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Celiac? Left Side Abdominal Pain, Sharp Chest Pain And More >>
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I'm a 24m and have been having gastrointestinal problems for about 8 years or so. I've been tested for almost everything under the sun (endoscopy, colonoscopy, barium swallow, stomach biopsy, heidelberg test etc.) and they can't find anything. Every test comes back normal and I'm so desperate to figure this out and turn my life around.

My symptoms are as follows:

- upper left side abdominal pain

- exhausted feeling all the time

- sharp chest pain at times

- shortness of breath

- bloating & gas after eating

- very deep burping

- have to eat very slowly (1-2 hrs for a normal meal)

- some constipation

- can't gain weight and never have been able to

- pale skin & ridges in finger nails

I had a stomach biopsy 4 or 5 years ago but it came back borderline and the doc said I was just gluten sensitive and diagnosed me with IBS. I've been reading a bit about latent celiac and trying to figure out if celiac might really be the culprit. I just can't seem to find anything else it might be. Last week I was tested for pernicious anemia but you guessed it, the test came back normal. I'm really skinny and look anemic but all of the levels are normal.

Thank you so much in advance for any help you can provide!

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Welcome!

The best diagnosis is a positive dietary response. Since your tests (but not knowing exactly what tests they were) were boarderline, try the diet and see if you feel better. Your symptoms certainly could reflect Celiac or a gluten intolerance.

Take some time to read around this site. There's some great information.

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I had a stomach biopsy 4 or 5 years ago but it came back borderline and the doc said I was just gluten sensitive and diagnosed me with IBS.

Your doctor certainly didn't do you any favors. I can't write the words I want to use to describe this guy. You are celiac. Your doctor biopsied you and found that you were in the early stages. Instead of telling you to stop eating gluten and giving you a diagnosis this guy wanted you to be in the end stages of the disease before he would diagnose. I would be willing to bet he also told you that you could come back and be rebiopsied at a later date when your symptoms became worse. I bet he also gave you a handful of scripts.

You need to get on the diet, and follow it strictly. You don't 'have' IBS, IBS is not a diagnosis it is a symptom, you have celiac.

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Hi jb1119,

I'm new here too and working on getting to the bottom of (mild) symptoms. But I'm curious to know more about your upper left abdominal pain. I have something like that, too. It first started when I was in my early 20's. I went to the doctor, who looked at me funny and eventually diagnosed me with IBS and gave me a prescription (which I didn't take). Long and short - I was told it was musculoskeletal. (Sore muscles or a pulled something or somesuch, I assumed) So lately I've been wondering if it isn't something to do with my tummy troubles.

Anyway, what does yours feel like?? And where is it? Anyone else have this symptom?

Thanks - hope you're soon feeling better.

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HI

I had ( and still get) left side pain. The pain is in the upper left side under my ribs and is like a gnawing feeling and quite severe sometimes.

I was diagnosed last year with coeliac but had been having this pain for about 20 years and had initially been told I had IBS.

On the days that I get this pain I often have terrible night sweats and an upset stomach the next day. It leaves me feeling very tired and "not quite there".

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HI

I had ( and still get) left side pain. The pain is in the upper left side under my ribs and is like a gnawing feeling and quite severe sometimes.

I was diagnosed last year with coeliac but had been having this pain for about 20 years and had initially been told I had IBS.

On the days that I get this pain I often have terrible night sweats and an upset stomach the next day. It leaves me feeling very tired and "not quite there".

I don't know what that is either, but wanted say that I've gotten that upper left side pain also. The first time it happened, it was like a horizontal lightning strike. I could hardly breathe for a few seconds.

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HI

I had ( and still get) left side pain. The pain is in the upper left side under my ribs and is like a gnawing feeling and quite severe sometimes.

I was diagnosed last year with coeliac but had been having this pain for about 20 years and had initially been told I had IBS.

On the days that I get this pain I often have terrible night sweats and an upset stomach the next day. It leaves me feeling very tired and "not quite there".

