Chronic Right-Side Abdominal/Back Gallbladder Pain

Posted by mkl8425 @mkl8425, Oct 21, 2018

A quick little medical history about myself: I have had IBS for years and have been able to manage it well. I am lactose intolerant, with certain dairy products affecting me worse than others. And I have been seen by an ENT for a chronic GERD related cough for which I was prescribed Prilosec.
For the last two months, I have been feeling an abdominal pain that has moved around as it progressed. Even before this, I have noticed that I have been burping quite a lot. It first started in episodes that would come for a few days then go away and come back a few days later. The first episode was on the right side near my appendix but then went away on its own after a few days. Then it came back on the other side and another time it was more in the back near my kidneys. Now it is becoming more frequent and is accompanied by occasional back pain. All of the pains are relatively mild but are becoming more frequent now. I have been burping a lot more now and it typically gets worse after a meal. The pain now is predominantly in my upper center/left abdomen. I went to my GP about five days ago, and she put the stethoscope up to my gut and said she heard A LOT of gas in there. I also have not passed a normally sized bowel movement in well over a week. They have been infrequent and smaller than normal, very thin, but normal colored. I have taken Miralax once a day for five days now but still have not passed a normal bowel movement, just smaller infrequent ones. Anyways, she ran some blood work and urinalysis on me to check kidney, liver, and pancreatic functions. Everything came back normal (somewhat of a relief) and I have a follow up with her in two days. Since my last visit, I have tried to limit my dairy intake, and well as my carb intake, such as breads and such. I have also been eating more fiber-rich foods and nothing has changed, in fact, things have been getting worse since my last visit. The back pain now comes instantly when I get up in the morning but fades over the day. And the GI symptoms flare up after I eat anything, especially the excessive burping. I’ve still been eating the same amount of food and my weight has stayed the same, but these symptoms are not only uncomfortable, but they are causing me such much unwanted stress and anxiety.

Does anyone have any similar stories? Can anyone share any ideas as to what might be going on or what I should ask my GP in two days?
Thanks!

@4man28

Hi I'm having similar frustrations…I am 28 years old female, i am hoping to maybe get some answers on here from anyone who has had similar problems. About 3 months ago I started to get weird back pain it was in the middle of my back more to my right side it would go from mild then with activity would get really tense tight pressure feeling then I would get really nauseous…thought I was maybe getting the flu went on for about 2 days like this then started a dull sharp pain right below my right rib cage and would radiate the pain to my back . only relief I would get would be laying down with a hot water bottle behind my back on my right side. In the past 3 months it goes from a week or 2 of every symptom very severe throwing up constantly sick to then being bit better for a week then flares up again feels worse…my pain tolerance is high so the constant burning stabbing feeling on my side I can handle but when the nausea sets in it's very hard to function. I have been to the doctor they have done a ct , they did an ultrasound of my kidneys, I have had a endescopy done, blood tests done etc all say normal the only thing was my blood tests showed my liver enzymes were slightly elevated but was told that was of no concern…I am someone who hates to even go to the doctor would like to just pretend that I'm fine and continue on but as much as I would like to my pain on my side stays…side note I had my gallbladder removed over a year ago …I was told by my surgeon that i should have my gi consider sphincter of oddi dysfunction? But seemed like she didnt really think it was…honestly very very tired of doctors and family thinking I'm crazy and it's just something simple like heartburn etc…if I could magically say I'm better and it was that easy would have done that long time ago. 

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Hello @4man28

I found the "Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction" mentioned by your surgeon to be interesting so I did some research and looked it up. It is something that happens after a gallbladder removal. Here is a link to some information about it,
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14516-sphincter-of-oddi-dysfunction.
If you read the symptoms you will see that many are quite similar to what you are experiencing and the interesting thing is that it is more frequent with people who have had their gallbladders removed.

Here is another article which discusses this as well and does mention the symptom of elevated liver enzymes.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4087924/ This article also describes some of the tests that can diagnose it.

You may want to search for a doctor who has some expertise in this area. If you are near the Mayo facility in Minnesota, here is information about a doctor who is experienced with this, https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/topazian-mark-d-m-d/bio-20054524.

We have another discussion about this on Connect, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-have-sphincter-of-oddi-dysfuncfion-it-causes-severe-upper-abdominal-pain/?orderby=DESC#chv4-comment-stream-header.

I would like to know how you are doing with this process of finding an answer to your pain. Will you provide an update?

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Hi all. Trying to find others who maybe have had a similar experience and figured out what’s wrong or how to deal. I have been have severe abdominal pain for months. A lot of the pain originates in the upper right quadrant of my stomach, right below the rib cage. I do have pain on the left upper quadrant and sometimes in the center (heart is fine). Also I have nausea with vomiting, regurgitation, heartburn throughout the stomach and cramps. My symptoms have been getting worse and worse and no diagnosis is on the horizon.

I am a 32 yr old male I had the lap band in 2007. I began to have stomach issues in 2016 and was basically in the fetal position for 3 weeks from intense stomach pain. ER and multiple drs couldn’t figure it out but the pain eventually went away and drs couldn’t figure it out and said come back if pain comes back. Few months later I began to have some discomfort and heartburn and pain. Thought it was the lap band. Had lap band removed March 2018 but nothing was wrong except the port was turned a bit. Had a harder time with recovery from band with pain in the middle of my stomach, next to one of my scars where the port used to be.

Heartburn started to affect me greatly after the band removal and started seeing GI. I was having some abdominal pain, with a lot of heartburn regardless of what I ate. Dr Put me on Carafate and omneprazol and told I have reflux. He also did a gastric emptying test which showed I have dumping syndrome.

