Gallbladder problems?

  1. Ok. I would really appreciate any input on this.

    Starting a week ago today, I started having a pain on my right side. Its below my rib cage, and I can not feel anything abnormal, and my liver is not palpable. I had another student give me a kidney punch, and that did not add to the pain, i have no pain on urination, no blood, no jaundice.

    The pain is about a 4 on a 1-10 scale, and is a constant dull achy pain with occasional sharp stabing pains. It is pretty localized, below my ribs, and slightly about my hip bone. When the stabing pain comes in, it radiates straight across my abdomen in a line, but not up to my ribs, or down lower, it just radiates in a straight line.

    It just occured to me today that it could be my gallbladder. Has anyone else experienced symptoms like this? I am a little worried. We are having massive problems with my insurance company, so I dont want to go to the doctor unless it is really a problem that will not resolve on its own. Any self-treatment ideas? Thanks

  2. Visit BrandyBSN profile page

    About BrandyBSN

    Joined: Jun '01; Posts: 973; Likes: 38
    Community Health Nurse


  3. by   P_RN
    Could be. Also may not be anything at all.
    Could be pleurisy, PE, GAS, muscle pull, fractured rib, costochondritis, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, bad posture......sheesh!

    Any jaundice?
    Any dark urine?
    Any light bm?
    Any nausea when eating fatty food?
    Any pain on inspiration?
    Any pain when eating high protein?
    Any "gassy" feeling?

    What relieves it?

    As far as insurance, can you pay for a visit and not have it submitted to the insurance company?

    You can ask your doctor if his/her treatment would be any different if you do NOT have the high priced tests.
  4. by   dawngloves
    Wouldn't gall bladder pain be referred to under your right shoulder blade?
  5. by   GPatty
    I remember when my gallbladder acted up a lot. Usually after I would eat sausage, my fav...
    I would get a very intense pain right below my sternum which would radiate to my back, going around my left side. I could barely breathe, would sweat profusely, but be cold as ice. Then, I would get intensely sick with either diahrrea, and/or vomiting (usually both). I found that the only thing that really relieved it was to force myself to vomit, then the pain would still be there, but the pressure wasn't as bad. After an episode, I would be so worn out and beat up feeling...
    Haven't had one in a few years (Thank You God!), but believe me, when you have one, you'll NEVER forget it!
    With my first one, I was taken to the hospital because I honestly thought I was having a heart attack! Woke me up out of a deep sleep! Just be careful!
  6. by   BrandyBSN
    Everything besides the pain seems to be normal.

    The only thing that I have changed is my birth control pill. I switched 2 months ago to Loestrin, I was on Orthotri-cyclin, but when I started Ortho, I had daily loose BMs. My stool was never like that when I was on Depo. Now that I have switched to Loestrin, My BMs are back to what a would consider normal consistency. (lol, only on THIS board would I discuss my poop )

    it did come on suddenly, and has now lasted a week.

  7. by   semstr
    know something........ this could come from your spine!
    i had similar pains, a bit higher though, my doctor and I both thought I was having another kidney-problem coming on, but no, I had nerv blocked in th 10.
    have that checked out. you can do it yourself, move sidewards, it hurts more and when you press it does too.

    Gallstones (like kidneystones) make different pains, the crampingpains, colics, you'd know them!!

    And for your poop, maybe you've got a simple bug, could be coincidence.
    We nurses tend to seek complicated things, sometimes it's not necessary.

    Good luck and take care, Renee
  8. by   ADN 2002
    Hey, Brandy!

    I had gall bladder trouble about a year and a half ago and they did a bunch of tests, including a HIDA scan and an abdominal u/s. I was having the same symptoms you were, and they actually admitted me to the hospital b/c of it (and I was dehydrated, so they started IVF too). Everything came back negative, as most things usually do with me - it's really irritating b/c I feel so bad.

    Well, this past May, I was sick again and having some really severe pain in my stomach - I was sure I had an ulcer and one day the pain got so intense, I went out to the ER. They gave me a GI cocktail and sent me home with an appointment to see my regular doc. My doctor ordered a barium swallow, upper GI, and abdominal u/s - and you would not believe what they found! Not only was my gall bladder full of stones (I had been asymptomatic from a gall bladder standpoint) but I also had gastritis, duodenitis, and an H. pylori infection - all at the same time! The doctor was like, jeez, no wonder you feel bad, and referred me to a surgeon b/c I had to start school again in about a month. I suspected they would go ahead and take it out.

