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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Abdomen pain that tends to move from left to right

 Pete2532 - Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:37 am

About 6 months ago, I began feeling some tightness and soreness in my abdomen, and occasionally in the testicles. This only occurred after I had drank alcohol fairly heavily the day before. After a day or so, the pain (which was very bearable), would go away. I generally would drink alcohol 1-2 times a week, and if I kept it to a few drinks, things would seem ok.

After a month or so, I began to also experience slight lower back pain. Also bearable.

More recently, 1-2 months ago, the pain began to not go away after I would stop consuming alcohol, even after a week or more. The back pain seems to be less prevelent, but there is a constant tightness/cramp that will move around every few days from the upper left to the upper-mid right of my stomach. It will also hurt just under the breastbone around the middle of my abdomen, above the belly button.

I have thought that it could possibly be kidney stones, but more recently I have had what looks to be very dark stools (possibly blood?). My stomach will also growl a lot.

This pain is non-existent during the night, and for the first hour or two after I wake up. But once I am in an upright position, it tends to get worse as the day goes on until I go back to bed.

I have cleaned up my diet this last month to mostly fresh fruits & vegetables, less fats, more fibre; but nothing much has changed.

I have considered an ulcer, but the pain tends to move around... and using antacids doesn't seem to help at all. There is no specific tender spot, so I don't think it is a hernia either. Please help!
 Pete2532 - Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:20 am

Update (but still no diagnosis): I was prescribed Omeprazole at my local walk-in clinic about a month and a half ago, with a months worth of 20mg x1 per day. No change.

I have now seen my GP. I have had a urine sample taken, and have an abdominal ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow. I will update again once these results are in.

One suggestion by my GP was that it could be an issue with the abdominal muscles. This makes sense, because it all seemed to start after a wicked bout of vomitting about 8 months ago. After that, I had the feeling that I had to urinate often for a day or two, with some slight pain. Would a muscle strain cause this?

When I lay down or have a drink or two, I would assume that somewhat takes a lot of stress off of those muscles (is alcohol a muscle relaxant?) I do still have a lot of 'hunger pangs' or stomach noise, but perhaps I am just more aware of my stomach because of the pain, so I notice them more often?

If anyone has has similar problems, please let me know!
 Morning Angel - Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:43 pm

To be honest it sounds like you may have something called a duodenal ulcer. A bacteria called H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) are found in up to 90% of patients with duodenal ulcers (ulcers that occur in the small intestine). Ulcers can occur over and over, and can return within one year after healing. But if H. pylori is eliminated, the chances that a duodenal ulcer will come back are greatly reduced. This type of ulcer can also be caused by the use of NSAIDs and pain meds such as oxycodone and hydracodone. The only real treatment is to kill the bacteria, if present. If not present a strong antacid can be prescribed for a few months to heal the lesion in the duodenum. Aciphex worked well for me until I stopped taking it. When the pain comes, which is pretty much ALWAYS on an empty stomach, a quick fix is to crawl (I know the pain is too great to walk) to the kitchen and quickly down a non-dairy beverage that is ice cold. What, outside of non-dairy doesn't really matter I have found. What causes this intense pain, felt all the way into the back and often called "hunger pain" by it's sufferers is simple. There is an ulcer (lesion) in the intestine called the duodenum, the part just below the stomach. When the stomach is totally empty a small sphincter opens to allow digestive acids into the intestines. These acids pour over the ulceration causing immense pain.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:36 am

User avatar Hi Pete2532,
From your history i would tend to think of some degree of gastric outlet obstruction.I have no information regarding your age.
Some of the common causes of gastric outlet obstruction are chronic duodenal ulcer and gastric malignancies.But, there is one point which may be against this diagnosis - that you have not mentioned vomiting(which is a common presenting feature).
Partial obstruction may not give rise to vomiting.
So,an upper GI endoscopy is perhaps indicated.Please consult your doctor and follow his/her advice.Cheers!

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