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Lower Left Side Dull Constant Ache


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#61 nsdnjbl

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 10:09 PM

Thank you to everyone for sharing their experince. I have had 4 years of pain, lower left quad stomach and it rarely goes away. It is more than a dull ache, it's pain/ sharp sometimes. Usually I have to lie down in the fetal position, take med/ Tylenol / breath exercises to make it go away. It's never lasted more than a couple hours. It does affect everything I do , however. 

 

I'm going to buy the peppermint tea tonight off Amazon. So glad I saw that! 

 

N



#62 PolyVinalDistillate

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 09:11 AM

Small update - I've tested positive for the gene mutation C282T, although my iron levels aren't high enough yet for it to be called haemochromatosis - but I'm heading that way. Now I can perhaps get the doctors to concentrate on my gut again! It's still not quite right, although I think the peppermint tea helps.



#63 Karensquared

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 12:09 PM

Hi everyone! I am a 59 year old female. I started having lower left pain about a month ago. It is usually around a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 although 2 days last week it was about an 8. I have had a retained stool problem before so I assumed it was that but after getting everything moving the pain was still there. I ended up doing a colonoscopy cleanse without the actual procedure and that didn't work either. I then went to see my GI and since I was about due for a colonoscopy she scheduled one which I had a few days ago and that showed no issues at all. I am happy for that but but really I just wanted someone to find out what is causing this and just fix it already. Yesterday I saw my primary care doctor and he did blood work and urine tests and everything came back fine. He gave me a script for Pantoprazole to try to see if it helps and I started that this morning. He also wants to do a CT scan even though I had one last year for the same problem and it showed nothing. I have never had the pain last this long and I am wondering now if this is ever going to go away. You would think with so many people that have this symptom they would be able to find something to alleviate it. The whole thing is so stressful and discouraging. Anyway, I just though I would introduce myself. I was hoping to find someone in the column that found a simple miracle cure too! :)

 

Karen



#64 ErikB

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:15 PM

Hey everyone, I figured I would share my experience so far, and pay it forward if you will. This will be a long post! Many stories here have certainly helped me, and maybe mine will help someone else to feel better. This forum has been very helpful, as have others around the web. In my frequent googling, this thread in particular seems to always be near the top, so I figured it must be the closet to what I'm experiencing. I'm a 43 year old male, and this left side dull ache tenderness thing started nearly 1 year ago (mid November 2016).

 

In my case, for the most part "pain" is too strong of a word. Words such as "tenderness" or "ache" are more appropriate for the majority of the past year. We are talking 1 to 2 on a 10 scale. Last November it started as a sore spot on the left front side, sort of below the ribs, a bit south of the sternum for reference in terms of top to bottom location. I believe this is where the upper "bend" in the descending colon is roughly. It presented as feeling like there was "something there" and was sore/tender if I did just about any movement or cough, etc. Sometimes it ached a bit. I assumed for a while that I had pulled a muscle somehow, that is really what it felt like. Since I was none the wiser to IBS, I didn't really do anything about it, other than learn to "favor" that side and simply tried not to further irritate it. Eventually it went mostly away on it's own, but took 5 weeks or so. Shortly after, I developed a similar situation on the lower front left area, I guess right around where the lower bend is in the descending colon. Just above my left hip, but a little more around the front, nowhere near as far center as belly button though. 

 

It was at this point that it dawned on me, that this was digestive, and not muscle related. Again, it was nothing too intense, and lasted a few weeks, then slowly diminished. A week or so later the upper part started up again, and over the course of months this pattern repeated itself time and again, but the locations were somewhat random (not always top, then bottom), but always left. It may be important to point out, that for many years, I've not had the best "digestive success". I certainly have kept whatever company manufactures Tums in business for the past 10-15 years. It was never anything major, but I was always going after a few Tums after meals, and probably ate 4-6 a day for a very long time. Shortly before this left side ache/pain thing started, I had a couple of bouts of what I used to refer to as digestive "issues" that would always run the same course. First it would start by being lazy about diet and eating crappy/fried foods. If I did that TOO much, it would start with my stomach being irritated and me eating Tums and taking things like Galeffi (antacid) frequently. It would then proceed "lower", and I'd end up with a general intestinal soreness or irritation for a few days, and usually it would culminate in some sort of loose bowel movement. This whole process was about a week. I had this happen numerous times starting in about 2013. I'd clean up my diet while it was going on, then some period later, weeks or months, I'd get busy or lazy and do it to myself again. Definitely food-triggered. I don't know if any of this is related, but I just wanted to point out that I didn't go from having an "iron stomach" to this left side thing overnight. Right before the first incident of the left side thing, I was having a pretty rough time of it. That had happened 3-4 times over like a 2 month period.