    The surgeon agreed, and wanted to see me back in his office the next day to check me again, and if my RUQ was still tender, he was going to admit me and do a lap chole the next morning (a Saturday -- needless to say, I was surprised). But, he wanted to go ahead and do it b/c even if we cleared it up medically, the cholecystitis was likely to recur and I did not need that to happen in the middle of nursing school. And, in the event they had to convert to an open procedure, he wanted me to have plenty of time to recuperate from that before I started school again. I was admitted the next day and had the surgery the morning after that; they were able to do the lap chole.

    After surgery, I was REALLY uncomfortable, mostly in my shoulder (that shoulder pain is a b***h!) and was begging for pain meds when they were taking me back to the floor. They had me get in the bed, they yanked out my Foley and said when I needed to pee I needed to get up, and my nurse got me another shot of Demerol/Phenergan even though I'd been medicated in the PACU. I was much better after that, the pain was not as intense again, even after the Demerol wore off. I only had to have a couple more pain shots while I was in the hospital, then we started me on Vicodin. I had about 4
    days of shoulder pain, and never had any incisional pain worth talking about. I would much rather have had that surgery than have gall bladder symptoms.

    The bad news: I don't tolerate greasy food as well (especially McDonald's food) -- not necessarily a bad thing. So my eating habits have actually improved, but I have gained about 20 pounds since June, which I DID NOT need...I was overweight to begin with. Everybody says I'm still adjusting to not having my gall bladder, but almost 5 months later, I'm starting to wonder.
    But, my abdomen feels better, so I guess it's a trade off.

    Just thought I'd share my story! Hope you feel better, Brandy!
  9. by   roud123
    I wish I had known about the olive oil lemon trick before I went in for the lapcholy - I would have given it a try rather then go through what I had been through.

    My doc tore my bile duct without knowing and bile leaked all into my stomach causing the most awful pain in my life.

    A day after the surgery, my doc, still un aware of what he did, had the nerve to ask me if I was a drug addict; reasoning that's why the pain medicine wasn't working, or that I must be delusional because no one experiences that much pain with a lapcholy. He sent me home with Vicodin (yeah right! like that was strong enough, not to mention that I couldn't even take them cause I was backed up and vomiting, sweating, couldn't sleep, shoulder pain out of this world) Then, 2 days later, after constant complaints from me of the pain and nausea, he ordered blood tests, once he saw the blood test result, all elevated, he put me back in the hospital again, 4 days later, on antibiotics and 50 mg Demerol, plus nausea medicine <u>every</u> 2 hours (still not enough) he said he tore the bile duct and that they'd have to put a splint in the duct. After they put the splint in, I started feeling better, he sent me home. Ordered more blood tests, which came back elevated, with my fever at 102 - 104, couldn't poop, couldn't eat, vomiting bile, he realized through cat scan, there was to much bile around my organs and that I'd have to have a stomach tube to drain off the bile.

    What a terrible awful painful scary time I had, with the most uncaring doctor. He claimed he does 100's of lapcholys a year and I'm the first to have that happen to and that it was my fault because my gallbladder was so big.

    I was gonna sue him but decided I'd already been through enough. But now, 8 months later, I still have constant diarrhea, yellow, soapy, water diarrhea. I have to stay within 1 min of the bathroom after eating, or I poop my pants. How embarrassing. At least no more pain, thank God.

    Oh poor me!

    If I were you, I'd try home remedies before potentially going through all that. The symptoms you mentioned were exactly what I went through. The only thing I'd worry about before trying to pass the stones is one of them clogging the bile duct and causing more trouble then before.

    May god be with you.
    Last edit by Nurse Ratched on Mar 6, '04
  10. by   mustangsheba
    I know the home remedies seem rough - we have to take the responsibility for taking the "medicine" and they seem to take longer to work, but in the long run they are usually safer and more effective. That is just my opinion and my choice. And I do avoid MacDonalds like the plague. If you opt for this cleansing ritual, allow yourself a couple of days for the procedure. Tell your family you'll be out of the country!. Keep us posted on your results. Make sure you have someone to call just in case.
  11. by   BrandyBSN
    I am beginning to wonder if it wasnt stress related. I went home this weekend, and spent all day yesterday on the golf course. I was relaxed, and didnt even think about school. I had NO PAIN whatsoever this weekend. Its just wierd. If I have any more problems, i think I will try that olive oil idea.

  12. by   Gompers
    I know this thread is years old, but I didn't want to start a whole new one since it's related.

    My sis-in-law may have gallbladder problems, but she's not in any pain so she hasn't gone to the doctor. She said that over the past few months she's gotten more gassy, and that recently she's been nauseous 3-4 times a week, but hasn't had any vomiting. BUT she has pale yellow stools. Can you have gallstones with no pain, and if there isn't pain, do you need to have surgery? Can they try something like Actigall instead?

    I work NICU so I'm not familiar with this. I do know when we have a baby with pale stools it's a red flag for biliary atresia, but that's not her problem!