Gallstones... anyone else got constant pain under right breast

Posted , 15 users are following.

Hi, I've been diagnosed with 'multiple tiny gallstones' and told I need to get my gallbladder removed.  I'm really concerned because my symptoms are not the 'typical' ones that most people I read about seem to experience, ie. most people seem to be ok, then next minute get terrible attacks of pain (usually after eating 'fatty food') and then after a certain amount of time the attack subsides and they're ok again.  I've not really had any problems with nausea and suchlike but i do have constant discomfort right under my right breast (it often hurts to wear a bra). At various times throughout the day this discomfort changes to a really intense pain in just this small area (often feels like there is something stuck right beneath my rib).  It also sometimes feels like a really deep bruise type feeling.  I'd just really like to know whether anyone else has this same problem as I'm seriously worried that it's something else other than gallstones. Many thanks

0 likes, 35 replies

Report

35 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi, Carol, sorry to learn you're having these difficulties.  It's important to know that not everyone has the same "classic" symptoms described in the medical literature.  Each person on this site probably experienced different symptoms. If your body has gallstones, it's going to keep producing them.  I believe that it's best not to wait until you are horribly sick to try to get something done. Some of those who have written in have been very, very ill and have had to wait months for surgery.  Months of illness certainly take a toll.  Best of luck to you!  Let us know how you get on!
    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks very much for your reply Lynda.  I do realise that not everyone has the exact 'classic' symptoms but it gets worrying when you don't hear of anyone else having the same symtoms as you have yourself, eg.  i even started to think maybe the pain isn't from the gallstones.. maybe i've got a peptic ulcer.  Having said that, i think i've probably been in denial since the pain just started from nowhere during a period of massive stress, hence me thinking it might have been an ulcer that had flared up. Best wishes!
      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi I have suspected gallstones and waiting for an scan appointment, all night I've been in agony with pain at top of my right breast into my arm, like I'm being stabbed, has anyone else suffered these symptoms coz I've no pain in my stomach 

      Report Reply
  • Posted

    How long have you had this? I ask because that's how mine started. Believe me when I say it can get MUCH worse. About 4 years ago I started with that and then the attacks started some time later until last October, when I got cholecystitis. It's nasty. This is brewing for you and if stones have been found then the diagnosis is most likely right. You just haven't had an attack yet. Stick to a very low fat diet. This is so important! Then get the gallbladder out before it gets worse.
    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi lisa,  I'm really glad to hear from someone who's had the same sort of constant pain, etc.  The problem started about 3 months ago now and has been constant since then.  I was surpised when you said you started like this about 4 years ago... how on earth did you put up with it for so long? Weren't you referred to a surgeon as soon as they found the gallstones?  From when you started with these symptoms... did they stay at the same level for quite sometime until you started getting the bad attacks? I have been on a very low fat/no fat diet since i first suspected 'gallbladder' (and had actually already been on one for a long time before that).  In all honesty just before i went to see the surgeon i 'tested' eating a few high fat foods just to see what happened and i can honestly say it didn't make any difference.  I've had a flare up of the bad pain after eating a small bowl of homemade soup so i know it's really not terribly dependant on what i eat.  I've read on this forum that other people also are fine with foods containing fat.  The only food that i seem to have a real problem with is tomatoes or tomato based products.  Did the pain under your right breast disappear after you finally had your gallbladder out?  Sorry for asking soooo many questions.
      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Carol, sorry this is long but!

      I'm still waiting to have my gallbladder out. My op is on the 19th of this month. When my pain first started it was a discomfort under my ribs right hand side. I thought it was tight waist bands trapping wind perhaps, that's all. But then it got so that it felt that even my breast put pressure there. Id sit with my hand lifting my breast up! I'd put on quite a bit of weight. Some time later, in the summer I had a bbq and ate some ribs. I got terrible cramping but I thought it was just the ribs and alchohol. I ignored it.

      Then I started feeling quite bloated on occasion and my hands and feet would swell, my tum would gargle and the feeling of pressure under my ribs was worse. Like a fist under there, sometimes a stitch. It was a very gradual thing. I got full quite quickly and I'd get a stitch feeling. I got super hot flushes a lot as well. I ignored all this and put it to the back of my mind really.

