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I have severe pain between belly button and sternum

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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I'm having severe pain between belly button and sternum. It is causing my back to hurt between shoulder blades and kidney area. This has happened several times in past year. I thought it was my gallbladder but fatty foods don't always trigger it.
Posted Wed, 26 Mar 2014 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 23 minutes later
Brief Answer: Gallstones. Detailed Answer: Hello! Thank you for the query. Such symptoms are very characteristic for gallstones. Even if fatty foods do not trigger symptoms. Its individual which foods cause the symptoms. For some persons it will be fatty foods, alcohol or coffee, for others spicy foods. So this does not rule gallstones. Typical gallstones pain is located in the upper middle or right abdomen, radiates to the back or even shoulder. Nausea and vomiting are very often present. Loose stools, dark urine can also be present with this condition. In some cases, very same symptoms can appear due to chronic pancreas inflammation. For this condition, fatty, foul smelling stools are quite characteristic. Your pain can also appear due to peptic ulcer or acid reflux disease. However the most possible reason is gallbladder. Here is what you should do: - have abdominal ultrasound, blood work, liver tests (AST,ALT,GGTP,AP), bilirubin, urine analysis, amylase, urine amylase - if gallstones will be present you should get scheduled for laparoscopy - if there will be signs of inflammation of the gallbladder in the ultrasound (like thick wall or fluid around the liver), surgery should be done in few days - if no gallstones will be present, gastroscopy should be next In a meanwhile you should avoid: fatty foods, spicy foods, fried foods, alcohol, coffee. Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions. Regards.
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