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syz's avatar

Could this be a gall bladder attack?

Asked by syz (35636points) August 16th, 2010

I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow (she couldn’t fit me in today), but in the meantime:

I woke up yesterday with pain just under my ribs in the center of my chest, near my xyphoid process. It’s severe enough that I can’t seem to catch my breath. No vomiting or diarrhea, but some sharp pains in my back, too. It gets a bit better with ibuprofen, but it’s been 2 days now and it hasn’t gone away!

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16 Answers

skfinkel's avatar

It could be. Glad you will meet with your doctor tomorrow.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, it is possible. Good call on seeing your doc.

Have you been eating a lot of rich, fatty foods lately? Over indulging?

Are you significantly overweight?

It might just be a flare up, stick to a very bland diet til you see your doc.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Sounds familiar.
Gallbladder disease runs rampant in my family and I had to have my gallbladder removed after a weight loss, have you lost weight recently?
@Coloma is right… stick to a bland diet in the meanwhile. I ended up in the ER on Easter one year because I was eating eggs and cheese, and after having hardly any fat in my diet for a long time, my gallbladder was very angry.

Coloma's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie

Thats interesting, weight loss and eating fat again. Makes sense.

I lost weight some years ago and never had the problem again, mine flared up when I was about 40 lbs. overweight.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Coloma apparently weight loss dramatically increases your risk of developing stones. Essentially when you are dieting your gallbladder is not doing as much work, so it fills up with sludge and stones form.

Coloma's avatar

‘sludge & stones’ nice visual. lol

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

That’s really what they are called. To the best of my knowledge, both can cause pain and discomfort. Either way, good that OP is going to see a physician.

I hope you weren’t eating and reading? ;)

Coloma's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie

No, but those words did have an ‘impact’. hahaha

cazzie's avatar

Gall bladders are funny things. It doesn’t sound like an acute attack, else you’d be unable to type at the computer… (Believe me,,, I’ve had two and pasted the stones to prove it) But, other than the painful achievement of passing the stones and recovering, it’s not worthy of much medical intervention… perhaps some good pain meds.

The point where you really have to worry is when you start running a fever and the pain is so bad that you can’t move. Then, it’s time to have the thing removed.

JLeslie's avatar

Usually the pain is towards your right side, but doesn’t mean it is not your gall bladder. Gall bladder attacks are usually EXTREMELY painful when it is an accute attack. Most women describe it as worse than labor.

syz's avatar

Well, bloodwork was inconclusive, ultrasound showed no abnormalities (except that I’m missing my left kidney!?!). Next step is a CT.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks for the update. Doesn’t sound like gall stones.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@syz you are missing a kidney and didn’t know beforehand? Thanks for the update, by the way.

syz's avatar

Yeah, I’m a bit freaked out by the kidney thing.

cazzie's avatar

My father lived about 60 years without knowing he had only one kidney. It never played a part in his ill-health.

Now that I think about your pain more, it sounds a bit like acid reflux. It could be a pain in the lower end of your oesophagus. There is a little valve at the end where it meets your stomach. The other thing is, does it hurt when you eat? or when your stomach is empty. That could help determine if it’s an ulcer or not. I’m sure your doctor has gone through all this with you. Pain in the abdomen can be strange because it can feel like pain in one spot, but the actual problem is somewhere else.

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