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Undiagnosed Abdominal Pain

Q: I feel relief just in knowing that there is a female doctor out there who is going to listen to me, as I cry every night not knowing what to do or who else to go to in regards to my problem. I read every article you had on your web page about abdominal problems, and none of them seem to apply to me.

I have been experiencing a tightness or fullness on the upper left side of my abdomen, right under my ribcage, and when I sometimes move, it feels liquidy, almost like I have a small water balloon in there, and other times it feels gassy and is better when I release gas. When I eat, a lot of the time my stomach gurgles and feels gassy. I have bowel movements sometimes 3 times a day, and sometimes once a day. When I put pressure on the area, it feels better for awhile and when I put pressure on the upper left side of my back, it makes it feel a little better. I did sprain my back on that side years ago, and just recently it acted up, but I had this before it acted up.

I had a colonoscopy last year, an MRI of the abdomen and pelvic area, and all they noticed was cysts on my ovaries, so I followed up with a thorough pelvic exam and pap smear, which showed all was normal. Then I had a CAT scan and ultrasound, and the only thing that showed up on the ultrasound was a hemangioma. I also had an x-ray of the small bowel and x-ray of the left ribcage, and again, all was normal according to my doctors. I am overweight and have significant belly fat, and on my left side I feel little lumps which my doctor called papilomas. (I think that is what he called them.) Could they cause this feeling and could this problem be caused by my bad back on that side since that is the side my back gives me trouble on?

Nobody I talk to seems to have ever heard of my symptoms and I am at my wits end. Please help me.

Thanks,. M.Y.

Dr. Donnica:
The good news is that you've had "the million dollar workup" and all the tests show that you don't have any significant, identifiable medical conditions that need intervention or treatment. The bad news, however, is that you said that you're overweight and have significant belly fat. Not only could this be the cause of your problems/symptoms, but this can be a significant increased risk factor for heart disease (the number one killer of women) and type 2 diabetes. I strongly recommend a good diet and exercise.

Taking small steps toward improvement will yield big results. Any diet that works for you is fine, but if you want a recommendation, I strongly recommend both the Atkins Diet and Weight Watchers. All I ask is that you fully commit for 2 weeks to start. Once you see the improvement in how you feel (forget the scale!), you'll be committed for life.

With best regards,
Donnica L. Moore, MD
President, DrDonnica.com


Created: 2/8/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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