Scary abdominal pain- what could it be? (TMI)

Recap: A month and a half ago I went in for a sigmoidoscopy. It turned out I had ulcerative proctitis. I was prescribed a generic form of Rowasa, and told to take the enemas every day for a month, then come back in for a follow-up to get my biopsy results.

Unfortunately, I was an idiot and stopped taking the medicine a week after I started, because the symptoms went away. After 3-4 weeks, they came back and I realized I had to take the rest like I was supposed to.

Here’s the problem:

Saturday afternoon I would have INTENSE pain in my lower abdomen, below and to the right of my navel. The pain would increase steadily for 20 seconds, then just vanish. This would happen about every 10-15 minutes. At first, I thought it was something that didn’t agree with me (coffee, onions, etc) but on Sunday the pain was still there every 15 minutes like clockwork. Because of schedule conflicts, my appointment with my gastroenterologist isn’t until the 29th. I tried calling this morning, but only got an answering machine, so I called my primary care doctor and lucky for me I’m going to an appt in about 30 minutes.

I’m hoping to find out whats wrong, but I was curious if anyone had any ideaS? A million thoughts were running through my head- appendicitis, diverculitis, impacted bowel, etc. I’ve never experienced a situation where I had pain get extremely intense then just vanish.

Such pain could be diverticulitis or a troubled gallbladder. However…please let us know what you discover.

I also had recurring pain in my lower right abdomen. The last time that I had a sharp pain that I couldn’t stand I went to the emergency room.

They did a thorough check out; x-rays, MRI, bloodwork, etc. And they all came up negative for appendicitis. The doctor said they have one more test to see if it is appendicitis or maybe a hernia. Well, the TEST turned out to be the finger test.

So there I was with Dr. Longfingers giving me the once over when the nurse walked into the room.

The doctor looks up, I’m still bare-assed naked being violated, and asks her what’s she there for. She said the call button was going off.

It seems that I rolled over onto the nurse’s call button at just the right moment :o .

I would think that it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out what is causing the pain as there isn’t too much in that area, right? But they never did find out what caused the pain. Just told me to come back if it hurt again.

Do let us know if it ends up requiring a hysterectomy.

Especially since you’re a dude :slight_smile:

(good luck!)

The gall bladder is higher in the abdomen, tucked up under the rib cage.

I know, b/c that’s the source of my abdominal pain.

When I had appendicitis, the pain was in the lower right part of my abdomen. They did a blood test to make a diagnosis, although my schmuck father (I was 14 at the time) waited until my appendix nearly burst before checking the results. By the end, I was blacking out every time I stood up.

I would get it checked toot-sweet. If your doctor isn’t available, consider the ER.


When my younger daughter had appendicitis, her pediatrician told us it is very difficult to pinpoint abdominal pain as coming from a specific source based only opn the patient’s perception. The pain can honestly be perceived in a completely different area than its actual origin.

We discovered from my older daughter’s gall bladder problem last winter that the pain from that cause can be excruciating for half a day and then vanish completely as if nothing is wrong, with no treatment whatsoever, only to return just as bad later.

Bottom line: Persistent abdominal pain can be innocuous or an indication of imminent disaster. Doctors I’ve known would prefer to be consulted for something that turns out to be minor that to not be consulted for something that turns out to be major. In other words, better to go to the trouble of finding out your bellyache is only a difference of opinion between you and the fried oysters than to go to the trouble of cleaning out all the goo from a ruptured internal organ.

It seems most likely that pain in the setting of known inflammatory bowel disease is probably due to the inflammatory bowel disease.

Oh, and IAAD.

Well, I’m okay, so far.

Talked with my primary care doc, and he was able to acess the biopsy results the specialist had. He also said I need to meet with the specialist ASAP. The biopsy results said I was positive for either Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease. My family doesn’t have a history of Crohn’s so I’m guessing its probably UC. He said that Appendicitis could be responsible, and referred me to a GI surgeon I was supposed to see immediately (presumably, in the event they were sure it was Appendicitis, remove it that day). The surgeon also reviewed the biopsy results, and based on my story of how I erronously stopped taking my prescription and just recently started, he, like Qagdop, suggested it was probably symptoms.

I also found out I have been taking the medication incorrectly this whole time :smack: . When the doc said ‘hold the enema in as long as you can’ he meant ‘take it at bedtime and pass it out the following morning’. I’m hoping that’s the problem.

Also, since they only performed a sigmoidoscopy, who knows what eldrich horrors are laying waste to deeper reigions of my bowels. Its also possible I have the same issues in other parts of my colon, and that’s what causing the pain.

Interesting observation about abdominal pain. Is it a perception thing? Or do your nerves in there just have trouble zeroing in on problem areas? I think the frustrating thing about this is that the doctors don’t know for sure what’s causing the pain, and the meds I’m taking for the Ulcerative Colitis are treatment- the surgeon said the only way to make it go away for sure would be to do a colonectomy :eek:

Ulcerative colitis? Just toss back some whipworm larvae and you’ll be good as new!

Geeze! I hope you feel better soon, tummy pain is a right bitch.

IA still NAD, but have been told that it’s the latter. Creatures whose nerves did not accurately distinguish between one finger (or paw) and another would not do very well in ordinary survival tasks. Abdominal pain, in eons past, not so much. It doesn’t really matter in the natural state whether pain is coming from the gall bladder or the intestines, you’re not going to be able to do anything about it anyway.

I guess that’s better than the call button being up your butthole.

It’s sort of a perception thing, but more of an innervation thing. Your organs (vicera) do not have pain receptors like your skin, muscles, etc. But they do have stretch receptors, so when your organs like intestines or gall bladder or appendix gets inflammed and begins to stretch you will experience vague abdominal discomfort. When they begin to irritate the abdominal wall, you will be able to localize the discomfort as pain in a more precise location.

For instance, the textbook case of appendicitis begins with a vague abdominal discomfort, usually around the belly button, followed by decreased appetite and vomiting. At some point the pain will migrate and localize to the right lower abdomen. This is the appendix stretching and then irritating the abdominal wall. If it is allowed to go on long enough, your appendix may rupture, releasing that pressure and giving you some temporary relief. Of course eventually your whole abdomen then becomes a cesspool and you need emergency surgery.