Severe upper stomach pain

Two weeks ago I got a sudden pain in my upper stomach. It lasted for about 45 minutes, it stopped as quickly as it came. The week after it happened again but this time the pain was 10 times worse. I was bent over in agony crying for an hour and nearly went to a&e but I braved it out and sure enough it disappeared after an hour. I went to gp and she is sending me for an ultra sound and did bloods. I have to wait for at least 3 weeks for appointment. In the meantime I am terrified it will come back. I had my gall bladder out 7 years ago so it can't be that. Does anyone have any ideas as to what it could be or has anyone suffered something similar? Many thanks again x

22 Replies

  • Hi hun I don't know if this is like what you are experiencing but from time to time I'll get pain on my right side just below my rib and it feels like an intense stitch. The pain is like yours where it will come on suddenly then as quick as its here it will go and can vary in how long I have it. There is no pattern to when I get this pain and its unbelievably painful when its here. I've had a camera inside to check my bowel and thats fine, kidneys and liver scanned and they are fine, gallbladder checkd that's fine and ct done which showed nothing. I was told it could be refered pain from my back, but basically its a mystery. Id be interested to hear if you get to the bottom of what's causing your pain xxx

  • Hi I get pain as you describe only diff is mine can go on for hours before it subsides at first it was thought I had gallstones left from gallbladder removal 5 years agoI had a load of tests done including endoscopy which showed I have biliary reflux and gastritis ultrasound showed no stones. When I googled both conditions they describe the pain accuratly just waiting now to see gastroenterologist again to see if ther is anything to be done other than a load of pills I take at the moment

  • Hi Lulu, funny you should say that but I've been having intense pain right under both ribs which comes and goes. Doctor said that it is inflammation in ribs. This other pain is right at the top middle of my stomach. I also had a CT scan in feb but the pains have started after this. I am sorry hear that you are experiencing similar problems. I find I feel pain more intense when I'm I'll. What do you think? Is that something you have experienced? Thanks for your reply xxx

  • Hi Tracynoe, it sounds like you are having an awful time too. My gp also said that I may also have stones trapped somewhere else. Is your pain similar to the pain you got when you glad your gall bladder stones? I find mine is as intense. It's very strange. I feel like my stomach is in knots most the time, like ringing washing out haha. It sounds silly but that is what it is like. What pills did the doctor give you? I got hyoscine butyl bromide I've haven't taken any yet though x

  • Hi Vicci, yes the pain is very similar to gallstones but I have to say that on some occasions it is worse, I take metocloprimide to help empty the stomach of the bile acid that is refluxing and lansoprazole, mine was a lot worse while I was on biophphonates they made the whole thing unbearable until all I could stomach was water and even that hurt like hell, I know what you mean about your stomach always feeling like it's in knots mine is the same the days it is calm I have to be careful with what I eat as I can not become complacent as eating the wrong things will set it all off again. When it is bad I lose weight too not good when I struggle with my weight anyway think that was why I was sent to see gastroenterologist. I also take MMF pred and lots of other meds I know that MMF can cause stomach probs just hoping they don't take me off it when I see rhuemy next week. Hope you get sorted out soon and find out whats causing the problem.

  • Ello there, just in case it might be something else, was reading your post and had a flashback to my stomach hurting days which was due to a peptic or duandol ulcer. The first time it did not hurt a lot and did not last for more than an hour, but the 2nd time as you said the pain was 20times worse, i was literally rolling on my floor in pain. As i mentioned mine was due to an ulcer caused by the mediction I was taking. At that time I was only on Prednisilone and my Dr gave me ranitidine, which after a few days on them I not feel my stomach hurt again. However I now have a weak stomach and can no longer eat curries or spicy food. It might be what the others are saying but in case it is not that is something to think about.

  • I have no pattern to when I get this pain. My lupus is always worse before a period but it doesn't follow that I get this pain then. I have been tolditcould be inflammation of my ribs but its not my ribs that hurt its a couple of inches below so don't know iftht makes any difference. I don't think I'll ever get to the bottom of what the pain is but at least I know its nothing too sinister as everything comes back as normal.....sounds odd but can be annoying that tests are normal as be nice to have an explanation x

  • Hi Vicci, reading this post made me think 'Did I write this forget???' (brain fog)

    I experienced the exact same thing a few weeks back. I called 111 & was advised to go to a&e and miraculously it calmed diwn. I booked a doctor's app, he referred me to get a abdominal scan to check for gallstones. Nothing showed up. And was given: Laprazanol He now thinks it could be IBS? Which I'm sure I have as there is a lot of food i'm intolerant too & that I avoid so this sounds like nonsense. And I think there is more to it but no one seems to know...Still waiting to see what specialist says as she reckons it could be long term effect of Plaquenil...

    I knw with lupus your gut can become sensitive and certain medicines can wear out your stomach lining... I was recommended 'Slippery Elm' supplement to help repair the stomach lining which i have started taking. But really would like to get some answers as by reading everyone else's replies it shows that this is quite common

  • If you get this intense pain again, please go to gp or a&e as it could be caused by anything. Mine was pancreatitis and I ended up 7 days in hospital. Still no reason why it came on and ive since learnt this is Something that could happen again. Good old lupus and sjgrens! Hope you find a reason for your pain x

  • This sounds like the pain I had many years ago with a duodenal ulcer. Absolute agony for an hour or so then gone!