The pain in my abdomen started growing in my upper right quadrant with sharp acute pain. Sometimes it felt like someone was twisting my insides, sometimes feels like a hot poker being stabbed into my stomach and other times like my stomach is being squeezed in a vice. I changed drs. Had an endoscopy , which showed grade B ulcers in esophagus with gastritis but no hpylori or Barrett’s. my symptoms started to get progressively worse and dr wanted to schedule capsule endoscopy but insurance wouldn’t pay until colonoscopy was performed. Had colonoscopy which was normal. As I was talking to dr after colonoscopy I was in tears to dr to schedule next test quickly because pain was becoming unbearable. I did not accept any pain medications from drs and instead use marijuana for the pain. Had a ultrasound a few months ago which showed 21cm fatty liver non alcoholic. I had a CT scan which showed prior infection damage to my small bowel. Every time I would look down or bend over I would get very nauseous with vomiting and My wife just gave birth in August so I look down a lot.

Very shortly after my colonoscopy I started to become unable to finish a meal. Food started to loose tase and eventually I stopped eating altogether. This was Around December 23. Since then I have lost 30 lbs. I am maybe able to push down 500 or so calories a day. Usually only after I smoke a lot of marijuana and even then I usually only have a few bites. I don’t feel hungry at all, even after smoking. It feels like my stomach/abdomen is always clenched and shut. If I do suddenly feel hungry if I grab something and try to eat I loose the sensation immediately and in mid chew the food tastes horrible.

My nausea and heartburn have subsided because of the no food but come back with anything I try to eat ( anything including plain rice, plain oatmeal and plain bread). But I still have regurgitation if I try to have anything or even with eating nothing. The pain is normally constant unless I smoke. I recently had a capsule endoscopy which showed gstroparesis (directly opposite the gastric emptying test) but a normal small bowel.I switched to a new dr in New York City whom is the head of the gastric dept in his hospital. He gave me peppermint pills and suggested CBD and ordered a new upper GI to see if my stomach is being pulled by anything. He took me off a lot of meds. I don’t know if the peppermint pills work but at least when I burp or regurgitate my throat tastes like peppermint.

I can’t keep living my life like this. My memory is shot to hell from the weed or the constant pain, take your choice. I own my own business and can barely function. I become unable to do anything or respond sometimes when the pain consumes all my thoughts.

From the lack of eating my energy is starting to diminish, I am getting migraines if I wait too long to eat something and I am starting to have a rash on my face. My sex drive however has increased. I have been getting lightheaded when I stand suddenly and the rest of my body is starting to ache more. I am trying to not go to the hospital. I don’t believe they will do anything aside from make sure I am stable and send me home to follow up with dr. Anyone have anything?

As a small aside- two days ago I ate a small amount and took a pull from my marijuana pen. As I stood up I let out the smoke and my vision got very clouded, my ears started ringing loudly and I began to sway. I felt like I was almost loosing consciousness. I grabbed my table and chair and held on. After 10-15 seconds my vision and hearing began to clear. This has not happened since and scared me deeply.

Any input welcome. Thank you!

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Hello. I started to have gallbladder pain in 2013, it would become so intense I wouldnt be able to catch my breath. Took years for doctors to listen and in 2017 had my gallbladder removed due to it functioning at 2%. After my gallbladder surgery I had complications. I had a bile leak at the pancreatic duct and at the heptic duct which caused me to have pancreatitis and caused my liver enzymes to spike. I then had an ercp and had stents placed to heal the tears in my bile ducts. I then had a pocketing of bile in a sac where my gallbladder fossa was. I then had to have it drained and it refilled. A month prior to the gallbladder surgery I started to have severe vomiting and diarrhea. The diarrhea got worse after the surgery. They placed me on a cholestyramine powder to help. It helped for a time but stopped. I was then later diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency because of the diarrhea, fatty stools, gas. Im continuing to experience 8-10 out of 10 pain everyday in my sternum under my right breast and into my back directly behind my epigastric region. All my CT and MRI scans come back normal, my blood tests normal. But the pain is becoming increasing. I need help, I can no longer function. Im in so much pain that it causing me to scream, because I feel as though Im being stabbed to death. It is so severe it literally knocks the breath out of me.Im also having a hard time finding someone to treat the pain since all scans come back clear. Im hoping to find someone with similar experiences. Im at my last straw.

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@jadillow

Months ago I had a hyda scan done on gallbladder and they said all was well even though I have had pain in that area off and on for a few years. I starting having a dull ache in that area last night and it has been constant. Not excruciating but noticeable. Should I be worried this and when should I see a doctor ?

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@jadillow I think any time you have a persistent pain like that it’s worth at least a call to your doctor. It could be something as minor as constipation but you won’t know unless you wait longer which could be risky. You know your own body. Do you feel as if it’s something more serious? Really, only you can make that decision if you should call now or wait a day or so to see if it goes away.
JK

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@contentandwell

@jadillow I think any time you have a persistent pain like that it’s worth at least a call to your doctor. It could be something as minor as constipation but you won’t know unless you wait longer which could be risky. You know your own body. Do you feel as if it’s something more serious? Really, only you can make that decision if you should call now or wait a day or so to see if it goes away.
JK

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I messaged my doctor and he doesn’t seemed concerned

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Months ago I had a hyda scan done on gallbladder and they said all was well even though I have had pain in that area off and on for a few years. I starting having a dull ache in that area last night and it has been constant. Not excruciating but noticeable. Should I be worried this and when should I see a doctor ?

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