Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Gallbladder symptoms
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Gallbladder symptoms

Can you have gallbladder pain for a week and then have it go away?  

Do the attacks usually recur after a certain amount of time?

I had pain for a little over a week but have felt fine since then.  I'm scheduled to have a HIDA scan done on December 31st.  Just wondering if it's common for these symptoms to occur, be quite severe, and then just seemingly disappear.

Thanks!
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11 Comments
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Whenever I would have gallbladder attacks, it would just come and go.  Mine would always hurt right under my right rib cage and then out my back.  I guess that if you have stones whenever they decide to move then you can have an attack.  I didn't have stones.  I had sludge.  Good luck with you HIDA scan.
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Avatar_n_tn
Symptoms can come and go.  It wasn't until the eights months prior to my gall bladder being removed that I was having symptoms more frequently and the pain was much more intense.  I had gall bladder disease and not stones so the pain would come and go.  After my surgery, I immediately felt better!

Gall bladder attacks can be provoked by certain foods.  Keep track of the foods you eat over the next few days.  If it is your gall bladder, you'll want to know what triggers your pain.  

If you have any questions about the HIDA scan, just post it.

Best Wishes.
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From your entry I understand you had g/b disease w/ no stones.  How did they determine that?  What were your symptoms?  What foods bothered you?  Was alcohol one of them?

I am having problems that seem to be in the g/b area.  No stones on ultrasound or any problems noted on other tests.  Thanks for answering.
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Sorry it took so long to respond.

I had an upper GI series, endoscopy, and colonoscopy.  My digestive specialist (DS) continued to insist it was just my reflux, esophagitis, and hiatal hernia causing my symptoms.  I was taking Prilosec and Ranitidine (spelling?) daily (maximum dose for each) and was still not feeling well.  The DS then tried to tell me I had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but I researched that and I did not have IBS symptoms.  After eight months, two visits to the ER, and numerous visits to my DS, I called my family doctor and he ordered the HIDA scan.  My family doctor said the medications I was taking would have helped after so long and that he believed it was my gall bladder.  The HIDA scan showed my gall bladder was functioning below normal.  I felt better immediately following the removal of my gall bladder.  

My symptoms were pain in my stomach (right below the sternum), pain in my right shoulder blade area, and pain on the upper right side in front.  I would have "attacks" of pain that were excruciating.

I was unable to eat greasy or fried foods (which I rarely ate anyway).  In the two months prior to my surgery, I lost 15 pounds because just about everything bothered me.  Fresh fruits and vegetables, slushies (like frozen cokes), bland soups, etc. were the things I was able to eat.  I think everyone is different so I would suggest you keep a food journal.  It's easy to forget what triggers the pain if you are having gall bladder attacks infrequently.  It's hard for me to remember and it's only been two years since my surgery!

I don't drink alcohol so I'm not sure how that would affect you but my guess is that it would bother you.

If you have not had a HIDA scan, I would recommend you talk to your doctor about having the test.  

My computer is "acting up" so if this posts more than once, I apologize!
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Thanks for the detailed answer!  My story closely resembles yours.  I have lost 20lbs because everything was making it worse.  It has improved - but I have been down this road before and still have pain.  Same foods bother me that bothered you and I can tolerate the foods you listed. I would describe my pain attacks as excruciating also. Everything seems to point to the g/b area.

I was able to get my  HIDA scan moved up to 8 Jan.  I am hoping it shows a problem.  I had one done in Oct 2000 that showed the g/b operating normal.  It was after my first attack and I was not in any pain at the time.  Thanks again for sharing your information.
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JodiMomX3 wrote:

> My symptoms were pain in my stomach (right below the sternum), pain in my
> right shoulder blade area, and pain on the upper right side in front. I
> would have "attacks" of pain that were excruciating.

I'm interested in your symptoms. "right below the sternum" is right
to the sternum or just below it ? Did you have the pains simultaneously ?
How did they improve , slowly or abruptly ? Can you describe the sort
of pain ? Both were "attacks" or only the right side pain ?

Why I'm asking:
I had sternum-pain attacks and some weeks later also right-side attacks,
2-3 times both of them.
Sometimes ,but not always, when the pain was worst , it improved suddenly
when bending forward or changing position.
gallstones were found ; thickened,infected gallbladder with many small
stones and grown-togethers (Verwachsungen) was removed. I had fundoplication
with same procedure.  And the pain was gone.

I never got a convincing diagnosis for the sternum-pain and I wonder,
whether and how the gallbladder could cause both ?
I had slightly elevated AP and bilirubin, but not much.
Was it the pancreas, maybe ?


keywords for searchengine: (I tried these invain, maybe someone
will find this post later..)
pain that suddenly stops
pain that suddenly stops
pain which suddenly stops
pain which suddenly stoped
pain which suddenly improved
pain which suddenly improves
pain that suddenly improved
pain that suddenly improves
pain that improved abruptly
pain which improved abruptly
cholecystectomy cholelithiasis
suggestions for other keywords, which I could search ?
(i.e. the sudden improvement seems quite uncommon)