 

Over the course of the last year, this left side flares up pretty regularly, but again it presents as more of a tenderness than flat out pain like so many of you have. I guess I should count my blessings. I would say overall it comes and goes, but is never truly "gone" for very long. When it is in a "gone" phase for a while, maybe a week to 10 days, I'm not even convinced it is gone 100%, but maybe just far enough that I don't perceive it as easily. Only once a few weeks ago when it was going, did I have any stabbing pains in the lower left area that was tender, and it only happened maybe 4 times total in two days. Was maybe a 3 or 4 on a 10 scale, not enough to stop me in my tracks or send me reeling over in pain, more of a casual "ouch", and you continue on. I had just been on a road trip, and was definitely constipated somewhat, something that often happens when I travel and my "schedule" is disrupted. I'm assuming those were the spasms people talk about.

 

All in all I will say that early on a year ago was the worst of it, and since then it has been pretty mild but steady in terms of pain level and tenderness. Once I determined it was digestive, I started again taking a daily probiotic (generally use the multi-strain Pearls) which I had been lazy about for 2 years prior. In retrospect that was probably a large contributor to the general digestive distress I described that was happening more frequently leading up to last November. I think my gut was full of "bad" bacteria, and honestly I think what triggered the final bout was a stint I went on eating these Kind Honey Oat breakfast bars. I think I "fed" that bad bacteria, based on my research, which caused a bloom, then the frequent overall digestive scenario that started in stomach and worked its way down. Anyhow, in addition to the probiotic, I started taking Psyllium Husk (fiber) capsules, and eventually worked up to 3 capsules 3x a day (I use the Now brand). Also, I cleaned up my diet A LOT. I rarely eat fast food, I generally avoid fried foods with only an occasional dip into those, and I eat a heck of a lot veggies now. Mostly broccoli, peas, carrots, etc. I order salads with a sandwich instead of fries.

 

Now, all of those diet changes have not eliminated this left side thing, however, I now eat maybe 3 or 4 Tums a MONTH, instead of per day. The whole stomach-to-intestines digestive distress "thing" hasn't happened in over a year. So all in all, I would say the effect of the fiber/probiotic/diet have helped in general, anyway. If there is any positive outcome to be had here, I guess it is that.

 

Back in the summer I tried taking IBGuard, which is an over the counter peppermint capsule. They appeared to be working with the left side thing actually. It certainly didn't eliminate the constant issues there, however I believe it was taking the edge off. I've been a 27 year migraine headache sufferer, but generally I only get 3 to 6 per year. Exactly 10 days after starting IBGuard I got one, then exactly 10 days after that, I got another, and finally 7 days after that, another. This is unprecedented for me, and the only thing "new" really, was the IBGuard. Regrettably, I had to stop taking it. I believe peppermint oil is a migraine trigger for me. If any of you get migraines, you would instantly understand why I'll take the left side thing over the migraine. I still have a whole pack of them, and I figure if things ever got "bad", I could experiment with taking the stuff for like 3-4 days in a row in a short burst. It hasn't come to that yet though.

 

In terms of the discomfort being related to a bowel movement (as it in resolves after), I was unsure about that for a long time. More recently I think it IS related to that and maybe gas, at least somewhat. It really doesn't seem to ever resolve entirely, but I think I've proven that a large bowel movement CAN reduce or temporarily eliminate the tenderness. I have gone out of town about 4 times this year, and each time this has produced a schedule disruption, and therefore a level of constipation. This seems to irritate the left side condition like clockwork (not pooping or not pooping much).

