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deesmith

Pain Upper Left/ct Scan/small Bowel Study

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After being gluten-free for a year and a half, I felt soooo much better!

Then, about a year ago I started feeling sick again. Symptoms: pain in upper left abdomen, especially after eating, nausea. Basically, I had to start eating really small meals or next to nothing. Oh, and the constipation I had suffered due to the celiac disease came back, worse then ever.

Went to doctor year ago (new because I moved). He ran some blood tests and I stuff (whatever those test are for your pancreas. All negative. So, apparently my pain was supposed to disappear.

I waited for my new insurance to start and saw the same doctor about 5-6 months later with same complaints. He decided that I need to see GI who only did endoscopy again, because I hadn't had one for 2 years. All negative, except the hiatal hernia I already knew about. Tried to be stricter about the hiatal hernia diet.

Still in pain and having it get worse, I went to doctor again. I asked for a CT scan, which I had asked for all along. Today the doctor's office called and said they want to do small bowel study because they..... (wait for it....) think my bowels aren't moving like they should! I said, "I could have told you that without ANY tests." They are not moving. Have to take 2 senna and wait, wait, wait.

Anyway, what could they see in small bowel that they didn't see in CT scan that may be causing problems? Any suggestions?

I asked her what they would do if they determine that things aren't moving like they should. She said put me on medicine and stricter diet.

I just want to feel healthy again.

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An abdominal CT scan will show pretty much everything, whereas an endoscopy is only so long. Plus, I'm assuming the prep for the endoscopy cleared everything out and the prep for the CT is just a drink.

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With the small bowel study what they are going to do is have you drink some contrast material. You may need to fast after midnight but not always, your doctor will tell you. Anyway, after you drink the contrast, and be sure to have them make it gluten free as not all are, they will then take some xrays to see your intestine and how fast the contrast travels through.

Most of the time you don't have to be 'cleaned out' for this procedure, I think the previous poster may have been thinking of a colonoscopy rather than an endoscopic exam.

There are some insurance companies that want the small bowel study done before they will approve a CT scan. The SB is much cheaper to do and can often find what needs to be found.

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This is very interesting--what tipped me off to my stomach issues being rather abnormal was actually due to a ripping pain just a little bit to the right of my left rib cage. I still don't know what the ripping pain is about, and I still get it. I also noticed it would get worse after eating--or if I had been sitting for a long time (I'm a student). I haven't had constipation with it, just serious diarrhea, which also tipped me off to something not being right.

Hope you're feeling better, deesmith! I'm interested to hear what the doctor tells you.

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The small bowel test gives them an idea of how the material can move through your small bowel, the CT gives them a picture of how it is at the moment of the scan only. They can't use an endoscpy or colonoscopy to get to most of the small bowel so they have to visualise it by getting you to swallow the contrast, and seeing how it moves down. They may suspect that you have a narrowing somewhere, or some other damage.

The pain in the upper left sounds a lot like me, I get a pain there after eating sometimes and I know all the food in my system is about to make a quick exit. I have other pains but they are non-specific, i know this one means run! My system goes through different phases that last a couple of months, at one time my stomach will be clamped up and I have no appetite but further down seems ok, other times my stomach feels fine but I am prone to D.

In case it is of help for you - I have recently seen a new gastroenterologist as I am still sick after being gluten-free about 18 months. Long story short he is going to repeat the endoscopy (last done in 2007) and add in an colonoscopy, and told me he suspects crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease. If he can't see anything with those scopes I may need to have a camera pill test so they can see right along the small bowel - this is an alternative to the small bowl study that they are considering for you (and way more expensive I imagine).

I didn't think I was bad enough for that, but he said that it can take years it to really show up in testing and there are differences in severity. I have been reading up on it trying to see how that diagnosis may fit with my problems, and it may.

Crohn's can affect any part of your digestive system, but one area it commonly affects is responsible for B12 and most of your iron absorption. I have lond standing iron and B12 deficiencies. I also can't eat fatty foods despite my liver and pancreatic enzymes being normal. Crohn's can damage the parts of your system that reabsorb bile salts, which somehow affects fat absorption. It can also cause exhaustion. Most relevantly it can damage parts of your digestive system to the point where you can get narrowing or blockages, or ulcers that can go very deep indeed. I don't know if it relates to hernias or not.

If anything shows up in your study I would discuss with your gastro if they have considered crohn's or not. Like I said I don't know if I have it, but reading up about it I can see why I am being tested for it.

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This is very interesting--what tipped me off to my stomach issues being rather abnormal was actually due to a ripping pain just a little bit to the right of my left rib cage. I still don't know what the ripping pain is about, and I still get it. I also noticed it would get worse after eating--or if I had been sitting for a long time (I'm a student). I haven't had constipation with it, just serious diarrhea, which also tipped me off to something not being right.

Hope you're feeling better, deesmith! I'm interested to hear what the doctor tells you.

This is exactly where I have my pain! Upper left side a little to the right and just under my rib cage. It's right after I eat and sometimes just on it's own. My doctors keep telling me I have an acidic stomach and that's it. I was never properly diagnosed with Celiac because I had taken the tests years after being on a gluten-free diet which I'm still on. My last endoscopy showed erosion, damaged cells and mucosa in the duodenum part of my stomach which my doctors never told me could be related to Celiac but I found a few articles saying it is. Does anyone know for sure if it is? And, has anyone figured out what this pain on the upper left side means and how to get rid of it?

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