      Then I went through a phase of attacks about 2 years ago. Like you, nothing in particular set me off or so I thought. The attacks would only last for 20 mins to an hour or so in the evening. By the next day I couldn't be bothered to go to the doctors. I'd had some problems with doctors not related to gallbladder and I thought I would just be messed about. I didn't think the doctor would be able to do anything if I wasn't in pain when I went. I'd guessed it was gallstones and took apple cider vinegar.

      I didn't have another attack for a good 8 months. Then last May, out of the blue I had one that lasted a while. The next day a good friend of mine was visiting me. I hadn't seen her for ages and she doesn't live local so I put off going to the doctors again. I then thought I will go to the docs one day and mention it but see how I go. I still had the discomfort but I didn't then have another attack until October but this was different. I felt very tired and nauseated the day before and my stomach was bloating. I had water retention as well and could not go to the toilet. I had a big family dinner when the pain started. I kept taking myself off to sit on the loo, lay down, walk about, thought I was going to be sick. I didn't know what to do with myself. The pain eased off a little and I went to bed early. The pain got worse and had me tossing and turning all night. I was soaking in sweat. I'd get out of bed rock for a while, try to go to the loo and was repeatedly sick gallons of bile. I held off until 6am when I told my husband to ring for an ambulance. I couldn't take it anymore. When I got to hospital I was quickly diagnosed then after blood tests and an ultrasound. I had multiple gallstones which turned into cholecystitis. It was horrible. After three days in hospital, I went downhill. Despite the IV antibiotics, I needed oxygen and my blood results indicated a possible blockage. My antibiotics were changed and I was booked in for an MRI the next day. I woke the next day and felt like the room was spinning and I was falling backwards. It was awful and I vomited a whole bowl of sludge. I went for the MRI and my bile duct was inflamed. They think I passed a stone thay had got stuck. It was awful. I never felt so unwell in my life and I was in hospital 9 days on IV's and discharged on a weeks worth of oral antibiotics. My bloods have never resolved since and I've had to wait all this time for surgery.

      I've been told to stick to less than 3% fat diet. I didn't think anything in particular set me off but the week leading up to my big attack, my diet was appalling. It was strange because I actually had less bloating and discomfort so I ate more rubbish because I felt so well. The Friday my hub bought me a fresh cream Victoria sandwich slice and when I went round to my mums she'd bought a lardy cake. I felt well so I ate some of that too. The Saturday evening me and hub had a takeaway pizza and some beers and the Sunday was the day I suffered all day, all night before I was admitted to hospital on the Monday morning. What I'm saying is, I wouldn't assume it will be ok because it might not be. If you are on the list for surgery then I would hold off eating anything that might trigger an attack or blockage. When you eat fatty food, your gallbladder releases bile. Cholecystitis starts because the gallbladder contracts and the stones move around and can get caught in the neck. That's when infection can start. You may be fine one day eating what you like but the next, the gallbladder spits a stone. If you are lucky it will pass quickly but if you are not, well, you don't want to find out. I've stuck ridged to the 3% and have lost 3 and half stone. Much needed but I've had less bloating and discomfort. I've had mild attacks and I get the stitch but touch wood I've avoided anything worse. It's not easy to do and it's so boring but I'd rather starve than ever go through that pain again just because of what I've eaten. I wasn't brave for not going to the docs sooner I was stupid. Lol

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi lisa,

      Please don't apologise for your long 'posting'.. I'm very grateful to you.  It sounds like you've been having an awful time of this... particularly in relation to the 'cholectcystitis - that must have been terrifying!  When you said that you were diagnosed with 'multiple gallstones', were they 'tiny' ones like mine or were yours bigger.  The reason I'm asking is that i think i may have a false sense of security in thinking that because mine are only tiny there is no risk of them getting 'stuck in the bile duct'. 

      When you said that at the start of the problem you had the feeling of having something 'like a fist stuck under your ribs', this is exactly what i said to my GP when i first went..... that in itself was a really awful feeling.

      I understand what you are saying about the 'fatty food'.  I really have been incredibly good since i was first diagnosed - l just began to associate food with ''pain'' and it was actually easy not to eat anything bad because of this - also at the start i definately had a reduced appetite anyway. i only tried the fatty food before i was going to see the surgeon but i know that it could be easy to try, say a cake, and think i was fine with that so I'll have another and then the second time you eat one you get bad pain or the dreaded D.  When i first went to the doctor my symptoms / pain were much worse than they are now - I seemed to get a bad flare up of pain every evening about 5pm despite eating very well / /hardly anything.  That seems to have stopped now and I've only been getting the really bad pain once a week (always on a Saturday???). This has also puzzled me as i thought that the symptoms/pain would get steadily worse, not get better. Having said that, after reading your post, you seem to have got better - in relation to just getting the milder attacks and the stitch like pain - and put that down to just being very careful with what you're eating.

