dull pain in left upper abdominal area under rib cage

by Deborah DeWitt
(Charleston, SC)

Recently I have noticed a dull pain that comes and goes in the left upper abdomen directly under my ribcage in the center


I have had it wake me up in the night and had to stretch out to ease it

My bowels are the same; I go several times a day. The only thing that is different is I'm extremely tired and feel some fullness but not always

What could this be?



Dear Deborah DeWitt,

Thank you for visiting us here at abdopain.com.

It is certainly not a pleasant experience having to contend with an unexplained abdominal pain. You mentioned that this has been going on "recently" and that it wakes you up at night. You also said that you feel some fullness in your abdomen as well as get extremely tired.

How old are you,Deborah? More than 50? For how long exactly has this pain been going on - how long is recent in terms of days or weeks or months?

Is there any thing else you notice is associated with the pain? Do you feel nauseated? What is your appetite like? Is there relationship with the type of food eaten?

Have you seen your doctor with this complaint? Any blood test so far?

Deborah, I think we really need to do something to get to the bottom of this symptoms. For a start, I will strongly advice that you go in and see your doctor, if you have not already done so. You will require some blood tests (Complete blood count, TTG, Thyroid function tests, CA-125, Ca 19-9, serum iron levels and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test) as well as perhaps a stool test and colonoscopy.

These tests would be aimed at thoroughly investigating the possible cause of your abdominal pain and tiredness. It would be presumptive and premature to point a finger at the possible cause of these symptoms. Conditions like:

  • Celiac disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Low thyroid function plus constipation ( I know you said bowels are okay, but many people could be constipated and still "go normally")
  • Bowel and ovarian conditions
Don't be alarmed by anything on this list.

If you have all those tests done and perhaps a CT scan if thought necessary by your doctor, and they all come back normal, then it can't be something very serious other than IBS.

Thank you again for using our services. And do not hesitate to come back to us, should you require clarification on any of the issues mentioned here or any further help. It would be nice, if you can, to also update us on how things went.

Wishing you a Vibrant Health Always.

Dr O Edema MD MRCGP CCFP MSc DRCOG
Family Physician, Emergency Medicine Practitioner and WebMD
Abdopain.com


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