Mysterious pain and vomiting - many questions

Edited , 7 users are following.

Hi I'm a 34 y.o. female who has never had pain issues or any medical conditions. After having my first child in September I started to get an intense pain on my right side, below my rib cage. This pain would wake me up, I get the sweats and often feel the need to vomit or actually vomit. After a few hours the pain would subside. The intense pain only came around once a month - although sometimes I feel a dull pain in the same area that is manageable. I thought this pain was due to post pregnancy or menstrual changes. But the pain continues to come and tonight the pain is worse than ever lasting longer. I researched about gallbladder disease and the pain, vomiting, chills all match up perfectly. Here are my questions:

Does my pain only getting intense once or twice a month match this potential diagnosis?

How important is it to see a doctor? I currently do not have health insurance.

If these painful episodes continue I plan to reach out to a doctor - does anyone have advice on what to say to the doctor to help get a speedy diagnosis (or at least rule this out) quickly?

If I am diagnosed what is the treatment plan?

How much can diet/exercise help with this?

Tips for managing this intense pain?

Thanks for any thoughts.

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6 Replies

  • Edited

    If it continues you should see your GP. I would start with that. My pain was every day and I just felt unwell, my GP ordered CAT scans and sonograms all which showed no gallstones or any issues, in fact my gallbladder looked fine.. It wasn't until I saw a GI and he ordered a HIDA scan which shows how well my gallbladder was functioning that we realized my gallbladder wasn't working any more, once my gallbladder was taken out my intense pain went away. That may not be your issue, and I wouldnt jump to take your gallbladder out. You may have gallstones, which is why you should see your GP because I believe in rare instances this can affect your pancreas.

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  • Edited

    Hi there. I'm definitely not a doctor, but sounds like a Gallstone - when I was diagnosed, MD asked me if I had any of the symptoms you have mentioned.

    Your MD can do a physical exam to check a couple of things and run some bloods - and I believe an ultrasound is the best way of diagnosing if it is a stone / stones.

    Definitely best to reach out to your MD if you can.

    All the best.

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  • Edited

    females seem to be more susceptible to gall stone/ bile duct issues as they often happen after you have lost a large amount of weight and relatively quickly such as after childbirth. you can help reduce the pain / occurrence through diet- as low fat as possible. when i had one large 5cm gallstone it felt like labour pain up under my ribs and i had to go on all fours and just last the waves of pain out- wasn't every night but happened soon after going to bed. definitely see a doctor if it doesn't improve through diet, best wishes xx

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  • Edited

    I was diagnosed with having a large stone in my gallbladder and because of this pandemic the hospital won't do the surgery. As long as I watch my diet, I don't have any pain but if I eat something that doesn't digest well, I get severe pain. I just have to wait to have it removed. Good luck. Anne

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  • Edited

    hi Rawwse,

    The symptoms you are experiencing do sound like it could be your gallbladder.

    I had my gallbladder removed nearly 10 weeks ago. Prior to having surgery I experienced about 6 attacks over several months. There was no pattern as to their frequency, nor was there a pattern in terms of their duration. The shortest attack lasted 15/20 minutes and was extremely intense, and the longest lasted 5 hours. Often they occurred during the night, but a couple occurred during the day.

    My symptoms during an attack were: strong gripping/tightening pain starting upper right abdomen and extending into the back, breaking out into a cold sweat, belching, nausea, and breathlessness (during 15/20 minute intense attack).

    Rather than wait for a referral from my GP, I went for a private ultrasound which cost about £150. The scan showed that I had multiple stones and some sludge. I then had surgery as a day case The surgery went well and I recovered very quickly. I feel so much better, have had no ill effects from surgery, and it is wonderful not having that constant fear of an attack happening.

    You should go to see a doctor and have a scan as soon as possible to establish a diagnosis. It is far better, and more straightforward, to have surgery whilst the condition is uncomplicated. If it is your gallbladder, leaving it too long can put you at risk of some nasty and serious complications, with more complicated surgical procedures required.

    In the meantime, eat a very low fat diet. Avoid saturated fats. Drink lots of water. I found that taking ibuprofen and buscopan helped during a attack. Some people swear by apple cider vinegar.

    Best of luck and I hope you get to the root of your issue soon.

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  • Posted

    Thank you to everyone who responded. I feel some relief having at least a starting point to figuring out my pain. I hope to have health insurance in a month and will see a doctor soon !

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