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Could this all be gallbladder, or something else?
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Could this all be gallbladder, or something else?

For almost 3 months, I've had a variety of pain and GI symptoms off and on. It started as pain under my right rib and lots of nausea and dyspepsia. I went to the ER and had an ultrasound of my gallbladder, CT scan and blood test, all of which were normal. A couple weeks later, a pelvic ultrasound found a small ovarian cyst on my LEFT ovary (though all my pain has been right-sided). Over the last month, my symptoms have worsened. They include:
-pain and feeling of tightness over my right back hip bone, pain down the back interior portion of my quadrucep, right groin tightness and pain, knee pain, and sometimes shin or ankle pain (could be sciatic nerve related but I'm not sure)
-burning pain in my right upper back/scapula region that gets worse when I lay down on my back
-right arm 'fatigue' (feels like the constant burning nerve pain is extending to my arm, so, for example, cutting vegetables or throwing my dog's ball has become painful - when I do those things, I feel worsening burning in my back and arm that forces me to stop)
-continued pain underneath right rib (sometimes just interior region near sternum, other times running all the way beneath my rib out toward my flank), although this pain is not always present
-sometimes the pain feels a little lower in my back (just below my ribs so if I twist or raise my arm across my body I get a 'snap' of pain), but not always
-sometimes the pain feels a little lower and central in my abdomen (like in my intestinal region), but that's usually temporary

I have no urinary symptoms, no discolored stool, and my symptoms are NOT affected by what I eat (fyi-i've always been active, i'm vegetarian and don't eat high-fat or processed stuff). Also, the symptoms are pretty constant, so I don't think I have stones because that would likely cause episodes of intense pain whereas what I have is constant pain that ranges from 4-9 on a scale of 10.

Could this all be related to a low-functioning gallbladder? Or something else? I don't have health insurance and cant afford further treatment. I understand no one can give me medical advice, etc - just looking for some thoughts and opinions. Thanks.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Understand your predicament. Sometimes gallbladder dyskinesia can also cause symptoms of dyspepsia. This a functional abnormality of the gallbladder and can be detected by a HIDA scan.

Also, considering the different locations of pain described, the pain could be due to compression of a nerve, the sciatic nerve. The resulting symptoms are often referred as sciatica. The pain can vary in severity and can be accompanied by numbness. This occurs due to spinal disc herniation (slipped disc), spinal stenosis (narrowing of spinal canal) or due to the piriformis syndrome. It can also be due to osteoarthritis or osteoporosis and sometimes due to tumors. But your scan does show degenerative changes and disc protrusion. I would advise you to consult your doctor for a reevaluation of your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your symptoms he may prescribe pain medications and may advise physical therapy. In the meantime, Avoid those movements or exercises that aggravate your pain. Try not to lift weights or bend as this can worsen your symptoms. Try applying local analgesic creams. Place ice over the painful area every 1-2hrs for pain relief. Sleep on a firm surface with a pillow under the knees and take OTC pain medications like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen. Ensure to take them after food.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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