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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Gallbladder tests negative......now what?


 pharmdnc - Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:29 pm

I am posting this on behalf of my girlfriend.
She is a 23 year old active girl. About 5'4'' 115lbs. She recently had horrible sharp pain in her upper right abdomen area, right under the ribs. The pain was so bad she went to the Urgent Care. Long story short, the obvious thought was gallbaddler, except her age and other "minor issues" didnt fit really. She had the ultrasound and also a test that colors her bile and checks gallbladder function. All came back normal. These attacks are few and far between and its really hard to link them directly to anything specific (i.e. one time 1 hr after a meal the other is right before meal). She has had about 4-5 attacks over the past 3 weeks, with only 2 being really painful the others just feeling of really bad gas and makes her curl up on the bed. No vomitting, but her normal stool movement has been soft at best. She is now referred to a GI specialist but says she is going to "wait it out" because according to her "I am fine now, so we'll just see". Just wondering if these symptoms sound like anything anyone is familar with.

Thanks!!!
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:00 pm

User avatar Dear pharmdnc,

Recurrent abdominal pain, associated with Gas, loose stool, related to meals is more likely to be due to IBS. The disease is not due to inflammation in the wall of the GI and is believed to be due to autonomic dysfunction or hormonal imbalance that can be easily controlled by simple changes in the lifestyle, diet.

Commonly people who have IBS complain of
Abdominal pain or colic
A bloated abdomen
Gaseous distension
Either Diarrhea or constipation or an alternating between both of them
Mucus containing stool
Certain types of foods contain, chocolate, milk and alcohol might aggravate the condition
Stress increases the frequency and the severity of symptoms in almost all cases.
Super added infectious GI attack will worsen also the symptoms.
The symptoms and signs of IBS are very non specific and shared by many other conditions affecting the GI tract. The diagnosis although made by exclusion of other causes, however abdominal pain and diarrhea or constipation lasting at least 12 weeks is the main criteria for the diagnosis of IBS.

Other disease That can give similar pictures and have to be excluded are Gastritis, GERD, and peptic ulcer.

The following disease give pain in the Right upper part of the abdomen, however with other characteristic symptoms and signs and are not associated with Gas.
Pancreatitis
Renal colic
Hepatitis
Retrocecal appendicitis.

Only by complete history, physical examination and investigations , the correct diagnosis can be reached. I advise you to keep on Follow up with your doctor.

Best regards,

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