I began having pains in my abdomen and thought I was constipated.

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I am writing to you because I am at my wits end! Several weeks ago, I began having pains in my abdomen. At first, I thought I was constipated and the pain was being caused by constipation. But my bowel movements became more normal and the pain persisted. I next thought that the pain may be cramps from my period. I went off the birth control pill three months ago and for the past month I have been having my period almost constantly (excepting about 2 days), and it is quite heavy. However, the pain I am having doesn’t feel the same as cramps. In the past week, the pain has become far, far worse. I have difficulty moving, breathing deeply, yawning, etc. (The pain is always there, though becomes more intense with the activities mentioned.) I feel it in my lower right side and often up further at my stomach. Just today, I noticed the pain in my back on the right side as well. It is a cramping, stabbing pain. The pain although always present intensifies within an hour of eating. This usually lasts for several hours.

Two days ago, after a sleepless and painful night, I checked myself into the ER because I could barely walk. They did blood tests, urine analysis, and both an abdominal and a pelvic ultrasound. They told me to go home because everything seemed normal! The next day, I underwent a gastroscopy (not at all pleasant!) and again nothing was found.

I am so worried and frustrated. The pain is keeping me from work and I even find it painful to walk around the house. The doctors cannot seem to find anything wrong.

Do you have any insight or suggestions? Please, let me know what you think, even if it’s already been ruled out, I would like your opinion.

Thank you so much.

First, I am not a doctor and I would highly recommend you aggressively pursue the cause of your pain with one. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. There are many organs in your abdomen including stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, liver, spleen, intestines including appendix, reproductive organs, kidney and bladder any of which could be the cause of your pain.

Since your periods are abnormal, I would also recommend you see your gynecologist as well. If you are sexually active and off birth control, it is possible you could be pregnant or have a tubal pregnancy. Some women bleed even when pregnant especially when the placenta is laying over the cervix.

It may be your gallbladder since the pain is associated with eating. Gallbladder pain is more at the end of your breastbone and radiates around to your back. Pancreatitis is quite painful as well as kidney stones.

Now go see another doctor and advocate for yourself until you find the cause of your abdominal pain. Don’t give up as pain is a response to injury.