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liver pain or muscle pain?

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Old 08-29-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
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Question liver pain or muscle pain?

Hi! Here is my story so far:

- mid-June 2012: had severe increasing pain in middle and right upper abdomen just under the rib cage. Felt feverish and increasingly bad so I went to the ER.
- in ER pain peaked after a few hours, along with a fit of uncontrollable shivers then disappeared, then to return for 10-15 minutes in half hour intervals. Then I was given some narcotic and woke up in the morning with little pain.
- while in ER they did chest XRay and ultrasound and many blood tests. They said the scans showed inflammation of the liver and a widening of the bile duct. They did not see any gallstones. The blood tests showed increasing liver numbers and also bacteria in my blood. Their diagnosis was that I had a stone blocking the bile duct causing backup into my liver resulting in the increased liver numbers and the infection. They assumed that the stone passed through since they couldn't see it. Was put on antibiotics.
- was transferred to a surgery ward after 2 days. Did a abdominal cat scan and an ERCP (not fun!). Neither of these showed any problems, although with the ERCP they said they couldn't get around a bend to see the bile duct.
- after 2 days they said my liver counts and bacteria levels lowered.
- since the ERCP wasn't helpful they wanted to do an MRI (MRCP) for which I had to wait for a couple of days in the hospital. All this time I was on IVs and essentially fasting since the various tests I waited for couldn't have food or drink.
- did the MRI which showed no gallstones or other problems. Was sent home with a followup in 2 weeks.
- followup: end of July. Bloodwork was normal. They said if you get these pains again come back and we'll take out your gallbladder.

After that I felt not too bad for a week, just digestive issues (gas, reflux) which I attributed to the week long fast and antibiotics. Started taking probiotics. One week after the followup I began to have bouts of nausea and stomach pain (central). Went to my PCP (family doctor). He did some more blood tests and urine tests. Gave me a prescription for Pantoloc (for reflux). This was mid-August now. I felt not too bad after the visit to the PCP and the Pantoloc seemed to work.

But this week (end of AUgust 2012) I began to have pains in my upper back, between the shoulder blades, as well as on my right side at the same level. They feel like muscle spasms, and I can trigger them by twisting my torso to the left and bending over. Lying down helps and I have no problem sleeping. Sitting is probably the worst, and bending over. I also sometimes get cramping types of pain in the front of my rib cage, about the same level (just below my pectorals).

Now I have read that upper back and right back pain can be caused by gallbladder issues. I am wondering whether that is likely in my case or whether it is cause by muscle spasm (perhaps brought on by sensitivity to the reflux).
Some points against it being gallbladder related are that these pains can be triggered by change in position, and that they are worse when sitting and bending over, a position where the gallstone pain I had originally felt best. When I had the gallstone attack I couldn't lay down, I had to sit up.
Also there is no pain along the bottom of my rib cage, nor is there any pain or tenderness there when I press or anywhere else in my rib cage, unlike when I had the original gallstone attack.

I took some Robaxacet (acetominophen and muscle relaxant) but it didn't seem to have any effect. I haven't tried any NSAIDs yet.
I have also noticed that when I burp the pain diminishes somewhat for a little while.

I noted that back pain can be a side-effect of the Pantoloc, but it is apparently rare, and I had taken Prilosec for 6 months about 5 years ago with no problems.

Any thoughts from those that may have had similar experiences?


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