Trying to find out what I'm dealing with...

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi everyone,

A few months ago I started feeling bloated. Very bloated. Then one night, I felt a strong pain - a paralyzing cramping pain in my upper stomach and a bit to the right. Under my rib cage. It was so strong I couldn't breath and my entire upper body was in pain. It took about 6 hours to stop when no pain killer helped. It happened several times. Always at night. As I have a history of heartburn, my doctor doubled my dosage and surprisingly enough it worked. Until it didn't. I was diagnosed with H. Pylori and got the treatment. The bloating was gone, my appetite was back, BUT here's the thing.

I can't eat solid food after 3-4 pm. If I eat, at about 9-10pm at night, I suffer from extremely strong cramping in my upper right side under my rib cage. Not immediately after I eat, no vomiting and no nausea at all, just a pain that keeps growing until it reaches a maximum. The only thing that helps is specific pain killers I received for the digestive system.

Here's another thing - I did an ultrasound, and have a 1cm size stone in my gallbladder and something that's called 'sludge'. A lot of it. But the pain doesn't come from there. I've been living with the stone for 3 years with no issues. The sludge is new but I don't have anyone of the symptoms except this pain - no vomiting, no nausea, no pain after eating. My large meal is at 11.30am - and no pain after it at all. Only at night. I'm receiving rowacohl to dissolve the stone and the sludge because due to an underlying condition, I can't undergo surgery. I was told though, that a sick gallbladder can cause a lot of heartburn.

I have no problem eating during the day and by the way I'm vegetarian so no meat, no fatty foods, no alcohol, pure health. I have my appetite and I enjoy eating. Just not right now because if I even think of eating after 3-4 pm I suffer at night. I do drink yogurt after 3 and at 5.30 pm I take protein powder. I drink another probiotics yogurt at 7.30pm - and no pain at night. Not even a little. A few days ago I ate gluten free bread at 3pm - the pain came at 10.30 at night.

Oh and I eat my lunch with digestive enzymes which I recommend to anyone with stomach problems. It feels incredibly different.

Forgive me if it's written a bit messy. I'm frustrated and frankly tired and well...hungry. I'm tired of 'eating' liquids after 3 just to avoid the pain.

Has anyone encountered such a problem? My doctor who I highly respect and who really tries to help (I have a gastro appointment in a month after an ultrasound that will determine whether I killed the gallstone), thinks the H. Pylori combined with my out of control heartburn caused damage to my stomach lining and that the tissue is extremely tender and needs time to heal - several months at least.

I'd love to know what you think, whether you've experienced something like this.

Sorry for the long post!

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Oh and I forgot to say that I'm a 40 year old woman.

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  • Posted

    my bet would be gallbladder. your symptoms match that condition.

    for now...no late night fatty meals and believe or not exercise helps a lot... no offense..just a tip.

    take care and i wish you speedy recovery

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. As I wrote, I'm a vegetarian, I don't eat late night fatty meals, actually I never eat after 5. I exercise daily. I'm fit and healthy which I probably should have said 😃 and the pain doesn't happen every day or after eating. That's why I feel like it's something else.

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  • Posted

    Hello, I know you don't think it's your gallbladder but it is. When you have sludge it will cause you pain and will lodge itself in the cystic duct. Causing you very sharp pain where your gallbladder is. Also the pain will be so unbearable at times you think it's very bad gas. You cannot dissolve any gallstone. There are no such means of doing that. I heard it can cause infections and stones wind up being lodged in you bile ducts causing an ER visit. The only way to rid the stone and sludge is removal. Sorry but I've been through all of this. It was not an easy life at the time. I think you should consider the surgery so you will be healthy sooner. Good Luck.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. I'll be seeing a gastro doctor in a month after I do another ultrasound. I agree with everything you said except for one thing - there is a way to dissolve stones and the annoying sludge without surgery - actually there are several ways. (By the way I don't live in the US). It's hardly used these days but it is used on people who can't tolerate surgery for health reasons. They're bile acid pills, they're a huge headache, they dissolve cholesterol based stones and they take a long time to work. Of course they don't work on everyone so that's why I'm experimenting. I should see first signs in a month if it works. If not, unfortunately, there are other solutions except surgery, just not as 'fun' as the pill which by the way makes you extremely aware of that annoying organ (such as endoscopic stant which cleans the gallbladder through an endoscope instead of surgery - or something like that.

      I do have a question for you though - when you suffered from it - did it also come only at night and not every night? because that's what drives me mad. It only comes if I eat in the afternoon and always 6 hours after I ate. Never if I eat in the morning or noon. During the day I'm absolutely fine - no pain. That's why I was sure it had to do with my heartburn. Then again I never knew that sick gallbladders cause massive heartburn...

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  • Posted

    I have similar but less severe symptoms than you. I'm a 68 year old woman, treated for h. pylori many years ago, but still get occasional bouts of gastritis. I'm a vegan so, like you, no fatty foods although I do drink beer a few times a week. Recently I started getting severe pain under the top of my breastbone a few hours after I had eaten lunch. It doesn't seem related to the solid food I eat but rather to the amount of liquid I take with the meal. For example, I can have peanut butter on toast for breakfast, with 2-3 cups of coffee, and never have a problem. If I have pb on toast for lunch and no drink (I forget to drink sometimes!) I get the pain. I'm better about remembering to drink something in the evening and rarely get pain then. Could your symptoms be helped if you upped your liquid intake with your afternoon meal?

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    • Posted

      Hi Molly!

      Thank you so much for answering. I actually have no idea. I usually don't drink with my food (and I only drink either water or tea - mainly ginger tea but always after I eat). Maybe I should try it. In general, I drink quite a lot of water. Between 2.5-3 liters. But I'll try anything 😃 You mentioned that you still have bouts of gastritis and sharp pain on the right. Did you ever check your gallbladder? Because I'm starting to consider I was 'lucky' and got hit with both....

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  • Posted

    No, I never thought I might have gallbladder problems. I'll mention it when I next see the GP. It took so long to get diagnosed with h.pylori that I haven't bothered to mention it - my symptoms were chest pain and, once the consultant ruled out heart problems, he was about to refer me to a psychiatrist before it occurred to him it might be stomach problems!

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