Mild right abdominal/flank burning?

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So everything I read on this forum is severe pain - going to the ER. I don't have anything that bad but I'm wondering if it's something that might be leading up to being that bad. I've always had what I assume to be a little IBS where I eat something (non specific), later on I cramp in the lower abdominal region and within minutes I'm having diarrhea. As soon as i have diarrhea the pain is gone and I can go about my business. This happens MAYBE 1-2 times a month.

A few months ago I went to the doctor after a random bout of what I assumed to be indigestion (never experienced it before so I'm not sure). I ate lunch one Sunday (unfortunately can't remember what it was) and then immediately lost my appetite for 3 days - probably from feeling something I've never felt before. I panicked and ended up at my regular doctor's office on Tuesday. He asked me some general questions and I had very vague answers unfortunately - no blood in the stool, no nausea, no vomiting, cramps aren't due to a certain type of food, I hadn't eaten anything new at this point that could affect me differently. He pushed around on my stomach but I had no pain other than him pushing on my stomach pretty hard. The best news he told me is that he didn't think it was a form of IBD. He put me on 40mg of Omeprazole 1/day 30-60 min before breakfast, and told me to start taking a probiotic (suggested Align but said generic would work as well) - never said why or what he thought might be the cause. I started taking it throughout the week and he scheduled me for an upper GI series with lower bowl follow-through. Sometime last year during my last physical, he also told me to start taking 2000mcg of Vitamin D and 1000mcg of Vitamin B-12 as my levels were low. I never really did as I am horrible at remembering to take pills daily but for some reason decided to start taking them with the probiotic. I would take the Omeprazole when I left for work with water, and then by the time I got to work and got my breakfast prepared it would be 30-45 minutes later and I would take the other pills with my food.

I started having some morning sickness due to the medication although I started getting my appetite back. I went for the test - results were normal. I did have a bit of reflux laying on the table (barium went back up into the esophogus once, I didn't feel it but you could see it on the x-ray) but the tech or results didn't say that it was anything to be concerned with.

After those results were normal, I asked for blood tests just in case and all came back mostly normal. From what I remember, they tested for diabetes (2 tests), liver function, pancreas function, CBC and a few other things that I can't remember. Only thing that was "abnormal" was my plateletts were slightly elevated (411 I beleive). I think I also just had my period so they told me to stay on the omeprazole and have more blood work done in 2 weeks.  I didn't take the omeprazole for two days (first day for fasting for the upper GI and second day for fasting for the bloodwork). After going back on it, the morning sickness feeling seemed to subside - maybe too much at once in the beginning? Not sure but it went away so I didn't think anything of it.

Went back 2 weeks later for my bloodwork and that all came back completely normal (didn't have to fast for that). At this point my normal doctor had left for Florida and the doctor that originally owned the practice had taken over. When they called saying that the test results were normal, they referred me to a GI specialist. At this point, I didn't feel the need to call because the only problem I had was ONE instance of possible indigestion. Other than that I felt fine - plus I'm on high deductible and specialists aren't cheap.

After taking the omeprazole for a month without feeling any different (didn't really feel bad at all in the beginning anyways) and my test results were normal, I decided to stop it after reading horror stories of being on it for too long.

About a week or two later I had my regular OBGYN appointment and wanted to bring up the fact that I have completely lost my sex drive (my poor boyfriend). I have previously been on the nuvaring for many years and a side effect is decrease labido. I still don't understand why it was fine for so many years and then if it was the birth control, it started affecting me recently. She told me to go get some blood taken and they tested my thyroid and testosterone levels which were normal. She switched me to the pill saying that it MIGHT help since it is technically a different type of hormone but its still basically the same hormones so don't be surprised if it doesn't help. So I started taking them - no big deal.

Unfortunately I can't remember exactly when I started having weird abdominal discomfort but looking at my calendar of appointments, it looks like about 2 weeks after starting the birth control pills and over 4 weeks of being off the omeprazole. It was in my upper right abdomen and it wasn't "pain" by any means. It was just there and more of an annoyance than anything else. It was slightly crampy at times, slightly burning at times. Then the following Sunday I ate a new recipe we tried - pasta with a spicy alfredo and to kick it up a notch we added some homemade venison italian sausage. The burning got worse that night after eating and again, it wasn't anything too horrible. The thing that bothered me most is that I couldn't find a good position to sleep in. I either found a good position or it went away because I ended up falling asleep at some point that night.

