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Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
Question:
A couple of months ago I had a very, very sharp pain in my abdomen or right below my clavicle. I thought it was heart burn, but it was much worse and came and went intermittently. Antacids did not help. I felt tired and had a hard time breathing. Then, after 4 hours it went away. I then read an article on gallbladder stones and the symptoms matched perfectly. I did nothing as I thought they just went away or passed through. Last night I had the attack again. Does it sound like a gallbladder problem? How are gallbladder problems/stones diagnosed? If it is a gallbladder problem , what are my options? Do I need my gallbladder taken out? Is there a dietary cure for it? If it is not a gallbladder problem what else could it be? Thank you.
mz
Answer:
Firstly, if you (or anyone) has any pain that causes you to feel tired and makes breathing difficult this should be checked immediately by a physician. The worst possible cause of chest (i.e. below the collarbone - clavicle) pain is a problem with the heart and although this is not the most common reason to have chest pain it is the most worrisome. See your doctor ASAP for a checkup; depending on age, past medical history, family history and examination findings etc further tests may be necessary. This is also sound advice if the pain is due to the gall bladder / gall stones. It may be possible by going over the symptoms in detail to raise or lower the probability for this specific diagnosis, but the "easiest" and most reliable way to check for gall stones is to have a simple, painless and accurate ultrasound of the upper abdomen (it is always best for both patient and doctor not to "jump" to a diagnosis and thence the indicated investigation, too soon, but to keep an open mind initially). Gall stones more often present in women, in "middle age", with a family history thereof; but they can occur in thin young men as well. In general, if gallstones are present and causing symptoms, they can and should be removed; this is usually possible using an endoscopic technique, but this should be discussed with a surgeon if you get the diagnosis confirmed. Gallstones once present do not, unfortunately, go away or pass through, and we are not yet sure that they are the cause of either episode of your symptoms. Hope this helps. As always, we recommend checking with your physician for the applicability of this general advice to your individual clinical situation.
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