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Abdominal pain below rib cage. Pain radiates from back to shoulder. Can alcohol trigger pain?

Hi, I have a sharp pain across my upper abdomen just below my ribcage and across my breasts. The pain radiates through to my back to both shoulder blades. It is slightly worse on the left side. It is tender on the left side of my upper abdomen just below my rib cage. I have been experiencing pain across my abdomen off and on for some months. In February I had very itchy skin - scalp , ears, arms legs and sides of torso but no rash . My stools were paler in colour. I find that alcohol can trigger pain. Sometimes when the pain is severe I feel sick. The pain varies and is not constant.
Asked On : Sun, 17 Mar 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  198
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General Surgeon 's  Response

Thank you for the query.

Most likely you do suffer from gallstones which do migrate to the bile ducts and give its obstruction. Obstruction causes jaundice (symptoms of jaundice are itchy skin, pale stools, dark urine, yellowish skin).
Alcohol can trigger your symptoms indeed. Moreover, it can happen that some stone will obstruct pancreas duct and will lead to acute pancreatitis. That is why I suggest you to do not wait anymore. You should visit your doctor, have blood work, liver tests (AST,ALT,GGTP,AP), amylase, lipase, urine amylase and abdominal ultrasound.
If stones are present, surgery should be performed which should permanently solve your problems.

In a meanwhile you should avoid fatty foods, fried foods, spicy foods and alcohol.

Hope this will help.
Answered: Sun, 17 Mar 2013
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