Commonly Asked Questions / Doctor’s Answers|
I am having pain in my upper to middle left abdominal region. The pain is in
the front mostly but sometimes it hurts in the same region on my back. I cannot
lie down on my stomach or sides at night to sleep and sometimes it also hurts
when I lie down on my back.
I have been having the pain for about one week. Sometimes it is better and
sometimes, usually at night, it gets worse. The area that is hurting feels hot
internally and the skin in the region sometimes itches.
I weigh around 290 lbs., am 5’8" and am 39 years old. I take Risperdal
for a psychiatric condition and am on no other medication. I have been having
gastrointestinal problems for the last 2 years. I thought it was acid reflux.
I had pain in my stomach after eating usually 3 or 4 times per week. During
those episodes I would have acid back up into my throat and also have vomiting
Currently with the pain on my left side, which is something new, unlike he pain
in my stomach, I have been having gas, bloating and some diarrhea. I have not
been to a doctor for either the pain in my stomach, which is ongoing, or the
new pain in my upper to middle left side abdominal region.
The pain in my upper to middle left abdominal region is constant, I feel it
pretty much all the time. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate it a 4 most of the
time and when I lie down, especially at night, I would rate it a 6 or 7. I have
been having regular bowel movements, although again I have also had gas and
I hope you can help me figure this out, I plan on going to a doctor on Monday,
is this something which I should seek help for sooner?
eCureMe’s Advice 1|
In view of the long term nature of this pain, it seems safe to wait until Monday.
Your symptoms, together with your weight and body habits, make me think of hiatus
hernia or even a diaphragmatic hernia. These will be on the mind of the PMD or
gastroenterologist you should be seeing. In the meantime, taking any of several
good OTC antacids should be helpful and sleeping with your head slightly elevated
also. Keep the appointment.
eCureMe’s Advice 2|
Probably no need for more urgent evaluation as long as you don’t have a
fever or pain that ’doubles you over’. There are several
considerations, some more serious than others, but it would be helpful to
know (especially) if there is evidence of blood in your stool, what is your
alcohol consumption? What past abdominal injuries and surgeries have you had?
And what is your serum lipid profile (i.e. cholesterol, triglycerides). Consider
peptic ulcer disease/duodenal ulcer, pancreatitis, splenic flexure syndrome,
’occult’ constipation. I doubt they¡¯re relevant, but also consider
abdominal aortic aneurysm and gall bladder disease (and you clearly need to lose
some weight). Good luck!
eCureMe’s Advice 3|
Since today is Monday, I’m hoping that you will have or have already
seen your doctor. My concerns include the possibilities of ulcer, gastritis,
gall bladder disease and pancreatitis. Eat a bland, low-fat diet, and take
your reflux medication consistently. No alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine.