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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Abdominal pain on the left flanking

 mio - Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:32 pm

Last saturday I had noticed that I was getting a pain in the left side of my belly. It felt like a stitch (lactic acid) after a workout/run but I hadn't been doing anything strenuous. I decided to ignore it, because the pain wasn't so bad. It was more uncomfortable than anything else and I figured it would go away after a while.
A week has passed and the discomfort is still there! I've looked on the internet to find out what possible things they could be and none of the symptoms seem to match mine. The only symptom that I have is this discomfort that I have on the left side of my belly. My stools are normal, I feel no pain after eating or drinking. I feel no nausea, vomitting and nothing else seems abnormal.
The discomfort is located just under my left rib (above my belly button line). It feels like a stitch. There is no pain when I breathe in or out and I can generally go about my day without any problems at all. Its when I go to sleep and I'm resting that I think it strange I can still feel the discomfort. Do you know what this could be??
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:20 pm

User avatar Hello,
Causes of left sided abdominal pain are many and include gastroesophageal problems, like gastritis (viral or drug induced), GERD, and peptic ulcers. Other - GIT causes could be due to colitis, (infectious orinflmmatory), pancreas or spleen troubles.

Your symptoms are not typical for such causes however, exclusion is important if symptoms persist with no other apparent cause. GIT problems are usually associated with appetite changes, nausea, diarrhoea or constipations.

- Non GIT causes include:
Renal colic although the pain is not typical for renal colic, exclusion is also essential. Stones are the most common causes.

Pleuretic pain is also possible and is mainly due to viral infection. It usually increases with cough or inspiration. Auscultation of the chest can show characteristic sound of pleurisy.

A muscle spasm (more likely) and strain of the ligaments from wrong or heavy lifting, or following a sudden improper movement or wrong posture or viral infection is also possible. Muscle spasm is a body reaction to injury in muscle tissues. It can be felt as stitch pain, although relieved by rest, pain in general is more

In these cases, self care and avoiding the precipitating cause will lead to a gradual but clear improvement in the pain. Home treatment includes the use of analgesics, cold or hot therapy. Rest for maximum two days is also beneficial. These measures are useful for both muscle spasm and pleurisy.

- Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
The diagnosis although made by exclusion of other causes, however abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation) lasting at least 12 weeks are the main criteria for the diagnosis of IBS.

I would advise you to follow up with your doctor; he may recommend a urine analysis, stool analysis and US abdomen if needed.

Hope you find this information useful.
Best regards.
 mio - Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:28 pm

Thanks alot for your help. As it turns out there was nothing wrong. The pain has completely disappeared and everything is great.


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