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Can abdominal muscular spasms be symptoms of gallbladder problem?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - May 2014
May 2014
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Radiologist
Practicing since : 2002
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I have had four abdominal muscular spasms underneath my right breast, spread out since XXXXXXX . When they happen, they stick out about half an inch and are very painful. The last one occurred after eating chicken nuggets, about two hours later. But I have no idea if that was the reason or not? I have a dull ache in the same area for about five years now. My doctor suspects gallbladder but had an ultrasound in XXXXXXX and all normal. Could it still be gallbladder related? What could have caused my very visible muscle spasms? Usually they happen when I am just sitting in bed.
Posted Wed, 5 Feb 2014 in Abdominal Pain
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 7 hours later
Brief Answer: Please find detailed answer below Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, Thanks for writing in to is. I would like to re confirm that you are having muscle spasms in deed. Symptoms for intercostal muscle spasms include: Severe stabbing pain on the lower right breast, that persists. Usually worsens with attempt to move or straighten the upper body The pain is is localized at one single point, usually around the ribs or close in the middle lower area of the chest If not anxious, the heart beat is usually steady, but the pain persists Pain increases with heavy breathing Pain may persist for as little as 5 minutes to an hours or more If you are having the above symptoms then a spasm of the muscles is confirmed. The condition is usually relieved by lying down flat on your back. Muscle spasm happens when there is a wrong posture, muscle fatigue, after doing heavy exercises or in viral flu infections. It is important to know for how long the pain persists and how it gets relieved. Other than spasm the pain can also be due to irritation of nerves in the chest cavity , lungs and pleura. IBS gastritis, gastric ulcer and GERD can also cause similar symptoms. It is unlikely to be a gall bladder problem if your ultrasound scan is normal, though initially a gall bladder problem pathology is suspected if the muscle spasm occurs after a fatty meal. Even electrolyte imbalance (calcium and magnesium) can cause muscle spasms. Hope your query is answered. Do write back if you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek
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Follow-up: Can abdominal muscular spasms be symptoms of gallbladder problem? 1 hour later
Wow! Thanks so much for being so thorough!! I really REALLY appreciate it! So, my muscular spasms are not related to my gallbladder probably? I just have been concerned with the dull ache and the spasms happen always, always in the exact same spot as the ache. A hiatal hernia wouldn't stick out there would it? This all began five years ago during my first pregnancy and it continued after and during my other pregnancies and it continues. I am just trying so hard to diagnose myself and spare myself more trips to the Dr. I would like to avoid tests, if this is nothing serious. I have developed headaches, especially in my right eye, more yellow colored urine which is strange I know, and middle back ache. But could just be stress. I also get intense gassy cramps where I have to lay down for hours as well at least a few times a week. I get chills, nauseous and very gassy. :/ Any ideas what all of these symptoms could be? Any information I would be just thrilled to hear! Thanks SO much again from the bottom of my heart!! :)
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Please find detailed answer below Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, Thanks for writing in with an update. I am glad that you found my earlier reply informative. To further confirm that the muscle spasm is not due to any liver or gall bladder problems, a simple blood test for liver function tests is recommended. In extreme situations, long periods of fasting can cause sludge formation in the gall bladder and therefore if you have been delaying your meals or fasting occasionally, that must be discussed with your doctor. The gassy cramps also could be due to the same reason. As you are having yellowish urine since last few days, it could be due to less fluid intake in the cold weather. However if you take enough fluids and still your urine is yellow and there is yellow appearance of the eyes and skin, then the liver function test should be done to confirm jaundice. It may also cause itching over your body. The headache needs further observation regarding onset, duration, vision difficulties, relieving factor and associated facial tenderness or sinusitis. The back ache too needs to be evaluated carefully. Concerning hiatus hernia, there is lot more burning in the stomach (left lower chest and upper abdomen) especially when you bend down. I understand your concern to avoid unnecessary trips to your doctor and getting tests done. Also many of your symptoms can be entirely due to stress related anxiety. It would be important to apply a regular diet and fitness schedule and minimize any physical and mental stress that you may have. You can try having less oily foods and more of fruits and vegetables. Having small meals at regular intervals is also suggested. Hope your query is answered. Do write back if you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek
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Follow-up: Can abdominal muscular spasms be symptoms of gallbladder problem? 18 minutes later
I can NOT thank you enough for being so thorough with me. :) I have for about two years skipped eating my lunch while at work. I would eat at 7am and wouldn't eat again until about 4. On occasion I would have a small snack but that's it. When I do eat, I eat healthy but when I get home, I kind of binge as I am starving. I am very healthy weight wise. But just recently, I am eating a lot more throughout my day to help figure this all out. I wonder if not eating for that long caused anything? But the ultrasound done in XXXXXXX for my gallbladder would've detected sludge right? It came out completely normal. Maybe this is just all stress related. It is so hard to tell. Does this sound more like an ulcer than gallbladder. The two have so many of the same symptoms that I am having but again, maybe this is nothing. I do thank you so much for your replies. I will try to make this my last one. ;)
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Please find detailed answer below Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, Thanks for writing in with an update. Continuing with our discussion, I feel your erratic meal timings are responsible at least in part for your symptoms. In most cases sludge in gall bladder is visualized on ultrasound. Very less chance that it has been missed. Ulcer pain is always associated with meal. If it is gastric ulcer, the pain is more when you skip meals and in duodenal ulcers the pain after meals. If you have an ulcer, these pains must be more regular in nature. An endoscopy is the most confirmatory investigation for an ulcer. Yes, stress can also be causing your problems and if you go back to skipping meals and ulcer may develop. This is the right time to get things in tune. Do not starve and binge. Taking small meals regularly will benefit you. Wishing you good health. Thanks again for accepting my replies. Hope your query is answered. Do write back if you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek
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