 

This is one of the most frustrating parts of the whole thing, it takes a very long time to try and prove any theories or test any outcomes. The other frustrating part, is now my brain is hard-wired to "look" for any discomfort on the left side, and I'm always aware/looking for it subconsciously. I often think I notice things that were probably happening 15-20 years ago that I would have never given a second thought to. Basically any sensation in the gut is now instantly perceived. There is definitely a mental component at play in addition to the obvious issues going on, and I can see why folks get exasperated over time.

 

As of now, I have NOT gone to a doctor about this left side thing. My wife does happen to be a nurse practitioner, so I'm not utterly without medical advice. Granted she is no gastro or as well equipped as a GP, but she has orders of magnitude more training than the rest of us to get that masters degree and title at least. After reading numerous posts here and elsewhere, probably hundreds, with people reporting various levels of left side "issues" and maybe 3% of those reporting ANYTHING found whatsoever, and even in those cases maybe 1/3 to 1/2 actually having whatever was found BE the issue... it has really deterred me from putting myself through all the visits and tests. Especially since mine is not nearly as severe as many I've read about. I've never had severe pain, blood in the stool, or anything as alarming as that, etc. Recently my wife said, "Well, its been a year, if it was something major I'd have expected it to stay the same or most probably get gradually WORSE, not better than it started out that long ago..." Since as of now, the symptoms are actually less than they were when this started, I tend to agree with her. I will continue to monitor it, and of course if it takes a sudden turn for the worse, I'll go ahead and get... probed. Right now, I know the stress of going through all the tests and procedures to, what seems to be based on sheer odds, be told to live with it or be met with a shrug as so many have... that will cause me digestive issues in and of itself. In short, I think it would cause more harm than good, at the moment.

 

As of the past few months, I have been taking the wise advice of a post by MrRoper on this thread way back in 2010. Whatever this is, doesn't seem to be killing me, and if it is, its awfully slow and ineffective. I'm just trying to live my life, and ignore it to the extent that is possible. I take my fiber and probiotics religiously, and I try to eat decently. I recently joined a bowling league for example. For a while there, leading up to this past summer, I wasn't doing much at all as I didn't want to "aggravate" the condition. Now I believe that I can't really aggravate it much by doing activities, more so by eating crappy food and not being regular with bowel movements. So my friends, there is life to be lived, and unless this takes a crazy turn for the worse, I'm just going to live it. I'm getting older and I've accepted that things like this will continue to be the "new normal", much in the same way that I can hurt my shoulder or hip while SLEEPING somehow. More than once in the past few months, I've coughed or laughed, felt the twinge on the left, then proceeded to give my left side abdomen the middle finger. Makes me feel better anyway. smile.png

 

Anyway, this has been a long narrative, so I'll leave you guys for now with a list of random observations over the past year. Maybe someone will see similarities, and therefore not feel alone:

 

- frequent tenderness but seldom an outward "ache" on left from side, either just below ribs, or above hip. Not usually both at the same time, but often this area is hard to "feel" and pinpoint real well I've noticed. Sometimes it has been both. Seems always situated somewhere between upper and lower "bends" on descending colon

 

- I can sometimes feel it on my side/back, especially when in my truck and the seat bolster is pressing my side/lower back. This isn't real common, but has happened maybe 4x in the past year. Not going on right now. Again, just a tender/sore feeling.

 

- Often when I cough or laugh or something, I can feel the twinge/tenderness in whatever spot it is presenting in at the time, either in front as usual, or sometimes more around the side and onto the back. I just figure the colon is a tube, so it stands to reason pressure from any angle would be detectable... I just think our abdominal muscle structure means we "feel" it more often on the front side. Just a guess.

 

- generally discomfort is not super invasive in terms of being just ambient/constant pain. I have to do something like cough, sneeze, clear my throat, laugh, bend over at the waist to tie my shoes, etc, in order to feel it. Basically the proper "flex" of muscles in my abdomen on the left side triggers the sensation (or pushing on it).

 

- all of the above is more noticeable when sitting down, where your "guts" are generally more compressed. Less likely to feel it when standing or sitting bolt upright. Same thing with laying down, if spine is straight and I do one of those things above, less likely to take notice. I guess a plus is it has improved my posture while seated. smile.png

 

- generally, sleeping is not affected. When a spot is sore, sometimes if I roll over in the middle of the night I can feel it there, but its not an ongoing thing unless I'm putting pressure on it directly (like a lumpy hotel mattress).

