Is it my gall bladder or gastritis/gerd etc?

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Hi Everyone,

I have been having a lot discomfort in my stomach, and it started about 8 months ago with some bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, upper right abdominal pain and a burning feeling in my back.

The doctor thinks its gastritis or IBS, but I am not sure because I keep getting this pain in my diaphragm too. I have gained weight, and I have not had any severe attacks like I have read about, and so I wonder if it is my gall bladder.

I am inclined to think it is, but the doctors say no. I had an abdominal ultra sound 2.5 years ago and everything looked fine, so I am wondering if I could have developed stones in that time? I had bloating and flat stools before and that is why I was sent for an US.

I am 42 and male.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

1 like, 13 replies

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Mike,

    Your story sounds just like mine. I went to my doctor about pain in my upper right abdomen and on the right side of my back, under my right shoulder blade. I had blood work, an ultrasound, X-rays, etc, all which came back clear. My doctor said gastritis

    Then I started having pain shoot up the right side of my shoulder blade and went back to my doctor. I’m a big hypochondriac so started freaking out they missed something. My doc decided to send me for a HIDA scan which showed my gallbladder to be functioning at 9%. She said normal was 35% and above so I was diagnosed with chronic cholecystitis.

    Had my gallbladder removed the 26th of Jan and haven’t felt that pain since.

    I would ask for a HIDA scan. I hope you’re able to get some answers ASAP!

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    • Posted

      hi Dev, I am going to ask for a hida scan because I am sore and it feels like I have lost some range of motion in my mid right back too as I am not as flexible as I used to be and it hurts. 

      I also get pain in my chests on both sides right under the breast bone. It feels like a band across that area. 

      I am not sure because I am not throwing up or in really bad pain so I am wk seeing if it is possible for me to have a gall bladder issue without the bad pain and vomiting. I am nauseous some times though.

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  • Posted

    Gallbladder trouble manifests itself in many ways so symptoms vary from person to person. Ultrasound does not always show the presence of gallstones, especially if they are small or sludgy. It does sound like it could be the start of cholecystitis, especially the bloating symptom.  Maybe your weight gain is down to your gallbladder being unable to digest fat? I know it’s unpleasant to discuss but does the diarrhoea come on suddenly after eating and is it quite yellow? Watch out for pale stools/dark urine as these are symptoms of jaundice. I think the back pain (right shoulder blade) is an indication that your liver is struggling. My advice is to eat small meals often, eat a low fat, bland diet, avoid alcohol and go back to your GP and ask for further investigations to be carried out. To be fair to the medical profession, digestive issues are difficult to diagnose as many of the symptoms are similar, but pain is a sign that something is not right and should never be ignored.
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  • Posted

    Yes it sounds similar to what I had throughout pregnancy however I use to just put it down to heart burn or other effects from being pregnant. After I had my baby I had extreme abdominal pains, pulling tugging, burning again I just put it down to having a c section or still recovering untill it felt so unbearable I was screaming and vomiting everywhere. That's how it's started out and I ended up having my gallbladder removed aswell. I will suggest keeping ur gallbladder or finding a solution to get rid of the stones if it turns out u do have them. Mines was a bit extreme and I couldn't handle the abdominal pains straight after having a baby and a major operation aswell do I chose to have it removed as it was de range ong my liver aswell. I just wanted to be as healthy as normal as possible as soon as I couldn't to look after my baby. Once u have it removed they don't tell u about the side effects that come with it like irritable bowel. Random attacks, I drink water when I experience these and it feels normal instantly. Over time it can decrease ur life expectancy as over time ur other organs have to do extra work in place of the gallbladder and there's so much muck inside I that can effect other important organs.  They done MRI on me etc but didn't find the issue until they done an ultra sound. The same machine they use to check inside ur stomache when ur pregnant .. Even after u get ur gallbladder removed u will suffer from random bloating etc. So it's better to try save ur gallbladder if u do end up having gallstones.  You usually get them through rapid weight gain. I was very skinny untill I got pregnant I gained weight quickly and now that I have it removed I have returned back to my normal self pretty much. Do be careful before making any decisions. I chose to get keyhole surgery to have it removed as it was an easier option for me at the time. I hope it's not your gallbladder because it's a bigger issue than its made out.  Ask for al types of different scans at the hospital. MRI , ultrasound etc. They didn't find the problem with me untill my second visit to A and E in a different city. My home city they send me home and told me it's nothing untill it got worse and the next time I felt like I was dying constantly vomiting every five minutes. 

