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Old 05-18-2012, 05:33 AM   #1
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Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

For the past 6 months or so I have had a dull pain right under my right ribs that comes and goes (here for a few days, gone for a few days) that the last doctor I saw suspected was my gallbladder. Sometimes the pain radiates to the middle of my abdomen, right below my breast bone, and sometimes it goes a little left of my breastbone. But it's baseline location is always right where my gallbladder is.

I had blood work done a couple of months ago when I was having pain, and everything was normal other than very slightly elevated liver numbers, which the Dr. chalked up to me being overweight. I also had an ultrasound that showed no gallstones, although I know I need a HIDA scan to see how my gallbladder is functioning. The only problem is I won't have insurance for another 6 months, so I'm trying to put it off until then.

I read alot about gallbladder pain being a doubling over emergency type pain, but I've never had that. My pain never gets about maybe a 5 on the 1-10 scale. It's more of an annoyance than anything else. It does last for days at a time too... then goes away for a few days before returning. I have had a couple of periods of weeks go by with little or no pain, but it always returns. Sometimes I get bouts of nausea with the pain, sometimes I get nausea without the pain.

I guess my biggest question here is if anyone has had gallbladder problems without the debilitating pain and just had a dull annoying pain from their bad gallbladder.

Last edited by Jordy487; 05-18-2012 at 05:36 AM.

 
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:25 AM   #2
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

I had that in the beginning. I would get on a low or no fat diet and see if that helps until you can have a HIDA scan. Don't strees it more than necessary.

 
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

I have been on a very low fat diet for awhile now. I eat nearly no animal products and really try not to eat many things that have added oil and fats. I started eating this way to lose weight even before my gallbladder started really acting up (I've actually lost almost 50 pounds since the start of the year). Last weekend I was feeling perfectly fine and really went off the bandwagon and ate 2 grilled sausages and a bunch of my wife's taco salad (which is very delicious, and very fattening) at a cookout and really paid for it with pain on both sides of my abdomen on Monday, Tuesday and most of Wednesday.

I have read that gallbladder attacks usually only last a few hours, but like I said my pain lasts for days at a time... although I guess it's not really an "attack" since the pain is never severe enough to keep me from doing anything, although it does make me depressed (I guess that's the right word) and not in a good mood to always do something when it's flaring up. I'm really trying not to stress out, although I am very prone to stress and anxiety. Whenever my pain starts creeping over to my left side I always start to worry about something being wrong with my pancreas, but the Dr. said my pancreas seems fine and the pain always returns to it's baseline right side location when the flare up starts to recede. Maybe I should get my hands on some xanax to keep myself from freaking out too much, lol.

Anyway, reading this board I've come to see that you're like the gallbladder expert here, so any advice you give me I will take seriously. I really hope I can hold out another 6 months until I can get insurance to cover a hida scan and (most likely) gallbladder surgery.

 
Old 05-18-2012, 08:49 AM   #4
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

Just hang in. Mine was annoying me a long time before the attack from you-know-where that sent me to the doctor. Then it was another 4 months before I had it out - Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday, etc that I didn't want to disrupt for surgery! So just stick to the diet. You've done the experiment - ate the bad food - so now you know what not to do. Keep us posted....

 
Old 05-18-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

I never had the sharp right side pain either. It was a band of tightness from right to left side under my chest. Also experienced pressure in back on right side. This started in July last year and my hida scan was in October. Surgery was in november. four months total.
Prior to this I was on antibiotics for an infection and lost 20lbs in 2 weeks. Then the gall bladder problem started. You mentioned that you had also lost weight. This seems to affect the gallbladder from what I have read.

 
Old 05-18-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

I have no gallbladder and started having that same pain - I am also on a diet and lost weight and that is when the pain started. I don't understand it - I am losing weight and I am getting pain.

 
Old 05-19-2012, 04:03 AM   #7
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

I think I was starting to have issues with my gallbladder before I started losing weight, but the doctor I saw did mention that lose weight rapidly can cause problems for the gallbladder. I haven't felt any pain at all for the past couple of days, but this morning I woke up feeling a little nauseous... I'm hoping that goes away soon. I don't know which is worse, the random pain or the random nausea. I think I might have something else wrong with me that causes the morning nausea I often experience... I expect it may be GERD or gastritis or an ulcer or something along those lines, although I know a gallbladder can mimic those conditions (and those conditions can mimic a bad gallbladder).

Titchou and Jacy, after you had your gallbladders out, did everything go back to normal like it was before your gallbladder started acting up?

 
Old 05-19-2012, 06:53 AM   #8
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

Immediately! All symptoms gone. I knew in the recovery room that I was already feeling better. No nausea, no pain. I do get the occasional "phantom" annoying feeling but it is fleeting. It's been 7 years and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

 
Old 05-19-2012, 09:35 AM   #9
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

I wish i could say the same as Titchou but it took months for me to feel almost normal. I still had pressure where the gallbladder was and in the back. Nausea still persisted for a while. I dragged myself into work each day. Pain is common for some people. My sister had her gallbladder out last year and had no pain afterwards.

Stay away from fatty foods after the surgery. I didn't know this until afterwards when I started reading the message boards. Maybe that would have helped. Six months later I still get occasional pangs on the right side. Mind over Matter?
Good luck to you. Let us know how you are.

 
Old 05-19-2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

I plan on staying away from fatty foods for the rest of my life, gallbladder or not. I've really overcome an overeating disorder these past six months, and like an alcoholic with alcohol, I'm scared to start eating bad food too often ever again. Not to say I won't occasionally indulge (once I get whatever is wrong with me fixed) at special occasions, but gone are the nights when I eat a big plate of nachos just for the heck of it.

