Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Mysterious abdominal pain - please help

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • April 22, 2010
  • 06:23 PM

Hello, I am a 20 year old female who has been having some problems lately. Around February of 2009 I had an episode of severe pain that shot through my upper right abdomen (right under my ribcage) and through to my spine. I thought it was my back, and kept moving into different positions to no avail. The pain was so severe I was crying and hysterical. After about 4 hours the pain started to fade and I was able to fall asleep. The pain was completely gone when I woke up. Around July I had another episode while at work. This time it was more of a nagging pain in my spine, and once again no matter how I bent or twisted the pain would persist. Around this time I started losing weight. At the time of the first episode, I weighed 190-195lbs. I started losing roughly 5 lbs a month and today I weigh 164. I made no changes to my diet or daily routine. New Year's Eve, before I left to be with friends, the pain flared up again. Since then the pain has gotten more frequent. The most severe episode occurred around January 20th, where I was awakened at 2 a.m. in the most intolerable pain. I felt nauseous and like my insides were trying to rip out of my body. I ended up vomiting. This is the only episode that caused nausea of that severity. Since that episode the pain has showed up frequently (almost weekly) as a tenderness/soreness in my upper right abdomen, soreness in my neck and right shoulder, and has caused some wicked tension headaches.

After the January episode I went to a reduced-fee clinic since I do not have insurance. They gave me an x-ray that showed no abnormalities, and then gave me a full abdominal ultrasound. The ultrasound came up clear, and they referred me to another clinic. So, around 500 dollars in debt at this point and no answers. The new doctor did a normal physical exam and told me that my symptoms seemed to point to gall bladder problems, everything pointed to it but the ultrasound. They did a blood test, and all I had was mildly low potassium. Today I went in for a second ultrasound, just focusing on the gall bladder. Again, nothing was found. Over a year I've dealt with this pain. This has become a very expensive mystery!

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    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Sorry to hear you are having such troubles. I had the exact same symptoms before, and mine started getting more frequent after a bad episode as well. They did the same thing, blood tests, urine tests, ultrasounds, x-rays for about 2 years and nothing showed up. That was until one day the pain lasted for two days and eventually I just couldnt take it anymore so I went to emergency for probably the 20th time in two years and they FINALLY were able to see that it was my gallbladder and my liver enzymes FINALLY showed that they were elevated quite severely. It sounds like you do have gallbladder problems but I will tell you about my symptoms so that you have some reference. I would get : stabbing pain that would radiate throughout my rib cage, shoot strait up my chest and back (along the spinal column as you had described earlier), no position helped this pain, had troubles breathing, blood pressure was high, I would be hot one minute and freezing the next, woke me up in the middle of the night with the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. My doctor referred me to a general surgeon who did a HIDA scan but found nothing so he told me it wasnt my gallbladder, my doctor then suggested that sadly if I wanted something done about it I would just have to keep going into emergency until they decided to do something or until something showed up in the tests. I live in Canada however so all the tests and doctor and hospital visits were paid for but in my opinion living with that is unbearable, annoying, scary, and needs to be dealt with for sure! I would perhaps ask your doctor what they recommend for pain control so that you have something to help a bit when you cant get to a doctor right away and so that you are not in as much discomfort. My doctor gave me a prescription for an analgesic and told me to take gravol for the nausea. How many doctors have you been to that have told you it sounds like your gallbladder??
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have seen three doctors and all of them suspected gallbladder problems. The last doctor I went to ordered the second ultrasound because he thought the first radiologist had made a mistake. He was totally sure it was my gallbladder. The second doctor prescribed me Tylenol 3, which has been a godsend for me when the pain comes. It really is annoying and interferes with my life a lot of the time.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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