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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Sharp, Stabbing Pain in Abdomen

 Sondra13 - Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:56 am

For the past few months, I have been having severe stomach cramping each day when I eat for the first time, and sometimes the second time as well. I thought nothing of it, though it is extremely painful. About two weeks ago, however, I began having sharp, stabbing pain on my left side, about two inches below my ribcage and slightly to the left (approximately 5 inches from my belly button). The pain comes and goes, lasting approximately five to fifteen seconds. I described it to my fiance as feeling like "someone was slicing and stabbing my insides with a knife."
I looked this problem up online and saw some references to mono (which I had-according to one doctor- about a year ago), and an enlarged spleen (my 2 year old niece and nephew jump on me sometimes...I mention this only because of what I read on other sites). Anyway, I don't have medical insurance and don't want to go to the doctor or ER for no reason. Do you think it is something serious?
Thank-you for your time and any possible assistance that you may be able to render.
Age: 23
Sex: Female
Past Diagnoses/Surgeries: I need surgery to remove ovarian cysts and pilonidal cysts, as well as root canals (which I assume are unrelated!) I have severe back pain (dating from a car accident in 10/1999 and exacberrated in 3/2006)
Family History: Nothing I can think of that would relate...unless colon cancer?
Medications: Some narcotic pain relievers for back pain.

P.S. I apologize for the length of this post, but wanted to ensure that all information that may be related to any problem I may have was included.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:30 pm

User avatar Hello,

Sharp burning pain in upper abdomen (mainly left side) or lower chest (behind the breast bone) is more likely to be of one of the following conditions:
Gastric problems:
- Gastritis due to H pylori or Drug induced (NSAID)
or gastric ulcer.
The pain is worsened when the stomach is empty , or by spicy foods or carbonated beverages and temporary relieved by simple foods and antacids.

I would consider Gastritis in your cases as you have mentioned that you are receiving Analgesics (NSAID) for the back pain.

Other causes for exclusion are:
- IBS may also give similar clinical picture, like
Abdominal pain or colic
A bloated abdomen
Gaseous distension

Stress increases the frequency and the severity of symptoms in almost all cases.

I did not get well the information about splenomegally. splenomegally may cause dull aching pain in the left hypochondrium.

Hope you find this information useful.

Only by complete history , physical examination and investigations , the correct diagnosis can be reached. I advise you to consult your doctor for proper management.

Best regards.

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