 

- so far I've not been successful unlearning the the constant "scanning" my brain does for anything going on down there. Very annoying, and probably the worst part. I want to completely ignore it, but now I can't. I'm working on this...

 

- the other day I randomly pressed on my upper left side, felt the usual tenderness "twinge" of discomfort, then immediately had to fart, and went and pooped 2 minutes later. Guess I dislodged something. Curious. Couldn't reproduce tenderness the effect afterwards, but it was there a few hours later again

 

- I generally can't feel anything in my left gut with my hands feeling around, just feels like soft "guts" as usual. No lumps or anything. Granted I have only done this a handful of times in the past year, and it would not be surprising if one could... there's poop in there, after all. 

 

- I believe trying to stay regular with bowel movements at all costs (taking fiber, trying to stay on schedule) seems to be the best approach.

 

- Often when I cough for example (have had a cold this week), I'll feel the single pang of tenderness in the affected area, but only on the first cough, not subsequent. Maybe the muscles are already flexed? Weird...

 

- 3 or 4 times this past year, I've had a twitching sensation on left front side, almost like your eyelid spasms, except its in my gut. Not painful. Only happened when active tenderness is in play, not between bouts. The tenderness usually resolves to a not noticeable or barely noticeable state within 24 hours. I've taken these twitches to be positive.

 

- The soreness/tender bouts don't always last days or weeks. I've had a couple times where it rises suddenly, then is gone the next day. Seems to support general idea that it is bowel movement related. I would say average duration is a week or two of noticeable flareup, then the same amount of time for it to be "quiet" again. Some flare ups have lasted 3+ weeks.

 

- while I don't usually have blatant constipation where I'm just not going much at all, that does happen during travel, and it has always flared up then.

 

- sometimes movements just seem NOT comparable to the amount of food I've taken in. I don't know if it is possible to be partially constipated, but I swear that is whats going on most of the time when this flares up. I'll still get production, usually, just not what I'd expect.

 

- occasionally when a flare up is happening, I'll have the more dense, "flat" looking poops.

 

- eating as "clean" as possible, and also having veggies with dinner each day seems to help. Guessing this is all part of the regularity thing.

 

- greasy foods seem to be a trigger

 

- I went gluten free for 3 weeks and there was no improvement (thank god, that sucked!)

 

- sweets like cake, chocolates, etc I swear will flare it up. Especially anything with TONS of food coloring in it. You know, those single pieces of cake from the grocery store with the blue icing that make you poop blue for 3 days? Yeah... still figuring this one out.



#65 jzinckgra

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 11:43 AM

When people refer to "lower left abdo", where specifically is this? For me, it's in the inguinal canal region where my hernia was repaired last year. This is just above the pubic bone and 2-3" to the left. Basically where your oblique muscle ends. I've been having dull to moderate pain for last 2 weeks and been trying to figure out if it's my IBS or hernia related. Had the same issue pop up last December and it lasted through Feb then disappeared. It's now back and very annoying.

 

Saw my GI doc last year who said it's not IBS and likely pain related to hernia surgery. I'm not sure about that.

 

As far as sigmoid colon, would that be crossing on the front side of abdo near inguinal canal? Looking at anatomy pics, the sigmoid drops down the left side just under the ribs then seems to move deeper toward the back then to the rectum. My pain seems more surface focused and in a region where I don't think the sigmoid is, but not sure.



#66 ErikB

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 10:17 PM

I have definitely had pain/discomfort in the area you describe jzinckgra. Not real recently, but several times in the past. Definitely digestion related, but I don't think that particular one ever lasted more than a week. That is the frustrating thing about this stuff though, symptoms vary wildly. I seem to have a sore spot almost always going on between where you are talking about, and on up to the upper left "bend" in the colon. Never the whole thing, but somewhere in there. I've had it last as little as 24 hours, and as much as 2-3 months with some sort of soreness always there somewhere. I cannot seem to determine a pattern. Hope it goes away for you shortly!



