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What causes pain in the right rib cage?

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Posted on Mon, 7 Nov 2016
Question: I'm just curious on something...

I've been having pain on my right side under my ribs for a while now. Have an appointment with my gastro doc in a few weeks. Fearful that it might be liver or colon cancer. The question is today I woke just feeling like crap with an ache that'll come and go on the bottom of my neck (right side; I attached an image pointing where). I don't have sniffles or a clogged head so I don't think this is a cold, my question is if these two could be related (like if cancer would spread here) or am I just being a hypochondriac?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (49 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Thoughts on your questions

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXX,

Pain on the right side under the ribs can be due to gall bladder or liver problems but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it is cancer.

If you are overweight, the liver can get inflamed with fat, and this can sometimes cause some pain on the right side. Are your liver enzymes elevated? Without elevated liver enzymes, it might be a musculoskeletal problem.

An ultrasound of the abdomen can be very good for sorting out gall bladder problems.

You mention that you have a gastro doc. Is this because you have had gastrointestinal issues?

I doubt that the ache in your neck is related, especially if you just woke with it today. More likely it was strained from a position while you were sleeping or from some activity you did yesterday. And I doubt that it is cancer or a spread of cancer if you don't have a lump there.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (4 minutes later)
Hello doctor. Thank you for the response. I dont have a gallbladder (was removed in 2005); when i went to the er for this recently, i was told that this sounds more like a colon issue, but could potentially be a liver issue due to the bad diet I WAS on, the fact that im overweight (ive since changed my diet for overall health and for weightloss), and that i was told i have fatty liver. This has been occuring for about 6 months now so its a little fightening .
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (10 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Ok

Detailed Answer:
I would recommend an abdominal ultrasound to evaluate. Or the GI doctor may want to have an MRI. But please don't assume the worst. Colon and liver cancer are low on the list of what can be causing the pain, especially if you are known to have fatty liver.

Even after gall bladder removal, people can have problems with the remaining ducts and this might be the problem, too.

Just continue your healthier diet, exercise, and most likely it is more of an innocuous thing.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (2 minutes later)
Sounds good doctor. The last abdominal ultrasound is how they found the fatty liver, and they didnt see anything else (that was about 4 months ago). Ill see what he wants. The whole feeling like crap and throat issue just amplifies the worry. But ill try not to :)
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Thoughts.

Detailed Answer:
I just read through some of your recent questions and see that the pain in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen comes on after eating. This can definitely be related to the remaining ducts from the liver/removed gall bladder. Also, fatty liver doesn't resolve overnight, and when you sit down or bend over and apply pressure to it, it can hurt. But you are doing good if you have changed your diet, and this will help the liver. Add exercise if you can, too.

I really think the throat and feeling poorly today is not related. You may feel better in a few days in that department. Hang in there.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (2 minutes later)
Will do doctor. Ive added exercise since as well. Ill keep it up. '
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (31 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Great!

Detailed Answer:
Good job. It takes a lot of will to make these changes and it will pay off.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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What causes pain in the right rib cage?

Brief Answer: Thoughts on your questions Detailed Answer: Hello XXXX, Pain on the right side under the ribs can be due to gall bladder or liver problems but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it is cancer. If you are overweight, the liver can get inflamed with fat, and this can sometimes cause some pain on the right side. Are your liver enzymes elevated? Without elevated liver enzymes, it might be a musculoskeletal problem. An ultrasound of the abdomen can be very good for sorting out gall bladder problems. You mention that you have a gastro doc. Is this because you have had gastrointestinal issues? I doubt that the ache in your neck is related, especially if you just woke with it today. More likely it was strained from a position while you were sleeping or from some activity you did yesterday. And I doubt that it is cancer or a spread of cancer if you don't have a lump there.