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What's going wrong on my right side?
July 7, 2008 10:39 AM   Subscribe

YANMD-filter, with a bit of gross-internal-issues-filter: I've had a weird pain in my side for years. Any ideas?

I've had a weird pain in my side for at least five or six years. I've asked a couple doctors about it and none of them have any idea - most guesses run somewhere in the irritable bowel syndrome category.

The pain is always in the exact same place: on my right side, just below where my waist curves in most. The amount of pain I have seems to correspond with how recently I've eaten - worse before eating, better after. It's not really a dull ache, more of how a sore feels when you turn the wrong way or something, like that sudden OUCH and then it's gone.

Once in a great, great while, the pain is so bad that it makes me catch my breath, stop what I'm doing, etc.

...actually, writing this all out makes it sound much worse than I realized.

Any guesses as to what this could be? Or any suggestions as to what kind of specialist I should call to get this better figured out?

Thanks a ton, Hive Mind. :)
posted by harperpitt to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
 
Oops, to follow up - I am 23, generally in good health, and taking medication for depression/anxiety (I don't think the pain is related to that, but it might be...)
posted by harperpitt at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2008


I wouldn't venture a medical diagnosis, and I hope no one else would. But I think a gastroenterologist would be a good person to start with. And I imagine they'll send you for some sort of X-ray/CAT/MRI thing so they can get a picture of what's going on.
posted by WCityMike at 10:44 AM on July 7, 2008


I had that exact pain when I was 20 and yeah, it turned out to be an ulcer. I also was diagnosed with IBS and I went to several doctors until I found a gastroenterologist that prescribed a regimen of Prilosec (six months) and that I stop taking NSAIDs.
posted by melissam at 10:47 AM on July 7, 2008


Are you female? I have pain on my left side for a significant portion of the month, and I've been told it's because my uterus is tipped quite a bit in that direction. It's definitely not a CONSTANT pain, though. I would be more concerned if I were you.
posted by peep at 11:15 AM on July 7, 2008


I have the same problem, I'm also in my early twenties, and also take anxiety / depression meds. The pain gets so bad once or twice a year that I end up in the ER, they always think it's my appendix, then find out through tests that it isn't. They give me painkillers and send me home. No doctor has found what it is yet, though they have diagnosed me with Crohn's (they say it's unrelated). No answer for you, I just wanted to say you're not alone.
posted by OLechat at 11:46 AM on July 7, 2008


it sounds like an ulcer, although I am confused about where you say it is. Could you draw a picture? I had an ulcer when I was 17 - so you are not too young.

Is it every day?

An ulcer feels like an open sore on your insides.

I also think you should see a specialist. Soon.

Please let us know what this turns out to be.
posted by cda at 12:59 PM on July 7, 2008


There's a book called "Headache in the Pelvis" I bought a long time ago by recommendation. As I recall, it describes a pain very similar to the one you seem to be experiencing. Might want to check it out.
posted by TimeTravelSpeed at 1:20 PM on July 7, 2008


Thanks, everybody - an ulcer seems likely, but I am absolutely going to get this checked out. (OLechat, I've been in the ER too on appendix scares! They just fill me with saline and send me back.)

I'm going to check out the book, too. Awesome.
posted by harperpitt at 1:22 PM on July 7, 2008


My dad (who's in his late 40's), had a remarkably similar-sounding pain for years. He went to multiple doctors and had every test/medicine/scan you can think of, with no conclusive results. Several times, his doctors suggested that his anxiety could be the cause. I don't know if anyone has suggested this to you over the years, but when you mentioned taking depression/anxiety meds, it rung a bell for me.
posted by rebel_rebel at 1:53 PM on July 7, 2008


I'd investigate possible psychogenic pain if you're getting no diagnoses.
posted by kldickson at 2:49 PM on July 7, 2008


For random side-pain I always recommend (IANAD) getting checked for gallstones. Seemingly very common, but rarely thought of by doctors. We went round and round the gastrointestinal mulberry bush before finally more or less demanding an ultrasound of the gallbladder.
posted by Iteki at 10:12 AM on July 8, 2008


I had a pain like that. It got to be so bad that I had to stop whatever I was doing and just breathe through it. I went to the doctor and we did a bunch of diagnostic tests. Nothing. She though I might be constipated and to eat more fiber. I thought I was eating well at the time and was skeptical. So I read up on foods containing fiber and it turned out that I had completely wrong ideas. I increased the fiber in my diet (dried apricots are a tasty, quick, portable choice) and the pain went away. Green leafy vegetables anyone?
posted by mausburger at 1:58 PM on July 8, 2008


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