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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Stomach pains on the left side


 funamy - Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:44 pm

My boyfriend who is 21, is currently experiencing stomach pains on the left side of his body. Sometimes the pain is dull, sometimes the pain is sharp, and sometimes there is no pain. Although the liver is located on the right side, he feels that it has something to do with his drinking habit. He usually drinks at least 2 beers a day. Other than the drinking he occassionally smokes, but for the most part is in good shape and health. He has been experiencing this pain for about a month now and we were just wondering what were possible reasons for this pain. I would appreciate it if anyone knew anything about this matter. Thanks!
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:46 pm

User avatar Where exactly on the left side are the pains? Upper stomach, mid or lower? How long has he been having these pains? Any other symptoms at all? Bowel and urinary habits normal? Any other information you could give would help.

Two beers per day will not harm the liver; that is for long term hard drinkers.
 funamy - Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:42 pm

thank you so much for responding so quickly! i greatly appreciate that. I talked to my boyfriend and he said that the pain is on the lower left side of his stomach. it's been on and off for about a week. the pain isn't extremely painful its almost like a dull ache. he can feel pressure that comes and goes. his bowels movements are somewhat normal to him although he only poops about once a day. he doesn't really have many symptons except for his normal hayfever allergy which he does not take allergy medicine for. we thought that his allergies could be bothering his colons but we're not sure. any thoughts on this would be really helpful. thanks again for your quick response.
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:10 pm

User avatar Where exactly is the pain, the ribs go down quite a way, does the pain radiate to the genitals, is there any pain in the back behind it or the side?

If he is having intermittent looser stools, it could very well be IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Has he been under any more stress or worry than usual lately, even before this pain?
 funamy - Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:27 pm

Thank you again for your quick response. He said that the pain is about an inch to 2 inches below his ribs. there is no pain in the genitals whatsoever. he does not have any back or side pains. his poop is "mushy." and he's been stressed because his mom has been putting pressure on him to get a job and do well in school. he's a senior this year and he's just trying to get everything finished up.
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:34 pm

User avatar Of course, I can only speculate on the problem, but it does sound like IBS. It usually gets bothersome under periods of more stress and/or anxiety than usual.

If it perisists or becomes worse, he should see a doctor.
 funamy - Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:00 am

Thank you so much for helping us. We had no clue as to what it could even be. What are some ways that he could fix this? Is it primarily related to stress or could other factors be involved? Does he need to do anything specific to help out or does he just need to rest and relax? Do you think he needs to buy any type of medication to fix this problem or does it go away on its own? (Sorry for all the questions.) Hope you're doing well and we really appreciate this.
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Fri Jun 17, 2005 7:12 am

User avatar If it is IBS, there isn't any medication for it; it's a matter of getting the colon to settle down. It's important to get fiber in the diet, the best way is to drink some citrucel or metamucil (recommend the citrucel, no excess gas) every day, don't miss a day. It'll stop any constipation, and reduce the spasms that are causing the discomfort. You may have heard the term "spastic colon", which it was called before IBS.

It is also very important to get PLENTY of rest, excercise and avoid stimulants of any kind.

Rest and excercise will reduce anxieties and stress a lot!

I hope he feels better soon. :D If he doesn't improve at all after a week or two, he should see the doctor, just to be sure.

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