Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"I have had excruciating pains in my abdomen. What could they be?"
I have been having excruciating pains for about two years every once in a while after eating fatty foods. I have had them in my abdomen on both sides. First in the lower of my right abdomen it starts off with a small aching pains then turns into unbearably excruciating pain that is relieved after a while with pain relief. The pain wakes me up at night and the next morning it turns to small dull aches. Then the right side starts with small pains that turn excruciating after a while then dulls to small aches the next day and both pains make me nauseous for about five days after and I don't feel like eating much for the five days. Also for about two months I have had a small amount of blood on toilet paper after bowel motions. Then just recently the blood has been more regular after bowel motions and more on the blood on the toilet paper. I am wondering if I should see a doctor and if the symptoms relate to each other and if you might have any idea of what it could be?
I am sorry to hear you are having excruciating abdominal pain for nearly two years now. Abdominal pain is a common complaint that doctors hear and it can be difficult to diagnose because there are so many potential sources for the pain. For this reason, I encourage you to visit your doctor who can perform a thorough physical examination and better identify the source of your pain given your medical history. Your symptoms could be a sign of a number of different things. Fatty foods can often exacerbate conditions such as ulcers within the stomach or gallstones. Ulcers can be caused by overuse of non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil, Aleve or can be caused by the presence of a bacteria in the stomach. The risk of developing gallstones seems to be linked to women who are in their 40s and who are overweight. Gallstones typically cause pain in the upper right part of the abdomen and are associated with nausea and vomiting. Pain in the lower right abdomen is often concerning for appendicitis. Usually this pain starts across the lower part of the belly and then eventually localizes to the right lower abdomen. Typically, those with appendicitis will have nausea and vomiting and be unable to hold down food. Appendicitis presents very quickly and is a surgical emergency that must be addressed immediately for fear of rupture of the appendix. Finally, your symptoms might be linked to chronic constipation. Constipation can be a risk factor for developing hemorrhoids which are veins in the rectum that can become swollen and inflamed, leading to rectal bleeding that can range from blood on the toilet paper to blood that coats the stool. Please visit your primary care physician who can help you to manage your abdominal pain.
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