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Diagnosed with gallstones, but pains are on left side!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I need help on narrowing down what I might have! I'm male, 27 years old, 5'6, 160lbs toned fit
physique, healthy-eater, non-smoker, and a workaholic. I apologize about the length of this post,
but I think the history is relevant.

In mid-October, due to immense work-place stress I boiled-over and collapsed. I went on sick leave,
felt extremely fatigued (12-16 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day), and suffered from constant
chest ache - it felt as though someone had kicked me in the heart, and I noticed what I described to
my doctor as frequent 'flutterings' of my heart with sudden sharp pains in the same area (left of
sternum but right of nipple). As well I started to notice sudden (but infrequent) sharp pains on the
left side of my abdomen, best described as what I imagine a sharp knife stuck in and twisted would
feel like. As I'd had kidney stones 8 years ago and noticed pain(twinging) in the same area, I
mentioned this to the doctor.

He set me up with blood tests (ok.. however mentioned a slightly high cholesterol - which I found
strange as I specifically choose low-fat meals), urine tests(ok), a halter monitor for the
'fluttering'(came back normal). Suggesting it was psychological, he recommended to try and get
active again and to eat at regular times. I still slept a lot (10-12hours a day), but made sure I
ate properly, and over the next 4 weeks the upper chest pains seemed to subside, in fact the sharp
pains returned only every 2 or 3 days now, and were less severe.

However, at Christmas, for the first time in my life, I noticed I was having difficulty eating the
first serving, let alone seconds (I've never turned down Christmas dinner 2nds!). By New Years, I
noticed the left-side abdomen pain (at bottom of ribs) was pretty much a constant ache, with more
frequent sudden sharp pains (especially while driving, while Christmas shopping, whilst waiting in
lines, etc.. probably brought on by stress). Eating dinner is a chore now, I don't look forward to
it. Doctor ordered more blood tests & x-rays, and put me on Prevacid, thinking it was an ulcer. All
came back normal again, but by now I was feeling pain in my stomach (centre, halfway between navel &
sternum)- almost like the pain you feel if you are punched hard in the stomach winding you. Prevacid
didn't help. Doctor ordered ultrasound -- I got the results on Thursday and **he says I have a

He's arranging for an appointment at the hospital as he says it could be what's causing the problem
but as the pain is on the LEFT, he doesn't want to remove the gall bladder if the stone is not the
cause of the problem (gall bladder is on the RIGHT side).

I am typing this at 4am as I just woke up from the discomfort - it feels like my insides
are burning.

Eating has no noticeable affect - the pains are there when I have an empty stomach and when I've
eaten. I am sounding like a hypochondriac, but I've only made 2 unscheduled visits to the doctors in
the last 15 years and only go if something is really bothering me-- otherwise I ride it out. Not
this time! Any ideas??

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

Re: Diagnosed with gallstones, but pains are on left side!

"J" <HistaMine@invalid.inv> wrote in message
> You had kidney stones at age 19? and gallbladder age 27? and a male
also? How
> do you explain that? Sheesh!

Yep, that seems to be the case. Kidney stones I'm told were due to calcium build-up - from the age
of 16-18 I worked out with weights quite a lot, and ate plenty of protein - sources included plenty
of milk & cheese. Never taken any supplements or vitamins of any kind. Since the kidney stones, I
have not worked out at all, and have obviously reduced my intakes to normal levels. Low fat,
sensible diet - and no junk food whatsoever, no pop, maybe 1 coffee a day (if that).

> I had gallstones age 22,must be a Canadian thing eh? removed gallbladder.
Hey, you got me beat there! Any similarities in diet history?

> Gallstone pain can refer anywhere...mine was out lower left rib and out
> lower back, doctor back then told me I'd caught a cold on my rib. 18
> later, another doctor x-rayed and removed gallbladder. I phoned the
> doctor and told him he should retire.

My doctor says the left side pain *might* be a torn muscle. Somehow, I doubt it.

> My friend had pains similar location to you, she put up with it for 4
> and thought it was her heart, it was her gallbladder and GERD. She ended
up in
> ER many times before she finally decided to get hers out. It was
infected by
> that time. Another co-worker waited until she's now stuck with chronic pancreatitis. Friend still
> has GERD, but won't take meds. Maybe you have all 3 or 4 or
> Let us know how it all works out. J-not a doctor

Thanks, I will have to look up GERD - that's the first time I've heard of it. Thanks for the
additional info that I snipped from the end of your post.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Re: Diagnosed with gallstones, but pains are on left side!

"J" <TriedAndTrue@example.net> wrote in message
> MOTU wrote:
> > Thanks, I will have to look up GERD - that's the first time I've heard
> > it.
> GERD, acid reflux, acid in the stomach, that's what's meds like Prevacid, Pantoloc and Prilosec
> are for, if
> anti-ulcer meds don't help. There are some mentioned here.
> http://adultpain.nursing.uiowa.edu/G...n/Stomactt.htm Also eat 3 or 4 small meals /day even if
> you are not hungry and see if anything improves.

I'd already written that doctor thought it might be acid reflux and had prescribed Prevacid - which
hasn't helped in the slightest. As well, the tests show I do not have an ulcer.