I just wanted to say that I have that same left side (right under the rib cage) abdominal pain. I have had it for four years now and the first time I had it, It was also a really sharp pain that made it hard to breath or even move. I went to the ER and they said that it was just gas after testing my appendix. Since then I have had gas, that same sharp pain in my left abdominal, anywhere from diarrhea to constipation changing weekly. The doctors diagnosed me with IBS, but the medicine doesn't help, so I don't take it. I have also been diagnosed with a Hypo Thyroid and then three yrs later undiagnosed and given a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I am at a loss of what to do. I am 23 and can't get a doctor to take me seriously. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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It's probably not useful, but I get the pain too. I'd always thought it was gas, but it's very sharp, and in both my chest and abdomen at the same moment. I get it sometimes all of a sudden when I bend over. Your symptoms must make you feel really worn down by them. I can't believe you've had no luck with your doctor. Maybe have a look at who else is available near you - I think there is a section here somewhere. I have realised that I need to do the same thing! My doctor said I couldn't be celiac because of the colour of my eyes!

Regarding needing to eat slowly - Is it that the chewing helps the digestion process? If so, have you tried digestive enzymes? I take these when I eat a lot of veggies, and they really help. I also found they really sharpened my appetite!

Good luck to you,

Bell

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Hi,

I would push for full coeliac test bloods etc My sister who is also coeliac also had left side pain and by the time she was diagnosed she had total villous atrophy. My diagnosis took so long that I have osteoporosis.

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to those with upper pain - is it on front or back of torso?

Does it wrap around to your back?

Does it go away if you burp?

Do you find it comes on after eating a meal which is high fat? (assuming you

are eating gluten free)

During times when you have this pain are you experiencing constipation or diarrhea?

You can send me a private message if you do not wish to proceed on public forum....I am not a medical

person but I have these issues myself.

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Have you talked to your doctor about the chest pain? While considering Celiac, I would also want to make sure the doctor was certain the chest pain wasn't related to heart problems. That being said, I had mild, but sharp, left sided chest stabs a few days a month when I inhaled a little deeper than normal. It didn't FEEL like my heart or my ribs. It felt like it was immediately inside my ribs. I have not had that in my 9 weeks gluten-free.

Did you have a stomach biopsy, or an upper intestine biopsy (EGD)?

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Hello! I'm new here, too. I'm still not 100% sure if I have Celiac, but I'm trying the diet out to see if it helps my crazy symptoms I've been plagued with for years. I've been gluten free for 2 months now. Just wanted to let you know that I've also had that same terrible pain on my left side. I've been dealing with it for almost 19 years now. Mine feels like someone is grabbing my side with their hand. Their thumb is in my back and their other fingers wrap around to my front. AND it feels like they are squeezing so hard they are trying to make their thumb and fingers touch through me. Make any sense? That's the best way I can describe it. It's a very intense pain. I've noticed that it happens when I'm overly tired, stressed, and sometimes directly after eating. However, if I lay down on my stomach for awhile, it usually makes it feel better--atleast until I get back up. BUT, since I've been gluten free that's my one major symptom that has disappeared. But, maybe it's just because I'm eating healthier food...

If I were you I would give the diet a try and see what happens. Good luck!

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Yesterday I was minding my own business hugging my husband when I got the sharp pain in my upper left abdomen. Well, I looked it up and it sounded like my spleen to me, which freaked me out. I could not take a deep breath, or much of a breath at all. It lasted about 7 minutes, the pain was stabbing, and was like an 8 out of 10. I will say that I decided to try pooping, to see if it might be gas bubble, though usually my gas bubble are lower - and after I pooped, it did go away, but not instantaneously - more like 3 minutes later. There was a lot of air in the poop.

I've had this before, to a lesser degree, but this was ridiculous. I don't know if things bug your spleen or not.

