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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 30626
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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Hello Dr. Chip, Before I go off on vacation this Thursday,

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Hello Dr. Chip,

Before I go off on vacation this Thursday, I'd like some peace of mind about this pain in my abdomen I've been experiencing.

This abdominal pain started about 2 weeks ago and is on the right side. It is a dull pain that sometimes comes and goes, but sometimes I can feel it for long periods of time (about 20-30 minutes maybe). I can even feel it in my back and under my armpit on the right side too. Actually the whole right side of my body (arm and leg included) feels slightly inflamed. Anyway, when I press on the right abdomen area, the dull pain becomes slightly more noticeable, but I haven't noticed any sharp pain from it yet. It's just unnerving because I don't want it to be something like appendicitis.

It feels more like bloatness or gas, but it's been going on for 2 weeks so I am not sure. I'm also not sure if the other areas I mentioned could be at all related. What do you think this could be?
Hi--any fever, nausea, diarrhea? Where exactly is the abdominal pain?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I had some kind of stomach bug back on July 5th which lasted almost a week. I had nausea and diarrhea and was running a low-grade fever of about 100.3.


But since then, no fever, nausea or diarrhea so I don't think it's related.


The abdominal pain is located on my right side about 4 inches away from my navel. From there, the pain runs up my abdomen about 4-5 inches. Sometimes I feel it in my back at the same height area.

So sometimes it seems as though the pain radiates up toward your right shoulder area?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sometimes. It's more localized to my lower back right now.


I had an ultrasound done on my abdomen on July 5th and the only abnormality they had found was a gallstone, which was also found in another ultrasound done years ago. They did not find that the gallbladder was inflamed either. I saw a GI doctor about a week ago and we scheduled an endoscopy on Aug. 13. He did not think it was the gallbladder given my age and that it is only one gallstone, so we are analyzing that last.

OK. Not appendicitis and possibly irritable bowel syndrome which really is more of a nuisance than a serious problem. Gall bladder pain can radiate in this manner and that's the first thing I would think of with what you've told me. A gall bladder with a stone is really a ticking time bomb and I advise my patients to have their gall bladder removed if they have even just one stone. I don't think you should put off your vacation, but it would be a good idea just to have a doctor lay hands on you and see what he thinks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Dr. Chip. Appendicitis was really the main concern this time around, as I wouldn't want the thing rupturing during my vacation. If it was appendicitis what would I be experiencing right now? I just like to be educated...


My GI doctor did do an abdominal exam with his hands by pressing on it last week. While he was I had felt a sharp pain in the bottom of my lower right quadrant (not near the navel). When that happened, he tried to replicate the pain again but could not. I've since laid hands on myself several times and could not replicate the pain, so maybe it could have been a one-off gas bubble that time or something.


It's possible it could be the gallbladder, but we agreed to explore all other avenues possible before analyzing it and possibly taking it out.


As long as you're telling me all this isn't life-threatening right now until next week, you will put my mind at ease and I will be feeling much better about it...

Nothing life-threatening and you can go off to the sands and palm trees or wherever and have fun. Appendicitis doesn't really allow someone to walk around with it for more than maybe two or three days once the symptoms start. Usually there's midabdominal pain followed by nausea and vomiting and slowly the pain migrates to the right lower quadrant. A person with appendicitis usually sits or lies as rock stationary as possible because any movement, like just walking, is excruciating. If the appendix ruptures, there can be a brief respite in the severe pain, but soon there's diffuse abdominal peritonitis and you're deathly ill. Let's put it this way--if you can go up on your tip toes right now and come down hard on your heels and you don't scream in pain and use four letter words to refer to me, you don't have appendicitis.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hahaha, I just gave that a shot and nothing happened. In fact, I did it a dozen more times along with jumping up and down and I felt perfectly fine.


A few more questions: what is the likelihood of a gallbladder rupturing? And how would I know if it happened to me?


Also, is it possible this could be something with the liver, like maybe liver disease? On a side note I only drink about once or twice a month, if that.

Gall bladders only rupture if acute cholecystitis--actual inflammation of the gallbladder wall--occurs and usually you are very ill and in a lot of pain before that would happen. No, not liver--hepatitis only causes a tender liver higher up in the abdomen and again, you'd be very sick with that. Enjoy your vacation.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Awesome, that is great to hear.


One last thing: on top of the pain I had mentioned above, my right side in general feels kind of weird/inflamed (e.g. my arm and leg), and there is also a localized pain underneath my armpit. It is nothing serious since this has also been going on for a week or two, but I'm just curious if it could be connected to the gallbladder or abdomen. Or maybe a lymph node under the arm...?

Well no, nothing in the abdomen refers symptoms to an arm or a leg. Sometimes a kidney stone can radiate pain into the right groin and upper thigh, but this doesn't sound like that. Still, I don't think this is anything too serious so go on vacation and let me know how that went and how your are when you get back.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Nope, no kidney stones.


Dr. Chip, thanks so much for your level-headed and down-to-earth opinion. This is just the type of thing I needed to hear before going on vacation.


I will follow up with you maybe after my endoscopy is done (Aug. 13th) or maybe sooner than that.


Thanks so much again and have a great week. You are the man!

Thanks for the kudos, but just doing my job. Have a great time. By the way August 13 is my birthday but I don't plan to get scoped after the ice cream and cake

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hahaha, good to know!


You may just be doing your job but the fact you are on JustAnswer as often as you are says a lot about you and how passionate you are about your work.


If I don't message you in time on Aug. 13th, then Happy Birthday! Have some cake, kick back and enjoy the day. You will have earned it!

Thanks. Of course, I'm a Leo, and all Leo's are bastards--caring, loyal people, but egotists and arrogant bastards.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Haha, I know them all too well. I am an Aries and elitist bastards like us get along pretty well with Leos.


We care too and are pretty motivated and self-sufficient...but still bastards sometimes.

And a good many doctors are egomaniacs with inferiority complexes. Talk to you later maybe
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Happy Birthday Dr. Chip! Hope you're having a great day.


I recently got back from my endoscopy. Everything looked just fine, except they noticed some inflammation in my stomach via gastritis so they took some biopsies and I should hear back from them in about 2 weeks. They think everything will come back normal from the biopsies too.


One less thing to worry about! I suppose the next thing to tackle would be a CAT scan on my abdomen or some other tests related to my gallbladder. However we still don't think it's the gallbladder, but we'll see.

Thanks so much. Hope you had a great time and keep in touch. I'm off for cake and ice cream and to growl at my friends like a good Leo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hahah, sounds good! Take care my friend.

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