Panicking again, I called the doctor's office and they told me to call the specialist and try to get in there. I called and set up an appointment - of course since I'm new and not urgent, I couldn't get an appointment for another month. Still panicking, I called my normal doctor back and they agreed that I shouldn't wait that long just in case so they squeezed me in the next day. He too pushed on my stomach a bunch and nothing hurt yet again. Since I said I had sausage the night of the discomfort, he immediately assumed gallbladder and scheduled me for an ultrasound the next day and told me start a low fat diet - no fats, creams, sausages, etc. After I told my dad all this, he decided it would be nice to mention that his sister and his mother both had their gallbladders removed - yey for heredity!

I went and got that done and boy was that painful. I'm on the heavier side so the tech was really pushing into my abdomen to try to get images. I cringed in pain once and she said she was trying to get images of the gallbladder so that just made it more clear to me that it's most likely that. Forunately but frustratingly, the results came back normal - whatever that means and my doctor told me to keep the appointment with the GI.

I was sore for a few days after that from the ultrasound - or so I assume as I was getting the discomfort on my lower right side as well now. By the weekend, it was clear that it was more of a burning sensation that seemed to originate in the upper right abdomen - more so on the side than near the center - and it radiated down (gallbladder usually radiates up so I thought). I would feel it on my lower right side and when I would go to squeeze in the area, I would realize that I would end up on my upper right side below the ribs is where the sensation was really coming from.

I started doing more googling (horrible, I know) but I came to the conclusion that I might have an ulcer. So on Monday morning I started taking the omeprazole again. Burning seemed to go away for the most part until Friday when I apparently thought I was SuperWoman and tried to eat a piece of breakfast pizza with sausage, bacon and ham - just one little piece! By the afternoon the burning was back. Yet again, not dibilating, hunched over, can't move pain. Just annoying. I went home from work at my regular time, laid in bed on my left side for a few hours with my right leg stretched out which seemed to help a bit. Decided to hop in the shower as it was feeling a bit better and I've noticed that the hot shower water usually helps. At some point in the middle of soaping up, I felt a minor pop in my upper right abdomen and didn't think too much of it. By the time I was done with the shower, the burning was gone and I felt great.

Over the following weekend (last weekend) I started feeling nauseous again in the morning and actually started having nightmares and was sleeping horribly. Remember that the nausea was caused by the omeprazole the first time, I stopped taking it (last dose was on Sunday morning). I felt nauseous most of the day Monday and Tuesday but started sleeping better. Today (Wednesday) I woke up feeling pretty much normal after having a normal nights sleep (I can never actually sleep the entire night, I'm always waking up and flipping over at some point or boyfriend's snoring wakes me up).

At this point - I have no idea what went on, what could be going on, or if it'll get worse or go away. The low fat diet seems to be helping as I haven't had any more instances of bad burning sensation. I either feel it or THINK I feel the burning every once in a great while - all along my right side for the most part. But if I start to do work or get my mind off of it, it seems to go away. It could be completely mental at this point and I'm doing my absolutely best to not stress out about it. My GI appointment isn't until 9/2 so hopefully then I can get some answers - or rules more things out.

Also in my googling spree, I found out that birth control pills put women at a greater risk for gallbladder problems. It's also ironic that I just switched methods and am wondering if this could be causing the problems.

Sorry for the lengthy post but the more information, the better - right? I was just wondering if anyone else experienced this, figured out what it was and cured it, or if it ended up getting worse in some fashion? As I mentioned - I am technically "obese" - 28 yr old female, 5'6", 225 lbs. I'm sure my weight doesn't help anything as gallbladder problems happen in obese women so now I'm out to lose some weight (SLOWLY!). Any input or peace of mind is appreciated.

2 likes, 31 replies

31 Replies

  • Posted

    The good news:

    You're taking the right steps to reduce your risk of developing gall bladder problems which is great!

    The nausea may / maynot have been from the omeprazole, kinda hard to tell - maybe try lansoprazole next time.

    The pop may have just been some gas popping around a gut loop.

    Maybe less good:

    If you're carrying a bit of spare around the middle it might mask minor things on the ultrasound.

    Keep up your hard work on the weight loss, it'll be worth the pain in the end! I can't say I've experienced your set exactly, but it could easily be a passing inconvenience hoever your GI appoingment will hopefully clear things up nicely!

    • Posted

      Thank you - I appreciate someone replying at all! smile

      Definitely looking forward to the GI appointment - whether it is to find a cause or rule some more horrible possibilities out.