My pain was in front under my ribcage and did not move to the back; not having just eaten fatty thing...well wait, maybe walnut butter; have been more constipated than usual for the past few weeks, but that day was a bit better; burping a bit more than usual, but only during eating time. I had eaten lots of cabbage the previous days, as I had a hankering for ginger stir-fry.

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I have had an 11 month bout (so far) of extreme pain on the left upper ribs / chest area. It was a combo of things for me. I had a diseased gallbladder, a gallstone stuck in the bile duct and an 8mm kidney stone.

I have had 1 surgery for gallbladder removal,

1 E.R.C.P. to remove the stone from the bile duct, contined to have severe pain.

1 endoscopic ultrasound (everything was normal), try this pancreatic enzyme....acid reducer...

begged to have a 2nd E.R.C.P. (finally removed "stone that had already passed"). Still continued to have pain 5 months into the start of everything. Oh by the way, you have a kidney stone...let's send you to the urologist.

2 seperate blastings of the 8mm stone and I still have pieces that I haven't passed "yet".

Did I mention 5 trips to th E.R., 4 catscans, 2 ultrasounds all the while here is another script for more percocet.

I sound like the 12 days of Christmas song...and a partridge in a pear tree.

Sorry little frusterated here. If anyone has any questions let me know. I think I'm becoming an expert on left side rib/chest pain. :angry:

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I got it again yesterday night, after glutening myself (on purpose! just to see!) and the pain came back just as before. It's sharp, when I breathe in, in the middle of the ribs. It makes me gasp, because I forget it's going to happen and then sigh... OW!

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My physical therapist thought it might well be a spasm of my diaphragm or muscles around there, since I have recently started QiGong, which has a lot of breathing I'm not used to.

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I've had a pain in my left side under the ribs for many years. It has mostly retreated since going gluten-free last year though. Flares up some times but not as bad. I think it is related to intestinal symptoms though not positive. For years before I went gluten-free, I used to lay in bed trying to sleep but couldn't. I found that laying on my left side a few minutes, then on my right side a few minutes, would help get things moving around inside. Some of the gas would come out. I believe that sometimes the pain is from inflamed intestines being blown up like a balloon from too much gas. I also think that if your intestines are inflamed and not working normally they can slow down and not be able to get things moving as normal. Basically it can just plain hurt a lot. I use psyillium husks in my food for extra fiber, and eat oatmeal. I know some people say oatmeal bothers them but it sits well with me. gluten-free made a big improvement in my GI symptoms and pain.

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My pain was in front under my ribcage and did not move to the back; not having just eaten fatty thing...well wait, maybe walnut butter; have been more constipated than usual for the past few weeks, but that day was a bit better; burping a bit more than usual, but only during eating time. I had eaten lots of cabbage the previous days, as I had a hankering for ginger stir-fry.

I don't know about the spleen - and my pain is behind my ribs, but I got it today a few hours after a greasy lovely omelette, and then a few hours later 2 little coconut macaroons. Could it be related to fat? How do we know? BTW both times I've had it since this thread began it's been followed by painless (no cramping) diarrhea.

??

-I had been gardening like billy-o in between all this, in case you were thinking I was a little piggy!

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I just wanted to say that I have that same left side (right under the rib cage) abdominal pain. I have had it for four years now and the first time I had it, It was also a really sharp pain that made it hard to breath or even move. I went to the ER and they said that it was just gas after testing my appendix. Since then I have had gas, that same sharp pain in my left abdominal, anywhere from diarrhea to constipation changing weekly. The doctors diagnosed me with IBS, but the medicine doesn't help, so I don't take it. I have also been diagnosed with a Hypo Thyroid and then three yrs later undiagnosed and given a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I am at a loss of what to do. I am 23 and can't get a doctor to take me seriously. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Sweetie,

Have they tested you for gallstones? I had the same pain when I was pregnant with my 4th child, and thought that it was heartburn - 6 months later, I was having my gallbladder removed because the pain didn't go away after my daughter was delivered.

