How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr Chip (M.D.) Your Own Question
Dr Chip (M.D.)
Dr Chip (M.D.), Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 32750
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr Chip (M.D.) is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Pulsating feeling in the left side of my abdomen

This answer was rated:

I have a pulsating feeling in the left side of my abdomen about 3 inches in diameter right below the rib cage. It comes and goes about every 2 minutes and last for about 3 minutes. It is sparatic in the pulsing. It has been consitant for about 2 days. Any ideas?
Pulsating as in like the heart or more of a vibration of the abdominal wall? Or more like the moving of gas?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It almost feels like muscle spasms, but it is underneath the muscle. In comparison, my left side is a little stiffer when pressing than my right. The pulsating is worse when sitting. It has started to have a dull pain over the past 2 hours.

I am 27, 228 lbs, in very good health.

Any changes in bowel movements?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No sir. Normal consistency and intervals.
when you put you hand on the area--can you actually feel the vibrations?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It is almost like an irregular hearbeat, but the power of the pulsing varies.
But so far as you can tell the muscle doesn't spasm or vibrate?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No. It is under the muscle between the lower oblique muscle and rib cage
OK. Most likely this is actually movement of the colon since there really isn't anything else to cause this. You may be having a small bout of something called splenic flexure syndrome--a variant of irritable bowel syndrome--and it may stop soon and never return. If that wasn't the case, and if you had more of a cramping and gurgling sensation and some loose stools, then I would work you up for that.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have not had any problems with bowels. Everything has been normal. It is more in the kidney region.
Didn't say you had problems as yet, but are you saying this is really in the back and not your abdomen?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry for the confusion. It is almost directly on my left side. Between the abdomen and the back. If you make a C shape with your hand and place it above the hip bone, thumb to the back, it covers the area from tip of thumb to tip of mid knuckles on fingers. Height is width of hand.

OK--then it is the back, or, at least the muscles and not the abdomen itself. Have you ever had this sensation anywhere else?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK--to shift gears here--we have to be talking about a muscle spasm or fibrillation. Potentially this may mean nothing at all and again may not go on beyond today, That said, if it increased or appeared elsewhere, then it could represent an electrolyte imbalance, a thyroid problem, vitamin deficiencies, of--very unlikely--multiple sclerosis or ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). I think still it isn't anything serious--no more than when one has a period of an eyelid twitching--but if it persists, you should have it checked out.
Dr Chip (M.D.) and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you