, but there really isn't much that is based on data, it just sounds like it should be right.That the Librax helps (it relaxes smooth muscles like the colon wall) tends to support it is just an issue with where that bend in the colon is.

But shouldn't this have showed up on the Colonoscopy? Or does that not show IBS?Also are you suggesting that Chronic pain for 3 years could be due to this & sitting down can aggravate this?One thing I do remember is that when I had Pancreatitis this pain was no longer there (maybe as that pain is much worse) but also when that pain went away I was without this pain for 2-3 days after I got out from Hospital. Could this be as I had not taken any food for 5 days my colon was rested? Any tests I can do for this?

#6 distressed

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 06:37 AM

Yes if you are constipated more toxins do build up in your system....Gallballder problems can be very weird in their presentation, normally though anyone producing gallstones etc will have an attack if they eat high fat food.Gallbladder sludge like sand instead of stones doesnt show.....i know i had it for several years...my bile duct became so inflamed thats partly how i ended up with pancreatitis and viral hep aMuscular pain should have improved after 3 years....What i notice is you have mentioned heavy food more so than beer....that just continues to make me lean towards gallbladder.Movement related does not indicate that its just a muscle etc.... moving in a certain way or lying on one side may place pressure on the problem area.Constipation can cause bizarre pains too....and it is possible its IBS in that sense.I think the easiest test is go eat fried food (no beer with it!).....if that causes strong pain in that spot....i would bet upon gallbladder whether its showing in the test or not (I had to have 5 ultrasounds and none of them showed)....bear in mind eating a heavy fatty fried meal could make you very ill if it is indeed gallbladder so you do it at your own risk..... fat and bad gallbladder equals some fairly intense pain, almost like having appendicitis. Looking back i never linked fat to my gallbladder at the time, but later it was very clear, every fatty meal i had gave me some fairly intense pain say 7 out of 10 on a pain scale, (10 being worse than you can imagine)Oh, and a colonoscopy looks at more than the colon...in fact it should have reached all the way up to the stomach almost, however not all drs will scope that high as the higher you go the greater the risk of perforation.The fact that you have had repeated pancreatitis would lead me to look at other things than IBS as thats not a normal presentation for IBS....The only other thing that supports IBS is that 3 years is a long time before something else would show...

#7 axil23

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:04 AM

Thank you for the very detailed reply distressed. Did you have gall bladder symptoms in relation to your posture? Also isn't gall bladder pain in the middle? Is there any way that I can test for splenic flexure problems? What I am finding weird is that Librax and pro-biotics helped in the two weeks but ever since the Colonoscopy the pain has got worse. Yep I have got attacks when I have been eating out heavy foods for 4-5 days? Maybe the Gall bladder produces enough sludge after a few days of heavy consumption? But then what is this pain right now? A combination of Paracetamol & Tramadol takes the pain away. If I have a fatty meal (just had fish & chips yesterday) then I am ok. The pain does not get any worse but i do get mild nausea afterwards. But then I am sure its not just one meal that is causing this. If it is sludge then it is a combination of 4-5 heavy meals. The Dr has just given up on me, he says that all tests are clear and that I am just imagining things. But then the pain is there, i can feel it right now. Its triggering AP in my case. Something else is not right. Thank you everyone for your help.

#8 Kathleen M.

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:05 AM

Again the gall bladder is on the right not the left, so pain on the left is not a gall bladder symptom.Usually the problem is after a fatty meal, even just one fatty meal, you release a bunch of bile and if you have a stone that will get it stuck where it blocks things and that causes the pain. I don't think the sludge causes pain and I though ti was pretty consistent, not coming and going.There really isn't at test for splenic flexure issues, just make sure you don't have other things. A lot of IBSers are worse after a colonoscopy from both the disruption to the colonic flora from the flush and the getting pumped full of air and run through with a camera thing.With IBS (whether at that bend in the colon or elsewhere) you are not making up the pain, or forcing yourself to feel it or anything like that even if the doctor told you that specifically (and you need to find a new doctor if they think you are imagining it).The pain isn't from an ulcer or anything like that, it is from a mis-firing of the nerves that either sense or control the gut. It can be in one part of the colon or along the whole thing. Just because it is in the nervous system doesn't make it imaginary.There is a new test that can look for the subtle changes in some blood markers (not the big things you see for more obvious diseases) and can tell IBS from other GI illnesses, but I'm not sure that would give you any more information, and would not change the treatment options.Drugs like Librax are usually the first thing tried and if relaxing the colon muscles isn't enough you attack the nerves in the gut directly with a low dose of antidepressants (the gut nerves use the exact same things the nerves in your brain do and the drugs don't go just to the nerves the sheet of paper with your diagnosis says are the problem).
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#9 distressed