  • Wow this seems to be something a lot of us experience. Thank you for all your replies. I had thought about an ulcer LloydE and MargaretGail but I've only been on Prednisolone for 3 months, I don't know if it's long term use that causes ulcers? Your right Chris21 I will go to A&E if it happens again I don't think I could bear suffering the pain again to be honest it scares me. That's the worry with lupus isn't it, I feel like its a ticking bomb waiting to go off and do some real damage. Chucch how long have you been on plaquenil? Again I've only been on it for 3 months? Tracynoe I hope you get sorted out soon too. Can I just ask what MMF meds? Your right Lulu85 it would be nice to have an explanation but so many of my symptoms seem to unexplained like the tremors in my hands the consultant told me its nothing to do with lupus so just have to put up with them. Oh joy! Thanks again everyone x

  • I don't understand why no Dr. thinks pancreas! It can be very, very painful - worse than gallstones and if it gets inflamed, can be very dangerous. Don't know what they do to look at pancreas....but they need to do it, especially if gall bladder is OK. Also, Plaquenil is on my no list! I basically take nothing because everything I have tried has side effects that are sometimes worse than why I am taking it in the first place!!

  • Hi, if it is pancreatitis the blood test that will show it is a raised Amylase.

  • Pancreatitis is left hand side radiating to the back and it is excruciating for longer than an hour, if it is acute pancreatitis (chronic pancreatitis would have constant pain in the first stages). Acute pancreatitis would make you go to A&E ASAP, you wouldn't have time to post a question on the forum, for example.

    Vicci, your symptoms sound like gastritis to me, or possibly ulcer - but I'm no doctor. But ulcer is treatable - pancreatitis is not as easy to deal with.

    MMF is short for mycophenolate mofetil (brand name CellCept), an immunosuppressant.

  • Hi vicci, this is the same thing i suffer with, i had my gallbladder removed 10 years ago...before i was told i had lupus..i have a condition called serousitis with my lupus which causes inflamation of the linings of my tummy ive been diagnosed for 1year now and taking meds to try and calm the episodes....when they first started i could have one a month but the more i had the more they came i can have 2 - 3 episodes a week and the crushing of the rib pain, makes it so had to breath i then am very sick...the pain is the worst ive ever felt..but it starts like a tightning and the a twist and before you know it like a switch of a light the crushing feeling that i feel my rhumy says is my abdominal organs and lining inflaming this is where the pain comes from...does this sound like your episodes x if it does and you want to know anything further inbox me....i had every test under the sun done they even re-opend me to look if there was anystones in the ducts...i feel for you..

  • I'm guessing an ulcer. Do you take a lot of aspirin? Also other nsaids like ibuprofen & Naproxsodium can cause ulcers. You need to take them with full stomach. Also smoking can cause ulcers. I hope u don't do that!!!!

    What about pancreatitis. That's bad news. Lupus can cause pancreatitis.I Think THAT Pain Might Be Located MORE centrally. U can look it up on Web site. I will also look it up. Take care

  • What blood work is done to check amylase levels.....would this be included in normal , routine blood work?

  • I am sorry I didn't answer the last posts but for some reason I haven't had any email notifications sent to tell me they were here. I have to wait for my ultra sound which isn't for 6 weeks. I just hope things don't get worse. The waiting is the worse part isn't it, 6 weeks can feel like 6 months. Willow wag that is interesting because when I read the letter my consultant sent to my gp he said I had that. I didn't really know what it was it sounds like that could be what the pain is. What meds are best for it? I feel in the dark my consultant hasn't been clear on my condition and what could happen. I am sorry I don't know how to inbox you on here. Misteryislupus I try not to take aspirin and things like that as it really upsets my stomach and no I don't smoke either. Every time I look something up I convince myself it's that lol x

  • You should consider a food sensitivity - sounds exactly like what happens to me. They can be tricky, since they come and go. Keep a food diary and keep in mind that it is usually a delayed reaction, so you need to consider anything that you've eaten in the last day or so. Rotate your diet so that you have a break - don't eat the same thing on consecutive days. Sensitivities can get worse if you are under stress - especially from illness or as an indirect side effect from medications. Some people think that some gall bladder surgery is unnecessary because the cause of the pain is from the food sensitivity and not gallstones - for those people, the symptoms persist even after surgery.

  • Hi sweaters, that sounds like an idea. I really think that I could eat better than I do. It hard when the fatigue and pain is so bad that I can't cook but I know it's a vicious circle and if I did try I may feel better. I was so Ill before surgery so I know it was the right thing to do at the time but it's all up in the air now. Hopefully time will tell what it's all about.

  • It's not as much a matter of eating better, it's a matter of finding what foods are bad for you. For me it's actually sulfites & phenol. Sulfites are used as a preservative but are also naturally occurring in fermented foods. Phenol is in the skin on many dark fruits. So I can eat apples as long as I remove the peel but most berries, which are promoted as healthy, are out of the question. Vinegar is bad. So many "healthy" foods cause me problems - but I can eat the more common problem foods, including foods with gluten, eggs, dairy and so on, without any issues.

  • Trying to work it all out would be a tricky and lengthly process but worth it in the end

You may also like...