Discussions By Condition: Gastrointestinal conditions

Pain under left ribcage, back with diarrhea

Posted In: Gastrointestinal conditions 11 Replies
  • Posted By: tarmale
  • March 25, 2008
  • 01:52 AM

Hi, I am a 38 year old female, about 40lbs overweight. Recently I started getting a twitching sensation under my left ribcage on the left side of my body. It came and went so I didn't think much of it. About 3 wks ago though I was getting pain there, the front of my left ribcage and my back and seems to intensify after I eat. Also, I alternate between diarrhea, being fine and constipation. I am eating better and adding more fiber but still, not fine.
My dr. took blood and sent me for an ultrasound of the abdomen and a chest xray. I'm very scared to think it might be cancer. I am praying it's not but I've never had these problems before except with dairy years ago. I now eat dairy but much less. As of tomorrow I'm cutting that and sugar out completely except for a few treats here and there.
Right now it's been about 4 hrs since I've eaten and getting the dull pain in the left side of my back again about between the bottom of my ribcage and the middle and again in the front and side. I've just had a heart workup and it's not that.
Does anyone know what this might be? I've heard it could be pancreatitis, ibs, worms but it's all very vague. I'm waiting for my dr but hate the waiting I want to know and get better!!
Please, if anyone can tell me what this might be I'd sure be glad to hear from you.
Thank you!!!

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11 Replies:

