Severe Upper Colon pain for the last 8 weeks

by Andre
(Cape Town)

Hi I am a 34 year old male with no Medical Issues in the past besides this one. I am currently not taking anymore medication for the problem.

Maybe you can give me some advice on this subject as I have just been given the run around from doctors and surgeons for the last 8 weeks.

8 Weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night with a scrutiating pain on my left side and the pain was so bad that I could not sit, stand or walk. I went to my GP who then sent me for a sonar scan. The original prognosis was a kidney stone and they then sent me home with some pain killers and anti acid pills and said that the kidney stone will pass in a few days. I then waited for about a week and a half and nothing in fact the pain just got worse so I went back to the doctor who then referred me to a Urologist. He immediately admitted me to hospital for a CT scan. The outcome of the scan was that there is no kidney stone visible and that I can go home with some painkillers and should phone him in a few days if the pain still persisted. I then insisted that I wanted to have another opinion from another specialist and he then referred me to a Surgeon. The surgeon than suggested that we do a Gastroscopy and a Colonoscopy. He found a Bacterial infection in the stomach after Gastroscopy and also noticed that there was also a very bad infection in the upper colon after the Colonoscopy but the Biopsie test results still showed nothing and there was also no negative results from all the blood test.

The surgeon then booked me out of hospital with cortisone, morpheme, anti biotic s and anti acid pills and said that I should come for a follow-up visit in 2 weeks once I finished with the anti biotic. Needless to say the painkillers did help for the two weeks at home but there was no real improvement on the symptoms that I was experiencing. I am now in the 8th week and I am still having this pain on my left side just below my rib cage. I went back to the surgeon yesterday and he suggested that I give him 2 days so that he can consult with some other specialist regarding the issue before we proceed with anymore test. He suggested that we do another CT Scan with fluids injected into the body to show better results on the Colon tissue and he would also like to do another Colonoscopy.

I don't know if I should seek my own second opinion from another specialist or if I should just hang in there and wait till he contacts me.

The pain is so severe that I am not able to drive a vechicle or sit long enoungh to perform my day to day work functions. The only time that I am not experiencing pain is when I'm walking around.

Hope you can shed some life on this issue or just give some advice as I am really at my witts end.

Hi Andre,

An MRI of your thoraco-lumbar spine and surrounding muscles may be necessary if your CT scan with contrast injection comes back normal, and if affordable.

A first glance at your story certainly sounds more like a kidney stone pain. But if you still have that pain for 8 weeks and all tests done have come back normal, then this is certainly not a kidney problem. The inflammations noticed in the colon and stomach are a "red herring". The inflammation could easily be due to the stress and pain you are going through, and not likely due to something more sinister. Hopefully, the repeat colonoscopy and CT with contrast will shed more light on this.

Now. From the story volunteered above, I suspect that the problem causing your pain is most likely due to a musculoskeletal problem, either a slipped disc in your lower thorax or upper lumbar spine, or due to myofascial pain syndrome.

What do you do for work? Have you been lifting or twisting or bending before the onset of the pain? Do you do repetitive movements for work or hobby?

I think you should discuss the possibility of these conditions with your doctor and research them while you continue to take your pain killers. Painkillers like pregabalin and amitriptylline might help, along side other regular pain killers.

Please broaden your investigations along these lines, and let us know how things went.

Please do not hesitate to come back for further clarifications or queries, should you have any.

Looking forward to hearing from you again, Andre.

With Best Wishes,

Dr Edema

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