SEVERE upper left abdo pain radiates to shoulder.

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 4/20/2012 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I always post here when im out of sorts! sometimes you guys answer me better than the medics!
I went to A&E a week a go because i had been suffering SEVERE pain under my left rib, it radiated up my back into my shoulder, took my breath away. It never really went away just dulled if i took paracetamol all day every day. And then itd still come on like an attack.

So i went and spent 5 hours in a walk in clinic (im on holiday) to see a doctor, who to be fair was great, he had no idea what was wrong, he listened to my chest and my history my own concerns, had a small feel but stopped as soon as i (yelped) asked him to be more gentle. he also checked my legs for swelling and tenderness. right away he referred me to A&E as he had no idea and i was in agony. He wanted them to check my bloods my chest and do an xray.

The A&E dept were horrendous, hence why i havent gone back there, yet! They left me sitting around until 2 am, they did an ECG (normal) bloods (ever so slightly raised) chest xray again normal. (i never saw any of the results mind you) well the doctors packed me off in the morning saying i must be at the end of an infection, and after theyd dosed me up on a bunch of tramadol and paracetamol i was too tired and pain free to want to argue and be there any longer.

Well luckily for me the pain went away for about a week, last couple of days its started surfacing though...
its agony when it comes on like an attack, the dull pain i can bare, but its hurting my chest and sometimes my lower abdo is a dull pain too.. it concerns me cos i cant breathe and its spreads to the shoulder area...
My crohns is being very well behaved on the bm toilet front. no real problems no joint pain, only tiredness from the early waking due to the pain... cant really tell if its because ive just spent 6 months in sunny america but i am constantly freezing, sometimes my face will flush hot but the rest of me is cold. not had any fevers or night sweats, i do get severe nausea with the pain onset
i have had (but i often get it, ususally caused by stress) half a red eye, also on the left side.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? serious enough to endure another possible over night stay in a disgusting hospital. (i mean if this pain doesnt clear up with something i am going to have to go back...)

any advice im so grateful, just fed up of the pain.
thanks, novice.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/20/2012 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I had this exact experience, but on my right side. It is scary and does take your breath away. I even took an ambulance to the hospital. It has turned out to be a side effect of obstruction in the small intestine due to crohns. The intestines above the blockage get swollen, causing pressure on the diaphragm, and causing pressure and pain radiating to the shoulder. I hope this can be scary not to know wht is going on. Good luck to you!
*Diagnosed in 2001 at age 21 with crohns. *Resection in 2002 removed 18 inches of small intestine *Resection in 2007 removed 3 inches of small intestine. *Structureplasty in 2012 on small intestine...back in hospital with same obstruction 5 weeks unsuccessful.
*currently weaning off prendizone, taking humira every 2 weeks, and 100 mg of azathioprine daily
*BLESSED beyond words!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4413
   Posted 4/20/2012 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Did they do a CT scan or MRI...maybe it is obstruction pain. Could it be severe gas? I get gas pains up into my back that can hurt for 8-10 hours, but never for a whole week like you have described. When it happens, I have to completely stop eating any solid food until it goes away. I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm so sorry! I hope you figure it out soon!
53 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS. Disease spread 12/11 to distal ileum. Dx. with c.difficile and gastroparesis 1/12.
MEDS: Pentasa- 6 500mg pills per day, Omeprazole, Metamucil, colace, miralax as needed, Florastor probiotics

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 4/20/2012 10:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both, no CT or MRI the hospital wasn't that interested! Lol!
I have suffered with bad gas and constipatiOn pains in the past and I don't know this just doesn't quite feel the same and as you said it was never as inconsistent nor did it last this length of time.

I don't know if I think it's an obstruction cos I am still having regular bowel movements maybe twice or 3 times daily. Never really have had 100% normal stools so to me they seem normal... Eating, drinking or passing stool does not seem to effect the pain nor relief from what I have seen (food may cause pain an hour later, but it happens even on an empty stomach too) I think should it frighten me again the way it did last night I shall have to return to that horrible hospital on monday lol
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