Thanks for the advice you ladies have given me. I plan of staying active on this board, if for no other reason than having someone who understands what I'm going through to talk with about my situation with. Call it therapy for my aching gallbladder. My nausea today did go away after eating a piece of dry toast... I'm thinking I have GERD too, since I often wake up nauseous and stay that way until I eat a small bland breakfast. GERD kinda runs in my family, but I don't know if it's a hereditary condition or not.

 
Old 05-29-2012, 09:24 AM   #11
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

Hi - Yes I've been getting similar symptoms for a couple of months now. I had obstructive jaundice a few months ago - no gallstones, but caused by bile sludge apparently - (also have dilated common bile and pancreatic ducts - thickened and shrunken gallbladder) - felt quite ill but had an ERCP with sphincterotomy (to make the opening from the common bile duct to the intestine bigger. Felt better for a few weeks after that (apart from the pain from the ercp) but I started with this continual aching pain all across my the upper right side right where the liver and gallbladder are, and across the right side of my back. I feel like Ive been kicked. Some days are worse than others and I feel quite tired and unwell a lot of the time. I have had some sharp, gripping pain but it doesnt last more than a couple of minutes, not that doubling over pain that some get. I have pain in my back right ribcage if its pressed on like if I lie on that side or lean back in a chair. There is a swelling on my abdomen just below my ribcage on the front which goes around to the right side - this goes up and down and when its particularly swollen, thats when I feel worse - just aching all the time its horrible. I have been advised by the hospital that I will need to have my gb out so hopefully that will be soon.
I hope you get something sorted soon

 
Old 05-29-2012, 10:25 AM   #12
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

Ok,,so about 3 months ago I went threw a stage of losing weight and lost about 14 lbs.(and wasn't even trying) then about 2 months ago I started having some pain in the upper rt side of my chest,just below the rib area,from the middle going to the rt.At times that pain would shoot into my rt shoulder,and it would also hit in my upper back between my shoulder blades.My husband ended up taking me to the hospital after I ended up on the ground from one of these pains.They did blood test(came back normal),chest xray(normal) and scheduled me to do an ultrasound and follow up with a surgen.Did the xray and found out when I went to the surgen that,that was normal as well.He did mention the Hida scan,but due to me not having ins,he stated that I am the story book of gallbladder desease,and that it should come out.My worry is,what if it isnt my gallbladder?Everyone I have talked to has said its the gallbladder but Im worried about it.I go in for the surgery next Monday.Maybe I am just scared and nervous for nothing,but any in-put would be great.....Thank you...

 
Old 05-30-2012, 04:51 AM   #13
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

Good luck on your surgery Melissa. Hopefully having your gallbladder out will take care of the pains. I've stayed 95% pain free over the past week or so by eating very low fat, but my GERD/ulcer/gastritis (not sure which I have, but I know I have at least one of the three) really flared up last week, so I started taking prilosec everyday and have been feeling better. I still get a random wave of nausea every now and then though... I hate that, but at least it's not too often.

 
Old 06-07-2012, 12:07 PM   #14
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

Just an update on my condition... the past 5 days or so haven't been so good. I've had alot of tenderness all over my abdomen, especially in the epigastric region. If I push anywhere it hurts alot... almost like my insides are trying to rip away from my body. Not sure if this is even connected to my gallbladder or not. I've had little to no appetite and have felt nauseous almost all day long for the past 5 days. I have had to force myself to just eat a little rice and veggies each day.

This morning I woke up with a pretty bad pain right where my gallbladder is, but the rest of the belly tenderness has greatly subsided. I have some pain/tenderness like a band across the top of my abdomen, but the pain is greatest over my gallbladder.

Also, and this is the graphic part where I talk about bathroom stuff in case you want to skip reading about such things, I've had really yellow watery diarrhea today. I'm thinking it's because my gallbladder is acting up and not enough of the bile salts from my liver are getting to the small intestine. Of course, yellow diarrhea can also be from GERD/Ulcer, of which I believe I have both. Actually I'm thinking alot of the belly pain I've been having is from an ulcer, although I have been taking prilosec every day.

Anyway, that's my update. It helps my anxiety to get to share this with whoever is reading. I'm trying to get insurance quicker than next January so I can get this taken care of... but I keep getting turned down by insurance companies because of my weight (I am still quite obese, even though I have made a lifestyle change and have lost alot of weight this year). I guess I'll just have to wait it out until I can get on my wife's insurance from her work next year. Taking care of this without insurance would probably bankrupt me.

 
Old 06-13-2012, 08:38 PM   #15
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Re: Has anyone had dull gallbladder pain (instead of sharp pain)

I had gallbladder attacks over a span of 3 years before I got mine out 2 weeks ago. They were infrequent (once every 1-2 months) until last September. My attacks always lasted 4-5 hours. At first they felt more like trapped gas and tightening across my upper abdomen. I never had pain between attacks until 2-3 months ago. At that time my attacks got worse (more upper right side pain radiating to my back). I also started having a 24/7 constant dull ache where my gallbladder was. It was not horrendous - just enough to let me know it was there, although it was certainly worse for a day or so after a full-blown attack. It was to the point that even if it wasn't my gallbladder causing the pain I was willing to try having it out in the hopes of feeling better.

I already had stones confirmed back in December so I didn't need any further tests before the surgery. During the surgery the doctor found a large stone stuck in my bile duct and that's probably what was causing the constant ache. I was eating almost no fat for the last month prior to the surgery (still had 2 attacks). I feel like a new person after the surgery. I have had no problems returning to eating anything and everything - I know some people need to take it slower. I already feel normal again. It's such a relief to not worry about when/what I can eat.

Hopefully you can get that surgery soon. I know how bad it is to be miserable and suffering for a long time. Getting my gallbladder out was the best thing I ever did.

 
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