Also, given that you have been diagnosed with POSD, chances are very good that you have either Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity. Many women find that after they try a gluten-free diet, they are able to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. Please consider asking your doctor to test you for Celiac Disease, and don't be afraid to INSIST on it if he/she isn't willing to entertain the possibility that you might have it.

Even if your test results come back negative, you may have a sensitivity to gluten. The Celiac medical community just released a statement earlier this year stating that Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) is a valid condition, and that most people who have this condition will have many of the same health concerns as people who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. The only difference between the two disorders is that the system of a person with celiac disease will perceive gluten as an invader and will start to attack it (thus causing an auto-immune reaction), while the system of a person with NCGS will perceive gluten as an irritant and the intestinal walls will swell to try and eliminate the gluten from the system. In both cases, the intestinal walls are affected and the surface area of the villi is reduced, causing malabsorption (and if not treated, a whole range of health problems later on).

I hope that you are able to find relief for your pain!

Love from Fort Worth, Texas

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Hi!

I have not been diagnosed either...but I have this pain all the time. It's a habit for me to rub the area! I'm always told it's gas, and then in college I had mono, and they said it was my spleen, then that was over and it was gas again! Now I'm wondering....

I am counting the days to see the GI doc and get scoped. I feel so yucky. My stomach is like a rock it's so filled with air. Of course all my lab work has been normal, just low WBC's. I haven't had a celiac panel. I'm going to talk to the doc, maybe he'll just order it for me. I ignored this for so many years, but it's getting worse.

Does anyone else feel bad when they don't eat too, and feel a little hungry but also nauseated?

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Oh mono and celiac - story of my life!

I too have the left side pain, behind my ribs, just feels like something's pushing against the ribs. It pretty much went away and came straight back when I did a gluten challenge...

BG

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Yes, I have this same pain - to the point that I thought I was having a heart attack. I have been gluten free for months then accidentally ate what I thought was gluten-free food and was not (we've all been there, I'm sure). The pain showed up the next day. It took a good week for the pain to subside. It feels nerve-related to me. When I get glutened, my symptoms are almost always neurological - migraines, back pain, visual disturbances, and brain fog. The other thing is that there was extreme heat in this area, like something is inflamed.

This pain seems to originate just below my shoulder blade, then wraps around to the sternum and is a squeezing, intense pain which worsens with deep breaths. I had similar pains 15 years ago when I caught chicken pox from my daughter - the doctor then said I had symptoms of shingles and chicken pox together. I had far more pain than itching. Shingles originates in the nerve endings where the chicken pox virus likes to reside.

I was glutened over Christmas as well, though not to the same extent as before. I ate what I thought was a safe chocolate only to find out they were handmade candies with Oreos inside! I have had a little remnant of the same pain since, though not nearly as intense.

I find it extremely interesting that so many have had the same experience. This seems to be unique to gluten sensitivity. I searched a couple of other boards for "chest pain" when it happened to me the first time, and I got several hits on those boards as well. I think this might just be another symptom that the medical community has no clue about, yet because of forums like this, we recognize how many people have the same thing.

laurie

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Hi there. I just wanted to add to this thread... I too have that wierd pain on the left side under my ribs. In fact that is the first symptom that eventually made me go to the doctor about a year ago. Unfortunately, I'm still trying to get a doctor to take it all seriously and help me find a diagnosis. Good luck to you all!

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[snip]

- upper left side abdominal pain

- sharp chest pain at times

[snip]

generally this type of intermittent pain after eating -- usually (but not always) distinguished by pain radiating up to the neck/shoulder region -- is caused by irritation of the vagus nerve and can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from esophagitis, pancreatitis & gastritis. all possible secondary symptoms of celiac disease.

usual disclaimer: you can't be diagnosed over the internet. there is certainly the possibility of more severe illnesses that could cause this pain.

