Upper RH abdomen pain

by Gary (Junky)
(Pawtucket, RI)

I'm experiencing this pain again seriously right now 11:58P. This is the first time I found something on this issue. Cant sleep, sharp pain like a nail spike driven into this area. This pain reaches out to my lower back area mostly on the right and about tow thirds up my back with most of the discomfort at the lower back area. I cannot sit still. I rotate my torso in order to find a better position but nothing helps. I have taken 10 200mg over the counter ibuprofen tablets in the past two hours as the pain got worst.

It started at lunch time early in the day. I did not have breakfast and when I got home for lunch I ate more than I would normally. About an hour later I had the sick feeling that tonight was going to be another night of this pain. Yes I have had this problem many times over my life. I am 58 and I recall this problem as far back as 7.
Not sitting still seams to be the only thing that lessens the pain slightly. THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS AT NIGHT, NEVER DURING THE DAY TIME HOURS. Why? I have no idea.
Yes, feeling hot and cold at times happens. Eventually after taking more ibuprofen tablets will help me get some sleep.
The next day slight soreness in the area prevails and I will be reluctant to eat normally. I will eat small amounts thinking the low volume of food intake will help make it go away 100 percent. I have never challenged eating normally the next day. Getting the pain back is not favorable.
I don't drink and have never smoked. I do have Gilbert Liver disease which I don't think has anything to do with it.
What triggers it I also don't know. Wish I did, then I could help prevent the next horrible night.





Hi Gary,

Thanks for your contribution and I am sorry to hear of your upper right hypochondric abdominal pain. It must be distressing to be woken up at night with an unexplained pain over these years.

What you described very well sounds like a continuation of symptoms of Gilbert syndrome. Up to 4% of people in the Western world are affected by Gilbert syndrome. Only 70% or so actually have any symptom, and symptoms could persist through out life in many cases, not just at birth in or childhood. For some, their condition is only diagnosed in their late 20s or 30s.

Though jaundice is the main feature of Gilbert's syndrome, many suffers do not have jaundice, and even in some who do have jaundice, it will take a trained eye to spot yellowness in the white of their eye (pun unintended).

Abdominal pain is another symptom. That could be the case with you. The pain may mimic that caused by biliary colic, though both could co-exist. However, it is important that a kidney stone is also excluded.

Have you had this pain investigated? Scans? Recent liver blood tests?

For more information on Gilbert syndrome, there is a useful article on this topic from the British Liver Trust. Please see it here.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts here and please do let us know of any new findings on this topic.

Best Wishes.

Dr Edema.

Comments for Upper RH abdomen pain

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Jul 21, 2014
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Upper Right Hypochondrial Abdomen Pain
by: Dr O Edema MRCGP CCFP MSc DRCOG

Hi Junky,

Congratulations and sincere thanks to you for keeping us all updated every step along the way. Yes. I agree with you that your experience here would help other users of this site. This is actually the purpose of abdopain.com - to help share experiences and treatment options for all causes of abdominal pain.

You can create a link to this page by copying this link if you like, and posting it on your facebook page, if you use that social media.

Thank you once more and I wish you an upper right hypochondrial abdominal pain free experience, going forward.

Your Partner To Good Health,


Dr O Edema

Abdopain.com


Jul 20, 2014
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Cured At Last 50+ years later
by: Junky

On Feb 6th 2014 I had my Gallbladder removed. Today is July 20th 2014 and I should have had roughly 3 serious upper RH Abdomen pain since Feb 6th, which on a pain scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst, my original attacks were roughly a 12, but now, I have had no attacks at all since the gallbladder removal. The strange thing about my situation s that I realize that there is no pressure in that center to upper RH abdomen area. it's like there is nothing in that area. I can actually eat more food, although with the gallbladder removed, I have to pay attention to fatty foods or it will clean out my system fast, if you know what I mean.

The best part to all of this, is that the "PAIN IS GONE". And I don't have to worry about that old pain and having a heart attack form the pain in years to come, which now at roughly age 60, I can relax. i hope this info helps others. I feel as tho I'm cured.

Good Luck All,
God Bless, Gary

Jan 21, 2014
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Pain Leads me to an Emergency Room Visit
by: Junky

By the time the ER gets to see me the level has dropped to almost gone. They run blood and urine test only to reveal I should be in serious pain. Chronic Pancreatitus is discovered. My pancreas enzyme level is over 6000, should be around 50-60. The gall bladder is excreting a thick mucus due to gall stones discharged. The clogging at the bile duct Y connection for both organs discharge becomes a problem. Although the stones found did not warrant the severe pain, the possibility of the larger stone(s) discharging into the rectum could have happened on my way to the ER.

The two day hospital stay with Sonor gram, CRT and MRI performed, results to the Gallbladder to be removed next week.

If the removal of my gallbladder removes the right upper abdomen pain I have been experiencing over the 50 years, heck I just hit the Megabucks. I will provide a few future updates in time after next weeks surgery.

