Right Abdominal Pain under ribs for a year

Posted , 3 users are following.


If anyone can point out what I should do next, please HELP!

I'm 32, male, in the US, suffering from right abdominal pain for a year (since June 2018).

PAIN is on right side mostly, started lower quadrant and now upper right ab quadrant mostly. Pain is dull and sharp, comes and goes, radiates to back; it hurts when I lay on my back that I tried sleeping on my back but mostly tilted to my left side/flank. Pain hurts more when I rub or tough near lower right rib cage. Few if any pain on my shoulder blades. I also have pain in my lower ab quandrants left and right sides when im bloated or constipated.

Not sure how I have this chronic, intermittent pain for the past year. Some factors causing this can be from:

  1. sleeping on hard mattress
  2. car accident
  3. constipated and rectal bleeding for 6-7 months; did not use laxatives until now
  4. gallbladder polyps
  5. chronic liver disease
  6. nerve or muscle damages
  7. fever, unexplained

I had a new mattress that was too hard, but slept on it for more than 8 months from May 2018 to Feb 2019. I am sleeping on a newer softer mattress now. I always sleep on my right side, not until the last month that I stopped.

In August 2018, a young female ran a red light and slammed on my driver's door while I was crossing a green light going straight/forward. Luckily, we were not hurt (until now with my woes). I did not have myself checked out until at least more than a month later at an Urgent Care as well as at my family doctor office. Blood test showed I was normal.

I have chronic hepatitis and being monitored with an annual ultrasound. They discovered gallbladder polyps since early 2017 with the largest being 3 mm. In June 2018, largest of the polyps measured to be 5mm. September 2018 the largest being 6mm and by January 2019 the largest was 7 mm. My next ultrasound will be on July 2, next Tuesday. My family doctor and gastroentorologist thought I shouldn't worry, but what if all of this is from gallbladder.

I was under chronic stress from my workplace and at home, constantly worried my whole life. I suffered from constipation and rectal bleedings with some alleviation when I took some laxatives here and there. I used MIRALAX, but for the last three weeks I switched to benofibers.

I was mostly a vegetarian for the past year, but did eat some chicken and fish when going out only.

I returned to my vegan diet since the beginning of this month (June 2019).

My blood tests for the last year has been almost all normal; except I had a mysterious fever on April 19, 2019. I was on antibiotics CIPRO after checking in at URGENT care clinic. I worked that day despite fever, body aches, fatique and headache. I worked the next morning too on Saturday. My WBC is elevated SEG and LYMP, I had urob in urine that was high, no bilirum in urine though. Negative for both influenza A and B. Chest X-Ray showed no pneumonia. Urine test showed no UTI, as well as yellow in color.

On June 17, 2019; I checked in at Urgent Care due to the same pain. Bood and urine tests showed normal. Electrolytes were good too. Same pain but my diet has had gotten better with increased fiber and 3 bowel movements daily with no bloody stools or signs of constipation.

On June 20, 2019 at 5-6am, I went to the ER due to pain, health anxiety, and inability to sleep. Blood and urine tests were mostly normal, except ketones in urine due to fasting or eating less carb/sugars. My WBC has always been low around 4.3 to 4.4 because of chronic hepatitis and being on antiviral Tenofovir. CT of the abdomen and pelvis showed unremarkable pancreas, liver, spleen, gallbladder, and lung bases. Signs of constipation in colon and of sigmoidal volvulus or twisted intestine. A sigmoidascopy was performed and I might have had colon surgery if some intestinal cells were found dead. Otherwise, normal CT scan. I was released on June 21st afternoon.

I am still in pain and am worrying about my pain near the gallbladder and gallbladder polyps.

I have three appointments with my family doctor, gastroenterologist, and surgeon in the next few weeks, as well as an abdomen ultrasound.

I dont know what to do next and feel that no matter what I will have this chronic pain and if taking care of the gallbladder I will have other pains after any procedure.

Please help me.

