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What is causing blood in stool, pain and discomfort in lower side of ribs?

Answered by
Dr. Das Arindam

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 1416 Questions

Posted on Sat, 5 Jan 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Hello. I was wondering what would cause ongoing, minor cramping pain/discomfort (it fluctuates) in the lower left side under the ribs? I've experienced this for the past month, and have had a history with possible IBS (IBS hasn't bothered me in a yr) Could this be an ulcer? I also socially smoke about 1 pack of cigarettes a week (which I plan on quitting).
I have experienced some bright red blood in my stools for the first time two days ago but haven't had any since. I constantly feel bloated, have had some indigestion, a loss of appetite, have been burping more often (including trapped wind) and have recently experienced a minor crampy discomfort shooting to my left side of my back, including a possible low grade fever today (unconfirmed). I have an appointment with my doctor Tuesday, but is there any emergency need at this point? My doctor's nurse told me yesterday over the phone that I should go to the emergency room, as I could have gastrointestinal bleeding, however, I do not have insurance at the moment and do not feel (based on my bodilyy instincts and from dealing with the minimal crampy pain for the past month) it is an emergency.... That's why I'm waiting until my appointment on Tuesday. Meanwhile, I wanted to get a second opinion because my anxiety about what could be wrong is trying to get the best of me during the waiting period before I see my doctor. Any help/advice would be appreciated. Thank you,
Answered by Dr. Das Arindam 1 hour later

Thank you for posting a query.

After going through your history, I think you were having gastrointestinal bleeding. But, may be now it is just the crampy pain. I can understand your situation. But I totally agree with the nurse that you really need to go to emergency for this. The condition can be seen in ulcers also. You need a thorough clinical examination, investigations like endoscopy, to diagnose the real cause.

As you told about insurance, you have no other choice except waiting for Tuesday, you should take a pantoprazole group of drug in empty stomach. It will lead to decrease the acid level. It will provide some relief irrespective of cause.

So, if you can go to emergency , it would be better. Otherwise, you can wait till Tuesday.

Hope this information suffices. Let me know, if you have any more question.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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