***@****  from Germany
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Avatar_n_tn
I find these symptoms being described something like what I am going through.  Two years ago I had incredible back pain between my shoulderblades.  Just woke up with it.  I tried to work through the pain but later in the day the pain moved to my stomache.  Two days later my chest hurt so I went to the emergency room.  They ran all the test and said I had acid reflux.  Since then I have been on prilocec, previcad, nexium, Reglan and taking malox off and on.  I had an upper GI done that showed nothing.  I had a test run on my throat to see if it contracted right.  Nothing has taken care of the pain.  Sometimes I feel like there is a fist stuck right below my sternum.  My esophegus feels like somebody is squeezing it at times.  Right below my ribcage on the right I feel like I have a runners stitch.  Somedays I go with out that feeling most of the time I feel that pain.  My back still hurts some between the shoulderblades but not intense.  More like muscle tension.  I almost always have a bloated sensation in my stomache and feel like one large belch would do the trick, but after belching the feeling remains.  Some of what has been described on this site seems to be what others are going through.  Ticks me off that no one has suggested gallbladder problems, especially since I have been to three doctors and two gastrointernologist (wrong spelling) over a two year period.  Do any of you have these same symptoms?
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C7coal miner wrote on 18-Jan-03 :
> I find these symptoms being described something like what I
> am going through. Two years ago I had incredible back pain between my
> shoulderblades. Just woke up with it. I tried to work through the pain but
> later in the day the pain moved to my stomache. Two days later my chest
> hurt so I went to the emergency room. They ran all the test and said I had
> acid reflux. Since then I have been on prilocec, previcad, nexium, Reglan
> and taking malox off and on. I had an upper GI done that showed nothing. I
> had a test run on my throat to see if it contracted right.

never heard about such a test. Do you remember, how it's called ?

> Nothing has
> taken care of the pain. Sometimes I feel like there is a fist stuck right
> below my sternum. My esophegus feels like somebody is squeezing it at
> times. Right below my ribcage on the right I feel like I have a runners
> stitch. Somedays I go with out that feeling most of the time I feel that
> pain. My back still hurts some between the shoulderblades but not intense.
> More like muscle tension. I almost always have a bloated sensation in my
> stomache and feel like one large belch would do the trick, but after
> belching the feeling remains. Some of what has been described on this site
> seems to be what others are going through. Ticks me off that no one has
> suggested gallbladder problems, especially since I have been to three
> doctors and two gastrointernologist (wrong spelling) over a two year
> period. Do any of you have these same symptoms?

not quite.
I.e. no shoulder pain.Well, sometimes I have shoulder pain,but then it's
obviously due to wrong lying at night and improves after some days.

No esophagus squeezing pain.

I had runners stitch (side-) pain many years ago, associated with
lower abdominal pain, which had turned out to be a squeezed kidney stone.

I don't quite understand the "fist stuck pain". My sternum pain was
increasing, associated with belching and walking through the rooms
to provoke belching.But that only gave short temporarily improvement.
Unlike my right-side obvious gallbladder pain it was concentrated to
a snmall area of about 10cm^2 and sharper and always exactly at the same
place, at lowest part of sternum.
When it was worst, I also had vomiting.But sometimes it improved completely
within seconds/minutes while bending forward (I think) after lasting 3-7 hours.

Your right ribcage pain could be gallbladder related, if
- you are female
- it is food/eating related , i.e. fat,fruit,cookies or such
- lasts some hours upto 1 day
- the region hurts, when you press the fingers from above to surround the ribs
- you have intermittend nausea
- it should usually not be related to chest-pain or esophagus pain, although
in my case it probably was.
- if it's related to shoulder pain, then it should be the right shoulder
and moving downwards
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Avatar_n_tn
I'V BEEN READING EVERONES SYMPTOMS FOR GALLBLADDER PROBLEMS AND I SEEM TO HAVE ALL OF THE SYMPTOMS BUT MY PAIN IS ON MY RIGHT SIDE AND SOMETIMES ON MY RIGHT SHOLDERBLADE.  DOCS. THOUGHT MAYBE IT WAS HEART PROBLEMS HAD EKG (2) HEART ECHO AND GALLBLADDER TEST ALL CAME BACK FINE.  MOST RECENTLY I'M BEING TREATED FOR ULCERS W/ NEXIUM (LAST WEEK) DOESN'T SEEM TO BE HELPING.  NOW MY DOC. THINKS IT COULD BE GIARDIA. PLEASE IF ANYONE HAS HAD OR HEARD OF THESE SYMPTOMS PLEASE POST ( NAUSEA LOST OF APPITE CONSTANT PAIN/PRESURE UNDER LEFT BREAST SOME PAIN IN LEFT SHOLDERBLADE.
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Reading your information. I was looking for the symptoms I was having. My doctor ran the x-rays on me and found stones and my gallbladder was 15% operational. But no pain. He gave me the option to wait for pain or do it now. I opted to save some money. I've had no servere pain what so ever. A few attacks. The shoulder blades one I related to. But I do have mild back pain and a stiff back all day long. My mild pain is below the rib cage. Feels like I strained my back...Muscle very tight. I work at computer all day so i'm not lifting much. Does anyone have these symptoms? I will be scheduling my visit next. The time is available and so is the cash now. thanks.
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Reading your information. I was looking for the symptoms I was having. My doctor ran the x-rays on me and found stones and my gallbladder was 15% operational. But no pain. He gave me the option to wait for pain or do it now. I opted to save some money. I've had no servere pain what so ever. A few attacks. The shoulder blades one I related to. But I do have mild back pain and a stiff back all day long. My mild pain is below the rib cage. Feels like I strained my back...Muscle very tight. I work at computer all day so i'm not lifting much. Does anyone have these symptoms? I will be scheduling my visit next. The time is available and so is the cash now. thanks.
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