Chronic Stomach/Back Pain that Travels

Patient

Q: For the last few weeks, I have had intermittent stomach and back pain. This pain is not severe and only occurs a couple times a day, but occasionally skips days. It began in my left back right when my kidneys are and was moderate. Now it is just mild and a dull pain, and is normally in my lower back but alternating sides. Occasionally, my stomach in the front hurts, usually lower on either side (or in middle) but this is not as frequent. My bowel movements changed about 6 months ago, but I do not believe there is an obstruction or a tumor because the stool change is not consistent. I experience both loose stools and the occasional constipation. Sometimes these stools are thin and pencil like, but I can still produce large formed stools. Could this be a food allergy? I just want to make sure I'm not overlooking something.

Symptoms:  Lower back pain, kidney (maybe?) pain, abdominal pain, change in bowel movements, occasional heartburn
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. It is possible that you have contracted a gastrointestinal infection which is causing your symptoms. The changes in your bowel movements and abdominal pain are indicative of this. However, we do not want to rule out any serious conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcers, or even cancer. For this reason we encourage you to go to your doctor conduct a full gastrointestinal examination, along with stool test. You may need to be referred to a gastroenterologist in order to have a colonoscopy performed to visualize the intestine for any the presence of tumors, or inflammation. Please be guided accordingly.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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