View Full Version : Ulcer symptoms or gallbladder? Any guesses?

09-05-2011, 10:30 AM
Can ulcer pain be felt middle back (around bra strap) and upper middle abdomen?

I was sent for an ultra sound, came back i had one large stone and a few smaller ones, and sludge.

My pain in upper center abdomen (between ribs and slightly down towards belly button(not to the belly button tho) and pain in my back (around bra strap area) and sometimes only left side. Its throbs sometimes (like a heart beat)

Some days i feel fine for 3-4 days (meaning, no omg i am SO uncomfortable and tired of this pain feeling) then the rest of the week, its a dull ache or just plain old pain.
I do not think there is any burning. I never suffered from Heartburn, only had reflux a few times my whole life. Nothing since June (since i have been experiencing this)

Surgeon said my gallbladder symptoms were A typical. I asked him if i did not have stones, what could i also have? He suggested an Ulcer. But said, if he thought i did have that, he would do an endoscopy on me first.
Well crap, Atypical doesnt make me feel any better :( Makes me worry more.

Since i do not have insurance it is a big deal to make sure i pick the right thing first, to help with my pain. I know 50-50 shot huh? :)

09-05-2011, 12:06 PM
I have erosive gastritis, which is kind of like little ulcers. The thing about my pain is that it is very responsive to what I put in my stomach. Drink some orange juice, almost-instant burning. Chew some Tums or drink some nice cool skim milk, almost-instant relief.

Gallbladder pain typically shows up after a fatty meal. Drinking juice or eating fruit should not set it off.

Endoscopy does cost some money (about $1000) but it isn't actually surgery. There's no recovery, no incision, no pain, and as soon as the sedative wears off, you're fine. However, it's a diagnostic tool only. The cure for an ulcer is drugs: Proton pump inhibitors and antibiotics, if the ulcer is caused by infection.

(By the way, there is a simple blood test to check for H.Pylori infection, the leading cause of ulcers.)

Gallbladder removal is minor surgery, but it is surgery, and it is a permanent change to the way your digestive system works. You will need to rest at home for a week or so afterward. Overall it'll cost more money than endoscopy, BUT, if it is your gallbladder, that might just fix the problem.

Here's one idea. Try a very low-fat diet for a while, see if you feel better.

09-05-2011, 10:00 PM
Pain in the back suggests an inflamed gallbladder rather than just a gallstone.

But you need to have more options for tests than just gallbladder surgery or upper endoscopy! The problem might be in some of the other ducts there. You need to see a GI specialist, not a surgeon. You don't see a surgeon until you know for sure what the problem is or those guys will go digging on a treasure hunt! Lots of things can cause pain but is that what is causing your pain? A number of people have gallbladder surgery only to find they still have the same pain afterwards.

I've had an ulcer and I felt the pain in my stomach. If I took a couple aspirin, it felt like a hole was burning in me! I had an inflamed gallbladder with stones and sludge and had three bouts of pain (lasting 2-3 hours) over the period of a year. The pain was so bad I could not even talk let alone move.

Please don't try one of those detox liver flushes that seem so innocuous. under certain conditions they can be dangerous.