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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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For the past few days I have been experiencing a dull ache

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Hi Dr.
For the past few days I have been experiencing a dull ache underneath my right side rib cage. I have noticed it more recently a little while after I eat or drink something. Tonight the pain actually woke me up and I felt a bit nauseous. I had my gallbladder removed last November just to let you know. I have also had bad gas and diarrhea lately. Could this be an ulcer? Should go to the hospital now or can I wait to call my Dr. in the morning?
Hello again...

I am sorry to hear that you are not feeling well.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain you have ever had, how would you rate it?

Have you noted any blood in your stool?
Black, tarry stool?
Upper back pain or shoulder blade pain?
Shortness of breath?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Dr. Abby,
I would say the pain when it happens would be about a 3.
I should clarify, it is not nausea its regurgitation and burping.
No blood in the stool
No black or tarry stools
No fever
No upper back or shoulder pain
No shortness of breath
Ok, thank you for clarifying.

At this point, given the pain level, I believe it can wait until the morning.
Because you are experiencing increased symptoms after eating and you are having regurgitation and burping, it does sound like it is related to the stomach.
However, typically this will cause pain in the left upper abdomen or upper center abdomen...the fact that your pain is right sided doesn't quite fit.

I would still treat it as gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), acid reflux and/or possibly an ulcer. If you have any acid reducer medication at home, try it tonight (such as zantac, pepcid, maalox). Omeprazole can also be used but will not start working for a few days.
Because you have had diarrhea, you may have a viral gastroenteritis (viral stomach bug)

Tomorrow, your doctor should consider doing some blood work (liver function tests, blood count and possibly a test for H. pylori, which is the bacteria that causes ulcers).

I would go to the emergency room tonight if you develop pain that is 7 or higher on the pain scale or if you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, bloody or black stools.

You can also try using immodium for the diarrhea.

I hope that you feel better soon,

Feel free to ask any follow up questions you may have,

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I forgot to mention that I have had Acid Reflux in the past and was on Nexium. My Dr. took me off of it about 6 month ago but gave me a prescription for it (which I have some here) for flare ups. Do you think I should take it now or speak with him first?
Does this sound like cancer? life threatening right now?
You can take the Nexium but it won't start to work for a few days...

Cancer did not even cross my mind. I do not think this sounds like cancer.

Because your symptoms are related to the gastrointestinal tract, if you had weight loss, if you become full quickly, unexplained fever, blood in your stool (usually this is not visible, though), iron deficiency anemia--these would be signs of a potential cancer.

But, they can also be signs of an ulcer.

This does not sound life-threatening as you are not describing any bleeding, difficulty breathing, chest pain.

Dr Abby

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