You mentioned in another post you had 2 of the other risk factors. Just wondering are you M or F?
Overweight or normal weight for you height?
post #4 of 14

Hi Motu,


Have you had any luck? Any info? I am going through EXACTLY (eerily so) the same thing. I am female, 35, but otherwise the same thing. From the work stress, to the medical leave (which I am on now) etc.


I am also having heart palpitations and am currently wearing a holter monitor. I also have those chest pains, and exactly where you said "left of sternum but right of nipple". I also have those knife-twisting pains on my left side right below my rib cage. Horrible, excrutiating pains, often with diarrhea. I also have not been able to eat very much in the past couple weeks. A yogurt and soup about does me in for the day. Feels like I just can't fit in any more food. Weird.


Please update me. Have you heard of anything? I am quite anxious.



post #5 of 14

I've had similar symptoms, and I think I've worked it out. Gallstones can cause pancreatitis, and the pancreas is on the left side. The bile duct joins the pancreatic duct.

post #6 of 14
Originally Posted by Doly View Post

I've had similar symptoms, and I think I've worked it out. Gallstones can cause pancreatitis, and the pancreas is on the left side. The bile duct joins the pancreatic duct.
Stones are easy to diagnose... simple MRI will find them.

3 years ago I had an attack that passed in 30 minutes. i was about to call 911 but it passed. A few weeks later I had another it was like someone put a sword though my body on the right side. It passed so I took an nap. When i woke up 2 hours later I couldn't close my pants, my abdomen was bloated so I went to the ER. In 15 minutes they diagnosed me with pancreatitis and my gall bladder was loaded with stones. I spend a week on antibiotics and pain meds till it passed. Then they did an endoscopy to ensure my bile duct and pancreas were clear. Then next day they removed it.

Don't mess around cause pancreatitis can kill you.
post #7 of 14

Just been searching for cyclists who have had problems with Gallstones - glad to find this thread - I have two and they have been causing havoc. Not sure if the Gallbladder is infected at this time - my real worry is as a racing cyclists - how will this affect my future?

We do typically eat like horses and indeed eat high carb gels and energy bars on the road - does losing a Gallbladder mean losing your ability to ride fast all day?

Right now Im to sick to ride in any case - would be very gratefull for some pointers from anyone who has been through this themselves.

Best wishes


post #8 of 14

Just jumping in here, Hi - my name is Soren, I presented those symptoms to a GP a month back and was refered to the local hospital for an Ultrasound scan. Instantly showed two kidney stones and now Im taking these and myself to the docs tomorrow.

I am keen not to do anything that will leave perminant weakness or problems digesting - especially as a cyclist!

Im hoping this thread is still active so we can update each other -
In anycase Ill update my progress -

Best of luck with your ailments - sounds very much like Gallstones or similar problem - an Ultrasound Scan will show it.



post #9 of 14

Hi Yes Iwas feeling the same ains allso my feft arm was frozzen , and I have to go two days ago to the Hospital thinking that possible I have A hart attck ; after all the test including Thomography Drs came to the conclusion of a gall bladder sickness ?

post #10 of 14

Hi All,


I have been dealing with the same problem for years now. I do have gallstones & a kidney stone. I can say it all has to do with diet. I was on a high protein diet for many years & was really bad at drinking water. which are big no no's. Now I have changed my diet to fresh foods...Live foods & put a little organic apple cider vinegar in my water to help with the left pain. I am on a quest to try the Gallbladder & liver cleanse this coming weeks in hopes to clear this problem up. They say it needs to be done several times, so I will get back to this post once I have complete my first flush. I hope to prevent pancretitas and help my liver & gallbladder heal.

post #11 of 14
I know the exact pain you are talking about and having. I have the exact same thing and have had the really bad attacks for a year now. Only going to the emerg twice in the last month because of the pain (feels like a heart attack). Both times I have told the hospital I have sharp pain in my left side, back and centre chest. (I also have had 2 ultrasounds that both show 15- 25 stones) .. The hospital gives me a shot for the pain and has told me THE LEFT SIDE PAIN IS-- mostly really bad gas bubbles. So yes left side pain can be caused by gallstones. I will be having surgery in one week. You should really think about it, the attacks every week that last over 24 hrs are not fun!.

Hope I helped :)
post #12 of 14

I have the same mysterious pain on my left side and center of my stomach. I have had endoscopy, colonoscopy and next is a nuclear test  for gall bladder functioning. I too cannot eat and if I do the constant ache is always there. I was wondering if it may be the spleen or the lower lung? Active yougurt cultures helps also i tried fresh ginger on pineapple and that helps. If i find out anything i will let you know.

post #13 of 14

My daughter has the same problem as you do. She's 26 and had her gallblader removed last year a week later is when the pain startd on her left side just below her ribbs. When I asked  her what it felt she said that (1)  it was burning inside and that some one was pulling her insides from diffrent directions and twisting her insides an than stabing her. She has pain 24/7 some days are worse than othersher heart rate is 120 sometimes higher. Nothing helps her an I feel useless as a parent, she is stil being seen at Stanford Hospital I'm hoping they figure this out soon because this is no way to live. I hope your doing better.

post #14 of 14

Have they figured out yet where her pain is coming from? I am also experiencing the same symptoms. I need answers soon: (

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