Much appreciated, Gary

Dec 02, 2013
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Re: Upper RH abdomen pain
by: Dr Edema

Hi Gary,

Thanks for your update.
I completely agree with you. It is best you seek further medical advice and if possible, insist on seeing a specialist, if a reasonable explanation is not offered to you as to the cause of this agonizing upper rh abdominal pain.
You could also ask for strong pain killers, perhaps, like Fentynl patch in combination with other pain killers to help control this pain.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dr Edema
Abdopain.com

Dec 01, 2013
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Update on My Upper Right Side Pain
by: Junky

Since my original correspondence, the upper right side pain occurs about once every 6-7 weeks. The last bout made me take a different stance on this pain. Again it's always at night when it hits me the hardest. Last week it took 14 200mg Ibuprofen tablets to lessen the pain to get some sleep by 5:30am. I realize that at the present age of 59, if nothing is done with my issue, I do not believe my body will be able to handle the stress from the pain. With the next incident, I will not take any ibuprofens and I will visit the hospital emergency room.
I'll post the results.
Gary

Dec 03, 2012
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Re: Upper Right Hypocondrial Pain - Don't Suffer This Amount Of Pain Without Further Investigation
by: Dr Edema

Hi Junky,
You are clearly going through a lot and lot of pain. The disruption to your life is monumental. We do not yet know what is causing you such an agonizing pain - I mean we do not have a definitive diagnosis yet. You cannot carry on like this, less it completely take over your life. We should aim for at least symptoms control if we cannot put our fingers on the cause. But I also think it is worth investigating along the lines of Gilbert, even if it eventually turns out not to be the cause. What about getting your primary care physician to refer you to a pain control specialist and an hepatologist (or a gastroenterologist) with interest in GS? I am worried that you are taking too many ibuprofen - 18 x 200mg tablets in 24 hours is terribly too much. There are consequences with such a high dose of medication - it puts you at risk of a stomach ulcer and bleed, and even more worrying, it could damage your kidneys at that amount. There are stronger alternatives with milder side effects. That is why you need to discuss with your doctor asap or get a pain specialist. Can you see my concerns? What do you think, Junky?

Dec 02, 2012
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Note to Dr Edema
by: Junky

Hello Dr Edema,

I just read your reply to my original posting (sorry didn't see it sooner). I have never found myself waking up to this pain. During the day, the slight pain in the early part of the day, increases ever so slowly. By later in the evening, around 9-10P it becomes painful to which I start taking the Ibu's. By 11 to 12, I'm walking around the house, stretching, twisting, trying to do what ever I can with my torso to find a better position with less pain. Sleep doesn't come into play until around 3, 4 or 5am. Its always a long painful night with sweats and chills at times. And that's a good 50 years of experience with the exact same symptoms, each time to the hours, until this week.

Thanks, G

Dec 02, 2012
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4 Days After - Pain Returns
by: Junky

The following has never happened to me in all of the 50+ years with this upper right hand abdomen pain. Four days after the night of horrible relentless pain, as I was driving to work at 6:50a, the pain came back fully within 20-25 minutes. between 2.5 to 3 hours later, it was totally gone. During the four days after the long night of pain, the area was slightly sore to the touch so I ate lightly for all my meals. I did not eat anything different than I normally would. Just less. As to the morning before leaving to work, 4 days after, all seamed normal and I also ate light. Just a smaller amount of cereal, no milk, with sliced banana and a half cup of decafe coffee. Since I was at work, I had no Ibu's. I figured I would leave work, go home and take the Ibu's. I left work and when I got home, within minutes, the pain lessened substantially. So I backed off taking any Ibu's. Twenty minutes or so later, it was like there was never any pain what so ever and the area was not even sore to the touch. This has never happened to me before. It has always been experiencing a slight feeling early in the day, and later at night the pain develops rapidly to the extent of feeling like I should call 911. But knowing that there is not enough info out there on this issue, going to the hospital opens up the process called "Exploratory Surgery". I'm not interested in this process at all.
I hope this helps others with this process, by not feeling alone. During those nights of pain, my wife checks up on me during the night to see if I'm still alive. Yes, it scares others around you that cannot help you and have no idea as to what's happening to you.

Nov 27, 2012
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My follow up to the other night with the relentless pain
by: Junky

Eventually ended up taking a total of 18, 200mg ibuprophen tablets by 3am which then allowed me to get 25 to 40 minute sleep periods with my sitting on the floor, back to the couch for support and most times holding my right leg close to my torso. I eventually got full sleep from around 6am through 1pm. I did not eat at all the next day. Just drank small amounts of fluids during the day. There was no sign of hunger but my previous experiences over the years warrants no eating or the pain will return immediately for the next 24 hour period. The next day I eat half of what I normally eat at sittings. Breads are not allowed. For some reason when eating breads the next few days after a painfully night, eating bread brings back the feeling I normally get during the day that signals a terrible night ahead. Yes, the area was sore the next roughly 12 hours after waking up. Even though its been over 50 years with this problem occurring roughly 4 to 7 times a year, I have no idea what brings this on. The whites of my eyes have always been yellow. My doctor(s) have always told me its OK. I never new it could be related to Gilbert's Syndrome. No testing has ever been done on this issue. My doctor told me to call when it occures, but it always late at night and 99 percent of the time on the weekends. I don't plan to call and wake up my doctor.

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