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What is this sharp stomach pain?

(15 Posts)
Bookaboo Wed 08-Jul-15 12:11:13

For a few months, I’ve been getting very occasional and fleeting sharp pains in the top centre-left of my stomach. Over the past few weeks, the frequency of this seems to have increased and the pain seems stronger. More infrequently, I also get a similar pain at the bottom of my rib cage on the right side.
I visited my GP, who asked various questions such as whether the pain goes through to my back or whether I get any pain in my shoulder (it doesn’t). He said because I am slim and mid-thirties he didn’t suspect gallstones.

He told me to try taking omeprazole for 4 weeks to see if that helped. I’ve been taking this for almost 3 weeks now and I don’t think it is making any difference. Presumably he thinks it may be an ulcer, but the test for helicobacter pylori was negative and I’ve never smoked, don’t drink much, and have no family history of ulcers, so I feel doubtful that’s what it could be.

I’ve noticed that sometimes stretching or reaching can bring it on, but not always. I also sometimes feel a muscle twitching sensation around the area, but not at the same time as the pain.

Anyone any idea what this is? I can’t get another GP appointment until the end of next week.

BigBroIsWatching Wed 08-Jul-15 17:43:38

I have this too!!! Had it for months, and as its sporadic, I haven't had it checked out. I do suffer from Ibs so was wandering whether it was to do with that? I'm guessing it's colon. There's a very sharp turn at that point?
Do you ever notice gas gurgling?

Bookaboo Thu 09-Jul-15 07:50:29

Do you get the sharp pain at the top of your stomach as well as the side rib? I don't have IBS although i've always been gassy, but this isn't the sort of gas pain i'm used to as that's normally lower down.

ToysRLuv Thu 09-Jul-15 07:55:48

I have IBS and suffer from this. The pain is really bad some days, but having a bowel movement helps, as well as buscopan and painkillers (Nurofen+ is best AFAIK).

Bookaboo Thu 09-Jul-15 10:40:38

The pain i have is high up - in the epigastric area. Could that still be gas? It doesn't feel like gas. The pain comes on like a few flashes of lightning & feels really sharp.

ToysRLuv Thu 09-Jul-15 15:42:32

Yeah, mine is really high. No idea what it is, but feels like a bad stitch.

MrsRonBurgundy Thu 09-Jul-15 15:52:59

I had this and was given omeprazole too. As I'm slim and in my 20s, Dr dismissed it as acid reflux.
I then had crucifying pain which saw me in hospital, like the usual pain but intensified by 100 and I was drenched in sweat. And it was my gall bladder! Had it removed on that same hospital visit around 4 months ago and not a bit of pain since x

Bookaboo Fri 10-Jul-15 16:49:53

Hi mrsron. How often did you get symptoms and did you notice them at a particular time? How long had you been getting them for before you ended up having it out?
Originally i'd thought mine was happening when stomach was empty but now not so sure.

MrsRonBurgundy Sat 11-Jul-15 00:36:40

I was getting symptoms for around 9 months. About once a week I'd say. Much more frequently at night - I don't know whether it's anything to do with lying down? I started to think it wasn't acid reflux because that usually has trigger foods but I kept a food diary and couldn't identify any triggers. Then the pain got so bad that I KNEW it couldn't be that - I genuinely had a slight concern that I was having a heart attack but I am known for being a bit of a drama queen so I kept that quiet. You should ask your Dr to do blood tests. If you've got problems with your gallbladder, your liver function often comes back as low which should identify it.

WizardOfToss Sat 11-Jul-15 09:24:43

I've got this, or similar anyway. Much worse at night. Just seen the doctor as DH nagged me. Had bloods done, prescribed omeprazole as well to see if it's reflux, and referred for a scan. V good and thorough!

Doc said if not reflux it'll likely be gallbladder, pancreas or stomach. Wasn't worried before I went, really quite worried now. sad

Don't know what to suggest other than to get back and ask for the bloods and a scan (Looks for stones or other obstructions)

MrsRonBurgundy Sat 11-Jul-15 22:13:23

Wizard don't be worried.

If it does turn out to be gallbladder, it's an extremely common procedure. I am so happy it's whipped out now - no more pain and recovery was swift. I'm sure pancreas would be a similar situation. Try not to worry.

I'd have the operation ten times over rather than the pain I had that took me to a&e

WizardOfToss Sat 11-Jul-15 23:30:11

Thank you, MrsRon. I'm sure you're right. Glad you're better!

Bookaboo Wed 26-Aug-15 13:47:12

Just an update on this... I went back to the GP and they did blood tests to check liver & kidney function and look for inflammation. These came back normal. The GP referred me for an ultrasound (which is next week) and suggested that I should avoid fat for the meantime in case it is gallbladder. I thought this seemed to have helped for the first week, but then the pains kicked in again. I now also get really sharp pains just below my sternum, which are worse than the other pains I get a bit lower down.
I carried on with avoiding fat for a couple more weeks, but it didn't seem to be making any difference at all and I was concerned it was causing me to lose weight, so I've reintroduced it and not noticed any difference either. Given where the pain is and the fact that fat doesn't seem to bring on the pain does it seem likely to be gallbladder?

I am now wondering whether it could be a hiatus hernia but the doc didn't mention this as a possibility. When I'm not having the pain, I sometimes feel as if something in that area is tight or as if there's something there.

Any ideas?

sadie9 Wed 26-Aug-15 22:40:35

Are you still on the Omeprazole? Also what age are you? peri-menopausal i wonder as this seems to come with that a lot.
I have this too, gastritis (inflamed stomach/excess acid) am permanently on the omeprazole which does reduce symptoms by 90%. I had all those tests and an endoscope and colonoscope and ct of kidneys to check for stones. Certain foods trigger more of it...like stress, coffee, alcohol, tomato based sauces, eating late at night, chololate etc. it is worrying but the docs aren't worried. They just say it's excess stomach acid. If I go off the omeprazole I can feel the stomach acid fizzing about in my stomach at night. I do mentally have a mini freak out an odd time over it.
Consultant also said the amount of pain felt is not proportional to the amount of inflammation in the stomach.

Bookaboo Thu 27-Aug-15 08:32:02

Hi Sadie9. I'm just mid thirties so hopefully not peri-menopausal just yet!
I'm not on the omeprazole anymore as I took it for the 4 weeks that the GP suggested and found that it didn't really seem to make any difference. Although my symptoms have got worse since I first saw the GP, so I suppose it's possible that the omeprazole was masking the increase in symptoms. But I would be worried about taking the omeprazole longer term because I know it can interfere with absorption of some minerals etc..., which can bring on the irregular heartbeats that I'm susceptible to.

Because the pain is so high up, just under the sternum, I also had a concern that it might be heart related, but the GP seems to think that it's still gastric.
I sometimes feel a sense of pressure or fullness in that area and I've found that if I lay on my right side that can bring on the pain, but mostly it seems completely random.

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