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:40 AM

If you can eat fish and chips without a problem then its not likely to be gallbladder.....when i had my problems something like fish and chips would have had me in a great deal of pain.Sludge going through the bile duct also causes a lot of pain, which eventually can become constant.Generally speaking Kathleen is right about left sided pain not being gallbladder, UNLESS the gallbladder leads to pancreatitis.....pancreatitis does cause left sided pain.From the additional info you have given though, I now doubt gallbladder is the problem.As far as posture goes...it by itself can cause weird pains that can be chronic in nature. I think you really have to listen to what your body is telling you and look at what helps and what makes it worse as a guide. The colonoscopy made it worse, well colonoscopies do involve a prep which purges a great deal of your intestinal flora....so probiotics may be worth another try.I would also seriously avoid eating badly for 4-5 days at a time...noone should do that whether they have symptoms or not!!I doubt you are 'imagining' the pain.....and no dr should ever say that even if they suspect that.With all the info you have supplied my next step would be to look for 'what helps'....try to eat healthy and not have days on end of eating badly, get plenty of rest, fluids, exercise all the stuff one does to try and live healthy.If the Librax worked but doesnt anymore, a discussion about alternate medication with the dr may be useful as a noted problem with drugs in that class is tolerance...making the drug less effective.And try another probiotic.....theres heaps of posts in these forums...have a read and compar what others have tried to what you have tried and pick something that you think might work for you.Antidepressants in low doses may also be worth a try. If ou tend to constipation, try an SSRI, for gut problems it should be prescribed in a very low dose.....much much lower than the therapeutic doses recommended for depression.Try one change at a time, and see what helps.

#10 axil23

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:49 AM

Wow! I appreciate all of the advice! More then I could have expected. Thank you very much for listening and replying. So you guys & gals feel that it could be IBS? One more question, when you have IBS can chronic eating of bad food cause any type of changes inside? Inflammation? Malabsorption? The colonoscopy took place a week ago and the pain seems to be the same. In fact probably worse today then it was before. Yep Pancreatitis does cause left sides pain but my blood scores are normal for Pancreatitis. But doesnt the gall bladder sit in front and above the pancreas? So it could still be gall bladder. But then the 3 years of chronic pain is where I suspect that maybe it cant be the gall bladder. Do I need to get the upper digestive track checked out?

#11 Kathleen M.

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:25 AM

Unhealthy food really doesn't do some permanent damage to the intestines or prevent you from absorbing nutrients from the healthy food you are eating. Now some diets are so lacking in certain nutrients you can run into problems, and some of them can cause long term issues, but you really don't see much scurvy, beriberi, pellagra or rickets much any more because they do fortify a lot of the junk food with stuff to prevent them.The gall bladder is on the right tucked up against the liver. Every description of gall bladder pain says on the upper right, where it is located (or radiating to the shoulder blade on that side). Not central or left. Usually upper GI pain from an ulcer or something would be center and feel more like it was in the chest rather than on the side.It really sounds like IBS and that is an extremely common place for IBSers to get pain (on the left near/under the ribs) and not a lot else is there to cause chronic pain.
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#12 axil23

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:51 PM

Is it possible that IBS can be made worse by MSG or Baking soda? Can anyone direct me to a good site to learn more about what type of foods will suit me. So is this condition for life now? Am I stuck with this pain?

#13 Kathleen M.

