In the acute stage of a gallbladder attack, pain may be referred to the lower chest. The pain is often severe, steady in character, and may show changes in the electrocardiogram. Gallbladder colic may also trigger chest pain in someone with silent coronary artery disease. Chronic gallbladder disease may produce recurring lower chest and upper abdominal chest pain. Gallstones are readily identified with an abdominal ultrasound examination.
Symptoms may include one or more of the following: chest pain in the right side (caused by stones in the bile duct or inflammation or swelling of the gallbladder itself). Nausea or queasiness, vomiting and gas are frequent. There may or may not be belching or burping. The gall bladder, which sits just below the rib cage to the right of the stomach, is very tender to touch. It can be so painful that it takes your breath away.
You may not be able to walk without bending over. Sometimes the pain radiates through to the back
shoulder blade on the right side or in the middle between the shoulder blades. This is pain from the gallbladder being referred to the back of the shoulder. This back shoulder blade chest pain is one of the most common yet unknown symptoms of a gallbladder disorder. This can come and go or be constant. It may be sharp, excruciating or dull. It may also occur especially at night.
An gallbladder attack will typically last for one to four hours.
It seems from my research that chest pain is a common symptom. I would advise you have it checked out with your Dr though to be absolutely sure as chest pain can often be a signal of heart problems too. Better safe:)
I hope this helps you if you need further help please let me know!
Thanks so much. I started having these attacks (don't know what else to call them) last night I have had 2 since that lasted for about an hour or a little longer each. It really scared me becuase it hurt so bad, I had never had this type of feeling, was in my chest and was hurting through my pain meds that I am already on for my ribs. I called my mother who is a retired nurse and she thought from what I described over the phone it might be gall bladder pain. It sure sounds similar to what I am experiencing. I thought maybe it was brought on by me being upset and sad the past couple of days. Thanks again I will do some research too and probably call my doctor.
Hello, I happened upon your post as I was doing a search on gallbladder .. hope you don't mind me stopping by as I have gallbladder issues (9yrs worth) and recently my 17yr old daughter endured an 8 day stay at the hospital which took 5 days to figure out she had severe dysfunctional gallbladder and had it removed and is doing fine.
I do not get pain as you describe, but my daughter used to get that type of pain. In my daughter's case it was referred pain from the gastro acid reflux that she got terribly bad along with the gallbladder issues. It was a double edged sword .. the pressure would press up on her diapraghm and cause pain as you describe.
But I am not a Dr., just a patient like yourself and I suggest you be followed by a good Dr., becuase gallbladder left untended can become infected and be like appendicitis and rupture causing serious concern.
I have stones (documented by CT Scan when I went for kidney stone checkup) but I have been asymptomatic for 2 years now which is wonderful. Mine started with pregnancy 10yrs ago.
Hope this helps .. and btw, even the strongest prescripton painkillers did nothing for my daughter in the hospital for her gallbladder pain until it was removed and pathology indicated hers was never properly formed from birth!
I had GB attacks on & off for a good year. They did every test in the book on me. When they did the Nuclear Liver/GB test on me the first time it came back negative. But when I had the test the second time ( a year later) it came back that I had a functioning rate of less than 3%. I told the lab technician that I noticed she did the test a little different. Come to find out the first one did the test all wrong. (when they inject that warm solution in, they are suppose to inject in over a 20-30 minute time frame. The first one did the injection within a 5 minute time frame. I got a horrible burning sensation and they had to call a Doctor from the ER in the hospital up to the testing room. They kept putting ice all over my body to cool me down. Scared the bloody hell outta me!)
My main symptom was pain in my chest, center, front & back- level with your breastbone. And also right under my right breast. Felt like someone was squeezing something inside me. Pain meds did not work.
After the surgeon saw the results of my test (minus no gallstones showing) he told me that their are 4 main symptoms of GB trouble: PAIN, PAIN, PAIN & PAIN. He said that people who came to him and complained of upset stomach, he didn't worry about. But people who came in and said they had pain in the area you desribed is more than likely GB trouble. Other things like reflux also cause upset stomach. They also ruled out hernia on me too. He scheduled me for surgery the very next day. He told me I had no gallstones but a very diseased GB.
Now for the bad part: Right after the surgery I kept having The big D (diahrea) --having about 7 rounds of that upon awakening daily. I could not hold hardly anything down. I asked the surgeon but he said it was not related. I lost about 20 lbs in 6 weeks. Went to have a colonoscopy and the Gastro doctor says: Everything looked clear EXCEPT it appeared as though my main bile duct looked very irritated. He said "This happens alot to people who wait too long to have their GB removed."
I was so mad. For a year I suffered with that and could not get a proper diagnosis. So the Gastro doctor slaps a IBS-D diagnosis on my chart. He said sometimes these things clear themselves up, othertimes you have to take meds for the rest of your life to control it. Just what I wanted to hear!
Good luck with all your tests. Make sure they do that Nuclear test right on you.
I put up with the pain of gall bladder attacks (yes, they are attacks) for about 4 yrs. That was about 20 yrs ago. I even went through a pregnancy w/ gall stones (i was told this is very dangerous). If I had known the surgery was as easy as it turned out to be (laproscopic), I would not have stupidly waited 4 yrs before having it done. One other good thing came from it though, I had a tubal at the same time as my gall bladder was removed. Two birds with one stone so to speak. Good luck!
Your chest pain may very well be gallbladder related but chest pain is never something that should go undiagnosised. As a former ER Nurse I saw pts come in with "gallbladder attacks" that were MI's (Heart Attacks). So never mess around when you have chest pain. I assume by now you have called your physician, if not do so now. They can check your cardiac enzymes to determine if your chest pain was heart related. You did not say if you have a HX (history) of gallbadder disease. Your "chest pain" can also be GERD or any number of other things but do not hesitate to follow up with your medical provider.
The Best to You, Tuck
Thanks for sharing your story; my dd (17yrs old) gets the Big D as you describe; they told her about a yaer to regulate, but given she was born with dysfunctional GB I wonder how messed up she is, too, in that bile duct dept !!!! She eats any fat and out it comes; one way to keep trim but she says she'll take that over the GB symptoms anytime.
Her HIDA Scan was 4% .. anything below 35 is considered not normal!
I hope you feel better one day soon ...... it's awful to live with pain pain pain ..
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