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Unusual severe stomach cramps even with clear scans

Hi, I am new to all this but wondered if anyone can advise? In 2018 I had a twisted bowel resulting in two major operations. I also had an incisional hernia repair in 2019. My health was reasonable until around a month ago and I’ve been in hospital twice with severe stomach pain, cramps, and continual nausea. The hospital has confirmed there are no Crohns, no colitis but put it down to inflammation.

I’m home but still suffering from severe cramps, especially after eating. During the day I get pain, cramping which ranges from grumbling to severe and regular feelings of nausea. Does anyone have any ideas what it could be? They reckon the twisted bowel was down to bad luck. I’m probably a bit underweight. 49 years old. Don’t drink or smoke, and my diet is fairly plain. These periods of pain just seem to be occurring this year and are becoming more regular. CT scans are clear, X-rays clear but the pain still here. Any help would be greatly appreciated. One doctor said it may just be pain from adhesions/scarring from my surgery.

  1. Hi ,

    I can certainly understand how the lack of answers can be frustrating. My best advice in times like this is to always listen to your body. If what your body is telling you is different from what your doctors are saying, we unfortunately have to be our own best advocates and fight for more answers. With that said, your doctors may be spot on with their assessments, but I don't think it ever hurts to get a second opinion. I want to share some resources with you. The first link explains how IBD is typically diagnosed. I believe knowledge is power so going into a doctor's appointment and asking specifically for some of these tests to be done may help:

    This second link talks about the importance of self advocacy:

    And lastly, this next links talks about tips for seeking a second opinion.

    I know I just threw a bunch of information your way and I hope I didn't overwhelm you. If you would like to talk through any of this information, I'm happy to help in any way. I truly hope you find some answers so you can get some relief from your pain. Sending you all the good vibes.

    Kindly, Crystal (IBD team)

    1. Thanks for the links Crystal

  2. I'm not a doctor but I do have thirty years of experience with IBD. In my opinion, one area to look into, would be intestinal adhesions. Not sure if you have had abdominal surgeries of any kind in the past, but, if so, abdominal adhesions from prior surgeries can cause a twisting of bowel or kinks in the bowel.

    These adhesions do not show up on a colonoscopy or any imaging. The reason is they take place OUTSIDE the intestine.

    The only way to confirm they are even there is exploratory surgery, but, in many cases, when other things are ruled out, and there is a twisting of bowel, this is the cause.

    I have had issues with adhesions myself and hence am suggesting that as one possible cause. Of course, check with your doctor and do your own research on this matter. Just highlighting a possible cause.

    Matt (Team Member)

    1. Hi Matt I had surgery in 2018 for a twisted bowel then a week later for a bowel obstruction. Lot of surgery and hospital say this latest pain is inflammation of the adhesions. I take it pain from these adhesions will flare up from time to time? They said there’s nothing they can do as removing adhesions will create more.

      1. ,

        I am so sorry that you are going through this. I hope that you have experienced some improvement since you have made this post.

        I'm wondering if you search online for natural remedies to heal intestinal adhesions, what would pop up. I am a firm believer that the body can heal if given the proper tools. Maybe consider reaching out to a Naturopathic Medical Doctor in your area to see what they could suggest? Just a thought.

        I hope you get relief soon.

        Gentle hugs,
        Elizabeth (team member)

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