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I'm a 24m and have been having gastrointestinal problems for about 8 years or so. I've been tested for almost everything under the sun (endoscopy, colonoscopy, barium swallow, stomach biopsy, heidelberg test etc.) and they can't find anything. Every test comes back normal and I'm so desperate to figure this out and turn my life around.

My symptoms are as follows:

- upper left side abdominal pain

- exhausted feeling all the time

- sharp chest pain at times

- shortness of breath

- bloating & gas after eating

- very deep burping

- have to eat very slowly (1-2 hrs for a normal meal)

- some constipation

- can't gain weight and never have been able to

- pale skin & ridges in finger nails

I had a stomach biopsy 4 or 5 years ago but it came back borderline and the doc said I was just gluten sensitive and diagnosed me with IBS. I've been reading a bit about latent celiac and trying to figure out if celiac might really be the culprit. I just can't seem to find anything else it might be. Last week I was tested for pernicious anemia but you guessed it, the test came back normal. I'm really skinny and look anemic but all of the levels are normal.

Thank you so much in advance for any help you can provide!

Those are my EXACT symptoms.....down to a "T" !!! If you figure anything out - pleaseeee let me know as I am still awaiting a diagnosis. I am on Nexium but it does nothing for the Sharp left side pain, bloating and Gas, deep belching, underweight, or constipation issue. I like you am pale and have the ridges as well.

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    • First, do you have celiac disease?  I assume you do.  Have you recently had a celiac antibodies follow-up blood test panel to see if gluten has been actually getting into your diet by accident or through cross contamination?  If you haven't had the test, you should ask your doctor for one.  You could also also ask for a follow-up endoscopy to see if you intestines have truly healed.  This will rule out if gluten is really the problem.    If gluten is not the problem, then your doctor needs to check you for other issues, like SIBO. There is a test to check for SIBO.  Has this been done?   Once a celiac, always a celiac.  There is no cure for celiac disease except to remain on a gluten free diet for life.    
    • I am so confused right now.... 6 years ago I went on gluten free diet... after being on it for the first yr I was 100%better up until 5 months ago in got the "flu" the doctors told me to cut out dairy sonic did and my diarrhea  became better but not completely gone would not have it every day tho. I went to the gi doctor and they said to cut out fructose and dairy and keep gluten out... yesterday I went to the dietitian to see what I can eat and she gave me the list for fructose... she said it should have been on a antibiotic for sibo.... eventually I will be able to add dairy back and maybe gluten.... I said how can I add gluten back when this was my first problem... she goes well through fructose goes hand in hand with it... I said with gluten I vomit and am sick for weeks.... fructose isn't that bad I vomit sometimes but I'm not sick for weeks.... I'm just confused on really what is going on and was wondering if you or someone you know had sibo from gluten and or fructose and how Is this all related?
    • I see no one has responded to your query.  Unfortunately I have yet to try making a pie crust.  It was something I never mastered before going gluten free.  Have you looked on Pinterest?  You might find something there.
    • I honestly feel like both doctors think it's all in my head even though there is proof.  Yeah there was a point when I felt crazy.  That was when I was being shuffled from dr to dr being given individual diagnoses of my problems.  None of those diagnoses ever made me get better.  Seriously I was diagnosed with heart palpitations, neurocardiogenic syncope, I was given a butt load of steroids because a dr felt like I was producing too much adrenaline, freaking had a few tell me I was depressed, and the good ol IBS.  It seemed most wanted to push pills.  It's all just ridiculous!
    • I can't believe your doctors!!! You have a daughter who is dx'd already! Yet the ped doesn't want to test your other kids unless you have a dx????!!! Are you kidding me???!!! That's absurd!!! They have a first degree relative who has been dx'd with celiac already. There is no need to wait to see what you turn out to be!! And then, and then, and then....don't even get me started on your doctor!!! Does he have brain damage? Oh this is insane & ridiculous!  I have never heard of a disease that doctors are so unwilling to consider or test for OR to diagnose as this one! Usually they are hot to trot to make a dx but say the word celiac & they shake in their boots. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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