0 likes, 7 replies

7 Replies

  • Posted

    Kev , Sorry you are going through all of this. I can relate to the pain that you are talking about. Back in 2016 i started with a pain in my upper rt quadrant radiating to the back. It was a stabbing pain like someone stabbing you in the back. I noticed that as long as I stayed on a low fat diet it wasn' t too bad. I had a gallbladder ultrasound that showed polyps . As time went on the pain would start about 2 hours after I ate. But it wouldnt go away . At times it would also make me nauseous. I went back to the Dr. and told them that I needed to find out what this horrible pain was because it was interfering in my life. So then they ordered a HIDA scan. This test measures the percentage that your gallbladder is functioning. I ended up scoring low,my gallbladder wasnt working like it was suppose to. So then i had surgery to take it out. Since then I have been fine. I do watch my diet not to eat fried foods . Maybe you can mention this test to your Doctor it could possibly solve your problem. Sometimes we have to be persistant with our doctors to get an answer to our problems. I hope you will find an answer soon. Keep us posted.

    • Posted

      Hi Sunflower,

      Thank you! Sorry to hear about what you went too. I'm glad you are doing at least fine or better than before. Low fat diet is not an issue for me; it will takes time for me to get used to eating smaller meals. In fact, I'm trying to gain weight. I am 5'7 to 5'8, and I lost about 10-15 pounds since last year. I was close to 138 and now I am struggling to keep above 125.

      Thanks for your reply and sharing your story! I hope you don't mind me asking when you had your gallbladder surgery. And how did you cope with immediate post op as in the first few days to a week? I heard many bad stories post ops immediate and long after. Scared to go into surgery with close to being underweight BMI-wise and also always low WBC level due to chronic liver disease.

      I did come across reading about the HIDA scan. AND somewhere I thought endoscopic ultrasound is good test for gallbladder polyps. Maybe my health providers will mention about the HIDA scan, but I have anxiety on the size of my polyps. I feel that the polyps size will not decrease so it is an inevitable thing for taking the Gb out.

      I had put off taking of my health for awhile. I feel for the last year (except this month) I had been putting a bandage on my underlying symptoms.

      Hope you don't mind sharing, how big was your largest polyp?

      I will keep you updated. Also, it had been very stressful this past month. The fact that I had health insurance until early May, but lost it and don't have insurance till July 1st, despite a change of job and income so now I buy from ACA insurance with tax credits. Urgent Care and ER visits this June had and will be a financial burden.

      THANK YOU Sunflower for caring!

    • Posted

      Hi Kev,

      Sorry its taken me so long to reply. Life gets in the way sometimes. i also lost a lot of weight around 20 pounds because I stayed on a very strict low fat diet so to prevent that awful horrific pain. And when I would get it the only thing that would make it go away was advil 800 mg. The surgey was done in Nov 2016. The first 2 weeks are a bit challenging. Your body now needs to adjust to a new way of digesting fats . You are filled up with alot of gas that can be very painful , and honestly that was the worst part for me , but you will survive. I took one day at a time , I walked alot , drank chamomile tea and gas x . The Dr told me to eat anything I wanted but I knew that I couldnt do that . So the first few days I stayed on a liquid then bland soft diet ,. Then I slowly progressed back to my low fat diet . I also had heard of the diarrhea that people get . Well after about 4 to 5 days i did start to get the diarrhea but i continued to really watch what I ate. Then it went away. Thank goodness. When i went for the follow up the dr. did mention to me that if the diarrhea came back that there are medications that they can give you . I know of people that still have the diarrhea but everybody is different and I do believe that as long as you stay on a low fat diet at least for a couple of months for your body to adjust you will be fine . So to this day i still follow a low fat diet i dont eat anything fried and only use olive oil and real butter on my toast and i am doing great. Now as to the polyp . The dr never mentioned anything about finding the polyp. And in the pathology report there was no mention of a polyp. She did mentioned that the anatomy of my gallbladder and ducts was very different and it made the surgery more complicated but she hadnt found a polyp. So whos to say. And i really didnt persue it because the main reason they took it out was because it wasnt functioning correctly. I know that you can live with a gallbladder with polyps but if you start to get symtoms thats when they take it out. I would really push for the HIDA scan and maybe you would get some answers. Try not to stress yourself . Drink some chamomile tea and you know things always have a way of working themselves out. I hope things will get better for you . Please keep us posted . Oh and HAPPY 4th .

    • Posted

      Hi Sunflower,

      No worries! We are all busy adults. I'm single with no kids so that's less unwanted stress for me. I have a female mentor since childhood who's now retired, still unmarried, and with no children so I guess that played a part on my lifestyle. About the weight loss, I'm not sure if it's from my vegan high-fiber, low-fat diet that I restarted in June or not or it's from my underlying symptoms or pathologies. It could be from my anxiety. My GP prescribed Citalopram 20 mg for it. My experience with my GP yesterday was not pleasant.

