Undiagnosed abdominal pain

Hi, I started getting intermittent pain in my lower right abdomen 6 months ago. Gradually the pain has become more constant, although it varies in severity. It has moved a bit too. Sometimes it's the lower abdomen, sometimes it feels like a pressure or 'digging in' under my ribs on the right hand side. I get back ache either side of my spine, particularly on the right hand side. Occasionally the pain is in the top of my abdomen. I would describe it more as an irritating discomfort than a sharp pain.

The thing is I've had pretty much every test under the sun. Pelvic scans, abdominal ultrasound, CT scan and MRI. All come back normal, except for a 'sludgy gall bladder' which the surgeon does not think indicates a gall bladder problem.

It doesn't feel like IBS, as the pain is quite localised and doesn't seem to affect my bowel movements.

I have no idea what to do next. Perhaps I should try omitting certain foods from my diet. Any suggestions? I'm really at a loss, and this chronic pain is getting me down.

12 Replies

  • hello Gemma,oh how i can so relate to you,have you had an endoscopy and/or a colonoscopy,?they will rule out things like a hiatus hernia and any other conditions of the stomach/colon.

    i saw a dietician /speech and language therapist who discussed my diet maybe you could ask for a referral.

    hope this helps

  • Thanks purple clover. Not had either of those. Surgeon I saw about gall bladder was reluctant to do colonoscopy as risk of perforation but I was thinking it would be the next course of action. I'll make an appointment with my gp and see what he thinks. Can't do nothing that's for sure.

  • good luck

  • I would get an evaluation from a physical therapist. You might have some muscle involvement that most MD's don't diagnose. I recently found out one of the main reasons for my lower left abdominal pain is from my psoas muscle that attaches to the spine, diaphragm all the way down to the groin. A good pelvic physical therapist should be able to tell you if you have any visceral, fascial or muscle involvement causing the discomfort.

  • Thank you. That's something I hadn't considered at all. I'll look into it.

  • I'm sorry to hear that you are in so much pain.

    I have similar chronic pain to what you describe, it can be exhausting can't it!

    It is always worth trying to omit certain foods in your diet to see if it helps. I find coffee is a particular irritant so avoid it, also hot chocolate, strange I know!

    I would recommend psychotherapy, mindfulness, heat (I have an electric heat pad), and taking particularly good care of yourself (be kind to yourself)

    I hope that you have some times of relief.

    Best wishes,

  • Thank you. I think it is the not knowing that is the hardest. I panic and leap to the worst possible conclusions which doesn't help! I have a few more things to try and my diet is one of them, so fingers crossed one of these will be the answer!

  • My right lower abddominal pain is caused by tight spastic obterator internus pelvic floor muscle. Referred pain. It is very uncomfortable, feels like a constant "stitch" in my side. Tenfold like when your side hurts when running. Lack of oxygen to those muscles. Probably compensating for dysfunctional pelvic floor muscle.

  • I read an interesting article about the psoas muscle that attaches in all the places I get pain. Want to rule out anything to do with the colon because it does feel like it follows the intestinal tract but it could well be muscular. Hope your pain gets better. Are you getting some physio for your pelvic floor?

  • I have been doing PT for eight months. I am not going anymore. It used to help but it aggravates it now.

  • I think it's natural to worry, not knowing is hard. I hope you have an empathic G.P and someone to be honest with how you're really feeling about this.

  • I suppose a second opinion about your sludgy gall bladder might be an option especially to find the cause of why it is sludgy. This may be the reason for your abdominal pain, or may be a ' rumbling ' appendics.

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