#67 ErikB

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 12:17 AM

Here is another observation. Was having the usual upper left/below rib discomfort/tenderness for about a week and a half. Friday I strained my neck stretching, which caused the typical sore neck situation we all get. Went home and took a Soma (muscle relaxer) than we had on hand to help with neck. Within a few hours the neck did feel a bit better, but more interestingly, it knocked out the left side discomfort 100%. Been gone for 48 hours now... For what its worth...



#68 Michali

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 11:56 AM

I have just joined the group even though I have not been diagnosed with IBS. I have been described however as having IBS symptoms. I have had a low left sided pain for eight months now. Like others, it is not an intense pain, just a dull ache which varies between slight to a heavy ache. It is I am a 72 year old female so it would be unlikely for me to start having IBS at this age I believe. The pain is in the lower left area somewhere around my I very area. I have been diagnosed with diverticula disease but do not have any other symptoms apart from the pain. I have had two ultrasounds, a ct scan, an MRI for my pancreas and a fracture on my spine, found incidentally, a pet scan as I have a history of lymphoma and a sigmoidoscopy which is when they diagnosed the diverticula disease. Seeing as I don’t have any other symptoms they don’t feel a colonoscopy is warranted and I tend to agree. The sigmoidoscopy was not totally successful as the enema did not work too well but they say they did reach the area where I am getting pain, hence the diagnosis. It seems I have had all the tests that exist! Although my bowel movements are regular and normal, I have started taking Fybogel. Years ago, I had a similar pain with similar investigative results but it went away much sooner than on this occasion. I feel well otherwise, for which I am grateful but the pain is annoying! So I feel for everyone here with similar symptoms.

#69 AntonyEastes

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 04:01 AM

I have had IBS for many years, I am 43 now. About a month ago I started experiencing the same symptoms as what everyone has written about here. These include:

 

A feeling of bloating or pressure on the lower left hand side that sometimes radiates towards under my belly button. It's not pain but just feels uncomfortable.  Feels like I need to pass wind. It goes away when I exercise and sometimes when I eat. Beer also seems to ease it as well. I also feel ok when I wake up but then the symptoms return. I am getting blood results back this afternoon and hoping all is well. I just drank peppermint tea so maybe that will also help.



#70 anomnom

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 07:25 AM

Hi everyone

Did anyone ever really get to the bottom of what is causing this?

It seems to be the number one result that's always popping up in Google for the symptoms I'm searching for.

I did post in another thread my own long winded story but wondered if anyone who followed this one could shed any light on it

(I'm 32 male) and since approx 9 weeks ago after quite a battle with constipation (which I believe was painkiller related) I've had this nagging.. Dull.. Ache lower left abdomen (where I think the bowel turns into the centre) nothing I seem to do makes any difference to it. It just persists. It seems to be noticeable more when I'm sat down/hunched over, not as bad when moving about or in bed.

I'd say it's not really got any worse although at the time this started I also tried to change my diet/increased fibre. Also seems this (or another reason) has caused my stools to float 95% of the time and in the panic of checking for blood I've been, well trying to swivel them round with a brush to check for any streaks! In doing so I've noticed they are a bit flatter one way which has me panicked! (apologies for TMI) but I'm Thinking they are fairly soft and I have.. A lump on my anus which is some sort of external hemorrhoid (it was painful now it's just a softer painless Lump) - I'm hoping this is changing their shape somewhat on the way out.

I've had a blood and urine test both were fine and was shrugged at and given a specialist appointment in May.

I've never noticed any blood on my stool, sometimes some white pieces within the stool, not the surface but that might have been undigested food. And over the last week now im feeling a bit more bloated across my upper abdomen (left and right) with a bit of a back ache which seems to come and go.

I must say I'm really quite concerned, I've had plenty of other symptoms but a lot of that was panic / anxiety related I think as i can manage to make them disappear by distracting myself or finding some information to reassure myself I'm not dying! I can only imagine what sort of stress my insides are going through being in a constant state of panic for over 2 months.

I can't really find anything online that adds up that isn't incredibly serious or terminal! My doctors think I'm fine but referred me onwards so they are done with me now.