      Thank you for sharing your recovery experience. I will definitely take some pain medication right away after my op if I go through with it. Advil, aspirin and other NSAIDs are not for my chronic liver disease; fortunately I read from a medical literature (a recent article) that offered advice on best pain meds for chronic liver diseased patients. Your experience is similar to other stories I read; thank you I will be prepared to deal with the gas pain and walk (or try to) as much as I can or should. My cousin got her appendix last year and my mom with her hysterectomy and both were suggested by doctors/surgeons to try to walk and leave bed more for better recovery. I am concerned with the long-term living without a gallbladder, and I know each person is different based in surgery, surgeon and health conditions, but hearing your story is a bit more reassuring. I do enjoy eating a low fat vegan diet; I have always loved vegetables and herbs as young as I can remember. Olive oil is good but no butter for me though. I am meeting with a surgeon tomorrow.

      Sorry, I thought they found your gallbladder polyp(s) that showed in your ultrasound, but your surgery was more difficult so I guess it was hard for them to identify such polyp(s). Strangely, my polyps are smaller now with largest up to 4mm. I told my GP and GI specialist that I want another ultrasound very soon to reaffirm the polyps size. They said no to near future. I might go for a private US scan. And I will address that issue to my surgeon tomorrow.

      Yeah, I thought that too, it does not matter how big or small one's gallbladder polyp(s) is or are, but if one is having issues with right upper quadrant pain, then it's time to remove it.

      I didn't get a chance to ask them about the HiDA scan as we were going over other issues. My GI doctor set up appointments for me to get both an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy to figure out my pain, despite abdominal and pelvic CT scan showing okay and a chest X-Ray I had a couple months ago from an unexplained fever. Honestly though, I am scared to go to more procedure and also the HIDA scan has some radiation to it. I'm looking for MRI or US scans because they don't use radiation.

      Off topic- My mom has acid reflux and she's currently taking Omeprazole. I am worried I have it too. So, I am eating a soft bland diet now. I will miss Chipotle's, Moe's, and other spicy food eateries. I get really bad hiccup after eating Jalepeno or other spicy foods but I loved them. Huhhh no more tasty spicy dishes... 😦

      Wow, you resolved your gallbladder issues within the same year; I am happy you had it done early and did nt have to suffer from your gallbladder longer.

      Thanks for everything! 😃 I will get chamomile tea and Gas X ready. And yes, no more crazy unneeded stress.

      THANK YOU! Hope you have a great Patriotic Night!

    • Posted

      Hi Kev,

      Am sorry your experienced with your GP didn't go well. I hope you were more succesful with the surgeons appt. After surgery they will probably give you percoset for pain or something in that class of pain medication. You will need pain medication at least for the first few days. I ended up taking it for 2 to 3 days then i switched to advil . Pain medication is very addicting and it will surely constipate you and I really didnt want to deal with that so thats why i choose to get off the pain medication as soon as i could . Also, staying out of the bed is the best thing. I would sit on the couch and walked around as much as I could. Somedays I would go stir crazy from being inside , so I would go outside in the back yard and walk around in circles to get some fresh air lol .

      Its a good idea that you are having an endoscopy and colonoscopy especially to rule out anything else. And i would assume that if they come back normal then maybe they will suggest the HIDA scan.

      I didnt have thoses test done because after I had the ultrasound my GP sent me to have the HIDA scan and then I went to the surgeon.

      I also suffer from GERD. I take protonix every day and am doing good . I do try not to eat spicey foods like chipolte which i also like but if i do I have found that galviscon extra strength tablets work.

      I know when you are in pain it can cause a lot of anxiety and especially not knowing the diagnosis , but try to take one day at a time and things always have a way of sorting themselves out. I wish you the best and please keep us posted.

  • Posted

    The best thing you can do is to stop worrying about your pain and what it could be. Worrying can cause intestinal troubles to worsen.You do not need to do anything since you are already booked in for three medical appointments which will give you answers and treatment.

    • Posted

      Thanks Pippa for your advice! My friends and family told me to story worry too. I will try.

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community 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 community 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.