  • Posted

    Hi cmross - Did you ever get an answer with your GI? Experiencing similar things, so just curious what my next steps should be.
  • Posted

    Sounds very similar to my own symptoms. A vague burning to the right of the navel sometimes going from the ribs to the appendix area but usually just in the lower right area. Mine actually started 15 years ago, but it seems to be slowly worsening. It will disappear for days or weeks and then re-occur.

    I used to drink spirits every day (about 200ml) at that time so I thought it must be that irritating the intestinal lining, but when I slowed the drinking I was annoyed to find it got worse, if anything. I did read inflammatory bowel disease may actually be helped by moderate alcohol intake.

    l can't work out which end of the intestinal tract it is coming from - sometimes it is relieved by passing gas, suggesting it is in the bowel area, but sometimes it starts 1-2 hours after eating a heavy meal. Eating eggs, wheat and chicken seem to aggravate it - maybe the gluten in wheat and antibiotics in the poultry?

    I try all sorts of natural remedies as I don't like to pop allopathic medicines. I take ginger/neem/pepper/turmeric/coconut oil/probiotics/cloves/flaxseeds/baking soda/l-glutamine/peppermint etc. but not regularly. Ginger/pepper seems to camoflage the burning but are probably not dealing with the cause.  I don't think it is an ulcer as it is not really  painful, though I have wondered if I might have two mild ailments at once - duodenal ulcer and IBD? Or maybe parasites are involved? I am not near good health care facilities (central India) to be able to get things checked out, so tend to try and self diagnose and treat myself naturally wherever possible.

    Anyway, just some observations to help us compare notes. All the best everyone. RS.

    • Posted

      Hello Roger.

      Sorry to hear about you problems? Have you found a solution to your problem??

  • Posted

    Hello, I was curious if you ever found out the cause to your symptoms. I have been experiencing the same things for the past three months & still have no answers.
    • Posted


      Did you found a solution to your problem? Mine was also for 3 months. Contact me on for more.

  • Posted

    please tell me what happened then... Im too having the same symptoms...
  • Posted

    Please carry me along if you find anything about this I also have the same symptoms. I have gone for Ultra sound thinking that it was appendicitis but it came out negative. am really worried. please help me.
  • Posted

    I have the same problem......I have been to many doctors ...I am tired's ruining my life.....please share if you find the solution or cause .....Doctors send me nerve Doctor or to Psychairist 😢
  • Posted

    Hi, cmross1108, I have been through the exact same thing for three years.

    My potassium and sodium kept getting low too. My doctor just done

    a 24 hour urine test to see if I have an adrenal tumor. I have every symptom!

    My hormones have been messed up my whole life!

    So, after my whole life of tests and surgeries, now I end up with

    exactly what you are going through. So, now I am going to have an MRI/ with

    and without contrast. I have had my head to feet checked out, been to very

    doctor and every test imaginable. The pain is now burning and constant

    every day. It has gotten worse!My blood pressure shoots up high and

    I go to ER and nothing shows up causing it. My heart walls are thick from that.

    As soon as I find out, I will let you know. I done research and it points

    to tumor on adrenal gland. My Mom suffered terribly with the same pain!

    So, I am thinking and research says it is hereditary. I did have tumors on ovaries,

    so lost them in my twenties. Had gall bladder out, had hysterectomy

    at a young age. My lungs are great. I have IBS and trouble with my stomach

    emptying. My brother was also sick a long time and now has cancer

    in pancreas. I had mine checked. Not that! I am tired! So many tests

    and doctors galore. Financially poor because of it too! So, keep in touch!

  • Posted

    After going to the GI doctor, he had sent me for a HIDA scan which revealed that my gallbladder's ejection fraction was 98%. By the time I got the results back, my pain had gone away (or gone away enough that I didn't notice/it didn't bother me) so I decided to let it all go. Well now the pain is starting up again almost 2 years later. Thinking about getting my gallbladder out and seeing if it helps.

  • Posted

    I have like a short straw shaped heat on left upper then right upper and now right side on and off for last 4 days

    extreme cramps I dismissed as an extreme bad period

    loose stools 2 days diarrhoea this morning 

    and in the bowl I noticed yellow corn shaped thing and 2 black ones beside it

    i havent eaten sweet corn in about a month

    im guessing I passed a couple of small gall stones 

    but those cramping pains I will never forget

    im on coedine and anti inflammatories twice a day

    but Ive never experienced anything like those stinging cramps

    • Posted


      Found a solution on your problem??

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