I don't suppose anyone has anything remotely reassuring to say while I spend the next month thinking I've got cancer.

#71 ErikB

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 09:02 PM

Here is a quick update on my situation. In the past 9 months, the left side dull ache/discomfort/whatever you'd call it has come and gone. 3 weeks on, several weeks off type thing. However, it has now been gone for about 3-4 months straight.

 

I started taking Vitamin D several months ago and that seems to correspond with this lessening of the symptoms. Not sure if that is what really helped or not, however a quick google has shown a correlation in Vitamin D aiding in IBS situations in deficient people, so it is entirely possible. Either way, I'm grateful that this seems to be far less of an issue now than it was before. I hope it stays gone... will come back and check in again if it recurs.



#72 John35

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 04:27 AM

Hello All!

My story was started with left-sided / lower left quadrant (sigmoid part), MILD stabbing pain 2 months ago, in the FIRST 4 days of my left abdominal (descending part) was very touch sensitive. But not anymore. Just since the random, 1-3 minutely mild pain all day on/off for 1 second (1-10 scale: 1-2) it's constant, at my lower left sigmoid part + little left from my belly button sometimes. No red or black blood, just lazy/almost normal stools. Never had constipation.

I am a 35 yo male, fit, no overweighted, no bowel cancer in the family history, no cigarettes, no alcohol. I have lazy stools since 2010. I have had a successfully funduplication surgery for GERD in 2007. I have a mild proctitis from 2010. No proctologist seen me since 2010, because my proctitis symptoms are not annoy me too much. I feel my rectum a little bit inflamed (when the stool going through).

Celiac negative, lactose intolerance negative. Never had colonoscopy/CT.

I am tired and fatigued after 8-10h of sleeping too. The fatigue started immediately that day after my first symptoms were started. (But I think, the anxious mood brought the tiredness.) No fever. No nausea. No vomit. No chills. No weight loss, and no loss of appetite.

5 weeks ago I took Normix 2x200mg for 6 days (for a hypothetical DD), nothing is different. While +2 weeks of probiotics, Buscopan, no change. I am taking low-dosage anti-depressant from my GP, but nothing is better (my mood is a little bit more preferable).

After/while a meal/BM, the mild pain and discomfort are not different. Totally similar. Bloodwork clear - very low CRP/ESR 0.6/3, and a lil bit lower iron level:14 (the low-limit is 12), ultrasound clear (1.5 week ago) she didn't noticed any diverticula on the wall of the colon and no bowel wall thickening (visible areas of the bowel with ultrasound are limited, we know that...)

Chest/lung x-ray clear (that was in 2017 December)

I went to 2 gastroenterologists
for consultation 4 weeks ago and yesterday, they said, after a physical (pushed my tummy with his hands examination + checked for inguinal hernia symptoms with coughing), it's not cancer in their opinion, and they did not feel any abnormal resistance, and I haven't felt any pain from them (very hard) pressure also. They said, I am a little bit hypochondriac. My GP "told" me the same 2 weeks ago. "I DON'T NEED TO BE SCARED"

They still don't want colonoscopy for me
(as I did), because I fear from the diagnosis and from the procedure.. :( I know, this is a totally idiotic stance, but I am brutally paranoid and unsociable.

I am very sad, depressed tired and anxious.... First of all, I don't want a mainly deadly disease. (Just like no other.)

Anybody experienced slightly similar symptoms at the beginning of the IBS?

The dull ache radiates a little bit into my back at the same spots. I don't know what is it, Diverticulitis or IBS or something else?! I am totally devastated sad.

My doctors don't want to send me to CT scan, because that's unnecessary radiation and all of my drs think, it's IBS.

Plus info: at the the day when my pain started I did squats with weights on my neck + while drunk carbon hydrated cola..I know that was a very bad idea, but that was happened one time.. That day, when my pain started at ~21:00. (And I trained at 16:00)

My newest idea, it's a small internal hernia above my sigmoid colon.

I take anti-spasmotic meds 2 weeks ago and my symptoms slightly better.

And a last, maybe helpful info, my left sided groin lymph nodes (beside of my left inguinal canal) a little bit biggers than 1 week ago.

Thank you very much! And sorry for my lame English and the long post. :'(





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