Diagnosed with gallstones, but pains are on left side!

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Motu, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Motu

    Motu Guest

    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
    gallstone**.

    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??

    Thanks
     
    Tags:


  2. J

    J Guest

    MOTU wrote:

    > 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 gallstone**.
    >
    > 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??

    You had kidney stones at age 19? and gallbladder age 27? and a male also? How do you explain that?
    Sheesh ! I had gallstones age 22,must be a Canadian thing eh? removed gallbladder. Gallstone pain
    can refer anywhere...mine was out lower left rib and out left lower back, doctor back then told me
    I'd caught a cold on my rib. 18 months later, another doctor x-rayed and removed gallbladder. I
    phoned the idiot doctor and told him he should retire.

    My friend had pains similar location to you, she put up with it for 4 years 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 5?
    Let us know how it all works out. J-not a doctor

    And can cause lots of potential problems. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/311/6997/99
    Symptomatic gall stones--Symptoms are the most reliable factors indicating the prognosis and hence
    the necessity for treatment of gall stone disease. The most common symptom of gall stones is
    intermittent pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, classically but not exclusively after
    a meal and lasting one to several hours. This is known as biliary "colic." It is frequently mild but
    can be severe, requiring medical attention and narcotic analgesics. Once gall stones are
    symptomatic, worsening of symptoms is likely and the risk of progression to more severe disease such
    as acute cholecystitis or pancreatitis is increased, roughly a quarter of patients developing
    complications over the next 10-20 years.30

    Complicated gall stones--Cholecystitis and choledocholithiasis, with or without cholangitis or
    pancreatitis, are the most common complications of gall stone disease.34 Acute cholecystitis
    caused by cystic duct obstruction by stones or stone fragments frequently requires hospital
    admission and can lead to abscess formation, gall bladder perforation, or mucocele of the gall
    bladder. The chronic low grade inflammation caused by gall bladder stones, infection of gall
    bladder bile, and intermittent duct obstruction results in scarring, contracture, and loss of
    function of the gall bladder wall--the picture of chronic cholecystitis. Gall bladder cancer is an
    uncommon long term outcome.

    There are 3 types of gallstones cholesterol, pigmented and mixed (I've lost the url that explains
    all three). If your cholesterol is up, it might be your liver, thyroid and/or the gallbladder
    problem. The liver is ^upsdie down V-shaped so can cause pain anywhere in the Vshape ..across the
    abdomen, right side, left side and I think lower right almost pelvic area.

    http://www.umm.edu/non_trauma/gallstones.htm The symptoms of gallstones may resemble other
    conditions or medical problems such as heart attack, appendicitis, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome,
    hiatal hernia, pancreatitis, or hepatitis. Consult a physician for diagnosis. Who is affected by
    gallstones?

    What is a risk factor? A risk factor is anything that may increase a person's chance of developing a
    disease. It may be an activity, such as smoking, diet, family history, or many other things.

    Different diseases, including cancers, have different risk factors. Although these risk factors
    increase a person's risk, they do not necessarily cause the disease.

    Some people with one or more risk factors never develop the disease, while others develop disease
    and have no known risk factors. But, knowing your risk factors to any disease can help to guide
    you into the appropriate actions, including changing behaviors and being clinically monitored for
    the disease.

    The following are suggested risk factors for gallstones:

    obesity - a major risk factor for gallstones, especially in women. estrogen - excess estrogen from
    pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills appears to increase cholesterol levels
    in bile and decrease gallbladder movement, both of which can lead to gallstones. ethnicity - Native
    Americans have the highest rates of gallstones in this country and seem to have a genetic
    predisposition to secrete high levels of cholesterol in bile. gender - women between the ages of 20
    and 60 years are twice as likely to develop gallstones as men. age - people over 60 are more likely
    to develop gallstones than younger people. cholesterol-lowering drugs - drugs that lower cholesterol
    in blood can actually increase the amount of cholesterol secreted in bile, which in turn increases
    the risk of gallstones.

    diabetes - people with diabetes generally have high levels of fatty acids called triglycerides,
    which increase the risk of gallstones.

    rapid weight loss - as the body metabolizes fat during rapid weight loss, it causes the liver to
    secrete extra cholesterol into bile, which can cause gallstones. fasting - decreases gallbladder
    movement, which causes the bile to become over-concentrated with cholesterol.

    Last time I checked a barium x-ray or GI scope looks for ulcers. (oh, yes, also bloodwork if there's
    infection)
     
  3. Motu

    Motu Guest

    "J" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > 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
    left
    > lower back, doctor back then told me I'd caught a cold on my rib. 18
    months
    > later, another doctor x-rayed and removed gallbladder. I phoned the
    idiot
    > 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
    years
    > 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
    5?
    > 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.
     
  4. Anon

    Anon Guest

    On 2004-02-06 15:54:43 -0500, J <[email protected]> said:

    > J-not a doctor

    Gee...really?
     
  5. J

    J Guest

    anon wrote:

    > Gee...really?

    An MD and that's all you have to contribute to this thread?

    Sheesh! J
     
  6. J

    J Guest

    MOTU wrote:

    > "J" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > You had kidney stones at age 19? and gallbladder age 27? and a male also?
    > How
    > > do you explain that?
    >
    > 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.

    Well milk and cheese have calcium also. And *high* protein is not good for the kidneys, so a
    balanced whole food diet is where I come from and remain.

    > 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?

    No, I had other two of the (other) risk factors. Keep in touch and let us know how you are faring. J
     
  7. J

    J Guest

    MOTU wrote:

    > 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.

    GERD, acid reflux, acid in the stomach, that's what's meds like Prevacid, Pantoloc and Prilosec are
    for, if other anti-ulcer meds don't help. There are some mentioned here.
    http://adultpain.nursing.uiowa.edu/GenePain/Stomactt.htm Also eat 3 or 4 small meals /day even if
    you are not hungry and see if anything improves. J
     
  8. Motu

    Motu Guest

    "J" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > MOTU wrote:
    > > Thanks, I will have to look up GERD - that's the first time I've heard
    of
    > > it.
    > GERD, acid reflux, acid in the stomach, that's what's meds like Prevacid, Pantoloc and Prilosec
    > are for, if
    other
    > anti-ulcer meds don't help. There are some mentioned here.
    > http://adultpain.nursing.uiowa.edu/GenePain/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?
     
  9. Limonatta

    Limonatta New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.

    Thanks!
     
  10. Doly

    Doly New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  11. old-n-slow

    old-n-slow Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    6
    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.
     
  12. DoomedoftheDead

    DoomedoftheDead New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    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
    Soren
     
  13. DoomedoftheDead

    DoomedoftheDead New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
    Cheers
    Soren
     
  14. Arch49

    Arch49 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    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 ?
     
  15. sandypants

    sandypants New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  16. Jessicav08

    Jessicav08 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey, 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 :) Jessica
     
  17. ozarkbelle

    ozarkbelle New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  18. smartnsassy

    smartnsassy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  19. Jesa

    Jesa New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Have they figured out yet where her pain is coming from? I am also experiencing the same symptoms. I need answers soon: (
     
Loading...