      Not long now until your operation - i exect you must be feeling nervous.  I really hope everything goes very well for you and you'll come back on here saying how great you're feeling.  lol

      Report Reply
  • Posted

    Hi carol your symptoms are exactly the same as mine when it started , the only way I could describe it was that it was behind the breast tissue and often felt sore to touch.My problems went undiagnosed for 8 years until recently I became so ill that I was forced to pay for private medical care (luckily part funded by employer ) and had my gallbladder removed in Jan .I was really lucky as my large stone had become lodged in the bile duct and blocked it nearlly completely. The consultant was shocked how ill I had become so quickly as a week before I had a scan and the stone had been in my gallbladder.I had difficulty sitting in work and thinking back everyday chores had been draining. On the positive, now Ive had the op I do still get some pain after eating fatty foods but cutting those out feel better every day.               Good Luck and feel better soon
    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply lisa.  i take it your gallstone did not show up on the scan if the problem 'went undiagnosed for 8 years'.  I too feel very tired all the time and have done for some time now. I'm glad that you have got through the operation and seem to be doing well.... i hope that continues.  I have an appointment for surgery in about 8 weeks time, which is probably going to be 'open surgery' due to my having previous major bowel surgery which has now doubt left lots of scar tissue.  Thanks again!
      Report Reply
  • Posted

    It sounds like you are experiencing the early symptoms of gallstones.  As other folk have said it can get far far worse.  My advice would be to deal with it now rather than wait until you are really poorly.  Also, issues in surgery can occur when you are very sick and infected.  Good luck to you
    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you... in regard to it getting far worse.... it's been really awful so far so i actually dread the thought of it getting worse but i know you are right in saying that.... when people talk of being rolling around the floor and screaming in pain.  My main worry was that this pain was not actually casued by gallstones but other people seem to say that they started the same way... so that's reassuring to know in a sense.  I'm so scared of going through surgery and then finding i still have this same pain afterwards.  Best wishes
      Report Reply
  • Posted

    Hi carol Id been to doctors in my late thirties complaining about this pain and was reffered to breast clinic as there is some family history of cancer, this was all checked and because my mamogram came back clear they told me it was athritis in my chest wall so as I was fit and healthy I just put the extra pains down to  getting worse with age .It was only when the pain started going into my side and back that I  really started to worry and went back to drs that was in oct last year .they put me on a nhs waiting list and because I was still waiting for a scan in dec my work colleuges persvaded me to use my insurance, as they had noticed how uncomfortable I was in work sitting all day.So I had the scan on the 17th of dec  went along to see consultant the fri after and he admitted me on the spot which was a shock for me and my family, the problem was due to it being so close to xmas the hospital couldnt perform op until the new year, but the surgeon made it clear if I ate or drunk anything at all fatty or had anything but tea and water I wouldnt make it to op date and would be in hospital before. by the time I had the op I was nearlly on my knees with the pain . The pain onder my breast has gone but Im still suffering depending what I do and eat. Hope this helps xxx
    Report Reply
    • Posted

      Hi lisa,

      Thanks so much for your reply.  When i started with this pain i had not long since had a routine mammogram (which was clear) otherwise i think i would've worried about having it being a breast tumour. Wearing a bra was also really painful with it (i kept going out and buying new ones - thinking the one i was wearing was the wrong size).  It's interesting that like you, i also felt very uncomfortable when sitting down.  I was much less aware of the problem when i was walking.  When i went to the GP and got referred for an ultrasound the waiting time (despite being listed as 'urgent') was several weeks so i paid to get one done privately - i wanted to know whether or not i had gallstones straight-away, not in 5 weeks time!!  It sounds like you had a terrible ordeal before you were admitted to hospital. I'm so sorry to hear that you're still having problems now and hope that they are only minor ones that will settle down eventually.  Best wishes.

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      I'm not sure why my computer puts a smiley face in... every time i try to close brackets. lol
      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Not to worry nice to see a smiley face lol, after a bad day yesterday I got up this morning feeling great , so Im going to take every day as it comes  xx
      Report Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up