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  • Posted

    With the right shoulder pain it sounds more like gallbladder. They have tested mine frequently and can't find anything wrong but many doctors say that the right shoulder, right side and the fatty foods that bother me sound like gallbladder issues. My GI doctor says that they are saying now that gallbladder surgery is the only effective in a smaller percentage of people and most people go on to still have a lot of stomach problems, issues w food even if they're not in intense pain. I figured out what foods trigger me and take a digestive enzyme with lipase and protease. There are other supplements such as artichoke extract, herbal bitters that can help gallbladder liver and stomach. You can Google those. Olive oil seems to be very good from what I've read and I can tolerate it well. I have to avoid eggs pork nuts and seeds completely. I can have a little bit of grass fed butter but no nut oils at all. Also cannot have any alcohol anymore. Everybody's different though and I've heard some people that coffee bothers them but a couple cups a day actually helps my tummy. I have IBS as well and read that gallbladder and IBS can trigger each other. The FODMAP diet has helped me a lot with my stomach issues as well.

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    • Posted

      It's weird because I get this burning pain in both sides of my upper back, and I also have some lower left flank pain when breathing in deep. I also get pain when I breathe deep in my diaphragm area too.

      Coffee really seems to affect me, and if I overdo on booze.

      Fatty meals don't seem to bother me that much, but I get acid reflux and bloating from it. My stools sometimes float, but they are not pale all of the time. they are rarely pale at all, more of a darker brown. I had a colonoscopy in the summer because of rectal bleeding but that was all clear.

      i am really feeling down because I don't know what this issue is.

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    • Posted

      Gallbladder can cause lots of deferred pain but it is good to get other things checked out too because of hurting when you breathe. I ended up in emergency one time because of chest pain and they tested my heart and kept me in over night they ended up saying it was probably my gallbladder because it can cause chest pain. Have you been tested for sibo? That can cause all kinds of problems and even other health problems plus floating stool. I understand being depressed it is hard when you don't feel good and don't have an answer. Inflammation of any kind can also cause depression. If you have do have a hida scan done make sure and plan on eating low-fat afterwards and not planning a lot that day or the next day because it does make some people sick if it is their gallbladder. My first HIDA Scan I didn't have any problems but my recent one made me very sick and someone else on here said the same thing. Good luck with everything I hope you feel better soon. I'm being sent two hours away to another GI clinic that has more testing things available to try to see what's going on with me.

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  • Posted

    If you are not happy you could see another doctor for another opinion.

    Try cutting out fat from your diet and see if that helps.

    If so it is probably gallstones.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Salrah

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  • Posted

    I did ultrasound scan in 2011 showed no stones, around 2017 it have showed stones. So it is possible you might have stones thats the reason its giving more problems now. I initially got  diagnosed with gastritis and non working gall bladder with hida scan, now it got stones with non working gb. I got severe bloating and burping symptoms accompained with dizziness. Doctor says that removing my gb wont solve all the issues as i also have gastritis.
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    • Posted

      Though i have gastritis earlier ,for the past few years the digestion issue became severe thats where i see my gallbladder was not working and ended  with gallstones. So only removing the gb will tell if we are going to have further issues or not. Also i dont see any direct cure for gastritis, it can be only controlled through anti acids and diet.
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  • Posted

    UPDATE****

    So last night my wife and I celebrated Valentine's Day with a bottle of Champagne, and some chocolates, plus we had a heavier meal, and last night, and as of now my upper middle back is giving me a burning pain.

    I also, had a loose bowel movement about 2 hours after I ate the food last night. The pain can also be felt in my upper left chest as well.

    I am not worried about my heart because I have had a bunch of EKGs over the past couple of years and they have been fine, so this is definitely something related to my gastric/digestion system.

    Does this sound like a gallbladder attack or could this be pancreatitis?

    I am not in agony, but I am in a lot of discomfort, and it did keep me up last night somewhat with the burning pain in my upper back.

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  • Posted

    Doesn’t sound like my attacks. Diarrhoea was within 30 minutes of eating for a start. I had pain centrally and to the right as well as, sometimes in my right shoulder. Could possibly be pancreatitis especially if a stone has migrated through the common bile duct and is blocking the pancreas. However, as I understand it, pancreatitis is extremely painful. I really would avoid heavy fatty food and alcohol at least until you get a diagnosis. 
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