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 02:30 PM

Chronic isn't always permanent. Some people do go into remission and most people find what works for them to minimize the symptoms.Food really varies but you could start with .. which has some of the common issue foods and talks about different kinds of fiber so you can play with things and see what works for you.More things cause diarrhea directly than cause constipation. Some of the "no nos" for diarrhea can actually ease constipation.Never heard of baking soda, but some people do seem to have problems with MSG. Do you mean the tiny amounts of soda that might be in a single cupcake type of thing or the pretty large doses people take when they have heartburn?
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#14 momadam

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:21 PM

Hi all,I have been reading everyone's posts and if you don't mind I have a couple of questions regarding my own left side pain. I just had my first colonoscopy today. A small sessile polyp was removed from the sigmoid area. That is all they found, thank God. The procedure was primarily to rule out symptoms of abdominal pain. So it looks like I officially have IBS C. My problem is this. After the procedure I released allot of gas, but my left UQ was giving me allot of pain. They kept me for awhile, walked me around the nite several times to see if the pain would go or if I could release more gas from that area. They called the Dr. to see what they should do. He suggested giving me a shot of Bentyl since it was probably my Ibs being aggrivated. I refused the bentyl because I don't respond well to the antispasmotics. Is this pain something normal, and how long could this go on. I still have the pain, but not as strong. As long as I am lying down it doesn't hurt that much. Of course my insides are making all kinds of loud noises. I know that is normal. I just feel like I am bruised or injured in that area. It is right at the bend of the descending colon. By the way, I also had an EDG at the same time. Hope this is temporary. Thanks for any input you all might have.

#15 distressed

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:50 PM

It can take time to get over a colonoscopy, particularly if they took small tissue samples or repaired/removed anything like polyps whilst they were in there.Ive had 17 scopes...yup 17! (mind you a number of them were pre or post surgery etc) and it always takes a few days to recover.There can also be some inflammation etc in reaction to having the scope, and some technicians are gentler etc than others....give it some time...a week or soOf course if you should start to bleed or something go straight to dr/emergency but it all sounds pretty normal. I know i am always sore for atleast 2-3 days post colonoscopy just from biopsy samples having been taken....always get some sharp pinching pains when they take tissue....If it slowly gets better, let it get better...and i reckon a week or two should see it pass....

#16 axil23

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:48 AM

Yep the type that they put into cup cakes but here they put it in food to cook it faster. Its in most of the food at catered parties/weddings. I get a very dry mouth and indigestion/acidity within a hour of having it. the dry mouth lasts for hours no matter what I drink. The next day I get an upset stomach and need to go to washroom a few times. Both my Acute Pancreatitis episodes have come when i have had food added with MSG/Baking soda for days at a time. I find that weird as baking soda is normally meant to fix acidity, it works differently for me.Also sometimes I get severe nausea and weakness which lasts a whole day when I have had food out for a few days. Which is why I suspected malabsorption. I know eating out is not good for me but I travel a heck of a lot from work and often have no choice but to eat hotel/restaurant food for 10-15 days in a month. This pain can't be gastritis can it? But that should have come up in a endoscopy? I take a antacid every morning on a empty stomach, if I don't take this then I end up up mild to severer acidity by tea time.

#17 momadam

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:15 AM

DistressedThanks for the advice. I just didn't expect this much pain. It is the morning after and I am still feeling pretty bad. Still lots of groanings going on inside the left UQ. I will speak to the Dr. today. On top of that, when I got home from hospital yesterday I started sneezing like crazy, which eventually ended up giving me none stop runny nose and eyes. This morning it is even worse. Could the procedure, anesthesia, oxygen etc. have stirred up, aggrivated my immune system, or is this just a coincident? You are a veteran scope patient. Has this ever happened to you? 17??? Whoa! I did have biopsies of the stomach and esophagus. I also had a polyp removed from the stomach. Apparently the Dr. said that they were benign. That is what my hubby told me. I don't remember anything that the Dr. said. I was loopy. Thanks again! Carolyn

#18 axil23

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:08 AM

Should a good bowel movement take away the pain? Mine is still normally there regardless. Also its been a week since my Colonoscopy and the pain is still worse. I find myself having to sit in a very straight up on lying down position to relieve it.

#19 momadam

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 10:07 AM

I spoke with my Gi yesterday and he told me to take GasX and MOM to have a BM. That will move the gas out. Haven't had a BM yet, but that is normal for me since I have IBS C. Plus my intestines were empty. It takes a few days for my system to get moving. Anyway, today I woke up with no pain in my left UQ. The GasX must have helped. Axil,if you have IBS you are probably having a flare up, but check with your GI anyway. I pray the best for you.

#20 axil23

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:52 PM

Sorry about this but what is a flare up? So are you guys sure my condition is IBS? What is IBS C? Will gasx help my pain too? When you have a flare up does that put any extra stress on your body?





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