  • I think it's too soon to say. Not enough info. Your symptoms could match a number of things. Are you saying the pain is only on the left side? Any other symptoms are of help here.How severe is the pain? Does it travel? How long after eating? Do you have constipation and diarrhea? Do you have nausea? How about fever? Cancer is always the first scary thought, but usually is not the case. Try to relax. Are you under stress? Sounds like Lactose Intolerance could be something to think about.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Beth, I don't have any fever and the pain stays pretty much on the left side. I have had some gurgling that I've felt in my back and to the right side as well. The pain in my ribs almost feels like a stitch like from running and although it's mainly on the left I sometimes feel it on the right as well. I wonder if it could be kidney stones but I'm told that it's excruciation and I would be in the hospital. The pain in my back feels like a dull throb that comes and goes.Today my stools smelled like rotten eggs which is either from what I have or maybe from the tums I've been taking?I have a high tolerance for pain so for me it's noticeable and steady but I can still go to the gym and go through my daily routine with my kids etc. I do feel like resting sometimes but I'm not confined to bed or anything. I should note it's been getting more painful/noticeable the past couple of weeks. I do occassionally have nausea after I eat but it goes away pretty soon and I do have constipation or diarrhea but some days I'm fine and it starts about 1hr or later after I eat. Saturday I took two laxatives because I hadn't gone in two days and my bowels were like a big mass that was very painful to pass. I'm not under any more stress than normal although my family and my husbands tend to drive me crazy!
    tarmale 13 Replies Flag this Response
  • Has anyone ever looked into whether or not you may have an ulcer? Parasites are another possibility, so you may want to submit a stool sample, but usually there is severe diarrhea. IBS could be another. A full blood panel, uninalysis and perhaps an endoscopy and/or colonoscopy would be helpful. There are a number of things a doctor would need to rule out, such as gallbladder and pancreas problems. But this does not mean you have cancer, so don't let your mind go crazy. Food allergies and such can also cause such things (lactose, glutin, etc.).
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • I forgot. I would also consider as part of my blood test, CA125, for ovarian cancer. The symptoms are so vague, I would also check that.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Beth, the dr called today and told me I have a fatty liver and either a tumor or a mass. I've been sitting here crying with my son for an hour and a half. I'm so scared. I have to see him again in about two hours to see what the results mean and what the next step is. I just promised my son I will never not take care of myself again. I will never take my life or health for granted EVER again. I want to be here to see my son and daughter get married and have their own children. I will post back later when I get back. Thank you so much for your posts.
    tarmale 13 Replies Flag this Response
  • What test did your doctor give you to come to this diagnosis? Never mind, just read your first post. Give me a minute to respond.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • OK, I know the news seems really bad at the moment, but it may not be as bad as you think. Take a deep breath. A fatty liver is not that uncommon and can be caused by several things. I know this because I also have a fatty liver. Being overweight is one reason. What did the doctor say about the mass? I am assuming the mass is in your liver. Did he indicate size? What did your doctor say was the next step? Tell me everything he said, basically.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Beth, sorry I meant to post yesterday but I had a massive headache all day and finally after aspirin and two tylenol it finally went away last night.I went to see my gp and he says that unfortunately due to our lifestyles he's been diagnosing fatty liver in people nonstop. In regards to me he is sending me for an mri with contrast and that will be next week. The mass, which is 2-3 centimeters, he believes to be a bundle of blood vessels and non-cancerous. I will believe that of course once the mri results come back. For now bottom line I have to lose weight. I was always around 110-120 lbs until I became pregnant but I lost most of the weight with my first child. At 31 I gained 50lbs and although I was careful with my weight with my second pregnancy I have basically let it sit there so now it's starting to affect my health. I am down 5.5lbs since last week so it's a start and I just have to keep going. I'm hungry but I'm eating much better.Can you tell me when you were diagnosed with a fatty liver? My dr tells me that I cannot lose the fat with diet and exercise but I've read to the contrary on the American Liver Foundation website. I guess this is considered visceral fat which is harder to lose but I know it can be done. Have you had any luck with this? Oh, I should also mention that my bloodwork was normal and I have no elevated enzymes. My dr. is however testing me for hepatitis and some other things just to rule them out.Well, I feel a little bit better but this is my wakeup call so that I don't get sicker which I was told could lead to scarring, chirrosis and possibly cancer.Let me know how you are as well and thank you!
    tarmale 13 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Tarmale,I was just diagnosed myself with fatty liver. Visceral fat is hard to lose, but not impossible. Your doctor isn't completely correct. Watch your fats, eat only good fat and limit it. But you need to get out and move. Inactivity really packs on the visceral fat. Start taking brisk walks for 30 minutes a day. Then start adding in some weights and alternate between weights and aerobic every other day, rest on Sunday. Try to get up to 60 minutes of exercise 6 days a week. Losing 20 pounds will help a lot. If you can join a gym, great. But not everyone can afford it. Walk and lift cans of beans if that's all you have. You will need to find motivation, that's the hardest. Good luck. I'm sure you will be fine. Don't stress, walk.
    Beth56 272 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi again Beth!!! I feel so much better this week. I've lost 6lbs but that may be from anxiety and probably mostly water. However, I measured my waist today and it's down about an inch! That to me is better than anything. Surprisingly and I'm almost embarassed to admit that I am certified as a personal trainer. I know what I have to do and have also read alot about visceral fat. I do carry weight in my abdomen and although it seems to be dominant on my mothers side of the family does not mean it's inevitable. I had a 26" waist up even until after my first child was born. I started to really gain weight at 31 and with a new baby, full time work and also going to school at night I just let my needs slide.My dr is great but he is a gp so he does not specialize in any one area.I also had slight gestational diabetes (very slight, my fasting was 82 and after meals was as well. If I ate sugar or concentrated simple carbs though it sometimes spiked up to as high as 170). I've been reading alot about juicing and since I don't have a juicer right now I've been drinking v8 in the afternoon when I get hungry. I feel so cleaned out and have been passing some interesting things which I also read would happen. I'm going to try and go totally vegan for a week which I have wanted to do for so long anyway (I'm mostly vegetarian). So, I feel much better and know that visceral fat is hard to lose and it might take months or years but we CAN do it!!! I held my son the other day and just cried. I cannot imagine leaving them and their lives would be changed forever. It's worth it to me to spend time on myself to make myself healthy for myself and for them.Last year and the year before the Biggest ****r winners were both from Long Island where I live. The twins that lost last season said in a local interview that going to the ranch was a hard decision but said "I'd rather be away from my family for 4 months than to leave them forever if I have a heart attack and die". It makes so much sense when he says it that way. Oh, I do belong to golds gym. They opened a brand new one closeby and I do 3-4 times a week and also walk our dog every night. Except for a little indulging tonight I've been very careful with my diet this week and will continue to do so.
    tarmale 13 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had this same thing for one whole year. I went and had all test done trying to find out why my left side flank and ribcage hurt. I had a rash on my calves and loss of appetite. I also had diarrhea and then some times constipation. My lower back hurt some times and I always felt tired and drain of energy. Then I read that HOOKWORMS cause these same symptoms. I went to the pet store and bought D WORM for dogs. And now I am 100% back to normal. Maybe talk to your DR. about hookworms. Good luck
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • October 10, 2014
    • 01:38 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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